In so many ways, harbourside Balmain represents a microcosm of Sydney. Named for its first major land-owner, William Balmain, the tight-knit peninsular harbour suburb developed as solidly working class.
As one of its most prominent sons and politicians, Neville Wran, was wont to remind his Labor constituency: Balmain boys don’t cry.
Over recent years, however, that signature stoicism has given way to frustration as old-time residents have seen the gentrification of their area accompanied by soaring property prices and rates.
The superb streetscapes and harbour views are certainly worth a visit, but make sure you make the journey by ferry. Balmain's narrow lanes were made for walking, not driving or parking.
Balmain's Darling Street is the hub of the suburb, with an eclectic mix of shops, cafes, restaurants and a popular weekend market.