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From first light to starry nights, there’s always something to do at Darling Harbour. Coffee machines froth, water laps, children play, friends chat, steaks sear, glasses clink, bass thumps and fireworks crackle.
For more than 7,000 years Darling Harbour was a frontier between the Wangal and Gadigal clans of the coastal Eora people who used the harbour for food and transport up the Parramatta River.
The Eora people called Darling Harbour “Tumbalong”, meaning a place where seafood is found. The shores were littered with the remnants of oyster shells and other shellfish remains, accumulated over thousands of years; and it is this that led the Europeans to call the area Cockle Bay.
Darling Harbour was first called Long Cove but Cockle Bay was preferred until 1826 when Governor Ralph Darling enshrined his own name in Sydney history.
The history of the harbour has been embodied in the ships which used it, the shipyards and wharves along its shores and the myriad of factories and warehouses that grew up in the surrounding streets.