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Customs House Tours

Customs House
In bustling Circular Quay, Customs House stands on the spot where modern Australia was founded. This is where, in 1788, the First Fleet came ashore to establish a British penal colony in a faraway land. Built in 1845 in a classically Georgian style, the building is exceptionally well preserved, and the exterior is a sight in itself.
 
The Basics
Until 1990, Customs House served as headquarters for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. Today, it is a popular meeting and gathering space. On the top floor, Café Sydney looks out over Circular Quay and is a great place for a fresh seafood meal, while the laid-back outdoor Quay Bar offers drinks and snacks. Free exhibitions are on regular display throughout the building, and the ground floor and library offer relaxed lounge areas, shared work spaces, and public-access computers.
 
Visits to Customs House are often included in architecture, history, and heritage-themed walking tours, which also give a sense of the European settlement of Sydney and its development into a modern city.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Customs House is a must-visit for those with an interest in Sydney’s history.
  • Entrance to Customs House is free of charge.
  • There is free Wi-Fi throughout the building.
  • The building has ramp access and accessible elevators that reach all floors.
 
How to Get There
Customs House is in the heart of Circular Quay and close to many major hotels. It’s a 10-minute walk from Martin Place train station, 15 minutes from Town Hall train station, and five minutes from the Sydney Opera House.
 
When to Get There

The building is open daily. On weekdays from 8am to 12am; Saturday 10am to 12am, and Sunday 11am to 5pm. Restaurants and exhibitions keep slightly different hours, so check before you visit.
 
City Model: Sydney at Your Feet
There’s a miniature replica of the city in a glass atrium under the first floor of the Customs House. The scale model depicts 3.9 square miles (10 square kilometers) of downtown Sydney and is upgraded yearly to reflect the ever-changing face of the city. City Model is even more striking at night when hundreds of fiber-optic lights illuminate the streets under your feet.
Address: 31 Alfred Street, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia
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6 Tours and Activities to Experience Customs House

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EXPLORE SYDNEY'S SECRETS IN A SERIES OF FUN CRYPTIC CLUES4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours

EXPLORE SYDNEY'S SECRETS IN A SERIES OF FUN CRYPTIC CLUES

star-5
Central Sydney is known for its charming laneways and sidestreets. This travel game lets visitors explore these streets while solving puzzles and riddles with an online app, the perfect activity for families or friends looking for exciting and playful things to do while learning about Sydney’s attractions.
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  • 90 to 180 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$24.31
From  
US$24.31
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  • 90 to 180 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Convicts and The Rocks: Sydney's Walking History Tour Led by HistorianWalking Tours

Convicts and The Rocks: Sydney's Walking History Tour Led by Historian

star-5
Head to The Rocks to learn about Sydney’s colorful past. Your historian guide will regale you with stories of the first convicts to arrive in Sydney, their early experiences in Australia, and how they ultimately transformed a shanty camp to an enduring settlement. Listen to tales of street gangs, see the city’s oldest cottage, visit the Customs House, and check out maps and murals of old and new Sydney.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$25.00
From  
US$25.00
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Sydney Self-Guided Audio TourAudio Guided Tours

Sydney Self-Guided Audio Tour

Explore Sydney at your own pace with a downloadable audio tour. This self-guided walking tour includes insightful cultural and historical commentary and a map of the tour route. See the Sydney Harbour and its spectacular bridge and opera house with added context in your ear. Walk through The Rocks and learn about the city’s convict past, then dig deeper into Sydney’s past with a visit to the museum of Sydney. Ideal for visitors who enjoy privacy and prefer to explore on their own.
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  • 1 to 3 hours
From  
US$14.99
From  
US$14.99
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  • 1 to 3 hours

sydney Harbour walking adventureCultural Tours

sydney Harbour walking adventure

this tour is guided by a local Sydney born guide and this tour takes you through hidden sydney and explores the harbour and historic rocks area and it’s hidden lane ways and hidden gems where we started in 1788
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$32.64
From  
US$32.64
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Sydney Private Group 5-Hour Architectural Walking TourPrivate Sightseeing Tours

Sydney Private Group 5-Hour Architectural Walking Tour

Although Sydney is not an old city, it includes a wealth of beautiful and interesting architecture if you know where to look. Discover some of the finest old and modern architecture on this walking tour with a local guide. You’ll hear lots of stories about Sydney’s past and present, and get a much more intimate perspective of the city than you would if touring by vehicle. As this is a private tour you can customize it to suit your needs.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$165.57
From  
US$165.57
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

EXPLORE THE ROCKS SYDNEY IN A SERIES OF FUN CRYPTIC CLUES4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours

EXPLORE THE ROCKS SYDNEY IN A SERIES OF FUN CRYPTIC CLUES

star-4
Adventure Clues - Explore The Rocks in Sydney in a series of fun cryptic clues using our unique web app. The colourful characters of The Rocks’ past come alive on this trail of discovery as they challenge you to uncover the interesting back stories of this important area. Your mission is to solve the 13 cryptic clues so that you can uncover the location of the Captains Ship.You will get up close and personal with the living history and heritage of Australia’s first settlement area and Sydney’s oldest streets.Wander down hidden alleyways, into mysterious courtyards, walk the shortest street in Sydney, and watch out for the notorious Rocks Push gang!Along the way we will show you 3 awesome stop off points to enjoy some beverages if you wish. At the end we will provide you with your stats and a detailed explanation of all the sights.Do you have what it takes to Unlock The Rocks?Team numbers recommended - 2-4 Players. Price is Per Team.
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  • 90 to 180 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$13.89
From  
US$13.89
Learn More
  • 90 to 180 minutes
  • Free Cancellation


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