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Darling Harbour

The best place to get acquainted with Sidney's nautical passions – sailing, pleasure-boating, whale watching – or the Maritime Museum if you prefer dry land.

Sydney loves the sea – it is after all shot through with the deep blue inlet of Sydney Harbour – and it indulges its visitors with a plethora of harbours, coves, marinas and bays. But one of the best places to get nautical is Darling Harbour, with its cluster of quays, museums, restaurants and markets. The next bay around from Circular Quay, Darling Harbour was once the city's commercial port and a massive railway shunting yard. You'd hardly guess that today. The whole area has been reworked into a shiny pedestrianized waterfront.

The attraction that first draws the eye is the Australian National Maritime Museum. Or rather the 122-metre naval destroyer, HMAS Vampire, parked outside the museum. It is over 60 years old, and was the last serving gun-destroyer of the Royal Australian Navy. It can be boarded and explored, along with the navy submarine parked alongside. And you can step right back to the start of Australia's naval heritage when you board the sailing ship behind – the HM Bark Endeavour, which is an exact replica of Captain James Cook's famous vessel that 'discovered' Australia for the Europeans.

Of course, the Aborigines got here a little while before him, and their relationship with the sea is explored at the Museum too. You can see the artistic side of Australia's first inhabitants at the Gavala Aborigine Art Centre, which sells original Aborigine art. Darling Harbour is also a launching point for messing about in the water – jet-boating, sailing trips and cruises can all be booked here. Some of the most exciting are the whale-spotting cruises, which almost guarantee you a humpback, and even a sighting of a blue whale, during 3 hours out on the waves.

And if your sea-legs won't go that far, you can always take in the marine wildlife at the Sydney Aquarium – or do some retail-therapy (piscine-style) at the Sydney Fish Market. More likely the Harbourside Shopping Centre will appeal for that, though, which has a great haul of the best in modern Oz shops, restaurants and waterfront cafés.


Top Darling Harbour Hotel & Accommodation Deals

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Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour NZ$186
Reviewed on 2 Dec. 2019
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Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour

Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour

100 Murray Street, Sydney, NSW
     
    4.0 of 5
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Everything is excellent. No complaints at all. We will defenitely come back.

    Hyatt Regency Sydney NZ$185
    Reviewed on 6 Dec. 2019
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    Hyatt Regency Sydney

    Hyatt Regency Sydney

    161 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW
       
      4.2 of 5
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Fantastic staff, lovely restaurant, great size room & clean, good view

      Meriton Suites Sussex Street NZ$144
      Reviewed on 2 Dec. 2019
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      Meriton Suites Sussex Street

      Meriton Suites Sussex Street

      234 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW
         
        4.5 of 5
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Beautifully appointed room, including Laundry which is handy for work

        Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments Darling Harbour NZ$94
        Reviewed on 29 Nov. 2019
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        Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments Darling Harbour

        Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments Darling Harbour

        243 Pyrmont Street, Darling Harbour, Pyrmont, NSW
           
          4.0 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Beautiful rooms, nice staff, great location Would definitely recommend

          PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney NZ$202
          Reviewed on 7 Dec. 2019
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          PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney

          PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney

          150 Day St, Sydney, NSW
             
            4.4 of 5
            4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Location to public transport is close by and alternate parking also close which is a good thing because $65 for parking here is a tad too expensive.

            ibis Sydney Darling Harbour NZ$145
            Reviewed on 1 Dec. 2019
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            ibis Sydney Darling Harbour

            ibis Sydney Darling Harbour

            70 Murray Street, Sydney, NSW
               
              3.8 of 5
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Room was generally clean, but too small. Staff on checkin was fabulous

              The Star Grand Hotel and Residences Sydney NZ$240
              Reviewed on 1 Dec. 2019
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              The Star Grand Hotel and Residences Sydney

              The Star Grand Hotel and Residences Sydney

              80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont, NSW
                 
                4.5 of 5
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                The whole check in and room with check out was amazing. The room was perfect, the only bad thing was the view which was a construction site, as I paid for a harbour view.

                Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour NZ$301
                Reviewed on 4 Dec. 2019
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                Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

                Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

                12 Darling Drive, Sydney, NSW
                   
                  4.6 of 5
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  A wonderful place to stay in and many good restaurants nearby. Nice view of the darling Harbour during day and night time.

                  Darling Harbour Flight Deals

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