Darling Harbour

  • Toddlers

A lively waterfront precinct, Darling Harbour has everything you need for a fun-filled family day out. The two big-ticket destinations are SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo. Either of these attractions will give you hours of family fun or for a marathon of fish and animal viewing, why not get a combination ticket-enjoy a great discount and an amazing day out. You even have a month to visit the second attraction in case of animal overload. Or catch a flick at the Imax theatre, it offers the ultimate cinema experience showing films on a screen that is over 8 stories high.Kid friendly movies show on a regular basis and ticket prices are similar to those of regular cinemas.

You can also enjoy some excellent free kids activities at Darling Harbour, on hot days kids will love a splash around in the giant spiral water feature.  The Chinese Garden (entry fees apply) is unlike any park your family will visit in Australia and children can lose themselves for hours in the maze-like grounds and mystical atmosphere. Kids and grownups alike will have fun imagining life on the high seas with a visit to the Australian National Maritime Museum and general admission is free.

The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority produces a hugely successful program of regular FREE annual events in Darling Harbour including New Year’s Eve, Australia Day celebrations in January, the Hoopla Acrobatics and Street Theatre Festival in April, the Darling Harbour Jazz & Blues Festival in June and Fiesta in October.

Ellaslist opinion: Though it may not have the green parks or character of many areas of Sydney, Darling Harbour’s great range of family friendly activities more than makes up for it.  It is easy to get to, safe and contained but with plenty of space, there are lots of water features that kids just love and, if that wasn’t enough, it’s home to some of the most fun things to do with kids in Sydney. And we can’t wait to try out the new playground!

Admission: Free entry to Darling Harbour, fees apply for various activities.

Facilities: There are plenty of cafes and restaurants in the area, though much on offer seems to be “tourist” priced. We tend to pack a lunch and sit by the water watching the boats coming in. Baby change facilities are available and it is very easy to get around Darling Harbour with a stroller.

Getting There: Darling Harbour is a 5–10-minute walk from CBD down Market St.

Light Rail: Disembark the light rail at either the Convention or Pyrmont Bay station
Train: A short walk from Town Hall station
Ferry: Disembark at Aquarium Pier
Bus: Sydney Explorer bus stop no 24.

There are a number of parking stations in the area-discounted parking available with admission to the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo.

Image source: Destination NSW – Darling Harbour