The best things to do on a rainy day in Darling Harbour
The sun is almost always shining in Sydney. But on the odd day when the weather is bad, there are so many fun rainy day activities in Darling Harbour that you might even welcome a little rain!
From getting up close and personal with giant sharks at Sealife Sydney Aquarium to exploring cold war submarines at the Australian National Maritime Museum, these are the best rainy day activities in Darling Harbour.
Explore under the ocean at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
There are over 13,000 incredible marine creatures at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and hours of fascinating fun to be had. Visit and you could come face to face with gigantic sharks and stingrays at Shark Valley, meet adorable Gentoo and King penguins living in a recreated Macquarie Island habitat, and discover over 600 sea animals native to Sydney Harbour.
Inside you’ll also find the largest recreation of the Great Barrier Reef in the world, complete with tropical fish, colourful coral gardens and bioluminescent displays at night.
See the big 5 at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo
Have you ever taken a selfie with a koala? Or come within metres of a gigantic salt water croc with a bad attitude? WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo gives you the chance to get closer than ever to the big 5 Aussie animals - wombats, platypus, crocs, koalas and kangaroos (as well as hundreds of other species).
There are 10 separate exhibits, including a treetop area that’s home to Frankie the numbat and Wallaby Cliffs, where you’ll find a tough little bare-nosed wallaby named Ringo.
Meet the Queen at Madame Tussauds Sydney
The chances of running into Queen of England, Batman and Shane Warne on the same day are fairly low on the average day. But if you visit Madame Tussauds in Darling Harbour, you're guaranteed to meet them all!
This is Sydney’s premier wax museum, complete with models of all of the world’s most famous figures - from Barack Obama to Spider Man. Book online to save for a limited time.
See it all with the Merlin Annual Pass
Like the sound of Sealife Sydney Aquarium, Wildlife Sydney Zoo and Madam Tussauds? Grab a Merlin annual Pass and you’ll get unlimited entry into all these attractions for one low price of $80* if you buy online. You’ll never run out of things to do in Sydney with one of these in your pocket!
Get on board at the Australian National Maritime Museum
As the world’s largest island continent, Australia has a rich and storied maritime history. You can learn about it all at the Australian National Maritime Museum on the waterfront in Darling Harbour. Exhibits and interactive displays tell the stories of our nation on the water - from the early dugout canoes built by First Nations people, to the marine craft of today.
There’s even real vessels floating next door that you board and can tour, including a replica of the first European ship to land on Australia’s shores and a real submarine that was used in the Cold War.
Play games, games and more games at Kingpin
Got a competitive streak? Kingpin is the perfect place to settle scores with your friends with bowling, laser tag, pool, table tennis and dozens of arcade games.
It’s right on the waterfront in Darling Harbour and they serve a full menu of delicious food and drink (just in case you work up an appetite with all the winning!)
Get cosy in a local cafe
There are few better things to do on a rainy day than to sit inside, eat copious amounts of pastries and guzzle down a couple coffees. Luckily Darling Harbour is home to some of the best cafes in Sydney.
Edition Coffee Roasters are a must-visit, serving delicious caffeine and impeccable pastries out of a minimalist Japanese-inspired space in Haymarket. Or if you feel like indulging, drop in to Shortstop Coffee & Donuts to taste what some have called “the best donuts in Sydney”.
Curl up with a book at Darling Square Library
Free Wi-Fi, free books and lots of cozy seating. No, we’re not describing heaven, we’re talking about Darling Square Library.
This hub for readers and learners is inside Darling Square's beautiful Exchange Building, famously designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates and wrapped in over 20km of timber ribbon. Inside, the building the space is remarkably airy and filled with comfy nooks to hide away in - perfect for curling up with a book.
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