Looking at The Star’s website you would be forgiven for missing the fact that the raison d’être for this whole complex is that it hosts Sydney’s only casino. The focus of the website is on the complex as an entertainment hub with its theatre (Lyric), Events Centre, hotels (Darling and Astral), bars and nightclubs, day spas, shops and wide range of restaurants, from higher end food court style to some of the City’s most expensive.
Individually all the offerings here are quality businesses and I visit it regularly for one reason or another, the most recent being to attend a conference in its state of the arts Events Centre. I most often go to see a show in the modern, and high quality, Lyric Theatre.
The Casino, which as I have stated is the primary reason for the whole place existing, is worthy a look even if, like me, you don’t want to play. All the games and machines that you would expect in a world class casino are offered and, should you be in that league, a high rollers area exists.
Add all the offerings together and I actually detest the complex – a vacuous shopping mall if you will. The public areas are sterile, crowded and noisy and remind me more of a lower end shopping mall than areas tying together quality businesses. From the exterior, the building is also ugly and those used to and expecting the fountains, light shows and oft times gaudy art work normally associated with casinos will be disappointed – no show here!
It will be very interesting to see what happens to The Star when James Packer’s Crown Resorts casino opens just across Darling Harbour at Barangaroo in 2021. My prediction is that if The Star doesn’t reinvigorate itself it will die a quick death. I read that plans are afoot for some refurbishment of the entrances and the like. It’s amazing what a bit of competition can do!
Anyway don’t let the shopping mall ambience put you off visiting the quality businesses in the complex but do not expect any bargains and anticipate a significantly lighter wallet on departure than on arrival.
Getting to The Star
Walking – The complex is a short walk from Darling Harbour (5-10 minutes) or 15 minutes from Town Hall via Pyrmont Bridge
Light Rail – The complex has its own light rail stop – The Star
Bus – Route 389 – from North Bondi via the City (others close by)
Ferry – Pyrmont Bay Wharf plus a 2-3 minutes walk.
Additionally The Star has parking facilities for those wishing to drive, and all sorts of coaches, limousines, etc. Full details of these on the website below.
This varies throughout the complex so to ensure full access smart casual as a minimum is required – no shorts, t-shirts, tank-tops, work uniforms, sports wear (including ‘active-wear’) and in terms of footwear –no dirty, worn or damaged footwear, UGG boots, Crocs, rubber beach thongs and open toed shoes (for men).
My first photo of The Star was taken from Darling Harbour during the 2014 Vivid Sydney light display. The remaining photos were taken in 2016.
Address: 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont
Directions: Main entrance, if walking from Darling Harbour/the city, is on Pirrama Road on the Harbour side of the complex.
Phone: (02) 9777 9000