Top Things to do in Darling Harbour

Looking for all the best things to do in Darling Harbour, Sydney? Check out all our options for tours, activities and attractions & book online here.

Top Things to do in Darling Harbour

Looking for all the best things to do in Darling Harbour, Sydney? Check out all our options for tours, activities and attractions & book online here.

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Top 10 Things to do Darling Harbour

Sydney’s Darling Harbour is a popular tourist precinct, and it’s not hard to see why.

Featuring a number of great family-friendly attractions, dining options and adult-friendly bars, you’re sure to find something to suit everyone at Darling Harbour.

Here we list 10 things to do that should be topping the list for all visitors to Sydney.

1. Sydney Harbour Cruise

Location: Darling Harbour

King Street Wharf is a popular departure point for an iconic Sydney Harbour Cruise and there is plenty of choice. Choose from a sightseeing cruise, hop on hop off ferry, lunch cruise, sunset cruise or dinner cruise.

An exciting and relaxing way to explore the beautiful Sydney region, these cruises and ferries are perfect for families, couples and groups looking to explore both harbours.

There are a number of cruises available departing at various times throughout the week. See our full list of cruises that depart Darling Harbour to find the option best suited to you and your upcoming holiday to the gorgeous city of Sydney.


2. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Location: 1-5 wheat Road, Darling Harbour

Explore the best of the marine world with a visit to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. A favourite attraction for the young ones and the young at heart, SEA LIFE Sydney proves you’re never too old to enjoy an aquarium.

Offering an educational and entertaining experience, you can wander around the displays watching the animals interact with each other while also learning about the various species and ecosystems from the information plaques.

The highlight of the aquarium is the large tunnel where you can walk through the tank while sharks, rays and fish swim overhead. This provides some incredible photo opportunities and is usually a hit with the curious and excited kids.

As you walk through the aquarium you’ll see penguins, dugongs, sharks and various tropical fish species. To sweeten the deal, you can combine your entry to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium with some of its neighbouring attractions including WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Madame Tussauds Sydney and/or Sydney Tower Eye.


3. Madame Tussauds Sydney

Location: 1-5 Wheat Road, Darling Harbour

Madame Tussauds’ Sydney showcases all of your favourite sporting stars, musicians, world leaders, actors and movie and television characters. Visitors can get close to some of their favourite national and international stars all under one roof.

A popular attraction located on the Darling Harbour waterfront, Madame Tussauds Sydney is a great experience for all ages to enjoy.

Featuring faces that visitors from all generations will recognise you can get hands-on with the exhibits as well with the chance to be a drummer behind legendary Aussie frontman Michael Hutchence, don the red cape and climb onto the bike with ET, sit on the couch with Oprah or get kitted up in your khaki and stand alongside famous wildlife warrior Steve Irwin.

As you wander around the museum, you can easily lose a few hours and a few gigabytes of memory on your phone.


4. WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

Location: 1-5 Wheat Road, Darling Harbour

The chance to feed a kangaroo in the heart of Sydney sounds crazy, however, at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, you can do exactly that. Located next to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, the zoo offers visitors the chance to get up close to their favourite Aussie animals.

You can enter the kangaroo and wallaby sanctuary and pat and feed these adorable creatures.

Other animals in the zoo include a range of venomous snakes, lizards, a cheeky wombat, and of course, koalas.

You can also enjoy a koala breakfast experience which will let you explore the park without the crowds and snap a photo next to one of their cuddly marsupials.


5. Australian National Maritime Museum

Location: 2 Murray St, Sydney

An ideal destination for lovers of all things nautical, the Australian National Maritime Museum is a great, relatively cheap attraction suitable for all ages. Offering fun and interactive exhibits educating and informing visitors on Australia’s rich maritime history, visitors regularly depart the museum with new knowledge.

Home to historic artefacts hands-on exhibits, you can easily lose a few hours in the museum exploring and reading everything it has to offer. The museum also offers visitors the chance to climb aboard and explore some of the famous vessels that dock in Darling Harbour.

A great attraction for the youngsters, the Mini Mariners Play Zone and Kids on Deck area are ideal for children of all ages. If you’re after a great day out, whether you have a fascination for all things water or not, the Australian National Maritime Museum is the attraction you’ve been searching for!


6. Chinese Garden of Friendship

Location: Pier St, Darling Harbour

Take the time to wander around the Chinese Garden of Friendship and admire the serenity of the luscious gardens in the heart of one of Australia’s busiest cities. Showcasing a distinct Asian gardening and curation style with a mix of exotic plants, water features and walkways, the Chinese Garden of Friendship oozes calmness and relaxation.

With koi ponds, bridges and overhanging willow trees, you’ll soon forget you’re standing in Australia’s largest city. Visitors to the gardens can enjoy a guided tour of the grounds free of charge conducted by the garden’s friendly and knowledgeable volunteers.

There aren’t many peaceful and tranquil places in Sydney where you can simply sit back, relax, and empty your mind.


7. Darling Quarter Playground

Location: 1-25 Harbour St, Sydney

The Darling Quarter is playground heaven for kids. The outdoor area features a flying fox, climbing nets, water splash zones and plenty of green space to run around.

You can keep the young ones entertained for hours while the grown-ups enjoy a coffee or bite to eat from one of the various cafés or restaurants or the takeaway kiosk next to the playground.

The best part about the playground is that is completely free and can be accessed all day every day. Making for the perfect break from touring the region and buying tickets for local attractions, Darling Quarter Playground is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Don’t let the crowds deter you, even though it is quite popular there is enough space and equipment for everyone.


8. Dine at Cockle Bay Wharf

Location: 201 Sussex St, Sydney

Cockle Bay Wharf on Darling Harbour is a mecca for food. If you’re looking for breakfast, lunch, dinner, you’ll be sure to find a suitable establishment along Cockle Bay Wharf.

Come the weekend you’ll often find crowds flocking to some of the local hotspots for a drink or bite to eat. A number of eateries offer weekday deals, so go for a wander along the wharf to browse the various options before choosing your favourite menu.

Some of the standout venues include Adria Bar Restaurant, Blackbird Cafe, Hunter & Barrel and I’m Angus Steakhouse. Be sure to make a reservation as these are some of the most popular dining options in the city and are often filled with locals and tourists soaking up the enjoyable atmosphere.


9. Darling Harbour Carousel

Location: Tumbalong Park

The Carousel is a historic Darling Harbour attraction in operation since 1892. The carousel is powered by a steam engine and is said to be the second oldest in Australia.

The carousel is open to the public on weekends during the year and on a daily basis during peak school holiday periods to accommodate the large crowds.

A great way to spend some time in the Darling Harbour area, a ride on this historic Sydney attraction is a great activity for the whole family.


10. Harbourside Shopping Centre

Location: 231/2-10 Darling Dr, Sydney

If you’re looking to buy a new outfit or browse the latest trends, head to Harbourside Shopping Centre housing brands such as Cotton On, Valleygirl, Tarocash and YD.

Servicing the shopping needs of men, women and children, the whole family is sure to pick up a bargain or some of the latest fashions. The location of the centre is prime and is easily accessible by foot from the city by walking over Pyrmont Bridge.

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We acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Custodians of Country and their connections and continuous care for the skies, lands and waterways throughout Australia.