Darling Harbour is almost as well known as the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge and being a central location for so many events and recreational activities it's easy to see why. Located just west of the city centre it's a great place to spend a few hours, the afternoon or even the whole day there. You really can't get bored with so much to do there.
Darling Harbour used to be called Long Cove although Cockle Bay was preferred until 1826 when Governor Ralph Darling named the area after himself. The industries around the area grew and by the 1900's there were several wharves and rail yards built making Darling Harbour the centre for exporting produce.
In 1902 Pyrmont Bridge was built replacing a smaller bridge that was built there back in 1857. The swingspan bridge was originally powered from the nearby Ultimo Powerhouse (now the Powerhouse Museum); it actually still remains the oldest electrically powered swingspan bridge still operating in the world.
Darling Harbour underwent further redevelopments and Queen Elizabeth II formally opened it on 4th May, 1988. Sydney Aquarium was the first attraction to open followed by other museums, as well as hotels, shops, restaurants, cafes and bars.
Over time other developments have occurred to grow Darling Harbour further and modernise it attracting around 25 million visitors annually.
Things To Do
There's a great variety of things to to do in Darling Harbour. The main places to visit are the Sydney Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, Powerhouse Museum, Australian National Maritime Museum, Wild Life Sydney Zoo and Tumbalong Park. There are also a vast array of bars, cafes and restaurants to relax and replenish. You can also go bowling here, play in arcades, play room escape, or take a trip across Pyrmont Bridge and watch some of the street performers on the Western side of the area. Darling Harbour is also known for it's fireworks displays which are on often for special events and special days.
There are plenty of events on throughout the year in Darling Harbour, view more information here.
Food & Drink
The are so many places to eat and drink in Darling Harbour, the best option is to use the Darling Harbour website where you can use their filter option to find something to match your preference. There are restaurants on both sides but the King Street side on the same side of the city always seems a little more active and this is where more of the bars and clubs are.
It's very easy to get to Darling Harbour.
By Train: The nearest train station is Town Hall and then it's about a 10 minute walk.
By Ferry: Take the ferry directly to Darling Harbour, it pulls up on the King Street side and also the Western side so a good option if you want to get there without a walk.
By Car: No free parking around but several Wilson car parks nearby.