Pub crawls have a bad reputation amongst those who have never been on one. That’s understandable, since there’s nothing that ruins a refreshing beer or glass of wine more than a bunch of drunken teenagers (the legal age in Australia is 18) or “yabbos” out on a pub crawl. However, there’s another side to the pub crawl that’s worth considering. There’s no better way to meet people and see sights you otherwise might not see than on a Sydney pub crawl. These are some of the possibilities.
Neddy Smith Pub Crawl
Neddy Smith was a notorious Sydney gangster of the 1980s. Smith made most of his money in the drug trade, but preferred beer himself. Starting at breakfast, by the end of the average day, he consumed 30 ‘middies’ before moving on to the hard stuff at night. A Neddy Smith pub crawl takes you to the pubs where Neddy and his mates frequented and where he frequently got into fights. On at least one occasion, attempts were made on his life as he left a pub. Fortunately, Neddy Smith will not be joining you in person on your pub crawl. Finally convicted of murder after a road rage incident, he is now locked safely away.
The Rocks Pub Crawl
Although Neddy Smith did frequent the iconic Lord Nelson Brewery in The Rocks, if you take a pub crawl tour of The Rocks, the Lord Nelson’s more reputable status as Sydney’s oldest pub will be emphasized. Stop in at the Argyle, one of The Rocks’ most stylish pubs and you can go on a pub crawl within a pub crawl. The Argyle caters to Sydney’s young and hip and includes 6 separate spaces, each of which has a different ambience. For a touch of St. Patrick’s Day every day, go to the Mercantile Hotel. It’s a great place to go for a pint of Guiness with atmosphere, featuring Irish and Aussie bush bands at night.
Pub Crawl Cruises
Enormously popular with Sydney locals, pub crawl cruises are like going on a pub crawl without actually being one. Yes, you frequently change location, but you never actually leave the boat. Instead, you may find yourself floating under the Sydney Harbour Bridge one minute and past the Opera House the next. Warning: pub crawl cruises are for serious partiers only. If the cruise part of the equation appeals to you more than the pub part, take a more sedate Sydney Harbour cruise. There are dozens to choose from.
Darling Harbour Pub Crawl
A Darling Harbour pub crawl is a relatively safe, if sedate way to go, since most of the pubs in Darling Harbour are designed for the “drinks after dinner” crowd. Many of the pubs enjoy spectacular water views and most of them are relatively upmarket, catering to tourists and financial district working locals. However, since Darling Harbour borders Chinatown, George Street and Pyrmont, there are plenty of more interesting options to choose from, too. A Darling Harbour pub crawl will probably be a self-guided one, since organized tours usually involve a bus and/or a theme.
A Self-Guided Small Bar Pub Crawl
Assuming you want to go to a pub or bar for its atmosphere rather than to get drunk, a self-guided tour of some of Sydney’s small, theme pubs is a great way to have a great night out. There are dozens to choose from, from the Western themed Shady Pines Saloon on Crown Street, Darlinghurst, to Tio’s tequila bar in Surry Hills or Lovely Lilly Devine’s wine bar on Crown Lane, Darlinghurst. Of course, you can always wing it and just take a stroll down any main street in town and see what you find. The gentrified inner-city suburb of Balmain, for instance, is peppered with great restaurants, pubs and bars. Some of them feature local bands on weekends. For a minimal entry fee, you can mingle with the locals and listen to a great Aussie pub band.
After a long pub crawl you will be happy to get back to your accommodation in Sydney for a good nights rest.