Darling Harbour is one of Sydney's most popular recreation spots with over 1.3 million people visiting the sunny foreshore precinct each year. The area has a colourful history playing an integral role in Sydney's early market days when it was used for receiving fresh produce and timber from Parramatta and the north coast. In 1984 the Wran Government announced plans to redevlop the old wharves into an area for leisure, culture and business for the people of Sydney. Over the next three years, massive redevelopment works transformed the area into a beautiful public space that was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988 as part of Sydney's Bicentennial Celebrations.
Today there's always plenty happening, lots to see and do, great shopping and over 50 places to eat and drink at Sydney's Darling Harbour.
Harbourside's mix of of shops, restaurants, retailers, entertainment outlets, bars convenience stores combined with its beautiful waterfront setting and proximity to the city makes it a great alternative to battling with the traffic in the city.
You will find over 120 retail outlets at Harbourside, many of which are exclusive Harbourside retailers, selling everything from opals, flowers, leather goods, aboriginal art, handcrafted glass pieces and souvenires.
Harbourside retail outlets are open normal business hours. Restaurants, some cafes and bars are of course open in the evenings.
With over 50 restaurants and cafes in the Harbourside complex and across the water at Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour offers plenty of memorable dining expereinces.
Tasty burgers, top quality seafood, gourmet wood fired pizzas and traditional aussie pies are just some of the edible delights available at Darling Harbour. If you'd prefer a liquid refreshment then there's freshly squeezed juices, local and imported beers and some excellent views from the bars situated on the waterfront at Harbourside and Cockle Bay.
Cockle Bay is Darling Harbour's newest addition, home to some of Sydney's most highly awarded restaurants. The modern nautical design imbues a peaceful and open ambience conducive to outdoor and alfresco dining.
Cockle Bay is also hoast to the Winter Concert Series. The series features a number of prestigous concert performances presented on a floating stage just off the shore in Cockle Bay.
Entertainment & Attractions
Darling Harbour is host to over 700 events of some descritpion in an average year. The outdoor daytime and nightime entertainment is usually free and you can often catch a performance or two just walking along the waterfront. Throughout the year Darling Harbour hosts a number of events including the Darling Harbour Circus and Street Theatre, the Darling Harbour Jazz Festival the Darling Harbour Waiter's Race and the World's Longest Buffet. If your the clubbing type and like to have a dance, then there's a nightclub serving up funky tunes and exquisite food late into the night at Cockle Bay.
The unique attractions at Darling Harbour include two of Australia's leading museums - The National Maratime Museum and The Power House Musem. The Sydney Aquarium, the world's largest movie screen and an indoor theme park are also situated at Darling Harbour.
Darling Harbour's Convention and Exhibition is a world class facility that hosts everything from product launches and gala events to corporate meetings and consumer shows. The centre is the most technologically advanced and the largest facility of its kind in Australia.