With Sydney being one of the most beautiful and breath taking waterfronts & harbours in the world, I highly recommend taking in the view of the harbour from a boat.
There are lots of options, the Sydney Ferries, Matilda, and others. There arfe also sightseeing cruises, lunch and dinner cruises too.
I've gone on two cruises of the harbour and recommend them both. One was the afternoon cruise, it's 2 and a half hours, and very relaxing. It's fully narrated with music too. Lots of interesting info without being too irritating. The cruise goes by many of the exclusive neighborhoods, and matches scenery with history.
I've also gone on the Sydney Ferries evening cruise, and it was also very relaxing. It's inspiring to watch the harbour under the glow of the moonlight and lights of the city. Very peaceful, even though it is fully narrated.
It's nice to see the Harbour Bridge and Opera House from the water as well, adds another perspective to htis beautiful city.
Make sure you have plenty of batteries for your camera
A pleasant way to spend a day is to catch a ferry to Manly from #4 wharf at Circular Quay Ferry Terminal..This is a pleasant trip on the large ferry of some thirty minutes..although the smaller ferries are faster ..I suggest take the large ferry one way and return on the twin hulled (new)ferry..The fares are relatively cheap and very relaxing trip...Photo opportunities are everywhere on the trip all along the harbour,,check out the many headlands..and is a good opportunity also to take city skyline photos..Manly is a pleasant seaside beach suburb with many shops and restaurants..Stroll along the Corso (main walking Street) to the beach...the seafood here is excellent..so is the fish and chips..and take your swimmers and a towel if its a sunny day and have a swim..Manly beaches are patrolled by the S.L.S.C. (Surf Life Saving Clubs)..always bathe between the flags..for you safety..(see my Manly page) and also tips..
This gorgeous little finger of water has marinas, a ferry wharf and some choice restaurants in a setting where I'll let the picture do the talking.
The sheltered anchorage is a haven for some boats of the type that, if you have to ask how much they are, you can't afford them.
The trail to the left takes you to Mosman Bay Ferry Wharf or you can take the right hand headland and get to Cremorne Wharf.
Mosman Bay was named after Archibald Mosman, who, with his partner John Bell, had set up a "whaling allotment" complete with a stone wharf where whaling ships used to berth and were careened. Processing of the whales didn't take place here.
Ferries commenced service to Mosman Bay in 1871.
As you can clearly see, not all of Sydney Harbour is a hive of activity. As we tramped around Little Sirius Cove the natural beauty of the harbour became more apparent. It's quite extraordinary how quickly you can get away from the madding crowd if you are prepared to walk just a short distance. This is about a kilometre west of Taronga Park Zoo.
The cove itself is named after the flagship of the First Fleet, Sirius. At the time of the first white settlement this was almost like on another planet and so, where noise and smell were likely to offend as the ships were careened (the process of hauling the boats onto their sides in order to clean and perhaps repair the hull), it was done on the other side of the harbour.
Just out of sight on the left of picture is a tiny beach that was popular with aboriginal people as a place to gather and eat shellfish. Today a sea scout hall sits on the shoreline.
There isn't anything quite as beautiful as a sunset. And while in Sydney you'll be amazed at how romantic and exhilirating a sunset can be. While out on a day trip make sure to coincide your timing to capture nature at its most beautiful.
Fort Denison is a former penal site and defense facility on a small island in Sydney Harbor. The Fort is slowly being ravaged by salt, sand, wind and the effects of time. It is currently a museum. Ferries from Circular Quay will take you to visit the Fort.
In May 1942, three Japanese two-man midget-submarines attacked Sydney Harbour. The cruiser USS Chicago fired on the Japanese, some shells hit Fort Denison, causing the tower minor damage that is still there.
In the summer the small island fort is used for weddings. We witnessed one while sailing by on the Manly ferry and one of our local friends had just been to a wedding here the weekend before we arrived.
This impressive fort was originally used to house convicts to keep them from escaping. Most convicts in the early days could not swim and the risk of being attacked by a shark deterred prisoners from escaping.
You can take one of the two tours done daily and can be booked at the Sydney Harbour National Park Information Centre.
Water Taxis operate in and around Sydney Harbour. They are a great way to transfer from places, for example, from Circular Quay to the beautiful Watsons Bay. You get great views, friendly driver & speedy transfer. Alternatively, you can get one for a sightseeing tour. Compared to bus or train or road taxi, it is more expensive, so it makes sense to do this with 2 or more people. Maximum people is usually 6. A trip from Watsons Bay to Circular Quay (for example) is AUD$50 - But its such a beautiful experience, especially on a sunshiney day!
This is my little eclectic crew. Rosemarie (left), her son Darren (right) and Darren's then girlfriend (Kim), now wife, in the middle.
We lucked out with the weather, although in Australia your chances are pretty good of getting a reasonable day.
This shot was taken at Little Sirius Point, the first one after you leave Taronga Park wharf and gives you an idea of the sandstone that forms the basis for the shoreline around the harbour and makes for dramatic cliffs above the beaches.
Just before this point there is a small plaque indicating Curlew Camp. This was where famous Australian artists such as Tom Roberts, Julian Ashton and Sir Robert Streeton used to pitch tents in the late 1800's to record the special views from this place on canvas. Today, some of the works painted here sell for six figure sums and more.
This is only 5 minutes west from the Taronga Ferry Wharf
One way to do all this is to catch one of the ferries (Circular Quay is the main terminal) over to the north side, embark and walk to the next ferry stop and catch another ferry back.
If you start your journey at Taronga Park Zoo wharf then you can, as I did, walk round to Mosman Bay.
If you get lucky and there's some colourful boat going past then you might get a shot like this of the Tasmanian Ferry (ex-Greek Islands) on its way to Tassie. These days it's been returned to its original home as the service was not paying its way. Rather sad really, it was just six weeks before I had planned to go on it when they pulled the plug, figuratively speaking of course!
A must do/see is a ferry ride. I personally think they are better than any of the organised cruises - a few dollars, you can jump off when you have had enough of being on the water and catch a later ferry. The longer ferries are the better bet - go over to Manly from Circular Quays or do the circular route from Circular Quays out to Rose and Watsons Bay before heading back to your starting point. There are fantastic views of the Harbour, skyline, bridge, various bays as well as the excitement of seeing many Sydneysiders at play on the water with their yachts and boats. A 30 minute ferry ride beats the 2 hour guided tours anyday!
Sydney Harbour is beautiful. The best way to see it is to go on a ferry/hydrofoil trip to Manly. The Opera House and Botanical Gardens is to your right and the Harbour Bridge and The Rocks is to your left. Captain Cook cruises offer a number of lunchen/dinner cruises etc and it is worth lookin into. We used to have work party cruises on the harbour when I worked for the railways - mmm but then that's another story :o) I think you'll find the harbour the best part of your trip to Sydney. Please check out the web site below, I think yoou'll find it very helpful. Have a great holiday.
Sydney harbour..... The number one on every visitors list! No matter what your budget there is a cruise to suit.
Sydney ferries run morning, evening and afternoon cruises starting from around $15.
Many other companies offer more elaborate and expensive cruises, ranging from morning coffee and cake outings to Opera and a la carte dining. The best known operators include Captain Cook, Matilda and Vagabond.
For real budget travellers any regular harbour ferry will do.. all that is missing is the commentary. For $13 you can purchase a daytripper ticket that allows all day travel on Sydney Public transport and includes the Manly Ferry.
One of the most popular islands in Sydney Harbour is Fort Denison, sometimes known as ‘Pinchgut’ or ‘Rock Island’. The island has a fascinating convict past, being originally used as a place of punishment for the more difficult convicts. It was the convicts who named it ‘Pinchgut’ after the starvation rations they had to face.
By the 1840s the colony, fearing invasion from the Russians, had converted the island into a fort and by 1857 the fort was manned, including two ten inch guns and twelve 32 pounders. The guns have only been fired during ceremonies and on special occasions.
Fort Denison is designed in the Martello style and one of the few intact examples surviving in the world. Martello Tower* (a circular masonry fort for coastal defence). You can climb Australia’s only Martello Tower and then lunch in the island café gazing at bustling harbour traffic and a view most Sydney siders never get to see.
There are guided tours of the fort’s tunnels and cannons. Bookings can be arranged through the Sydney Harbour National Park Information Centre (The Rocks) and access can be made via water taxis.
Sydney's sparkling harbour is the jewel in the city's crown. It is bisected by the Sydney Harbour Bridge (one of the most famous bridges in the world).
The glittering, emerald expanse of waterway which makes up Sydney Harbour is the city's focal point. From the ocean you enter the harbour through The Heads, dramatic cliff portals between Circular Quay in the city and the beachside suburb of Manly.
At night the high-rise towers around Circular Quay, the girders of the Harbour Bridge and the 'sails' of the Opera House are all lit up.