What to Expect at the New Convention Centre in Sydney


Everything you need to know about the striking new International Convention Centre Sydney at Darling Harbour. By Akash Arora.

Darling Harbour had long been in need of a makeover and, thanks to the modern glass structure that is the new International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney, it’s gleaming again. The centre has a total floor area of more than 200,000 square metres and cost some $1.5 billion. It’s a collection of three interconnecting buildings – ICC Sydney Convention Centre, ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre and ICC Sydney Theatre designed – by globally renowned firms Hassell and Populous. The complex will host its first major event – a Keith Urban concert – at the ICC Sydney Theatre on December 14. But that’s just the start. The ICC Sydney is set to change the face of Darling Harbour for all these reasons as well...

What to Expect at the New Convention Centre in Sydney

Food and drink

Ten new restaurants will open at the centre – and we’re not talking touristy or fast-food joints. At the time of going to print, no official announcements had been made but we’ve heard on the grapevine that two of Sydney’s biggest restaurant groups have their sights on this location. What we can confirm is that there will be a laneway, Moriarty Walk, with a 100-metre-long digital mural by Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda on one side and a bar on the other. ICC’s beverage operations and cellar manager, William Wilson, is the man in charge of a stellar menu of boutique wines and bespoke cocktails, as well as craft beers and ciders.

Exhibition halls

There are two vast spaces in the exhibition building. The larger hall – spread over 19,000 square metres – is located on Level 1 and can be divided into four smaller spaces, one of which will host The Hunger Games: The Exhibition, which starts this month.

Grand Ballroom

Located on Level 5 of the convention building, this is the largest ballroom in Australia, capable of hosting 2000 seated guests.


The centre has three theatres: the 1000-seat Pyrmont Theatre; the Darling Harbour Theatre, which seats 2500 people; and the 8000-seat ICC Sydney Theatre.

What to Expect at the New Convention Centre in Sydney

Meeting rooms

There are 70 meeting spaces (including theatres) accommodating as few as 40 to conferences with 8000 delegates.

More to come

  • Located between ICC Sydney and the tired Harbourside Shopping Centre, Sofitel Darling Harbour will rise 35 floors above the city, with a shiny glass façade and more than 600 rooms. Set to open in November 2017.
  • The IMAX cinema in Darling Harbour has closed while a new 20-storey structure with shops, restaurants, a 470-seat cinema and a W Hotel is built. It’s expected to open in 2019.
  • Sydney’s hottest new city precinct, Darling Square, is being constructed on the site of the demolished Qantas Credit Union Arena. Its thousands of apartments and retail spaces will open in 2020.
  • Harbourside Shopping Centre is slated for a revival, too. Watch this space.

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