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Teenager's Guide to Darling Harbour and Ultimo

They won't be bored if you let them loose on Sydney's attractions
Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 2.5 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview :  Families with teenagers in tow may think that Sydney has no more than the picturesque photo opportunity of a "stodgy" Sydney Opera... more »

Tips:  The Sydney Visitor Center is next door to the IMAX theater at Palm Grove. Have a browse, pick up free maps and guides--some of which... more »

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Points of Interest

We start our walk at the IMAX Theater in Darling Harbour. For those joining up from the city, we suggest coming to Darling Harbour via Druitt Street. There is a ramp that leads directly to the IMAX. While on foot, observe the distinctive black-and-yellow checkerboard appearance of the IMAX building. Alternatively, catch a ferry from Circular Quay ... More

Now head north and walk 30 to 50 meters or so and you will arrive at Cockle Bay Wharf. On your left is the marina where you can catch water taxis to the Opera House, Circular Quay, Luna Park, The Rocks or even Taronga Park Zoo. Please note that water taxis, although faster and convenient, are more expensive then city ferries.

On your right, note ... More

Let's continue with a visit to the Sydney Aquarium. Walk under the Pyrmont Bridge to get to this POI. There are a number of huge catamarans docked in front of the building.

Before entering the Sydney Aquarium think about whether the building reminds you of a giant wave or not.

The Sydney Aquarium is distinguished by its emphasis upon... More

4. Pyrmont Bridge

Now retrace your steps and head about 50 meters back toward our next POI, which is clearly visible. As you walk take note of the escalator under the bridge, adjacent to the sandstone public amenities. Ascend the escalator to access the bridge, which is closed to traffic. The historical swingspan bridge was saved from demolition and now carries the... More

If you would like to explore Australia's maritime history, the social history of the Eora First People, the tall ship known as the James Craig, the HMAS Vampire destroyer or even the HMAS Onslow submarine, walk to the end of the bridge and turn to your right to visit our next POI.

Its collection centers around five display themes: discovery,... More

6. Harbourside Shopping Centre: Teenager Attractions

By now everybody is probably either famished or wanting to unleash some energy. Walk in a southerly direction for about 30 meters to where you see a monorail station. Enter the northern end of the Harbourside Shopping Centre by descending the stairs under the monorail track.

The first shop to see is the British Lolly Shop. As we walk through the... More

7. Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour

Now we leave the Harbourside Shopping Centre from its southern end with Cockle Bay on our left and head southward toward our next POI. On our right will be the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Center.

Tumbalong Park contains a vast arrangement of ornate water features, native and exotic shrubs, and a central grassed amphitheater that hosts... More

Once you arrive at the oval shaped-ampitheater, the Chinese Garden of Friendship will be on your left.

The garden was designed and built by Chinese landscape architects and gardeners, and is governed by the Taoist principles of yin-yang.

This is a beautiful and tranquil place to visit. It offers the following intriguing features:

* Rare... More

9. Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre (optional)

Now it's time to leave Darling Harbour and head toward Ultimo. This area was relatively rural until the 1890s when the railway yards were built on the western side of Darling Harbour and the city's first coal-fired power stations were built on the site of the Powerhouse Museum, our final POI for today.

These days Ultimo retains a grungy... More

Immediately opposite the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre is the Powerhouse Museum, which opened in 1988. It was built on the site of the old tramway's powerhouse and was derelict after trams were discontinued in 1961.

The museum is the largest in Australia and also its most popular. The Powerhouse exhibits historical, science, space, arts, music,... More