You've strolled along the wooden boardwalks enjoying the lively yet relaxed atmosphere by the harbour. You've sat at the edge of the wharf, hot chips in hand, warily eyeing the seagulls as they hover nearby – the gulls here are shameless and absolutely unabashed when it comes to the art of feasting on unattended food. However, not only Darling Harbour a great home for our winged friends, it is an amazing place for visitors to explore. Experience more than what meets the eye – come with us, we'll show you how!
Light up the sky!
Did you know that every Saturday night fireworks will light up the night sky as revellers stop in the middle of their tracks across Pyrmont Bridge to look on (by the way, did you know that the bridge can swing around to allow large vessels to pass into the harbour?). Cuddle up to someone special, raise a glass with your mates or sit back and enjoy them with your family over a delightful dinner! The best part of this spectacular weekly event is that you don't have to spend a cent. Don't miss them – Sydney is known for some of the most impressive fireworks in the world come New Year's Eve.
Find your inner Zen...
At the Chinese Garden of Friendship. Make friends with the koi carp which call the green paradise home. Infused with oriental features of waterfalls, pavilions and winding pathways, the garden draws upon elements such as feng shui to create an environment of peace and harmony. Enjoy some traditional tea and dim sum under the dropping boughs of willow trees at the Teahouse. Any Chinese zodiac buffs out there? Alternatively, go on the Emperor's Quest and seek out each of the 12 animals of the Chinese lunar calendar which are hidden throughout the garden. Prepare to be led on a truly captivating adventure!
Meet the sleepy locals!
If you like your wildlife cuddly and harmless, you're in for a treat. No tarantulas, killer snakes or sharks as Australian is often known for; just cute, sleepy koalas. You'll find them at WILD LIFE City Zoo. They will not be going anywhere particularly quickly, and if you catch one awake, he or she will be more than happy to strike a pose and sit still for photos all day long, quietly sitting there munching on eucalyptus leaves! This one is perfect for the aspiring wildlife photographer without the lightning fast lens and quick reflexes!
You've saved on your harbour view accommodation...
So why not treat yourself to a lovely twilight dinner at Cockle Bay or King Street Wharf! Choose from a variety of options right on the water from Kobe Jones if you're up for a spot of Japanese, or a seafood platter at Nick's Seafood Restaurant. Once you've eaten your fill, grab a cocktail at one of the waterfront bars nearby! Think Bungalow 8 or Cargo Bar, both gorgeous venues with a great atmosphere!
If you want to indulge in some retail therapy, the Harbourside Shopping Centre is the perfect place to do so – from stores stocking a wide array of Australian souvenirs to fashion stores, they have you covered. Feel like something active? Go bowling, or play a game of laser tag with the younger ones. Hungry? Head to the food court, wolf down some ribs or a juicy steak at Hurricane's Grill, or taste a sweet treat at the Darling Harbour location of the Pancakes on the Rocks chain. We recommend the Devil's Delight (chocolate pancakes) – doesn't it taste oh so good to be bad?
Spend Less, Do More
The Cheaperthanhotels Team
17 Little Pier Street
32-34 Bunn Street, Pyrmont
38 Harbour Street
72 Liverpool Street
55 Shelley Street
488 Kent Street
11 Pyrmont Bridge Road, (Corner of Pyrmont Bridge RD and Harwood ST), Pyrmont
57 Liverpool Street
528 Kent Street
363 Kent Street, Sydney NSW
27-29 King Street
132 - 136 Sussex Street
68 Harbour Street Darling Harbour
88 Liverpool Street
193-195 Clarence Street