22 Oct 2021

The best things to do in Sydney now restrictions are lifting

After 107 days of hard work it’s time to enjoy ourselves! Check out our list of the best things to do in Sydney now that restrictions are lifting - from drinks in the sun, to live music.

You made it. After 107 days, you’re free! 

It’s time to get outside and enjoy everything you’ve been missing out on - all of the best things to do in Sydney. We’re talking cocktails with harbour views, long lunches in the hot sunshine at Sydney’s best rooftop pubs and bars, luxury staycations, live concerts and much more. 

To help you start living large, we’ve rounded up the best things to do in Darling Harbour now that restrictions have lifted.

The best outdoor dining in Sydney

Auvers Cafe

We’ve missed the simple pleasure of grabbing brunch or a barista-made coffee with friends. But no longer. Auvers, Darling Square’s best cafe, has opened their outdoor seating area, serving their mouth-watering all day menu, coffee, drinks and cocktails. Grab the crab omelette and thank us later.

Book now

Pizza just isn’t the same when you make it at home. Criniti’s have thrown open their doors to show us truly authentic Italian food with their delicious  fare.They also boast Darling Harbour’s biggest, sunniest terrace, with seating for dozens and stunning harbour views. This has to be one of the best outdoor restaurants in Sydney.

Book now
Braza Churrascaria

There’s never been a better time for an over the top feast and Braza Churrascaria is the perfect spot for it. Passadores (meat carvers) wander from table to table with up to 20 types of slow cooked rodizio (meat skewers), serving all you can eat. There are dozens of comfy bench seats outside in the sun, so bring your stretchy pants and get ready to settle in!

Book now

Who's Reopened

A complete list of all the restaurants, bars, attractions, shops and hotels that have now reopened

View details

Outdoor bars in Sydney with views

Cockle Bay Yacht Club

Behind white picket fences just metres away from the harbour front, you’ll find the Cockle Bay Yacht Club - one of Sydney’s best outdoor bars. This suntrap features dozens of picnic tables and bar learners with harbour views, ice cold beers on tap, proper cocktails and a banging $10 happy hour. Feel free to bring your doggo on a leash as well - it’s one of the many pup-friendly things to do in Sydney

Book now
Pontoon Bar

Pontoon have just reopened their expansive sun-filled terrace with panoramic Darling Harbour views and they’re serving up their usual menu of pizza, burgers, bar snacks and Aussie classics. And the best part? If you fancy a dancy, they’re open for COVID-safe, outdoor DJ nights from 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Book now

On level 12 of the Hyatt Regency, you’ll find Sydney’s best rooftop bar - Zephyr. Here you’ll find premium, crafted cocktails, drinks and seasonal snacks that pair perfectly with breathtaking views over Darling Harbour, the city and beyond. Bookings are recommended, so get in before they’re gone. 

Book now

Luxury staycations with flexible cancellation

Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

Sofitel is the ultimate urban resort in Sydney, recently voted Australia’s Best Luxury Hotel. Book a suite with a  freestanding bathtub with floor to ceiling views overlooking our sparkling harbour and line up a weekend of relaxation and room service.

Book a room here
Novotel Sydney on Darling Square

Fancy a little room service and sophisticated luxury bang in the heart of Darling Square’s best drinking, eating and entertainment? Well Novotel ticks all those boxes and more. 

Book a room here
Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour

Crowne Plaza is Sydney’s newest luxury hotel, boasting an enviable harbourside location, a rooftop heated pool and plush, stylish rooms. It’s also pet-friendly so your doggo can enjoy a little luxury too!

Book a room here

What’s on in Sydney - Live music, attractions & entertainment

Chinese Garden of Friendship

The Chinese Garden of Friendship is open again for your daily dose of tranquility and natural beauty. Grab an annual pass and make a habit of finding your zen in the gardens, or drop in and buy a one-off ticket from $4. Plus, don't miss your chance to experience Nature Illuminated, a theatrical light show at The Garden. Ticket's selling fast, get yours now.

See details
Ferris Wheel

Nothing says freedom quite like soaring 35 metres above the blue waters of Darling Harbour on the Star of the Show Ferris Wheel. Bookings are encouraged.

Book now
Kingpin Bowling

What better way to bond with the friends and family you missed during lockdown than to trash them at bowling, arcade games, laser tag and more. Kingpin Bowling is now open for your next night out.

Book now
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and Madame Tussauds Sydney

After 107 days inside we could all do with more nature in our lives! That’s exactly what you’ll get at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, home to Australia’s big five animals (crocs, kangaroos, koalas, wombats and platypuses). Grab a multi-attraction annual pass to visit SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and Madame Tussauds as well.

Get a multi-attraction annual pass
Coming up at the ICC

Add a little live excitement to your life with live music and entertainment coming back to the ICC Sydney and Aware Super Theatre. Coming up in November is Neighbourhood Earth, a multi-sensory space exploration experience then in February, formidable pop queen Lorde and UK indie pop icons London Grammar in March. Check out more of their upcoming events and book your tickets before they’re gone!

See what's on at the ICC

FREE Parking

Drive in to Darling Harbour from Friday to Sunday or public holidays, leave the car at Darling Park, then spend just $50 at any Cockle Bay Wharf venue to park for free!

View Offer