Kings Cross, Sydney - Region Information

Kings Cross is probably the next best known tourist attraction in Sydney after the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

Ten minutes from the city in light traffic, it is Sydney's main nightspot for visitors who enjoy the fleshier side of life. Kings Cross was originally named Queens Cross because it was a major crossroads.

The name was changed to avoid confusion with Queens Square - quite probably because the politicians and lawyers in that area did not want to be associated with a 'sleazier' part of town. Kings Cross is not technically a suburb.

Kings Cross Accommodation - Get a room in Sydney's most colourful area! Along with nearby Darlinghurst, Kings Cross is always popular and the night life is always pumping. There are a number of historical buildings that are worth a look but this area is primarily to do with the gay community. Book accommodation and tours now.

Turn left off William Street into Darlinghurst Road and you are in the main street of The Cross. It offers a choice of strip clubs, bars, cafes, restaurants and fast food outlets mixed in with the local supermarket, delicatessen, chemist and other shops for the large number of people who live in the area.

The Cross is a heterosexual playground. It is well policed and there's rarely more trouble than a few drunks having a fight. Sydney's gay and lesbian territory is around Oxford Street at Darlinghurst, and easier reached from Hyde Park.

Strip clubs in the Cross leave nothing to the imagination, but are otherwise fairly dark and down at heel. Burly 'bouncers' at the entrance will tell you if there is a cover charge. Some let women in free. Simple spirit drinks and beers are not too expensive. They are pretty harmless.

Sex aside, the Cross has plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars. The Bourbon and Beefsteak, which is the best known and open all night, sprang up to cater for American servicemen on leave in Sydney during the Vietnam War. It always has good live bands in the main bar playing middle of the road music, has a disco, a restaurant, plenty of memorabilia, and is generally crowded. It is a popular spot for a late Sunday breakfast with the newspapers - which Australians call brunch.

The Bourbon and Beefsteak is at the end of Darlinghurst Road where it joins Macleay Street, just by the El Alamein fountain which spouts water in the shape of a huge and delicate dandelion. The small park which surrounds it hosts a craft and old junk market on weekends.

Several other restaurants have tables outside where you can sit and watch the passing parade. Kings Cross has a completely different feel in daylight with a distinctly village atmosphere and locals going about their business.

There are several major hotels in the Cross with even more restaurants and bars, so you are not likely to go hungry or thirsty. Some of the better restaurants are in or just off Macleay Street - Thai, Indian, Japanese and 'modern' Australian.

Macleay Street runs downhill to the harbour and a major Royal Australian Navy base, Garden Island. There are generally several warships moored almost by the side of the road, and the Navy often has ships open for inspection. There are tours of Garden Island.