Inner-city suburb located immediately to the south east of the central business district. After explosive growth in the second half of the nineteenth century it came to be seen as a slum, then experienced gentrification from the late 1960s.
Surry Hills, on Cadigal land, provided grazing, garden produce, timber, stone and clay to the new colony, and wealthy colonists built country houses there. Subdivision from the 1830s made it one of Sydney's most populous districts by the 1890s. Poor drainage and building rapidly created slum conditions, rife with crime and poverty. Demolitions and remodelling by city and state governments made some improvements, but after World War II, when industry moved out and residents shifted to newer suburbs, Surry Hills became attractive to new migrants and was revitalised.