Sydney Travel Guide

Darling Harbour Sydney

* Darling Harbourside * Cockle Bay * King Street Wharf *


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Darling Harbour is located right next to the Sydney Central Business District. Darling Harbour is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sydney.

Darling Harbour has 3 seperate areas with a great choice of restaurants, bars, entertainment and shopping. These are Darling Harbourside, King Street Wharf and Cockle Bay Wharf, all within easy walking distance from each other.


History of Darling Harbour

The Cadigal Aboriginal people who inhabited this area called Darling Harbour Tumbalong meaning 'place where seafood is found'. When the European settles first came to Sydney they called it 'Long Cove' then shortly after called it Cockle Bay. Darling Harbour became the busiest seaports in Australia in the 1820's and was a true working harbour until the 1980's when the whole area was redeveloped as an entertainment district of Sydney. This was one of the best developments the government has done.

In 1857 the Pyrmont Bridge was built primarily a wooden bridge at the time. This became a major thoroughfare into the Sydney CBD. At the same time that Darling Harbour was developed the Pyrmont Bridge was closed to traffic making in a pedestrian only bridge. The bridge still is able to open to allow tall boats into Darling Harbour.

As well as the restaurants, bars and shopping there are some entertainment venues include the I-Max cinema, Australian National Maritime Musuem, Sydney Aquarium and Wildlife Park.

Just next to Darling Harbour Habourside adjacent to Pyrmont Bridge is the Australian Maritime Museum which has on display in the habour some maritime vessels including HMAS Vampire, a Daring class navy ship, the HMAS Onslow, an Oberon class submarine and the HMAS Advance a patrol boat. Inside the museum are various exhibitions showing the history of Australian maritime.

Australian Maritime Museum Darling Harbour

Cockle Bay Wharf

Cockle Bay Wharf Sydney

Cockle Bay Wharf has a great variety of restaurants and a few bars including Pontoon and the nightclub Home.

Also at Cockley Bay is an IMAX Teatre which claims to have the world's largest cinema screen.

Check out the list of restaurants at Cockle Bay Wharf.

Cockle Bay at night


Last updated 24th January 2016

Darling Harbour at night

Darling Harbourside

Darling Harbour Sydney

Darling Harbour Harbourside has all the shopping including clothes, shoes, accessories and tourist items. It also has some great casual dining restaurants with outdoor dining overlooking the harbour. For a list Darling Harbour restaurants click here.

There are a number of good shops that sell Australian products including memorabilia and souvenirs, Kangaroo and crocodile skin products, Akubra Hats and Drizabone coats and RM Williams clothing.

Throughout the year there are various multicultural festival held at Darling Harbour including the Thailand Grand Festival, Japanese Matsuri Festival and the Greek Festival of Sydney just to name a few.

Most Saturday nights there are fireworks at Darling Harbour. Check out the time schedule for the Darling Harbour Fireworks.

King Street Wharf

King Street Wharf Sydney

King Street Wharf probably has the more expensive restaurants and bars though still a choice of casual places which are not too expensive. For a full list of King Street Wharf Restaurants click here.

The following 3 World Class attractions are located right next to each other on King Street Wharf:

Sydney Aquarium has on display over 13,000 sea creatures great and small from all over the world.

Wild Life Sydney Zoo is located right next to the Sydney Aquarium on King Street Wharf. On display is a huge collection of Australian wildlife including Koala, wombats, Cassowary and one of the world's largest crocodiles.

Madame Tussads Sydney has now opened at Darling Harbour in between Sydney Aquarium and Wild Life Sydney Zoo on King Street Wharf. Open everyday from 9am to 8pm.

Sydney Aquarium and Wild Life Sydney Zoo King Street Wharf

Nightclubs and bars include Bungalow 8 and Cargo Bar. Also King Street Wharf is home to Helm Bar.

Helm Bar located on the Aquarium Wharf Darling Harbour right next to the Sydney Aquarium and Pyrmont Bridge. They serve great food and drinks with a great view over the water. Monday to Thursday lunch times they have a different lunch time special. This places get busy Friday nights with the after work crowd with a DJ playing with lots of dancing.

Helm Bar Darling Harbour

Helm Bar - Aquarium Wharf - Darling Harbour




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