Initially designed as a hub for tourists to Sydney in the late 80's, Darling Harbour has continued to thrive. Even through the goals of being a tourist friendly hotspot, this space is dubbed as Sydney's best playground - if not close to the mark for adults and children alike. This is what the locals think. I would have to agree - Darling Harbour is (clearly) the fabric of Sydney.
You could show some locals around Darling Harbour, and they will be surprised to see how much it has really changed. Even in a nine-month period.
Darling Quarter is now home to art, restaurants, offices and the coolest kids playground ever. At winter, Cool Yule (ice skating and a Thredbo slide) is home in this space. So are colour run events, as well as many other multiculturalism activities that extend beyond Chinese New Year. Successful annual events in this play space include Santa Fest, and the Month of Love.
The space that now occupies Darling Quarter was home to Sega World, a red building with a blue cone on top. This was in the 90's where Sega computer and video games were in vogue. Prior to that, this area was home to a sports arena until Sega wanted the land back. Today, there are sandpits, a table tennis court and many swings to name here. These all welcomed us in 2011.
Cockle Bay Wharf was constructed for the Sydney Olympic Games in the year 2000. This space is an awesome chill out spot to wine and dine. Even more awesome when the fireworks come to life...think every Saturday night at 8:30pm.
The exhibition and convention centre is being re-built (as at the time of writing this), however if you're in the mood for some shopping - Harbourside to the rescue.
Harbourside is a place not only to eat, but to refresh. There is an oxygen station (quirky, yet some have found a way to sell ice to the eskimos) as well as souvenir shops. Fancy some ten pin bowling? You're in luck with Kingpin. A great area to buy shoes, as well as receive a few beauty treatments. An amazing vibe on a Saturday night.
On the other side, the aquarium is also a popular destination for kids and adults alike.
Keep alert and in touch with the Darling Harbour website for fun events. There is always something on at Darling Harbour, and Darling Harbour on a Saturday night is also awesome.
Yes, Darling Harbour is giving Melbourne's Southbank a good run for its money.
Rating: 9/10 (not as pleasant when parts of Darling Harbour is a construction site.)
Where: Darling Harbour
Why: Fun central!
Cost: Depends on you, yet there are many free events on.
When: Saturday night is awesome, otherwise you can have fun here anytime - peak and non-peak times alike.
Good for kids: Absolutely. This hub was designed for the little cherubs!