Disabled Access - YES
Food and Drink Options - YES
Tourist Attractions - YES
Transport Links - YES
Shopping Centre - YES
Nightlife - NO
Campbell's Cove is a small wharf nestled between Circular Quay and the Harbour Bridge and is also close to the Overseas Passenger Terminal, making it an ideal vantage point for Harbour events, such as the iconic Sydney New Years fireworks, and an ideal stop for cruise passengers.
The wharf is situated at the end of a jetty, which sits in the centre of the cove just a stone's throw from the Park Hyatt hotel and just beneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The wharf looks out over the famous Sydney Opera House and is located just below the Pylon Lookout tower, which offers stunning, panoramic views of the city. So, if you're a fan of spectacular views, you really couldn't choose anywhere more suitable to stop-off.
The cove is a small bay on the eastern shore of Sydney Cove, named after Robert Campbell, a Scottish trade merchant who set up a successful business in the area in the 18th century. He established an import and export business from the cove. The site developed a number of warehouses over the years and became a large industrial site, but when this site was being considered for redevelopment, it was mandated by the government that developers could not build anything that would impede the view of the Harbour Bridge from Circular Quay.
As a result, the redevelopment blends into the environment with a simple, ribbon-shaped hotel (the Park Hyatt) elegantly filling the corner of the cove. These days, the wharf is home to some of the finest restaurants in the city, and also offers some of the city's most exceptional views.
The wharf is located a short walk from the historic Rocks area, a precinct named for the sandstone with which many of the first houses in the area were built. One of those houses still stands as the Rocks Discovery Museum, and the area is also home to many of the oldest pubs and restaurants in the city. The Rocks Market is also located just a short walk from the wharf and is a wonderful place to spend a lazy afternoon shopping for bespoke bags and dresses, one-off pieces of jewellery, original artwork and more besides.
Sitting at the tip of the Rocks is Dawes Point and Dawes Point Park. The point was the site of Australia's first fortified position, constructed in the 18th century to protect the cove from foreign invaders. Whilst the fort itself was removed during construction of the Harbour Bridge, five canons still remain from those days, and there is so much history in the soil, it would be a tragedy for any history buff to miss out on spending an afternoon in the park. The world-famous Vivid Light Walk, meanwhile, is comfortably one of the best reasons to be dropped off at Campbell's Cove Wharf.
A free art installation that can be accessed from the Campbell's Cove area, the walk is an annual institution that features spectacular light art installations, large-scale illuminations and mesmerising 3D-mapped building projections. The walk is a journey that takes visitors through streets, byways and secret places, by harbour coves, garden parklands and to new parts of the city. A definite must-see if it's on whilst you're in town.
With such spectacular views, it's not surprising that the area surrounding Campbell's Cove boasts some of the most respected dining establishments in Sydney. For fine dining, consider The Dining Room, a glass-walled, harbourside dining experience located within the Park Hyatt. The restaurant is run by the award-winning French chef, Franck Detrait, who uses only the finest seasonal local produce to create menus brimming with contemporary innovation.
For something a little more casual, but no less special, there's also Wolfies Grill, which is built into a renovated sandstone storehouse, the grill dishes up exceptional modern Australian cuisine at an affordable price. In the aforementioned Rocks Market area, you'll also find the endlessly popular Pancakes on the Rocks, a popular diner chain famous for its sweet and savoury pancakes as well as the quaint cafe The Tea Cosy and the decadent Ribs & Burgers, which, as the name suggests, specialises in meaty, American style cuisine.
Whilst the area surrounding Campbell's Cove might not be as famous for its nightlife as the city centre or the precincts surrounding the opera house, it does boast the unique and popular Vivaz restaurant and nightclub. With an island-style cocktail bar serving authentic Latin drinks and a buffet-style restaurant serving well-priced South American and Mexican cuisine, it's very popular with tourists and even features live dancing shows on most Friday and Saturday nights. If you're after a quieter night, meanwhile, The Rocks district contains some of the oldest and most traditional pubs in the city.
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