The Stranger’s Guide to Sydney 1861

Sydney Culture Walks app

Produced by the City of Sydney

“The want of a cheap and portable guide, for the use of strangers visiting Sydney, induced the publisher to get up this little work,” wrote James W Waugh in September 1861.

Waugh’s handbook to Sydney – titled The Stranger’s Guide to Sydney – was special: devised in a series of walks “in order that those who have but a short time to spend in town, may have an opportunity of seeing as much of it as possible”. Streets, public buildings, “divergencies and picturesque scenery” were all pointed out to the stranger.

Let James W Waugh be your guide as you travel back in time to 1861 and be a stranger in your own city. This walk starts at present-day Sydney Town Hall and ends at Customs House, but all the landmarks along the way are from 1861: illustrated with contemporary watercolours, etchings and the occasional new-fangled photograph. It’s Sydney like you’ve never seen it before.

This new self-guided walk will be live in the Sydney Culture Walks app from 26 August 2019. Download the app for free from the Apple app store or Google Play.

The walk has been devised by the City of Sydney’s city historian and civic curator to celebrate History Week 2019.



Every day, 9am to 6pm

Monday 26 August to Sunday 29 December 2019


More Info

Hashtag: #HistoryWeek19

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