Everyone in Sydney knows George Street for one reason or another. Love it or loathe it, one can’t deny its importance considering it runs through so many important parts of Sydney including the city centre all the way to Central Station with tram lines running from Chinatown to Circular Quay. It is also important because it’s Sydney’s original high street and the oldest street in Australia. Stretching for 3km, this bustling street is always abuzz and jampacked with shops, eateries and towering buildings. It also has the most number of rise buildings than any other street across the country. Read more about its history below.
George Street, Sydney
According to the City of Sydney, Geoge Street was once nothing more than a bush track, becoming a large dirt road in the 1800s. It was the first street to be built by colonists when they arrived in Sydney Cove, originally known as High Street as was customary in England back in the day. Governor Macquarie formally renamed the high street in 1810 to George Street in honour of King George III. Around the time, the street was also widened to manage the heavy traffic on the road.
By 1811, George Street was connecting up a new road to Parramatta. Horse-drawn carriages and trams were introduced in 1861 to transport products and people from ships to trains. Cars and pedestrians walking along the street were also a common sight in the bustling part of town. Longtime Sydneysiders will also remember a mono rail also being part of George Street from 1988 to 2013.
Today, with the addition of the light rail, it’s become very accessible for locals and tourists to explore the length of the street with most stops located strategically at major attractions like the Queen Victoria Building, Town Hall and Chinatown among others. The street begins in the north end of Sydney in The Rocks, near the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Read more about George Street here.