Stylised letter 'D' for Darlinghurst
Stylised letter 'D' for Darlinghurst
Loading icon for interactive map of Darlinghurst


The place where the rushes grow

Kogerah was a place where blackbutt, red gum trees and others stood tall and in abundance, like quiet sentinels surveying a pristine harbour. Believed to mean ‘place where the rushes grow’, Kogerah was and is Gadigal Country.

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From 'Pretty Hamlet' to City in the Clouds
A town rises

The windmills which once stood on the high ridge of Potts Point and Darlinghurst, offered newcomers from distant lands a first glimpse of Sydney Town as they sailed through Sydney Heads and surveyed the coves along the harbour.

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The Chronicler of Barcom Glen
The 'primeval forest'

In the 1810s Sydney Town began at Circular Quay and ended at Liverpool Street, and Darlinghurst was ‘little removed from the primeval forest’ with ‘out-in-the-country homesteads or farms.’

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A Genteel Life
The diarist of Oak Cottage

In 1852 a solicitor, his wife and seven children fled the bailiffs and left their large house outside London, England, setting sail for a new life in Sydney. Soon they would be promenading in the Botanic Gardens, enjoying a box at the opera and playing card games with Sydney's most eligible bachelors.

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Darlinghurst Skating Rink
'Skate as you have never done before'

Opened in 1889, the rink was styled and decorated to emulate the Imperial Palace of Japan. It was illuminated by electric arc lights and gas chandeliers, and patrons saw themselves in large mirrors on the walls around them, gliding across the room.

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Mr and Mrs Booth's Hydropathic Baths
'The Largest and most Complete in all the Australian colonies'

Established in 1880, Mr and Mrs Booth's 'Water Cure Establishment' claimed to treat everything from rheumatism and heart palpitations to kidney disease and indigestion.

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Smith and Company's 'Places of Amusement'
Miniature horse riding and bowling in Darlinghurst

'Many an honest father and mother have cursed the hour when the law countenanced such hells upon earth as these...'

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How does a street change over time?

This website maps the people and places of Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst between the 1840s and the 1940s. Explore the map and timeline, stories and points of interest, or learn more about this project.

Cite this Site

Nicole Cama, Darlinghurst: A digital history project mapping the people and places of Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst, 2023, Australian Centre for Public History, University of Technology Sydney,, accessed .