Darling Harbour is Sydney's premier recreational area dedicated to entertainment and tourism. The actual harbour is a small inlet and the area around it is Sydney's finest shopping, dining and recreational precinct.
Darling Harbour was named after the Governor of New South Wales, Lieutenant-General Ralph Darling. It was part of the port of Sydney and the NSW Railways till the 1980s when the area was redeveloped into a beautiful public area as part of Sydney's Bicentennial Celebrations.
Shopping - The Harbour side is alive with an eclectic mix of shops and retailers that specialize in high-end fashion, gifts, shoes, and accessories. There are plenty of shops selling native art and crafts and souvenirs. Shop till you drop at the Harbour side Shopping Centre or Paddy's markets. From designer labels to street side shopping, you will find it all at Darling Harbour.
Entertainment - A visitor to Darling will be spoilt for choice with the wide array of options available for entertainment.
If you are looking for a wildlife adventure, then head to Wild Life Sydney Zoo with its amazing animal exhibits or to the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium to discover the world's largest collection of sharks and rays.
For a more intellectual experience, there is the Australian National Maritime Museum with its fascinating exhibit of artefacts and maritime activities. You can also visit the Powerhouse Museum that displays a diverse collection that relates to all branches of technology including communication, transport, decorative arts, furniture, computers, space and steam engines.
For a break away from the maddening crowd, enjoy the serenity and peace of the Chinese Garden of Friendship with its Water Pavilion of Lotus Fragrance, Dragon Wall and Tea House. You might also witness a wedding in the grounds as the garden is a popular wedding venue with picture-perfect layouts.
Dining - Sydney is the melting pot of global cultures and cuisines and it is never more obvious than at Darling Harbour. Italian restaurants, French cafes, Australian grills and Chinese restaurants all jostle for place on the Darling Harbour waterfront. For those of you on a liquid diet, there are innumerable cafes and pubs serving the best juices, cocktails, beers and wines.
Cruise -Among all the myriad experiences along Darling Harbour, there is nothing to beat a cruise on the crystal waters onboard a luxury vessel. Magistic Cruises offers you a lunch, dinner and sightseeing cruises from Darling Harbour on their multimillion dollar catamaran, the Magistic Two.
The Magistic Lunch Cruise will take you past the famous landmarks of Sydney including the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge while you listen to interesting facts and anecdotes. The harbour lunch buffet is prepared freshly onboard by the crew of talented and trained chefs.
Join the Magistic Dinner Cruise for sublime night views of the city from the wide spacious decks of the catamaran whilst enjoying your favourite drink from the well-stocked bar. The buffet dinner will include fresh seafood, hot and cold dishes, salads, fresh fruits, desserts and cheeses.
If you wish for a more private and exclusive cruise, you can charter the Magistic Two or any other vessel from Sydney Harbour Charter Cruises.