Disabled Access - NO
Food and Drink Options - YES
Tourist Attractions - NO
Transport Links - YES
Shopping Centre - NO
Nightlife - YES
Opening Hours - All day and all night
Cockle Bay Wharf is a bustling precinct bristling with entertainment, dining options and more besides. With a variety of restaurants to suit every craving and plenty of bar and club options, this modern nightlife haven is the perfect drop-off point for revellers, and party animals both young and old.
Cockle Bay Wharf, which opens up into the massive Sydney Harbour, is now famous as a world-class waterfront entertainment area designed by renowned architect Eric Kuhne, but its history stretches back to the 18th century when the first fleet reached Sydney Cove. While initial building work was done with the supplies the convicts brought with them, brick-making for further building required a plentiful supply of clay and a ready source of freshwater. Approximately a mile from the settlement, at the head of a long cove a suitable site for brick-making was located and named Cockle Bay. The place was later renamed Darling Harbour, but the name of Cockle Bay still holds sway in the southern part of the harbour.
You're truly spoilt for choice in regards to food and drink options. Nick's Seafood Restaurant has become a legitimate Sydney institution since opening back in 1998 and offers what many claims is the best seafood in the city, all bought from the local Sydney Fish Markets. We'd also recommend trying the I'm Angus Steakhouse, which offers a unique, alfresco dining experience and some of the most tender cuts of meat in the city. Meat-eaters and vegetarians alike will also find themselves salivating at the prospect of Hunter & Barrel, a rooftop restaurant that styles itself as a celebration of fresh, quality produce. The rooftop area also plays host to the Cafe Del Mar, which serves stunning Spanish cuisine in an equally stunning setting. A must-visit if you enjoy a good sunset!
For those after a refined and sophisticated evening of drinks and discussion, Cockle Bay also has you covered. The Pontoon Bar, located along the water's edge, serves reasonable and delicious cocktails and quality beers in a relaxed and comfortable setting. The Tokio Hotel, situated within the Home complex, is also an excellent option if you'd prefer to share a few laughs without being assaulted by thumping bass-lines. There's also the stylish Blackbird Cafe, which is situated on the balcony of the wharf itself and offers spectacular views of Darling Harbour. There are also ample choices for those who prefer not to indulge in alcoholic beverages. Nick's Cafe & Bar is open all day and is famous for its freshly brewed coffee, while the Lindt Chocolate Cafe offers an entirely different kind of indulgence.
Perhaps the best reason to dock at Cockle Bay for anyone with a penchant for after-hours entertainment, Home The Venue is the number one 'super-club' in Sydney and an iconic institution that even those who are generally turned off by the rigours of clubbing should consider checking out. The state-of-the-art venue, which is situated a stone's throw from the wharf, is spread out over three levels and eight rooms, each featuring a distinct theme and offering a different experience. The innovative audio/visual productions are world-renowned, and the club regularly attracts the world's top DJs. The club also operates different themed nights on Fridays, Saturday and Sundays, so you could quite comfortably spend all weekend at Home and have a unique experience every night. A real one-off and a must-visit.
If you get more of a kick out of seeing a live band than a DJ, meanwhile, Tokio Hotel Live is one of the few venues in the city offering live music from top bands every night of the week in a range of styles from rock and pop to soul and dance. The Baia Italian restaurant also entertains customers with live acoustic acts every Wednesday and Friday night, and the Adria Bar features a mixture of DJs and acoustic acts every Friday and Saturday, so if you can't decide between a live band and a DJ, why not opt for both.
The nightlight might be the main draw at Cockle Bay Wharf, but why not start the evening with a movie at the world's biggest cinema screen The LG IMAX Theatre at Darling Harbour is little more than a 5-minute walk from the wharf and is home to the largest and most technologically advanced IMAX screen not only in Australia but in the entire world. Movie buffs would surely kick themselves for turning down the opportunity to take in the latest big Hollywood release in such splendour. The area also boasts exceptional function rooms, so is very popular with businesses both large and small.
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