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Christmas Decorated Darling Harbour
During our last visit to Sydney Darling Harbour was decked out for Christmas. Christmas trees, lights, wreaths and banners. During the Christmas season, Daling Harbour has a series of events from Santa Claus, fireworks and various parties.
Being from New York we are so accustomed to Christmas being cold weather; this was a nice change to have beautiful warm weather.
The premier entertainment centre in Sydney
Darling Harbour is a section of the city where there is a number of entertainment and leisure establishments. There are a number of shops which you can visit and have some retail therapy. If you are into wildlife you can also visit the Sydney Aquarium and Sydney Wildlife Zoo. If you want to eat there are a number of fine restaurants which will suit your cravings. On lazy days you can just walk around the area and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and feel the cold wind brushing by you.
The HMAS Advance is on display at the Maritime Center. This Attack class patrol boat was commissioned in 1968 and decommissioned in 1988. Advance was one of 20 Attack class patrol boats built for the Royal Australian Navy between 1967 and 1969. The Advance helped shadow Russian fishing boats suspected of spying, followed illegal fishing boats, chased smugglers, provided search and rescue, and helped survey the West Coast. The Advance has a steel and the superstructure is aluminum. It is armed for small-scale encounters, with one 40-mm Bofors gun and two 0.5-inch Browning machine guns to fire warning shots across the bow of a suspect vessel.The Advance is still used during Maritime events but not available for public tours.
I have a love of ships and water vessels, probably due to my Naval past so it is always pleasurable to see such vessels up close and personal.
Chinese New Year: Dragonboat Races
During our visit in 2010; Sydney was celebrating Chinese New Year. Various events were happening all over the city. One event in particular interested us most: the Dragon Boat Races. On Saturday February 27th over 3000 paddlers raced on their Dragon Boats in Darling Harbour. The race starts in the middle of the Harbour and ends at Cockle Bay. It is an energetic race to the finish with spectators cheering on their favorite teams.
The race began early in the morning so Liz and I got up early to get a seat. Darling Harbour was mobbed with tons of spectator and teams of Dragon Boat Racers. We managed to get a seat and waited for the fun to start. It was amazing to watch team after team race to the finish. The eye dotting ceremony was also a big interest. Red paint is dabbed on the center of each dragon's forehead; to "awaken" the dragon boat's blind dragon.
This was a fun experience and I was glad we were here to see it.
- Food and Dining
- Historical Travel
The James Craig is a fairly important part of our family with its ownership being traced to my ancestors. So everyone was thrilled when I finally said I've been to see it. I am planning to get out on a cruise on it on a future trip.
This wonderful Barque first set said from England on April 6 1874 and made many runs around the world supplying the growing areas of New Zealand and Australia as well as Oregon and Chile.
Boat Show and a Book.
My second trip had me here during the last weekend of the boat show. The weather was wonderful. 23C and sunny. I sat outside at the end of Cockle Bay reading my book watching the world go by while enjoying the wonderful weather that wasn't the heat index of 40C I had left in NYC.
This was definitely one of the highlights of this trip.
Experience 3D at the Imax Theatre
Darling Harbour has its own Imax theatre right across from the convention center. A variety of Imax films and 3-D films are shown here. An Imax movie runs $18 for adults which isn't bad considering it is such an awesome experience to see such movies on eight story high screens. During our last visit to Sydney in 2010, Avatar was the big attraction here at Imax.
The Tidal Cascades
The Tidal Cascades is a sculpture/fountain in Darling HArbour. The water cascades down in a spiral to a center ball sculpture. There is always a bunch of children playing in the water and splashing about. My wife was actually one of the few "big kids" splashing about one hot day.
Darling Harbour Part 3
There is just so much to do and see in Darling Harbour, for adults and children alike. Sue and I decided to walk there and have breakfast on Sunday morning. We stopped at Starbucks and had lovely coffees and I had a raspberry muffin and Sue had a ham and cheese croissant.
On a sunny weekend you will find thousands of families just walking around Darling Harbour. The circular water feature used to be a HUGE favourite of our boys when they were little, I even have memories of them making me go down it and falling ass-up doing so!
There are plenty of Hotel options as well, probably the 4 most popular would be Star City, Grand Mercure Apartments, Ibis Hotel and Novotel Hotel, with the 3 latter ones being side by side on the western side of Darling Harbour.
DANCING BROLGA FOUNTAIN
This is a very nice fountain located in Cockle Bay at Darling Harbour.
The “Dancing Brolga Fountain” at Cockle Bay is famous world wide and features as one of Sydney’s major icons for Singapore Airlines.
If you have ever seen them in the wild, a good chance of this in the tropical North, where the birds are still abundant and gather in large flocks, you will see that this fountain represents them very truly!
The elegant Brolga's love to dance!
This Australian Bird has a 'dreamtime' story about it.......
I have listed the website for the Aboriginal Dreamtime story on the Brolga.
Darling Harbour Part 2
We used to spend a lot of time up here when the kids were little, there is just so much to do and see, and a lot of it is free! There are parks for the kids, street performers, grassed areas to run around on and have a picnic on, there is also Sydney Aquarium and Wildlife World, shops and restaurants.
The Sydney Aquarium
If a city we visit has a city aquarium then we go. We love them. This is an especially nice one. Right when you go in you get to see the Platypus exhibit so you don't have to go searching for it. They seem to know that the Platypus is what a majority of foreigners want to see so they serve it up straight away. Good idea! With that out of the way you can concentrate on the vast variety of Aquatic Life that Australia and this Aquarium have to offer. They have a Crocodile so if you need to see one of those, they have it! I found most of the native freshwater fish to be pretty dull in color but the came in a vast variety of shapes and sizes. Of special interest are the two large salt water tanks that have plexiglass roofed walkways. One of them houses Dugongs, an aquatic mammal similar to the West Indian Manatee of Florida. Its tail is more streamlined but the face is very familiar. They have a another huge aquarium you can see sharks and sea turtles in and a Reef fish tank that is stocked with very colorful fish. If Aquariums are your thing, don't miss this during your visit.
Australia International Motor Show
During our visit to Sydney there was the Australia International Motor Show at DArling Harbor. There were tons of cars o display and even more people gathered around to check out the cars. It was fun to roam about and check out the different cars on display.
The James Craig is a three-masted, iron-hulled barque that is one of the Sydney Marime Museum Exhibits. The James Craig was built in 1874 in Sunderland England. The ship has rounded Cape Horn 23 times in 26 years. The ship operated between New ealand and Australia for years untill fisherman blasted a hole in the stern in 1932. After years of restoration she was able to set sail again in 2001 caring passengers on cruises.
The James Craig was one of the many Maritime Exhibits we enjoyed during our stay in Sydney. Chris has some family connection to the owner of the ship and it is documented in some of his family geneology records.
Darling Harbour is a buzz of activity. There is a number of atactions such as the Aquarium, I-Max, Chinese Garden of Friendship, The Maritime Museum, Convention Center, numerous shops and restuarants. Darling Harbour is accesible by walking, bus, feey and even monorail.
Every visit we had to Drling Harbour was fun filled. We enjoy a good meal, some ice cream at the Lindt Cafe, The Chinese Garden of Friendship, The Aquarium, Maritime Center and the Auto Show at the Convention Center. It's a fun place to walk around and people watch.
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