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Top Things to do in Darling Harbour

Sydney’s Darling Harbour is a mecca for entertainment and waterfront dining in the city centre. The precinct is alive with activity and plays host to Sydney’s top attractions including the SEA LIFE Aquarium, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo and the Australian National Maritime Museum. Arrive at Darling Harbour by foot or on a harbour cruise docking at the doorstep of the entertainment quarter. From gourmet food, boutique shops, wildlife experiences and chance encounters with your favourite Hollywood superstars - Darling Harbour is a place you won’t want to miss out on when visiting Sydney.

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SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Admission
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Admission by SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
4.5

BEST VALUE! SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is home to over 13,000 aquatic animals.

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Sydney Harbour Top Deck 3 Course Lunch Cruise
Sydney Harbour Top Deck 3 Course Lunch Cruise by Captain Cook Cruises

Enjoy superb views from the upper deck on Sydney's flagship MV, with an appetizing 3-course lunch and attentive service for the entirety of the journey.

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Taronga Zoo Entry and 1-Day Harbour Ferry Pass with Sky Safari
Taronga Zoo Entry and 1-Day Harbour Ferry Pass with Sky Safari by Captain Cook Cruises Sydney

Enjoy a unique way to discover Sydney and all of its sights with a 1 Day Hop On Hop Off ferry ticket as well as entry to Taronga Zoo!

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    Sunset Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise
    Sunset Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise by Captain Cook Cruises
    4.8

    Get the best of both worlds with Sydney Harbours package that includes a delicious three-course combined & a 2-hour sightseeing cruise.

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    Madame Tussauds General Admission
    Madame Tussauds General Admission by Madame Tussauds
    5.0

    See the incredibly realistic sculptures at the world-famous Madame Tussauds Wax attraction Sydney. Skip the queues with our express mobile entry tickets.

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    Experience Oz Gift Vouchers Woman On Sail Boat Give The Gift Of Memories

    Let your special someone choose their own Darling Harbour Experience.

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    WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo Entry Tickets
    WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo Entry Tickets by WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo
    5.0

    Get up close and personal with Australia's very own wildlife. Skip the buying queues with our express mobile entry tickets.

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    Sydney Morning Whale Watching Cruise
    Sydney Morning Whale Watching Cruise by Captain Cook Cruises Sydney

    Experience one of nature's great migrations as the Humpback and Southern Right whales journey between Antarctica and the Great Barrier Reef.

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    Sydney Afternoon Whale Watching Cruise
    Sydney Afternoon Whale Watching Cruise by Captain Cook Cruises Sydney

    This afternoon Sydney Harbour whale watching cruises allows you to both sleep in and see the incredible Humpback and Southern Right Whales up close!

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    Sydney Weekend Whale Watching Cruise including Breakfast
    Sydney Weekend Whale Watching Cruise including Breakfast by Oz Whale Watching

    Cruise the Sydney Harbour and enjoy a breakfast alongside majestic humpback whales on this Sydney Harbour Weekend Breakfast Whale Watching Cruise.

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    Sydney Harbour High Tea Cruise
    Sydney Harbour High Tea Cruise by Captain Cook Cruises

    Book a delightful high tea experience as you cruise the beautiful Sydney Harbour and soak in the scenery; gift vouchers also available!

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    Botany Bay And Rocks Walking Tour
    Botany Bay And Rocks Walking Tour by AAT Kings

    Uncover Sydney's colonial history during a walking tour to The Rocks and Botany Bay with photo stops at the Sydney Harbour Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

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      Australian National Maritime Museum Tickets
      Australian National Maritime Museum Tickets by Australian National Maritime Museum

      Enjoy a wonderful day out at the Australian National Maritime Museum with this great entry price!

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        Breakfast with the Koalas at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo
        Breakfast with the Koalas at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo by WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

        Book a koala breakfast at WILD LIFE Sydney for a unique opportunity to meet Australia's iconic koala while enjoying a hot breakfast in a top bush setting!

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        Sydney Harbour Penfolds 6 Course Dinner Cruise including Drinks
        Sydney Harbour Penfolds 6 Course Dinner Cruise including Drinks by Captain Cook Cruises

        Travel the magical Sydney Harbour aboard Sydney's most prestigious cruise ship, and enjoy delectable 6-course degustation dining.

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        Taronga Zoo Entry and Harbour Ferry Pass with Sky Safari
        Taronga Zoo Entry and Harbour Ferry Pass with Sky Safari by Captain Cook Cruises Sydney

        Enjoy a unique way to discover Sydney and all of its sights with a 2 Day Hop On Hop Off ferry ticket as well as entry to Taronga Zoo!

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          Sydney Harbour 2 Day Hop On Hop Off Ferry Pass
          Sydney Harbour 2 Day Hop On Hop Off Ferry Pass by Captain Cook Cruises Sydney

          The ultimate in Sydney Harbour visitor flexibility, buy yourself a 2 day ferry pass online and create your own perfect Sydney itinerary today.

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            Sydney Harbour 1 Day Hop On Hop Off Ferry Pass
            Sydney Harbour 1 Day Hop On Hop Off Ferry Pass by Captain Cook Cruises Sydney

            Purchase an all-day hop on hop off ferry pass to enjoy a relaxing Sydney Harbour Cruise and tick off all the Sydney must-see sights.

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              Taronga Zoo Entry and Return Ferry Combo
              Taronga Zoo Entry and Return Ferry Combo by Captain Cook Cruises Sydney

              This great value package includes a ferry cruise to Taronga Zoo, entry to Taronga Zoo and a ride on the Sky Safari Cable Car.

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                Top Things to do at Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW

                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.

                Top Things to do at Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW - Sydney Harbour Cruise

                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.

                Top Things to do at Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW - SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

                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.

                Top Things to do at Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW - Madame Tussauds Sydney

                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.

                Top Things to do at Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW - WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

                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.

                Top Things to do at Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW - Australian National Maritime Museum

                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!

                Top Things to do at Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW - Chinese Garden of Friendship

                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.

                Top Things to do at Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW - Darling Quarter Playground

                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.

                Top Things to do at Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW - Dine at Cockle Bay Wharf

                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.

                Top Things to do at Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW - Darling Harbour Carousel

                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.

                Top Things to do at Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW - Harbourside Shopping Centre

                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.