In the early 19th century Surry Hills was on the outskirts of the city and
the ideal place to build a mansion, but the area later sank into decline,
becoming an overcrowded slum, with brothels and notorious gangs – as described
by Ruth Park in her 1940s novels, Poor Man’s Orange and The Harp in the
South. But today, Surry Hills is a very
different place – a colourful and diverse inner-city suburb that is well known
for its art galleries, antique dealers, cafes and pubs, and fashion and rag
trade outlets. Surry Hills is a curious
mixture of fashion and seediness. Newly renovated houses stand alongside
dilapidated dwellings while streets of elegant Victorian terraces abut modern
high-rise flats and factory warehouses.
Surry Hills is located 1.5km east of the CBD. The focus of Surry Hills shopping, busy Crown
Street is popular for its off beat clothing homewares and collectables,
bookshops and food stores. On the first Saturday of every month, the Surry
Hills Market is held at Shannon Reserve, and this is a great place to find
clothing gifts, creative crafts and bric-a-brac. Also in the area is the
excellent Sydney Antique Centre on South Dowling Street, and Cleveland
Street’s Surry Hills Shopping Village, ideal for food and every day shopping.
Once again Crown Street is the place to go for dining, particularly when it
crosses Oxford, Fitzroy, Devonshire and Cleveland Streets. There is an
extraordinary range of eateries here – from tiny Lebanese and Turkish takeaways
to upmarket Modern Australian restaurants and some excellent pub dining rooms,
such as the Dolphin, Clock and Hopetoun, offering meals at very reasonable
prices. Oxford, Riley, Albion and Bourke Streets also feature many places to
eat, including some good Asian and Italian establishments.
Prince Alfred Park is located just south of Central Station, Prince Alfred
Park is best known for its 1950s-style outdoor swimming pool. Spanning more
than 7.5 hectares, this vital community park also features large grassed areas,
a playground and tennis courts.
Shannon Reserve is at the corner of Crown and Collins streets is the
location of the Surry Hills Market – held on the first Saturday of every month,
subject to weather.
Moore Park is part of the excitement of big-time sport and entertainment,
which includes the Sydney Cricket Ground and Aussie Stadium, featuring
Australian Rules Football, cricket, Rugby League, Rugby Union, soccer, concerts
and interactive venue tours.
Street Primary School, Sydney Boys & Girls High, Cleveland Street Boys High
School are state schools in Surry Hills.