Darling Harbour - the most important information
Darling Harbour is a harbour close to the city center of Sydney. It is composed of a large recreational and pedestrian precinct and it attracts many tourists because of what it has to offer.
About Darling Harbour
The Harbour is named after a Lieutenant-General who was Governor of New South Wales from 1825 to 1831. It was originally known as Long Cove and Cockle Bay. The area became a pedestrian and tourist precinct by the mid-to-late 1980s. Darling Harbour has a number of heritage-listed sites, as well as a number of major public facilities and attractions. The East part of Darling Harbour is part of an urban renewal development and it will be known as Barangaroo. It is expected to be done by 2023. An interesting fact about Darling Harbour is that it was featured in 2007 MTV’s reality TV show The Real World: Sydney, as well as in some scenes of the movie Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie.
What to see at Darling Harbour?
From art exhibitions and concerts to boat shows and film festivals, there is always something going on at Darling Harbour. It is also home to many restaurants, bars, hotels, nightclubs, the IMAX theater, Australian National Maritime Museum, Madame Tussauds, and many more tourist attractions. We recommend visiting:
- Chinese Garden of Friendship - this garden was opened in 1988 as a collaborative effort between Sister States of NSW and Guangdong of China. It was modeled after ancient private gardens in China from the 5th century, but it also has some Australian characteristics. There is a restaurant The Gardens by Lotus located in a heritage-listed teahouse where you can try dumplings, Chinese tea, and Sichuan cuisine. The Garden is located between Darling Quarter and Darling Square.
- Australian National Maritime Museum - this museum has one of the world’s largest collections of floating museum vessels. You can board and explore the vessels, see the exhibitions and permanent galleries, and take part in workshops. It is located within a walking distance of the Darling Harbour Ferris Wheel.
- Sea Life Sydney Aquarium - this aquarium has hundreds of species of marine life. It features exhibits such as Day and Night on the Reef, Penguin Expeditions, Shark Valley, Dugong Island, and Discovery Rockpool. You will be able to see animals such as tropical reef fish, little penguins, rays and sawfish, turtles, and jellyfish.
- Madame Tussauds - this is the leading wax museum in Australia where you can see famous faces and legends including movie stars, world leaders, sporting legends, and more in 11 themed zones. Some of the zones are Justice League: A Call for Heroes, Marvel, TV & Film, Fashion, and Lights, Camera, Bollywood.
- Wild Life Sydney Zoo - in this zoo you will be able to see Australia’s best-loved animals, such as koalas, saltwater crocodiles, wombats, platypus, and kangaroos. The Zoo features 10 interactive zones that have some of the world’s most endangered creatures. Some of those zones are The Devil’s Den, Wallaby Cliffs, Kakadu Gorge, and Koala rooftop.
Tickets and opening hours of Darling Harbour
There is no entry ticket for the Harbour, but each attraction may demand a fee. We’ll go over the ones that we’ve mentioned:
- Chinese Garden of Friendship - general admission is 8 dollars.
- Australian National Maritime Museum - the see it all ticket for adults is 25 dollars, while for children under the age of 15 is 15 dollars. The entry is free for children under the age of 4.
- Sea Life Sydney Aquarium - the general admission is 49 dollars.
- Madame Tussauds - the general admission is 46 dollars.
- Wild Life Sydney Zoo - the general admission is 46 dollars.
Opening hours - you can enter the Harbour anytime you want, but everything there has its own opening hours. Here are the opening hours of the attractions that we’ve mentioned:
- Chinese Garden of Friendship - from 10 am to 5 pm
- Australian National Maritime Museum - from 9:30 am to 6 pm.
- Sea Life Sydney Aquarium - from 9:30 am to 5 pm, with the last entry at 4 pm.
- Madame Tussauds - from 9:30 am to 5 pm, with the last entry at 4 pm.
- Wild Life Sydney Zoo - from 9:30 am to 5 pm, with the last entry at 4 pm.
How to get to Darling Harbour?
You can get to Darling Harbour by:
- Bus - lines that travel through the CBD along Elizabeth, Castlereagh, George, or York streets.
- Ferry - you can take the ferry to Barangaroo Wharf or Pyrmont Bay Wharf.
- Light Rail - take the Inner West Light Rail and take a stop at the Paddy’s Market, Exhibition, Convention, or the Pyrmont Bay.
- Train - take the train to Town Hall Station or to Central Station.
What should you know before visiting Darling Harbour?
Darling Harbour is really famous and a lot of people gather there. There are some attractions that require an entry fee, but there are also some that don’t. The Harbour is a good place to walk and experience the vibrant Sydney life.