Ferry / Jet Cat / River Cat, Sydney
Given that Sydney's best attributes are the harbour and everything around it, you'd better be spending a lot of time on the ferries enjoying the views. Not only do they make up an essential part of Sydney's public transport system, but they offer some of the best views in the city (if not the world). The ferry to Manly in particular should not be missed.
Ferry fares are relatively expensive, and a trip to Manly and back will put you up to the daily limit on your Opal card, meaning all other trips that day will be free.
One of the best ways to see and also get around Sydney is on a Ferry. The ferries are located on Circular Quay and can take you to more than 41 different warfs. There are all different types of ferries. We cruised on the ferries to Taronga Zoo, Manly Beach and Watson's Bay.
Download their ferry schedules via their website. The prices are reasonable and you enjoy a fantastic view of Sydney as you are crusing to your location.
The best ticket card to buy is the "OPAL"ticket card for unlimited travel on all trains buses and ferries.You can buy single tickets at Circular Quay but it will work out to be more expensive.They can be purchased at any of the ticket offices between wharves 2 and 5 that are open or the vending machines.You can buy a MyMultiDay pass or a Family Sunday day pass aswell.
When I get into a place in the morning after an overnight flight, I like to do something that will keep me awake until a reasonable hour to go to bed on the new schedule. Outdoors if possible. Sometimes we take the hop on hop off bus and ride up on the top in the fresh air. But someone told me that if I took the Manley ferry over to Manley and back, I would see some lighthouses. I love lighthouses, so I decided to do that our first day in Sydney.
One of the people at the docks directed us to the ticket office (we were at the ticket machines) and the ticket lady asked if I didn't have some kind of disability card or senior card. I said 'no I had only gotten here this morning'. She laughed and asked how old my granddaughter was and when told she was 12 said that she was a child and could ride for less. The round trip was $14 for me.
It was winter in Sydney. The sun was shining but there were a few rain sprinkles. The ferry proved to be easy to board with the scooter, but I couldn't get anywhere to see anything on it because except for the first desk there were stairs. We left the scooter at the concession stand and went up forward. It was windy and rather chilly and I was sorry I had taken the lining out of my coat. We saw the Opera House and the bridge, and I took a lot of photos of lighthouses. As we went across where the harbor entrance was, the ferry ran into some rollers which bounced us around a little. But it was a very enjoyable way to spend the afternoon
After we arrived we took the ferry across to Manley and back. I was less expensive as I got a child's ticket. The round trip was only $7.00 for me.
It was a kind of cold overcast day, but the ride did help blow away the cobwebs of the long flight. My grandmother was taking pictures of lighthouses, so I did the same.
A great way to get around the harbour suburbs is by ferry, which many Sydneysiders use for their daily work commute.
You can also buy a Day Tripper pass for A$17 valid for travelling on all ferries (and buses & trains), which you can use to spend the entire day cruising the harbour and exploring the various suburbs.
The ferry system here is great. I think by numbers of passengers it is less than Hong Kong but i feel like it is of more use here in Sydney. A truly wonderful way to see the sites and get out on the water on the cheap. Go to Watson's Bay for the afternoon and enjoy the experience. The 30 minute each way ferry to Manly is my idea of the perfect harbour tour.
Sydney Harbour is a far busier place now than when this photo was taken some 30 years ago. The tug was coming to steer the Arcadia out of the Harbour and on to the high seas..................What a wonderful cruise. It was exciting to see the tiny tugs manouvering the huge ocean liner as if it were a row boat. Fantastic experience.
What better way to see one of the world’s most spectacular harbours - the Sydney Ferries. Grab a ticket and maybe a take-a-away coffee, sit back and watch the passing parade of Sydney unfold from the water. There are heaps of sailing boats to watch as they tack their way around the coves and bays as well as other ferries and myriads of other water vessels. Then there’s the harbour bridge and Opera House to watch from all angles - a photographers delight.
Ground zero for the ferries is Circular Quay, which is sandwiched between the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There are 6 wharves, of which 4 are exclusively for the Sydney ferries. Travel times depend on destination with Circular Quay to Parramatta being the longest service at nearly an hour one way. Perhaps one of the most popular services is the Manly ferry and takes around half an hour each way. This ferry can get a little rough as it makes its way through the passage between the north and south heads and you can feel the surge of the Pacific rollers on the vessel. Other popular destinations for the ferries are Taronga Zoo, Darling Harbour, Watsons Bay and the nearby spectacular and notorious Gap, Milsons Point/Luna Park.
Although the ferries are wheelchair friendly there are a number of wharves where access is difficult - suggest checking the web site for details.
Most of the wharves at Circular Quay have take away food and drink outlets, so suggest you get a coffee or whatever for the trip. The Manly ferry does have an on board café and the Manly wharf has a supermarket and a number of food/drink outlets.
I believe the most cost effective way of enjoying the ferries is with a day tripper pass, which costs $A17 per adult and $A8.60 per child or a family pass that includes children. The pass also includes discounted entry into a number of Sydney attractions as well as most of the other public transport options within Sydney and Newcastle. The real money saver is for Australian seniors and pensioners, regardless of where they live in Australia - their ticket costs $A2.50 for the day, which is an amazing deal. Although overseas seniors are not eligible, a friendly ticket seller may bend the rules if you ask really nicely. Other ticketing options available - see the web site for details.
In my opinion taking a ferry is the best way to get around besides walking. I loved riding the ferries to Watsons Bay, Manly, Taronga Park and Balmain. Even when we didn't have a destination in mind we just hopped aboard a ferry for our own pleasre cruise. I love being out on the water and seeing the beautiful Harbour views.
Circular Quay is the main hub of the Sydney Ferry System. This is where you can catch a ferry to 39 different destinations such as Manly, Watsons Bay, Balmain, Double Bay,Parramatta and
Taronga Zoo. There are differebnt types of vessels in the "ferry" system such as: Freshwater Class, Lady Class, River Cats, Harbour Cats, Super Cats and First Fleet.
No matter what class of vessel you take you are guarantee a great ride and a wonderful view of Sydney.
The ferries are great to see all the harbour sites with so many destinations..but avoid travelling on them if possible in Peak hour they are packed with workers commuting..They are a great way to get around though..they go to many destinations..and offer great photo opportunities of city and Harbour panoramas..A cheap way to look at the city from the harbour.
All Sydney ferries run from Circular Quay. The main attraction in Sydney is catching a ferry to one of Sydney's fabulous suburbs or simply taking a ferry ride around Sydney Harbour.
The main ferry tourists rides are to Manly Beach, Darling Harbour, Taronga Zoo, Luna Park, Watson's Bay and taking the Rivercat up to Parramatta.
All information regarding timetable can be found at www.sydneyferries.com.au or www.131500.com.au
Sydney Ferries also run day/ night time cruises which takes in different areas like Middle Harbour, Fort Denison, Rose Bay, and the opening of Spit Bridge.
Morning Harbour cruise run daily at 10.30am and departs from Wharf 4 and takes one hour.
Food and beverages facilities are on board. COSTS - Adult $18.00 AUD.
Afternoon Harbour Cruises - takes approx 2.5hrs and departs at 1.00pm at Wharf 4.
COSTS - Adults $24.00 Commentary is provided throughout the tour. This tour takes in Middle Harbour, Clontarf, Middle Head, Balmoral Beach and Grotto Point. Plus you have the added bonus of seeing the Spit Bridge opening.
Evening Tour - takes approx 1.5hrs and departs from Wharf 4 Circular Quay. Departing at 8pm this cruise takes in the main circuit of Sydney Harbour plus you have the added bonus of seeing Goat Island, Balmain and Darling Harbour.
This is a must do trip as it gives you a real insight into the mind blowing scale of the harbour. There is a harbour cruise which runs around the harbour on a regular basis and from memory it is reasonably cheap. It of course departs from darling harbour, what doesn't.
Okay, so you've come to Sydney to see the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Well, for the cheapest view of both and some of the best angles, you'll want to be on the ferry that goes over to Luna Park, McMahons Point and then into Darling Harbour.
This inexpensive and relatively short journey gives you wonderful views of tourist Sydney and many of its icons.
Luna Park is still fun for the kids (and more than a few adults) and it sits adjacent to North Sydney Swimming Pool where many a legend of the Aussie crawl has done laps.
The ferry then skips to the nearby McMahon's Point (there's a nice restaurant here) and then cuts across the harbour to Balmain and a couple of stops in the oh-so-touristy Darling Harbour where you have to be a total introvert not to find something to take your money.
There's everything from the Chinese Garden to the Casino, from dozens of epicurean delights to the Entertainment Centre; from the Aquarium to Imax, from Maritime Museum to munchies. Don't forget, bring your wallet with you.
The trip shows you the CBD of Sydney better than any other ride with some special angles. Make sure your battery has plenty of charge in your camera.
The ferry then returns to Circular Quay, making for a stunning short trip.
Another of the four public options is to get aboard the Watsons Bay ferry. It's a relatively quick one (compared to the Manly ferry) and it stops at Garden Island, Double Bay, Rose Bay (where you'll likely see a seaplane taking off) and then Watsons, home of the world famous Doyle's Seafood Restaurant, something of an institution in the town.
The majority of seating is open air but inside is more comfortable. At each stop there are things and places to see but Watsons Bay is by far the most popular stopping point.
It takes around half an hour to get there but a lot less coming back as they go directly to Circular Quay on the return.
On this run you get to see where many of the rich and famous live as the ferry ducks in and out of the palatial suburbs of eastern Sydney.