a little bit of history

Darlinghurst was originally called Eastern Hill because, as you may have guessed, we're up the hill from Sydney, to the east which, by the way, is a great direction to get from Town Hall.

But the winds shifted in the early 19th Century and the suburb was renamed for Governor Ralph Darling's wife, Eliza. The -hurst ending means 'wooded' so one can only assume some serious tree-felling took place.

Interestingly, Kings Cross is so named because Darlinghurst Road and Victoria Street cross over at this point.

We are literally steeped in history with two museums: the Australian Museum (full of dinosaucers and minerals and other cool stuff) and the Sydney Jewish Museum which is a far more poignant and sobering experience. 

We have the National Art school, which was once a gaol that hanged people and which still has a functioning supreme court of NSW tacked on out the front. And if you are in Wooloomooloo looking up you will notice a massive sandstone cliff. This is where the convicts from the gaol would quarry sandstone for the rest of Sydney.  

Oxford Street is the location of the first ever Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 1978. We have come a long way from that sorry time when the protestors were bashed and arrested to now, when the police march happily in the parade. Go civil rights.

For a far more detailed history, check out these cats: the Dictionary of Sydney

And for a thorough history of Oxford Street check out Clive Farro's great book


What began its days as an Aboriginal track became a marketplace from the time it was recast as South Head Road, when firewood was transported from Sydney Common, giving way to a Victorian high street. Frequented by the colony's most powerful, the poor peddled what they could as the road widened and lengthened. The 1950s bustle — following post WWII doldrums — flowed into the expressive, unpredictable and energetic '60s and '70s, when the foundations of today's gay and shopping cultures took hold.