The Darling of Harbours

Pictures Courtesy of Destination NSW.

By Kylie Mitchell-Smith

We head south to pay homage to Australia’s largest city that has quietly but confidently

come out of an extended lockdown period to host an International Tourism Conference.

The ICC (International Convention Centre) plays host to some of the world’s leading

performers, business conventions and events. Launching Australia back to the world, Sydney

is the ideal choice.

We choose to stay at the harbourside village of Pyrmont at the recently opened Aiden Hotel,

so we can explore and savour the beauty of the harbour. The natural contours of the

landscape twist and turn from Darling Harbour to Circular Quay to the recently opened


The Aiden Hotel has taken pride of place as an entry statement to Pyrmont and has retained

the charm of the old wheat and Breville Building. Adding contemporary touches like the

New York style lobby bar and eatery, along with a hand painted botanical mural by

emerging artist Jessica Leclerc.

Exploring the many villages and boroughs that adorn the water we discover Brooklyn style

pockets, with its community of urban dwellers. Pyrmont is a quiet alternative to the hustle

and bustle of the CBD and is ideally located next to Darling Harbour and the CBD.

Darling Harbour was one of the first modern harbourside precincts, with an eclectic mix of

retail shops, restaurants and international hotels- the iconic Novotel has been towering over

the Darling Harbour for 30 years.

We wander around the much-anticipated Barangaroo precinct, home to the mega Crown

Casino complex. Barangaroo is Sydney’s latest harbourside playground with waterfront

dining, modern eateries, cocktail bars and impressive art instillations.

A short stroll to the historical Rocks precinct we uncover the latest bars on the block like

‘Maybe Sammy’ and ‘The Doss House’, with classic sandstone walls, pylon ceiling beams and

cosy terraces.

Continuing along Circular Quay to the sounds of the ferry whistle and array of colourful

street performers, we catch the latest exhibition of young Australian Artists ‘Primavera’ at

the Museum of Contemporary Art which takes pride of place on the bustling harbour.

Venture high above the Museum of Contemporary Art to the rooftop café and you’ll be

suitably impressed with the food and unsurpassed views across to the Opera House and

beyond. Café Sydney, adjacent to Circular Quay is perched on top of the historic Customs

House building and is the place to be for sunset cocktails and dinner with a view.

It’s all about the journey in the harbourside city, a stroll up from Circular Quay to the CBD

you can shop till you literally drop, from boutiques at The Strand Arcade to an array of iconic


The towering buildings ooze a European style, like the Town Hall where many fashionable

gatherings have taken place. We are on a mission to uncover the latest Hotel opening

Kimpton Margot in the 1930’s former Water Board building on Pitt St.

Centrally located in the heart of the city, Kimpton Margot has layered an art deco vibe with

an eclectic style. The moment you enter the hotel foyer you are greeted with pastel hues,

marble floors and copper trimmings. An inviting cocktail bar and elegant lobby have been

reimagined to suit the modern day.

Lukes Kitchen is adjacent to the hotel foyer and has been carefully curated to complement

the space. Renowned chef Luke Mangan is no stranger to hotel restaurants and has

successfully owned and operated Glass Brasserie in the Hilton for the past 17 years.

Luke is paying homage to his homestyle cooking, with menu offerings like garlic bread with

curry butter and gruyere cheese and prawn toast with spanner crab, corn and miso

mayonnaise. There’s a bottomless brunch on Saturdays which is fast becoming the talk of

the town- a free flowing degustation experience created by Luke.

Time to head back to the Harbour for a walk around the Opera House and a night cap at the

bustling Opera Bar, where you’ll find a happening crowd any time of the day. Sydney boasts

one of the most picturesque harbours in the world, naturally beautiful the environment

speaks for itself- now’s the time to explore the darling of harbours.

Find more from Kylie on

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