Darling Harbour is a staple of both Sydney sightseeing cruises and hop-on hop-off bus tours, which typically also stop at city highlights such as Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach. However, you easily can dedicate an entire day to Darling Harbour itself. Maximize your time by booking a skip-the-line admission ticket to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and the WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, which can get busy.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Darling Harbour offers an array of activities and is particularly suited to families.
All of the attractions are within walking distance of one another, so wear comfortable shoes.
There’s an abundance of restaurants, cafés, and nightlife options at Darling Harbour.
During the months of May through October, whale watching cruises depart from Darling Harbour.
How to Get There
Darling Harbour is an easy 10–20 minute walk from Sydney’s central business district. You also can reach the harbor by water taxi, public ferry, or harbor cruise, the majority of which depart from Circular Quay near Sydney Opera House.
When to Get There
Although there’s plenty to do at the harbor in the day, Darling Harbour itself is at its most magical at night, when waterfront skyscrapers illuminate and reflect into the still water below. For the best nighttime views, admire the harbor from Pyrmont Bridge.
Further Delights at Darling Harbour
In addition to an ever-changing program of cultural events, Darling Harbour boasts plenty of permanent attractions. Highlights include the Chinese Garden of Friendship, where pathways wind past waterfalls and exotic plants; the National Maritime Museum, home to a sailing ship and submarine; and the Darling Quarter Playground, which promises to keep kids entertained for hours.