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Situated within Walsh Bar, Towns Place Wharf is bursting with history and heritage. Although today the area has been modernised with luxury accommodation and contemporary amenities, the location was home to Captain Robert Towns' trading empire in the 19th century, so is a location rife with historical importance. Its proximity to the Walsh Bar area, the cultural hub of Sydney, also means it's ideally placed to be dropped off if you fancy an evening at the theatre.
The site where the Towns Place Apartments now stand was the location of Captain Robert Towns' Whaling and trading empire during the 1850s and 1860's. Miller's Point, situated at the northernmost point of Barangaroo Reserve, not only offers stunning views but is also where you'll find Moore's Wharf, a place of real historical significance.
Built from the 1830s to the late 1840s by Towns, with sandstone quarried from Millers Point, Moore's Wharf comprises a group of three-storey sandstone walled waterfront warehouses. Originally located in Darling Harbour, redevelopment plans resulted in the building being relocated stone by stone to its current location, where it re-opened in 1981.
The building was the scene of many firsts. In 1851 the clipper Phoenician loaded the first shipment of Australian gold to England from Moore's Wharf and in 1852, the SS Chusan, which was the first P&O steamship to arrive from England, berthed at the wharf. The colony's first rail locomotive was also unloaded at Moore's Wharf in 1855.
Towns Place itself was also once referred to as the notorious Bullring, so-called as hungry, desperate labourers would once gather there on a daily basis, hoping for a day of work on the wharves during the great depression. During this era, Hickson Road, which now stretches from Circular Quay all the way to Darling Harbour along the waterfront, was part of the notorious Hungry Mile.
Towns Place Wharf is located directly adjacent to the waterfront Barangaroo Reserve park, which is a modern construction that features relaxed walking and cycling paths that take in a variety of scenic views. It's an ideal area for an afternoon picnic or a relaxed evening stroll. At the centre of the park sits Stargazer Lawn, so-named because of the stunning night-time views of the stars and the city.
The Sydney Observatory is also a short walk inland from the wharf if you want to really see stars. The observatory is situated on a beautiful hilltop site with stunning harbour views and the observatory itself also features a planetarium showing high-tech, digital films about astronomy, and a museum, offering all manner of workshops and attractions for children of all ages. This would be an ideal drop off point for those embarking on a boat tour of Sydney Harbour.
The selection of bars and restaurants in the area is slight, but there are some real diamonds. The Hotel Palisade, which is situated towards the southern end of the Barangaroo Reserve, is a self-proclaimed 'funky' hotel with an equally quirky pub downstairs that is a famously casual local establishment brimming with charm and some exquisite views of the harbour.
The perfect spot to unwind before or after a wander in the park. For craft beer buffs, meanwhile, there's the Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel, which is one of the oldest pubs in Australia and brews its very own beer. The restaurant too is very famous locally, with the lava cake a particular favourite delicacy. Finally, El-Phoenician is a local Lebanese restaurant serving traditional grilled meats and seafood in a chic setting from a marble bar.
NOTE: All prices are subject to change, as boat owners control their pricing throughout the year (Sometimes we don't get updated straight away)
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