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Slums, Slashings & Sly-grog — A History Tour of Surry Hills & Darlinghurst

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Known as the ‘Chicago of the South’ Sydney in the 1920s and 1930s was famous for its vicious gang rivalry, cocaine addition, and sly-grog scene.
From this labyrinth of lanes a mass of criminal empires emerged, ruled by two mob bosses with a difference – these bosses were women. Hailed Queens of the Underworld, Tilly Devine and Kate Leigh, had crawled their way up from obscure origins over the bodies (sometimes literally) of men to become the most powerful women in Sydney, and they were not about to give up that power — especially not to each other.

Join us as we explore the lesser known laneways and secrets of Surry Hills, meet the colourful collection of working girls, gangsters and hit men who gave Sydney a bad reputation, finishing with a drink at a speakeasy style bar.

About This Deal

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Central Railway Station, Eddy Ave Haymarket, Sydney, New South Wales 2000 Australia

Meet your guide in the Grand Concourse of Central Station — a large terminus hall constructed in the early 1900s with a giant steel frame vaulted roof. Your tour guide will introduce you to the notorious characters that preyed on naive newcomers who once arrived here on the country trains.
You'll also learn what happened here in 1916 that helped determine Sydney's underworld over the next decades.

Duration: 15 minutes

Stop At: Surry Hills, Surry Hills, New South Wales

As you walk through the history of the area you'll learn about the notorious razor gangs, illegal grog-shops, brothels, gambling joints and slums. You'll also delve into the stories of the infamous crime-lords and ladies who ruled over an empire of illegal trades scattered throughout Surry Hills streets and alleyways in the roaring inter-war years.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Darlinghurst, Darlinghurst, New South Wales

Darlinghurst was once the playground of Sydney's not-so-glamourous underworld Queens : Kate Leigh & Tilly Devine. You'll discover the forgotten venues of their competing sly grog & bordello empires and the cocaine-crooks, standover men, gangsters, good-timers, haunts & hide-outs that kept them at the top of the food-chain.

Duration: 1 hour

Additional Information

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers
  • Alcoholic Beverages - Enjoy a unique drink at a hidden speak-easy bar after your tour. Their house special is a glass of whisky with freshly squeezed apple juice. Beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks also available.

Departure Point
Central Station Grand Concourse, Eddy Ave, Haymarket NSW 2000, Australia

Departure Time
2:00 PM

2 hours 30 minutes

Return Details
Shady Pines Saloon, 4/256 Crown St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010, Australia

Voucher Info
You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

The tour identified in this promotion is made available through Viator. Groupon is not affiliated with or sponsored by the Journey Walks in connection with this deal. Please contact Groupon customer service for all inquiries related to this offer. Inquiries placed to Viator will be directed back to Groupon.

This offer is not eligible for promo codes.

Need To Know

7-day cancellation rights do not apply; no refunds or exchanges permitted. Voucher valid only for date and time listed; may not be exchanged or redeemed for other dates. Purchaser name and phone number must be provided at checkout; this information will be shared with Viator and the tour operator for purposes of order fulfillment. Groupon promo codes may not be used for this offer. Groupon voucher Terms of Sale do not apply. See the tour operators terms and conditions for this offer here.