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.
One of the most spectacular things about Syndey is its Skyline. While on a ferry to any of the outer islands, you'll be graced with these spectacular views.
I snapped this pic on our way to Manly one bright beautiful day. That is what makes Sydney so special, the weather is almost always fantastic and the sky is so blue and the clouds so white.
I love sunset. IMHO, 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.
This walkway goes directly across the top of Reid Park, a delightful gully and ideal picnic spot just at the back of Mosman Bay.
I remember it struck me as rather odd why they would even bother to construct a significant walking bridge here but I suppose it saves older people and mums with prams from having to walk up and down the sides of the gully.
You can get here by publlic transport, either ferry or bus will leave you with just a short walk, or take your car and park at the head of the reserve.
For another, more spectacular walk, see my General tips.
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.
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!
On our last day in Sydney, my travel buddy convinced me to go on a cruise. It's just a short boat ride out of Circular Quay. There's different packages that you can select at different price ranges.
The cruise we went on was approximately 45-60 minutes, (if my memory serves me right), and included commentary, refreshments, and snacks. You can check out their website for more information.
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!
Sydney Harbour is beautiful. The best way to photograph it is to go on a ferry/hydrofoil trip or take your tripod down to the Cruise Ship Terminal for some dusk/night shots.
The Opera House and Botanical Gardens is to your right and the Harbour Bridge and The Rocks is to your left. Circular Quay itself is a hub of activity with buskers, quaint gift shops and cafes which are great for people watching.
Captain Cook cruises offer a number of lunchen/dinner cruises etc and it is worth looking into.
Sydney Harbour - Circlar Quay
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!