As part of Sydney’s Chinese New Year celebrations in early February, Sydney Living Museums joined with the City of Sydney and Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority to organise a bike tour celebrating Our Chinese Past By Bike.

Participants on the two-hour tour picked up bikes and helmets at Bonza Bikes in The Rocks and set out on a wheel-life engagement with Sydney’s Chinese community.

Sydney has had a recognisable Chinese presence since 1844, when the Nimrod arrived in Sydney harbour with 121 indentured Chinese labourers on board. The tour, co-presented by Anna Cossu, Curator – City Portfolio for Sydney Living Museums, and Chinese historian King Fong OAM, started in The Rocks, where Lower George Street was known as the Chinese Quarter or Little Canton from the 1850s to the 1870s, then pedalled on to Campbell Street in the Haymarket (Sydney’s second Chinatown) followed by the present Chinatown in Dixon Street, with a brief historical talk at each location.

While in The Rocks, the tour visited Susannah Place Museum, where Curator Anna Cossu gave a talk on the Chinese presence in Sydney’s oldest precinct and the Chinese hawkers who used to supply fresh produce and feather dusters to the tenants and shopkeepers in this row of original terraces built in 1884.

“It was a great way to see Sydney,” says Anna, “with remarkably few hills and the reward of dim sum and tea at the end within the lovely Chinese Garden of Friendship at Darling Harbour.”


About the Author

Head and shoulders portrait of woman set against brick wall.
Anna Cossu
Susannah Place Museum, Museum of Sydney, Justice and Police Museum
Inspired by wonderful and slightly eccentric history teachers and after her own foray as a teacher, Anna found herself drawn to the world of museums.

Frontispiece Frugal housewife Mrs Child


Making the Most of YourselfMonday 18 October 2021

Join CSL&RC librarian Dr Matthew Stephens, assistant curator Marina Grilanc and the State Library's Margot Riley for a discussion on domestic advice manuals, the 'self-help books of the 19th century.' This event is being hosted as part of Rare Book Week.

History Extension Online Seminar


The Project: History Extension Online Seminar 2021Thursday 14 October 2021

We are thrilled to announce bookings are now open for our online History Extension seminar, presented in partnership with the State Library of NSW.

Museum of Sydney exterior at night


Hospitality Partner Opportunity at Museum of SydneyWednesday 13 October 2021

A rare opportunity awaits a strategic & innovative restauranteur, catering and hospitality service provider at the Museum of Sydney.