I’ve watched two seasons of the Real World, New Orleans and Australia. I watched Australia because their project was related to Contiki. But that season of the Real World opened my eyes to the beauty of Australia. The apartment they were staying in was in Darling Harbor and it may have skewed my view of Darling Harbor as the hot spot in Sydney. Darling Harbor is a hot spot, but not quite what I was imagining before I finally got to see it.
Darling Harbor seems to be primarily a touristy spot, I haven’t become so jaded in my travel that I dismiss “tourist spots,” but I also know that they are very hit or miss. Darling Harbor is both hit and miss, depending on what you are looking for. It has a mall with shops you can find in many parts of the world, restaurants – many of which are chains you can find around the world, and some museums. So yes, many very typical touristy places.
However, it’s also a pretty location with a lot of activities. On Saturday night’s they have fireworks (which I did get to see). The fireworks weren’t the best I’ve seen, but then my standards are the Macy’s 4thof July fireworks in NYC. But they were excellent for a local event. I did get a chance to see Gravity at the largest IMAX in the world. I highly recommend pre-purchasing tickets for films. It was raining all day and I didn’t want to spend my night in the hostel, so that was a nice inside evening activity.
The area is full of activities for every age group. For a first time visitor Darling Harbor is a nice spot to visit, although it can be touristy it does have a lot to offer. However, unless you’re planning a lot of activities in the area, I wouldn’t choose Darling Harbor as a main base. I prefer The Rocks or Downtown Sydney near Circular Quay.