Pubs and breweries

The Rocks is a great place to explore Australia’s oldest pubs, including the Fortune of War, the Hero of Waterloo, and the Lord Nelson. There’s also the Australian Hotel and the Glenmore Hotel with its rooftop bar. All the pubs in The Rocks are within easy walking distance of each other.

Enjoy a ferry trip across the harbour to Manly or Watsons Bay for a pub lunch with great views. Surry Hills has a thriving craft beer scene, with establishments such as the Royal Albert Hotel, The Local Taphouse, and Dove & Olive among the most popular venues.

Head south for a tasty pub lunch with ocean views at the Scarborough Hotel, less than two hours from Sydney by train. In nearby Wollongong, enjoy beer tasting at the Illawarra Brewery. In Port Stephens, on the North Coast, visit Murray’s Craft Brewing Co. Farther north, in Byron Bay, are Byron Bay Brewing Co. and Stone & Wood Brewing Co.

Henry Deane, Sydney
The London Hotel, Sydney

Discover great pubs in Sydney

Pubs are an important part of Australia’s culture. The nation’s oldest hostelries, dating back to early colonial days, are in The Rocks, near the Sydney Opera House. You’ll enjoy tasty value-for-money food at pubs.

Small breweries make craft beer and cider for many pubs in Sydney and beyond. The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel in The Rocks brews its own ales. Other small breweries in Sydney where you can sample beer on the premises include the 4 Pines Brewing Co in Manly, Young Henrys in Newtown and the Batch Brewing Co in Marrickville. Dave’s Brewery Tours visit the small breweries.

There are sweeping views of Sydney Opera House and other attractions from the Glenmore’s rooftop bar in The Rocks. Take a ferry from Circular Quay to Watsons Bay for harbour views at Watsons Beach Club or to Manly Wharf for more lively pubs with good food, cold beer and splendid water views.

Pubs by the beach such as Coogee Pavilion are always popular. Go by bus from the city centre to Coogee in Sydney’s east. Alternatively, from Bondi Beach, try the exhilarating Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk and build up an appetite and thirst.

You’ll find beautifully restored heritage pubs in inner city neighbourhoods such as Balmain, Surry Hills and Paddington, and also in pretty towns and villages along the coast north and south of Sydney and in country NSW and the outback. Beer tasting at small breweries is popular in regional NSW, where many pubs offer cheap accommodation and hearty food.