After a magical light display at Darling Harbour the night before, we were eager to explore the tourist attractions by day. We had, in advance, purchased the 5 Sydney attractions pass from the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium website, which covered:
- Sea Life Sydney Aquarium (Darling Harbour)
- Madame Tussauds Sydney (Darling Harbour)
- Wild Life Sydney Zoo (Darling Harbour)
- Sydney Tower Eye (Market Street, Sydney)
- Manly Sea Life Sanctuary (Manly Beach)
Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
Our first stop was Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. An extensive aquarium showcasing local fish and coral, including a section of living fossils. Informative and entertaining for both children and adults alike, the aquarium not only educates about marine life, but also focuses on marine preservation. Throw in a few interactive games, and Sea Life becomes a must-see when visiting Darling Harbour.
One of the major attractions at the aquarium is “Shark Valley”. The under the sea tunnel allowed us to get up close and personal with the predatory fish that lurk in Australian waters. Although most of the sharks are not deadly to humans, I certainly would not want to encounter one face-to-face! Shark Valley is a wonderful way to see how these fearsome creatures interact with other marine life and, for scaredy-cats like me, provides the closest means of admiring the various breeds of shark and other fish without being paralysed with fear.
Madame Tussauds Sydney
Pumped with enthusiasm from exploring Sea Life, we headed next door to Madame Tussauds wax museum. Madame Tussauds London was opened in 1884, and after many years of success, has flourished around the globe having branches in major cities such as Sydney, New York and Hong Kong.
The Sydney branch, which opened in 2012, did not disappoint. The museum beamed with wax sculptures of both international and Australian iconic heroes and celebrities from all walks of life. The quality of craftsmanship is beyond meticulous, but truth be told, we were more like kids on Christmas morning: impatient to get our hands on everything. I guarantee you will leave the museum with a smile and a memory card full of ridiculous photographs.
Wild Life Sydney Zoo
Last but not least, was to get our dose of Australia’s dangerous and dynamic wildlife. The Zoo does not offer the most diverse enclosure of animals in Sydney; however, for a traveller on a time challenge, Wild Life Sydney Zoo provides a quick and comprehensive walk through of Australia’s indigenous species. The Zoo is primarily focussed on the more deadly reptilians, but one can also cuddle a koala, watch the wallabies and pet the smaller kangaroo varieties.
If you are planning to visit Featherdale Wildlife Park or Taronga Zoo, then Wild Life Sydney can probably be given a skip. We, nevertheless, had a wonderful time and were left better educated on Australia’s flora and fauna.
Three of the five attractions ticked off at Darling Harbour; all of which we would visit again. Each exhibit was child-friendly yet entertaining to all ages. I recommend visitors to stop by if they have a chance and want to make the most out of Sydney tourism.
We had spent the better part of our first day at Darling Harbour, but our veins still pumped with a keenness to explore. Just 90 minutes until closing time, and we were fast-pacing our way to our next destination.