Explore Chippendale: Historical Walking Tours

Latest Tour Information


Explore Chippendale Historical Walking Tours will take you on a time-travelling journey through vestiges of the area’s past, guided by a professional historian, Catherine Freyne. The colonial history, industrial heritage and sordid tales beneath Chippendale’s cultural renaissance and vibrant culinary and artistic scene will be revealed in an informal, social setting.

Begin with a glass of complimentary wine whilst admiring the latest works on display at Kensington Contemporary.

After being immersed in the vibrant atmosphere of this burgeoning international lifestyle destination,  head off on an adventure to explore its past.

February Tour



On Saturday 18 November, from 2-3.30pm,  the Explore Chippendale Historical Walking Tour will explore the stories that each crumbling facade, sandstone block, lacey iron balustrade and cutting- edge skyscraper reveal of the changing face of Chippendale.

Chippendale has been a cradle of experimentation since Thomas Shepherd established his Darling Nursery behind the gin distillery in the 1820s.

Historian Catherine Freyne will lead visitors on a tour of some of Chippendale’s sites of experimentation and innovation: social, technological, botanical, industrial and artistic.

These include:

  1. Brisbane Distillery - Chippendale’s first industrial enterprise, founded by the controversial ex-convict entrepreneur, Robert ‘the Large’ Cooper.
  2. Blackwattle Creek – where archaeological finds reveal the adaptive re-use of colonial materials by local Aboriginal people in the early years of the colony.
  3. Peace Park – traces of Thomas Shepherd’s nursery and the original Blackwattle Swamp.
  4. MacRobertson’s Chocolate factory – hijacked by generations of punk artists until its final artistic incarnation as Lanfranchi’s Memorial Discoteque in the early noughties.
  5. Strickland Building – an early and very successful Sydney experiment in public housing and apartment living.
  6. Blackfriars School – the local public school which was also the birthplace of Montessori education in Australia.
  7. Kent Brewery – Chippendale’s biggest employer in the 20th century, now a cutting edge inner-city residential and creative precinct.

A Special Lunch Invitation

Join us for a gastronomic adventure prior to our February Historical and Gallery Walking Tours. This month, for $28 between 12:30-2 pm, we will delight in an exquisite Sicilian dining experience at Chef Lino Sauro’s brand new venture, Olio Kensington Street. Be amongst the first in Sydney to sample Lino’s nostalgic and heartfelt delights in this exclusive setting, at an exclusive price.

Joined by Catherine Freyne, our historian tour guide, and Nicky Ginsberg, President of the CCP, we will prepare for the afternoon over delicious food, delighting in the company of like minded people with complimentary wine and engaging conversation.

Meeting point: Olio Kensington Street, Level 3, 2-10 Kensington Street (The Old Rum Store), Chippendale



Tour Details

February Tour

Date: Saturday,  February 18th

Time: 2:00 – 3:30 pm

Price: $20

Meeting Point: Kensington Contemporary, 32 Kensington Street, Chippendale

February Lunch (Optional)

Restaurant: Olio Kensington Street

Date: Saturday,  February 18th

Time: 12:30- 2:00pm

Price: $28

Meeting Point: Olio Kensington Street, Level 3, 2-10 Kensington Street (The Old Rum Store), Chippendale

Book online