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Darling Harbour
Sydney, Australia
Monday, March 23, 2020

Australia Covid-19 Nationwide Partial Lockdown

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The Australian Government announced that from midday today, Monday, March 23, 2020, certain businesses must partially or fully close. Most businesses, including major retailers and department stores, can continue to run if they comply with social-distancing guidelines. Cafes and restaurants will be able to operate, but only to offer takeaway and delivery services. Hotels will be allowed to offer accommodation but must close their in house restaurants except for takeaway and delivery. The following services are dubbed essential to society and will remain open: Supermarkets, Banks, Petrol stations, Pharmacies, Convenience Stores, Freight and logistics, Food delivery, and Bottle shops. These businesses must close: Pubs, Clubs, Cinemas, Casinos, Nightclubs, Indoor places of worship, Gyms and Indoor Sporting Venues. Schools and childcare centres may remain open until the school holidays, though some jurisdictions have brought forward the end of the term. People can leave their homes, but only if their travel is essential.

The above are in addition to the measures Australia has already taken. Flight from all of the "AVOID" countries were banned weeks ago. A few days ago Australia banned entry into the country of all international travelers except for residents and their families. The government also strongly advises that Australian residents not do any international travel out of the country and all overseas Australian residents return to Australia immediately. All indoor gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people are banned with minor essential exceptions. No gathering can have less than 4 square meters of space for each person and everyone is advised to keep a distance of at least 2 arm lengths from other people. Everyone is advised, but not required, to stay at home if possible. But people are allowed to go to work and children are allowed to go to school in most areas, though the government is advising people to keep their children out of school if they can. About 30% of children are being kept at home. People are allowed to go out for walks, but must keep a significant distance away from others.

With everything shut down here almost as much as in our home state of Washington and our vacation house in California, we are anxious to get back to the USA. We have decided to stay in Anaheim for the duration where we have more supplies and amenities. Anaheim so far does not have a single confirmed case of Covid-19. Anaheim is in Orange County. Orange County so far has less than 100 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and Orange County has a population of over 3 million. So the Covid-19 rate is still fairly low in Orange County and so far non-existent in Anaheim. That is certainly a lot better than in Sydney, Australia, which itself is not really that high.

Most indoor eating establishments were closed for eating in the restaurants on Monday morning, not waiting for the midday deadline. Almost all of the restaurants in Darling Harbour completely closed since most of their business is based on international and domestic tourism. A few remained open for just takeaway and deliveries. Most of the food vendors in the Harbourside Shopping Centre Food Court remained open for takeaway as well as most of the other retail stores in the centre.

As you can see below most of the tourist attractions in Darling Harbour remained open until about noon. People were even riding the "Star Of The Show Ferris Wheel" in the morning. But by noon, all of these attractions shut down. By afternoon, Darling Harbour was pretty deserted with just a few people walking around.

Barbara and I did go into the Harbourside Shopping Centre and were surprised that almost all the stores were open along with most of the food venues in the Food Court, for take-away only. The shopping centre was pretty empty but there were a number of people wandering around. All of the sit down restaurants in the shopping centre were closed.

Afterwards we took a walk around Darling Harbour. It was very quiet and pleasant with so few other people.

Click on each photo below for a larger image.

Views From Our Hotel Room 1010
Ibis Sydney Darling Harbour Hotel
Sydney, Australia

Prymont Bridge and Sydney Skyline

Darling Harbour Tourist Attractions:
Merlin Entertainments
Sea Life - Wild Life - Madame Tussauds

Australian National Maritime Museum
2 Murray St, Darling Harbour Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Harbourside Shopping Centre

Sydney Tower Eye

Cockle Bay Wharf & Star Of The Show Ferris Wheel

Harbourside Shopping Centre

Pedestrian Bridge From Harbourside Shopping Mall To Our Hotel

Photo of Ibis Darling Harbour Hotel From Pedestrian Bridge

Photo of Sydney Light Rail From Pedestrian Bridge

Complimentary Bottle Of Wine
From Ibis Sydney Darling Harbour Hotel

We had 2 free drink coupons from the Ibis Sydney Darling Harbour Hotel. When we went to the hotel bar we found a sign that said to order at the front desk. When we went to the front desk, they looked a bit confused of how to take care of our free drink coupons. Evidently because of the ban on bars being open and only takeaway allowed at food establishments, they are not allowed to open a bottle of wine. Instead, they just gave us an entire free bottle of wine to open in our room! The wine was actually quite good.

Vegemite. Yum!

We just had to try this item that is very popular in Australia. It is mostly made of yeast left over from the beer brewing process with added spices. Barbara and I found it to be quite salty but not bad. Evidently they do have another version of the product with 90% less salt. The taste was not bad. We just had it on crackers. I think it is usually served combined with other items.

Room Service Menu From The Ternary Restaurant

The Ternary Restaurant is located in the Novatel Hotel next door to the Ibis Sydney Darling Harbour. Novatel is another hotel brand that is owned by Accor. Accor is a very big international hotel company that owns many different brands of hotel chains, similar to how Hilton Hotels owns many different brands of hotel chains. They are not as common in the United States as elsewhere in the world, though they do own the Fairmont Hotel Chain brand.

The Ibis Sydney Darling Harbour Hotel does have an in-house restaurant and bar, but they are closed due to the Covid-19 ban and the lack of customers. There is only about 11 rooms occupied in this 256 room hotel. The Ibis Sydney Darling Harbour Hotel normally does not offer room service. But, because in restaurant and pub service is not available, they are provided room service delivery from The Ternary Restaurant of their sister Novatel Hotel next door. We did order room service for dinner and had it delivered to our room.

Wonderful Australia Wines
That We Purchased At
Harbourside Cellars In The Harourside Shopping Centre

We purchased a few wines from this wine store when we first arrived in Australia, and then again after we got off the cruise. We only purchased Australian wines and almost all of them were very good. They were also all pretty inexpensive. They had a lot of wines under $10, many between $10 and $30, and some up to $60. But keep in mind this is Australia Dollars (AUD). One Australia Dollar (AUD) is only about 60 cents in US Dollars (USD). Thus even the $60 AUD wines were only about $35 USD!

Click on each photo above for a larger image.

If in this report you see any typos, misspellings, factual errors or other types of errors, please let me know. Please include the web address (URL) of the report in which you found the error. Thank you! Send your email to:

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