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Darling Harbour

Sydney

Darling Harbour

Known for Shopping, Dining and Romantic

The best place to get acquainted with Sidney's nautical passions – sailing, pleasure-boating, whale watching – or the Maritime Museum if you prefer dry land.

How do you get to Darling Harbour?

Sydney loves the sea – it is after all shot through with the deep blue inlet of Sydney Harbour – and it indulges its visitors with a plethora of harbours, coves, marinas and bays. But one of the best places to get nautical is Darling Harbour, with its cluster of quays, museums, restaurants and markets. The next bay around from Circular Quay, Darling Harbour was once the city's commercial port and a massive railway shunting yard. You'd hardly guess that today. The whole area has been reworked into a shiny pedestrianized waterfront.

The attraction that first draws the eye is the Australian National Maritime Museum. Or rather the 122-metre naval destroyer, HMAS Vampire, parked outside the museum. It is over 60 years old, and was the last serving gun-destroyer of the Royal Australian Navy. It can be boarded and explored, along with the navy submarine parked alongside. And you can step right back to the start of Australia's naval heritage when you board the sailing ship behind – the HM Bark Endeavour, which is an exact replica of Captain James Cook's famous vessel that 'discovered' Australia for the Europeans.

Of course, the Aborigines got here a little while before him, and their relationship with the sea is explored at the Museum too. You can see the artistic side of Australia's first inhabitants at the Gavala Aborigine Art Centre, which sells original Aborigine art. Darling Harbour is also a launching point for messing about in the water – jet-boating, sailing trips and cruises can all be booked here. Some of the most exciting are the whale-spotting cruises, which almost guarantee you a humpback, and even a sighting of a blue whale, during 3 hours out on the waves.

And if your sea-legs won't go that far, you can always take in the marine wildlife at the Sydney Aquarium – or do some retail-therapy (piscine-style) at the Sydney Fish Market. More likely the Harbourside Shopping Centre will appeal for that, though, which has a great haul of the best in modern Oz shops, restaurants and waterfront cafés.

Activities near Darling Harbour

Exhilarating oceanic adventures, replica ships and interactive displays and activities, make this a great place to discover Australia’s history on the seas.

Sea Life Sydney is a world-class aquarium that places you in the best place to see Australia's marine life – right at the bottom of the tank.

Discover one of Australia’s most historic and beautiful civic buildings at this popular meeting place in the heart of Sydney’s city centre.

Australia’s tallest observation tower offers incredible views over Sydney and beyond.

Trains, buses and boats all make a bee-line for Circular Quay, a place at the heart of Sydney's journeying – and so should you.

The bold lines of the Sydney Opera House speak more about Sydney than any other part of this cosmopolitan city of four million.

Escape Sydney’s busy downtown and enjoy the winding pathways, art installations and rose gardens of this lush haven.

The bush-land Zoo-in-the-city that is home to an amazing Australian wildlife experience

Tickets & Tours

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.

Tickets & Tours

Climb to the arched peak of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for unforgettable panoramic views of the city skyline and harbor. With a professional climber to lead the way, scale catwalks and ladders to reach the 440-foot (134-m) top and soak up bird's-eye views of the Sydney Opera House and beyond.

Tickets & Tours

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.

Tickets & Tours

Treat yourself to a feast for the eyes, mouth, and stomach with admission to the unforgettable buffet at the iconic Sydney Tower. Dine on a selection of more than 60 dishes ranging in style from Australian to Italian to Thai while basking in 360-degree views of the city as the restaurant revolves.

Tickets & Tours

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.

Tickets & Tours

SkyTeam Exclusive Lounge welcomes business travelers and SkyTeam Elite Plus members in Sydney Airport. Located in the Terminal 1 departure level at Pier B, the Sydney Skyteam Exclusive Lounge offers you the opportunity to unwind in comfort with snacks, complimentary WIFI and to check out the latest news.

Visitor guides from our travel experts

Local experts explore every corner of Darling Harbour for you

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