Balmain information

Sydney , Australia
Getting there
Ferry: Balmain East
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Once a tough, working-class neighbourhood, Balmain now rivals Paddington in Victorian-era desirability – with the added advantage of being surrounded by water and city-bound ferries. Darling St traverses the spine of Balmain’s peninsula, and makes for a decent pub crawl. Balmain’s frangipani-scented streets contain dozens of historically significant buildings, most of which are privately owned.

The most notable is the graciously proportioned Hampton Villa , a Georgian villa (1847). NSW Premier Sir Henry Parkes, the ‘Father of Federation’, lived here from 1888 to 1892. Nearby is the squat, shingle-roofed Clontarf Cottage , an impressively restored house (1844) saved from demolition by protests in the late 1980s; and the semiderelict St Mary’s Hall , built around 1851. Darling St has the Watch House , Sydney’s oldest surviving lockup (1854); Waterman’s Cottage , built in 1841; and Cathermore , Balmain’s first bakery (1841), which later became the Waterford Arms pub.