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Darling Harbour, Sydney

Darling Harbour, Sydney

Darling Harbour, Sydney
© Sydney Online Pty Ltd

Darling Harbour is intended to be one of Sydney's "buzz" places, although some visitors find it lacking in character (and greenery). A former dockside area, the small harbour has been transformed into a major tourist site and leading convention and exhibition centre. A monorail service runs from the Central Business District to Darling Harbour and skirts the harbour, making stops at points around the harbour. Until now, Darling Harbour has been a place that has appealed more to little folk, due to the number of children's attractions, but the advent of the Cockle Wharf restaurant and cafe complex has added a new dimension to Darling Harbour.

There is a wide range of hotel accommodation options in Darling Harbour.

Main Attractions

CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP: was designed in China to celebrate the Australian Bicentenary. The garden was a gift to Sydney from its Chinese sister city of Guangdong. It is one of the largest of its type outside Asia. The gardens were designed by landscape architects and embody principles dating back to the 5th century.

The gardens present visitors with a green and peaceful sanctuary in the midst of a major bustling city and an ideal escape from the concrete surrounds of Darling Harbour. If you want an hour or two of solitude, this is the place to be.

COCKLE BAY WHARF: is the new "in" place to be, with a mix of budget outdoor eating places and posh restaurants. A large complex on the city side of Darling Harbour, it has given the harbour a much-needed boost.

IMAX THEATRE: is a giant movie screen, more than eight stories high, with films shot in the ultra high-definition 75mm format. Some of the brilliant IMAX films in recent years include a voyage around the earth on the Space Shuttle, a climb to the top of Everest and an excursion to Antarctica. Watching one of these films is almost like being there. Sound plays a big part, with speakers placed in different parts of the theatre and behind the screen to create a sense of realism. An IMAX theatre presents the ultimate cinema experience and is something that should not to be missed.

SYDNEY AQUARIUM: is one of the largest aquariums in the world with more than 5000 different Australian fish displayed in their natural habitats. Visitors can "walk on the ocean floor" through 145 metres (480 ft) of acrylic underwater tunnels. The aquarium is open 9.30am-9:00pm daily, with the last admission at 8:00pm.

AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM is a museum devoted to Australia's maritime history.

SYDNEY CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION CENTRE: is Sydney's major venue for exhibitions and conferences.

HARBOURSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE: is a shopping complex with 150 shops on two levels, several waterfront restaurants and an International Food Court with 40 outlets. Many of the shops are souvenir-type retail outlets, with plenty of boomerangs and Oz gear.

EATING: while wandering around Darling Harbour and Cockle Bay take the time out to enjoy a relaxing lunch or dinner at a selection of restaurants, cafes or eateries.

ENTERTAINMENT: takes place on a regular basis at points around Darling Harbour. You can check out what's on at Darling Harbour.

Darling Harbour is an ideal venue for fireworks and spectacular outdoor shows. Strolling around the harbour on a balmy evening taking in the sights and sounds you can be unexpectedly entertained.

GETTING THERE: take a train to Town Hall station and, once having exited the station, turn right into Druit Street, walk down two blocks and turn right into Sussex Street. Then, walk a further block to Market Street, turn left and walk across the pedestrian bridge.

Alternatively, you can catch the monorail service from near the corners of Pitt and Market Streets.

FEELING LOST: to help you find your way around Darling Harbour call into the Sydney Visitor Centre located at 33 Wheat Road, just around the corner from the IMAX theatre.

Darling Harbour, Sydney

Darling Harbour, Sydney
© Sydney Online Pty Ltd