Secret Suburb: Things to do and see in Rockdale

The is duck feeding in Rockdale

My first day walking around I found a laneway that stretched about three blocks. It featured a couple dozen large scale art installations that were from different schools, organisations and local artists. Hanging overhead was lighting that looked like icicles from Krypton; I’m sure it looks pretty at night, but even against the blue sky, they looked quite nice.

This told me that Rockdale was doing everything it could to revitalise itself. Many communities say they do it, but is the first time I really saw it in action. Businesses are getting involved – first by working with council’s objective, but then also on their own.

There was one person who really impressed me, I’d almost consider him Rockdale’s unofficial ambassador. Peter Bosevski, the owner of Swallow Coffee Traders (great coffee by the way) not only is trying to things like promote locally sourced products but has even created t-shirts that say”Rockn the Dale” on the back. And it’s not just talk. He has a wealth of knowledge about the history of the place, its different development periods, communities and so much more. It was just really good to see someone who is not just truing to make a change for change sake, but looking at the Rockdale’s earlier years to learn how it has evolved and work from there. Impressive.

Secret Suburbs Rockdale as appeared in The Sunday Telegraph on 23 November 2014.

Secret Suburbs Rockdale as appeared in The Sunday Telegraph on 23 November 2014.

Read “Secret Rockdale: Down by Botany Bay, is this hidden gem  of a suburb with a rich cultural history you’ll want to explore”, in The Sunday TelegraphSecret Rockdale


 Things to do in Rockdale

  • Peter Bosevski from Swallow Coffee Traders & The Nest Deli: Peter is genuinely trying to reinvigorate his neighbourhood with his “Rockn the Dale” project, advocating locally sourced food and supporting local artistic endeavours.
  • Duck feeding at Bicentennial Park: On one side of this pond is a quiet ambling path that weaves around native flora, fauna even ibis nests (depending on time of year – late spring). On the other, it’s much more accessible and like I found, families sit on the banks under the shade while the kids feed  the ducks; some they’ve gotten to know since ducklings.
  • Heritage Building Centre: If you’re looking for some uniques pieces for your latest reno or want to find something that suits the age period of your home, head here. From faucets to fences, old and new, they’ve got it.
  • Laneway Learning: We all want to try our hands at something new but costs, time – yes, particularly time – tend to get in the way. Laneway Learning know that so have put together short (a few hours) , inexpensive, and very random workshops (think remedial monopoly or typewriting for kids) and usually, like the name says, in some sort of lane way cafe, accommodating coffee shop or small venue.
  • #LivingLaneways: A great initiative by Rockdale council in conjunction with Now and Then Markets, to enliven the place and support the arts. Even has themed markets once a month.
  • St George’s Migrant Information Day: No need to be a current migrant to appreciate all the dancing, food sampling and activities provided by so many different nationalities and cultures.
  • Macedonian Food: Every suburb in the Sydney area is noted as a gathering point for different cultures or nationalities; it’s just common sense that when you’d move to a different country, you’d take comfort in being around like minded people. While Rockdale’s Macedonian population is not the largest ethnic group in town, it sure seems to be a place to find great Macedonian food and coffee – places like Balkan Oven Burek

 Where is Rockdale?

Secret Suburb is published in the Sunday Telegraph, Australia’s biggest selling newspaper, every Sunday. Follow Sunday Telegraph Editor, Mick Carroll on Twitter here. Follow the Sunday Telegraph on Twitter here.

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