Darling HarbourSydney

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Visit Darling Harbour

Sydney Travel Guide

Once the site of disused railway yards and dilapidated wharves, one of Sydney’s greatest urban renewal projects has breathed life into this location once more.

In days gone by, the historic Darling Harbour site in Sydney played an important role the industrial generation of the cityscape. Today, as an urban renewal project, it is part of what defines new Sydney, with its collection of intriguing museums, fashionable eateries and chic boutiques attracting local residents and tourists alike.

The Darling Harbour area is perhaps best known for the popular Australian National Maritime Museum, the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium and Wild Life Sydney Zoo. This is a real tourist hub thanks to its wealth of exciting attractions all located in one area. Visitors can enlist the help of friendly and helpful guides who are on hand to answer questions, book tickets and plan activities at the modern Visitor Centre.

At the National Maritime Museum you can find out all about Australia’s intrinsic relationship with the sea. From vivid recreations of the historic journeys undertaken by the pioneering explorers that discovered Australia, to the opportunity to explore a decommissioned naval submarine, the National Maritime Museum provides a fascinating and interactive insight into every aspect of life at sea.

Children will love to visit the Wild Life Sydney Zoo, which houses more than 6000 animals native to Australia, and provides a perfect opportunity to get up close to some of the creatures including iconic koala bears and kangaroos. This is great fun and entertainment for families and for animal lovers of all ages.

Darling Harbour also boasts one of the only Chinese gardens erected outside of Asia: the unique Chinese Garden of Friendship. This garden was lovingly constructed by the local Chinese community during Australia’s bicentennial celebrations in 1988.

At night, the Darling Harbour comes alive with a variety of entertainment. Hear one of the world-class musical productions that run all year round at the Sydney Lyric Theatre. If you’re feeling lucky, try your hand at roulette at the Star City Casino. Harbour cruises are another great way to see the sights, or spend a romantic evening over a candlelit dinner in one of the waterfront restaurants, complete with breath-taking views over the ocean.

Top hotels in Darling Harbour

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour
Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour
4.5 out of 5
100 Murray Street, Sydney, NSW
AU$179
per night
Dec 15 - Dec 16

Located in Darling Harbour, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Australian National Maritime Museum and Sydney Lyric Theatre. International Convention ...

4/5Very Good! (3,058 reviews)

"close to everything all in walking distance of the hotel"…"

Reviewed on 11 Dec. 2019

Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour
Hyatt Regency Sydney
Hyatt Regency Sydney
5 out of 5
161 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW
AU$178
per night
Dec 15 - Dec 16

Located in Darling Harbour, this luxury hotel is steps away from Wild Life Sydney Zoo and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. Sydney Tower and Sydney Town Hall are also ...

4.2/5Very Good! (3,651 reviews)

"We had a harbour facing room the view is outstanding, although not a large roon it was clean modern and the bed very comfortable, the bathroom nicely presented and the water pressure and temperature was excellent. The bar fridge was packed with a good variety of beverages and snacks. The TV was an ..."…"

Reviewed on 11 Dec. 2019

Hyatt Regency Sydney
Meriton Suites Sussex Street
Meriton Suites Sussex Street
5 out of 5
234 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW
AU$138
per night
Dec 23 - Dec 24

Located in Darling Harbour, this luxury aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Sydney Town Hall and Queen Victoria Building. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and Sydney ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (89 reviews)

"Very helpful front desk. Brilliant hotel and the facilities were brilliant. Great ambience and bed was very comfy!"…"

Reviewed on 8 Dec. 2019

Meriton Suites Sussex Street
Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments Darling Harbour
Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments Darling Harbour
4 out of 5
243 Pyrmont Street, Darling Harbour, Pyrmont, NSW
AU$119
per night
Dec 15 - Dec 16

Located in Darling Harbour, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Harbourside and Australian National Maritime Museum. Chinese Garden of Friendship ...

4/5Very Good! (6,221 reviews)

"Beautiful rooms, nice staff, great location Would definitely recommend"…"

Reviewed on 29 Nov. 2019

Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments Darling Harbour
PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney
PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney
4.5 out of 5
150 Day St, Sydney, NSW
AU$175
per night
Dec 20 - Dec 21

Located in Darling Harbour, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Sydney Town Hall, International Convention Centre Sydney, and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (3,141 reviews)

"Neat and tidy and very handy to the conference centre."…"

Reviewed on 13 Dec. 2019

PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney
ibis Sydney Darling Harbour
ibis Sydney Darling Harbour
3.5 out of 5
70 Murray Street, Sydney, NSW
AU$139
per night
Dec 15 - Dec 16

Located in Darling Harbour, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Australian National Maritime Museum and International Convention Centre Sydney. SEA LIFE ...

3.8/5Good! (2,947 reviews)

"Great view & friendly staff, but very small bathroom."…"

Reviewed on 8 Dec. 2019

ibis Sydney Darling Harbour

Popular things to do in Darling Harbour

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
Image for SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

4/5(663 reviews)

Discover Australia’s diverse marine environments in a magnificent aquarium, right in the heart of Sydney.

Wild Life Sydney Zoo
Image for Wild Life Sydney Zoo

Wild Life Sydney Zoo

4/5(131 reviews)

Encounter Australia’s diverse habitats at this interactive zoo and come face to face with the country's most loved, feared and iconic animals.

Madame Tussauds Sydney
Image for Madame Tussauds Sydney

Madame Tussauds Sydney

4.5/5(15 reviews)

Sing next to Kylie Minogue, stand next to Ned Kelly, admire world leaders or strike a pose with the star you adore the most in this world-renowned wax museum.

Top activities in Darling Harbour

Sydney Attractions Pass including SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
Image for Sydney Attractions Pass including SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Sydney Attractions Pass including SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

AU$65

See all that Sydney has to offer with the convenience of a single pass that lets you choose between 2 or 3 of the Harbour City's most popular and well-loved attractions. Start with admission to the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and then choose other attractions to enjoy on your own schedule.

Sydney Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Tour
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Sydney Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Tour

AU$58

Discover the streets of Sydney and the sandy shores of Bondi Beach as you cruise around town on an open-air, double-decker bus. Experience all the excitement of Australia's famous harbour city, hopping on and off at more than 30 stops near great attractions.

Madame Tussauds Sydney - Fast-Track Admission
Image for Madame Tussauds Sydney - Fast-Track Admission

Madame Tussauds Sydney - Fast-Track Admission

AU$44

Play up your inner paparazzi with a trip to Madame Tussauds Sydney. Stocked with more than 70 lifelike figures—all crafted from a 2-centuries-old wax recipe—this fast-track admission ensures you get an up-close-and-personal selfie with your favorite A-list celebrities.

Taronga Zoo Ticket with Hop-On Hop-Off Explorer Cruise
Image for Taronga Zoo Ticket with Hop-On Hop-Off Explorer Cruise

Taronga Zoo Ticket with Hop-On Hop-Off Explorer Cruise

AU$65

Take to the water with a 2-day ticket allowing you to hop on and off a Sydney Harbour rocket ferry to cruise along the harbor at your own pace. With commentary along the route, learn about Australian history and the importance of the harbor from the city's soul.

All Inclusive Small-Group Tour of Blue Mountains
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All Inclusive Small-Group Tour of Blue Mountains

AU$230

Journey to the majestic Blue Mountains from Sydney on an all-day nature sightseeing tour to experience must-see Australian landscapes and landmarks. On your all-inclusive, small group tour, explore lush rainforests, see native Australian wildlife, and relax on a river cruise, all with a professional guide.

Chinese Garden General Admission Ticket
Image for Chinese Garden General Admission Ticket

Chinese Garden General Admission Ticket

AU$6

Visit: Chinese Garden of Friendship, Pier Street, Darling Harbour, Sydney, New South Wales 2000 Australia The walled Chinese Garden respectfully recreates the philosophy and harmony of a traditional Chinese garden in its waterfalls, lakes, exotic pla