Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour, Sydney: Address, Phone Number, Darling Harbour Reviews: 4.5/5

Darling Harbour
4.5
About
Scenic entertainment complex that features shops, restaurants, museums and other tourist attractions.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Popular mentions

4.5
11,318 reviews
Excellent
6,725
Very good
3,548
Average
817
Poor
174
Terrible
54

JnVSydney
Greater Sydney, Australia10,821 contributions
Great vibe
Oct 2021
With no tourists around this has become a quite accessible place for locals, which aren't quite filling the void, however, definitely worth a visit, enjoy the void before in turns into a mecca tourist trap
Written November 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ross S
3 contributions
Nice to be out again
Nov 2021
Nice to be out again and smell the clean air surrounding the Darling Harbour. The restaurants are beaming and busy again after four months of lockdowns.
Written November 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Teresa C
Metro Manila, Philippines1,219 contributions
Ongoing building
Oct 2021
Once a working harbour for traders, work continues to develop this area into a great place to meet up with friends and be entertained.
Written October 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Shane T
Sydney, Australia724 contributions
Family queen’s birthday adventure
May 2021 • Friends
Took the kids on what we called an adventure. Caught the bus and train to darling harbour. Would of preferred to drive as it would if knocked 2 hours of our return trip but public transported it for the kids.
Plenty to do as we first let the kids play on the playground which is packed but ample size to play comfortably. If it was summer they could play in the water features but too cold yet some kids were in the water still. There was a festival for kids which included a ice rink but queues were to great to bother so we went to the maritime museum to go on the ships. These were great fun for the kids unfortunately the submarine was already booked out so maybe next time.
Lots to do but time got away from us. Advice if you want to eat in a restaurant there book ahead as we had to eat in the food hall as all restaurants were booked out with waiting times 1 hour +
Written June 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AndyJohn74
Sans Souci, Australia1,726 contributions
Tourist icon.
May 2021 • Solo
One of the Tourist icons of Australia, Darling Harbour has something for everyone. There are museums, dozens of restaurants, shopping experiences, cruises, wildlife experiences, convention centres, or just have a wander and look at the ships and boats.
Written June 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

aussiepam
44 contributions
Fun place
May 2021
There is so much to see and do in Darling Horbour. By day it's lovely to walk around and visit the shops. At night there is a huge selection of restaurants to choose from.
Written May 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

blackeldo
Kiama, Australia2,046 contributions
AS THAT RENOWNED PHILOSOPHER AND DEEP- THINKER WHADDO SAID….
May 2021
....DON'T JUDGE A PLACE BY ITS NAME-GIVER

According to my mate WHADDO from down the pub, who moonlights as a history tutor at the local university**, Darling Harbour is named after LT.–GEN. RALPH DARLING – governor of NSW 1825-1831.
Darling doesn’t seemed to have made much of a mark during his administration. Like a lot of contemporary Brit army types he was dour and a bit of a tyrant who upset a lot of locals. But what WHADDO and I like is he took on the BUNYIP ARISTOCRACY, a bunch of self-entitled free settlers mainly dependant on government largess and hand-outs, who thought THEY ran the colony.
Nevertheless his name fades from history as a seat-filler governor-wise – a person who didn’t leave much of a mark on the colony he left behind.

The first iteration of DARLING HARBOUR was much the same. For 150 years it operated as a port, light industry area and rail hub. but despite its favourable position it never exactly thrived, Hence come the 1980s there wasn’t too much going on down there. But then the NSW government had the bright idea of clearing all the daggy stuff out and turning the area into a tourist-entertainment precinct.
Worked a charm – the present area is one tourists and locals can readily appreciate.

Darling Harbour is very user friendly.
Part of this must go to its prime position as a western bookend to the CBD. Most fine afternoons you will find all the concourse-facing restaurants/bars packed with city office workers who have strolled down for an after work get-together. Naturally these areas prove irresistible to visitors too. Great for people and boat watching. The latter these days is a whole flotilla of small craft – ferries galore (DH has a least a half dozen ferry wharves (2 for public ferries) plus dozens of hire craft, many of them water taxis or party boats. And when the annual boat show is on – wow, boaties nirvana!
Adding to this user-friendly status for visitors is the fact it is close to other tourist must sees like THE HARBOUR BRIDGE, CIRCULAR QUAY/OPERA HOUSE, THE ROCKS HISTORICAL AREAS, CHINATOWN – not to mention the CBD for people seeking some heavy duty retail therapy. Heavy duty because there is no shortage of touristy shopping at the harbour.
COMPACT SIZE doesn’t hurt the tourist friendly thing either. DARING HARBOUR was originally COCKLE BAY, one of the many offshoots of PORT JACKSON, which is the proper name for Sydney Harbour, a classic RIA INLET (drowned river valley) – hence the many offshoots). DH is abt 1400m N- S and 400m wide, It is possible to walk from the NE corner to the NW limits in 40 minutes. The pedestrianised PYRMONT BRIDGE about half way makes crossing form the east side to the west a doddle.
ACCESS
- is a plus too. My favourite is to jump on the PYRMONT BAY FERRY at Circular Quay or one of the stops along the way for quick access incorporating a mini-cruise of the central harbour including a pass under the bridge.
If you have 40-50 minutes to spare WALK from the QUAY on a scenic harbourside route under the bridge, past the WALSH BAY FINGER WHARVES (lotsa alfresco dining along here), the BARANGUROO GARDENS and the new CROWN CASINO/HOTEL/RESIDENTIAL TOWER (which has gotta be the most spectacular building in Sydney.
LIGHT RAIL comes right into the area with a stop at the EXHIBITION CENTRE (start at CENTRAL RAILWAY STATION),, HEAVY RAIL stops are at WYNYARD and TOWN HALL up in the city – each about 10 minutes walk.
Pretty soon here will be a stop on Sydney’s new METRO rail at BARANGAROO STATION near the casino.
There are heaps of PARKING STATIONS within the precinct.

Attractions
I’m not going to list the dozens of attractions in this area. A read thru other readers’ posts on this page will give you a good idea as will the many DH websites. Suffice to say some places are free, others paid admission.

TIPS
There is no shortage of accommodation in the harbour precinct. Ditto surrounding areas like CHINATOWN, the CBD, THE ROCKS. My favourite place to stay is across the harbour at NORTH SYDNEY, a 10 minute ferry hop from DH.

**not bad for a guy whose day job is crew chief on a MAIN ROADS hot-mix outfit. Seeing WHADDO on the shovel is viewing a master in his domain. A useful bloke if you want the drum on the Norman invasion of East Anglia while getting your driveway resurfaced on the cheap.
Written May 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Gin
Lodz, Poland23 contributions
A day of activities
May 2021
You can easily spend best part of a day here. The maritime was an unexpected treat. And the Chinese garden is also beautiful.
Written May 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Loveagreathotel
Hobart, Tasmania472 contributions
Great Location. A lot of restaurants not open or on limited times
Apr 2021
Staying in Darling Harbour is great if attending the Convention Centre. Lots of hotels to select from. Restaurants are starting to go back to normal but be aware lots of either not opened or have restricted hours or days. The Harbourside Shopping Centre is very quiet and several stores not opened or closed. All part of the effects of Covid.
There is a light rail that goes to Central Station however does not go into the City Centre however it is a $10 Taxi Fare to the Centre of town.
Written April 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jacqui5253
Adelaide, Australia57 contributions
Nice Walk
Apr 2021
Stayed close by so we could see the attractions at darling Habour. Very pretty and looks nice and clean
Written April 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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