With famous attractions such as the Sydney Aquarium and Powerhouse Museum and some of the city’s finest restaurants and bars, Darling Harbour is one of Sydney’s most significant cultural precincts. Spend a day by the water with our guide to Darling Harbour’s best bits.
Featured image: Copyright Phillip Minnis
Just a stone’s throw away from Darling Harbour, Ultimo’s Powerhouse Museum is a cultural icon. With an estimated 500,000 items focusing on applied arts and sciences, the scale of its collection is matched only by the diversity of its exhibits. Learn about the steam revolution, with authentic functioning engines dating back to 1770, or discover man’s forays into space in a life-sized space-shuttle cockpit model.
The Museum also periodically hosts high-profile exhibitions and, in recent years, has displayed props from the Harry Potter and Star Wars movies. Visit the Powerhouse Museum website to discover more about current and upcoming exhibitions.
High tea at ABODE Bistro and Bar
Nestled in the heart of Darling Harbour, ABODE Bistro and Bar offers a leisurely, yet sophisticated, choice for high tea in Sydney. With a meticulously designed menu from internationally-renowned chef, restauranteur and Dilmah tea ambassador, Peter Kuruvita, you’re sure to be delighted by each sweet and savoury treat served. The restaurant’s menu features contemporary twists on traditional staples with a distinctly Sri Lankan flavour; and with an accompanying range of teas and cocktails to soften the palette you’ll soon lose yourself in the flavours of the subcontinent.
Looking for a Sydney high tea with a difference? ABODE Bistro and Bar will be hosting a special event on Sunday 22 February 2015, with a high tea hosted by Peter Kuruvita. For connoisseurs of gourmet tea, this Dilmah High Tea will offer an exclusive opportunity to sample some of the brand’s finest blends, whilst enjoying a delectable assortment of the chef’s finest recipes. Visit the website for more details.
Overlooking the picturesque Cockle Bay, Sydney Aquarium is located on the northern edge of Darling Harbour. Internationally-acclaimed for both the size and diversity of its collection, the aquarium is home to more than 700 species and over 13,000 individual fish and marine creatures.
Copyright: Luis Boucault
Amongst the array of Australian wildlife highlights is a giant saltwater crocodile, as well as two dugongs – of only six to be displayed in the world. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try the shark reef snorkel, where you’ll be swimming with sharks for 20 minutes. Find out more and book tickets on the Sydney Aquarium website.
Chinese Garden of Friendship
A silent oasis in the heart of the city, the Chinese Garden of Friendship offers an idyllic and tranquil environment in which to relax. The Garden, designed by architects from Guangzhou, delicately balances the intricacies of traditional Chinese architecture with natural elements. With waterfalls, exotic plants and lakes brimming with beautiful koi carp, the Gardens offer a serene sanctuary in the heart of Sydney.
The Chinese Garden of Friendship is located on the south side of Darling Harbour, a short walk from Chinatown and Darling Quarter. Make sure to take plenty of time to find the hidden pathways throughout and to visit the Chinese tea house for some delicious dim sum.
Cockle Bay Wharf
Cockle Bay Wharf has an established reputation as one of Sydney’s major leisure and entertainment hubs. Stunning views of the water and an impressive skyline backdrop, coupled with world-class dining and drinking options, makes for a magnificent experience for locals and visitors alike. With a mix of restaurants and premium bars, an afternoon or evening on the Wharf can soon become a night out!
If you’re feeling too full for a night on the town, retreat to the IMAX Darling Harbour and catch one of the latest blockbusters on the world’s biggest screen. Located just moments from the comfortable PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, it’s the perfect way to wind down your day in Sydney.
What’s your favourite Darling Harbour attraction? Let us know in the comments section below!