Right in the heart of Sydney lies the waterside visitors' mecca that is Darling Harbour. It's close enough to walk to from the central business district — you can see the city skyline up close from the Harbourside Shopping Centre.
There are enough parking spaces in and around the area to accommodate those who drive from wherever they come from.
As well, you can park just outside Darling Harbour — or in its own underground parking station — and take the monorail for a bird's-eye view of the site while deciding where to stop.
Or you can come by ferry or water taxi, dock at its piers and jetties, and start your visit from there.
Dinki-di Darling site
The water — for a city enamoured of the sea — is an attraction by itself, but it is the many entertainment and shopping facilities on the site that make Darling Harbour doubly attractive.
Here you will find the country's largest cinema screen — eight storeys high — at the Imax Theatre. Lying north of it is the Sydney Aquarium and the more recent Sydney Wildlife World. Just a short walk south is the Chinese Garden with its serpentine paths and placid pools.
The huge Sydney Entertainment Centre lies at the southeastern edge of Darling Harbour.
Crossing now to the west, the Powerhouse Museum offers a look into its current exhibitions which range from fashion to cutting edge technology.
Shops, restaurants, museums
Walking northwards through the Exhibition Halls and Convention Centre, one soon reaches Harbourside with its multitude of shops and restaurants.
At Harbourside's northern end lies the Australian National Maritime Museum. This is sited by the water at Darling Harbour and contains exhibits chronicling Australia's maritime history.
The Sydney casino/entertainment complex, The Star (formerly Star City), is but a hop, skip and jump away.
There are wide promenades and large swards of green where people can relax, and there are the occasional street performances as well as organised concerts and other activities. For the kids there are always the carnival rides at the eastern end.
Day-trippers doing Darling Harbour discover soon enough why it's a dinki-di Darling site.