The Rocks was the traditional home of the Gadigal Aboriginal people and the site of the first European landing in 1788. The Rocks precinct is located on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour. The Rocks became the commercial center of the new trade port in the 1800s and also had a reputation for unsavory characters, brothels and pubs. The Rocks entered the 20th century as a slum and following an outbreak of the bubonic plague in Sydney in 1900 the government took it upon itself to redevelop The Rocks as the "gateway" to Sydney. In the 1970s trade unions helped local residence fight for the right to save The Rocks from redevelopment which would strip the area of its character. Thanks to their actions and the establishment of the Heritage Act in 1977 The Rocks retains many of its historic buildings. Hickson Road Reserve is a great place to see some of the wonderful structures in The Rocks. The quaint area has many cobblestone lanes, cafes, eateries and unique stores.
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