Author's walk with Ian Hoskins - From Bennelong Point to Barangaroo

The walk

Led by acclaimed Sydney author and historian, Dr Ian Hoskins, this walk takes you from some of Sydney’s oldest places to its newest. We start at Bennelong Point, site of the world-renowned Sydney Opera House, and named after the Wongal man who lived there among the British colonists in the 1790s. We walk across Circular Quay, through the Rocks and Millers Point to end at Barangaroo, named after the formidable Gameraigal / Cammeraygal woman who remained wary of the colonists, and now home to Sydney’s most controversial developments.

You’ll discover

  • How Bennelong, Barangaroo and other first harbour people lived on the waterway
  • How one of the world’s most famous harbours evolved from a penal outpost to one of the busiest ports in the British Empire to a harbour of those two engineering and architectural wonders – the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House
  • The story of Sydney’s oldest precinct, the Rocks, its architectural and social history and how the area was saved from demolition in the 1970s
  • The development and redevelopment of Millers Point before and after the outbreak of bubonic plague in 1901
  • The controversial redevelopment of East Darling Harbour / Millers Point into the precinct Barangaroo with its high-rise casino and headland park

From Bennelong Point to Barangaroo provides an excellent understanding of the natural, social and cultural history of Sydney and its remarkable harbour.

From Bennelong Point to Barangaroo runs on Sunday 2 April 2023, Sunday 7 May 2023 and Sunday 4 June 2023 from 1.30pm-5pm (including a post walk drink and chat) with a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 bookings. The cost is $140 per head and includes a drink at an historic pub. To make a booking, email us at

Your guide – author and historian, Dr Ian Hoskins

Ian Hoskins is an award-winning author and one of Sydney’s foremost historians. He is an experienced tour guide who has worked as an academic and public historian, and a curator, in Sydney for 30 years. Ian’s acclaimed book Sydney Harbour: a history, first published in 2009, was republished in 2022 with an updated chapter on Barangaroo. His Australia and the Pacific: a history was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Australian History Prize in 2021.

Jobbins Terrace, Gloucester Street, The Rocks© Ian Hoskins


This is a small group walk available to casual bookings at advertised times for 4 to 8 people and for special group bookings (1-10 people max) by appointment at other times (see below for special group rates). The intimate group size allows you to ask specific and general questions depending upon interest and knowledge.

The walk is available to people 12 years-old and upward. You’ll be walking for 3 hours with breaks. Schedule another 30 minutes at least for a drink and a chat afterwards. Wear comfortable shoes, a hat and bring sunscreen and water. An umbrella and/or rain coat is a good idea if showers are forecast. The walk won’t proceed if heavy rain is predicted or if we have less than 4 bookings on the regular Sunday time (see below for special group bookings). Check this website for updates.

We meet at the bottom of the Tarpeian Steps in front of the Sydney Opera House and finish at Barangaroo in Darling Harbour. We then enjoy a drink and chat at the nearby Lord Nelson Hotel in Kent Street Millers Point (Australia’s oldest continuously operated pub).

It may be possible to organise alternative routes for those with access and mobility limitations. Please refer to pricing for special group bookings below.                                                                                           

Sandstone walls – The Rocks© Mark Bowyer

Times and cost

‘From Bennelong Point to Barangaroo’ runs on the first Sunday of every month from 1.30pm-5pm (including a post walk drink and chat) with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 8 bookings. Check the website for confirmation.

The cost is $140 per head. This includes a drink at the Lord Nelson Hotel.

Special group and corporate bookings can be arranged at other times (depending upon Ian’s availability) for a maximum of 10 people. The cost is $150 per head for (minimum 4 people) and $130 per head for 5-10 people.

Book purchases

You can buy signed copies of Sydney Harbour: a history and Australia and the Pacific: a history for the discounted price of $30 incl. GST on request.

Book Tour