Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour is regarded as one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world. With more than 240 kilometres of shoreline and meandering waterways, there’s plenty to explore and discover. Sydney Harbour is one big aquatic playground for Sydneysiders, and on a warm sunny day, the harbour is a vibrant blue and dotted with hundreds of sailing boats, cruise boats and ferries. Around Sydney Harbour’s fringe you’ll also find national parks, World Heritage sites, rich Aboriginal heritage and early colonial history. On the water, above the water or below it, there’s a million ways to enjoy Sydney Harbour. Sydney Harbour
Sydney Harbour
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On the water, above the water or below it, there’s a million ways to enjoy Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Harbour is regarded as one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world. With more than 240 kilometres of shoreline and meandering waterways, there’s plenty to explore and discover. Sydney Harbour is one big aquatic playground for Sydneysiders, and on a warm sunny day, the harbour is a vibrant blue and dotted with hundreds of sailing boats, cruise boats and ferries. Around Sydney Harbour’s fringe you’ll also find national parks, World Heritage sites, rich Aboriginal heritage and early colonial history. On the water, above the water or below it, there’s a million ways to enjoy Sydney Harbour.

Circular Quay

The vibrant hub of Sydney Harbour is Circular Quay, a ferry terminal located on the edge of the Sydney city centre. Ferries leave throughout the day to different parts of the harbour, connecting the city with Sydney’s waterside suburbs. Circular Quay is also the major transport hub for water taxis, harbour cruises, buses, trains and taxis. Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art and historic Customs House are also located at Circular Quay on the way to the historic Rocks. Meander around to the Sydney Opera House and the Royal Botanic Gardens past vibrant restaurants and souvenir shops. You’ll find many perfect vantage points to photograph the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You’ll find some of Sydney’s finest restaurants here, Aria, Quay and Café Sydney.

Sydney Harbour Bridgeclimb, Sydney, NSW

Sydney Harbour Bridgeclimb, Sydney, NSW

Sydney Harbour attractions

On the southern side of Circular Quay a walkway leads to the Sydney Opera House and Royal Botanical Gardens. On the northern side, a short walk takes you to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and The Rocks. Climb to the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for views as far as the eye can see. Experience a performance at the world-famous Sydney Opera House, or take a guided behind-the-scenes tour. Explore the rare plants in the Royal Botanic Gardens then walk to the top of Mrs Macquarie’s Chair for the best views of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Sydney Harbour islands

The best way to experience Sydney Harbour is from the water. Explore the uninhabited Sydney Harbour islands by ferry or kayak, including Fort Denison, Shark Island, Rodd and Goat Island. Camp overnight in the middle of Sydney Harbour on World Heritage-listed Cockatoo Island. Spend some time exploring the secret inlets and bays of Sydney Harbour on a charter cruise or 1850s style sailing ship. Take a thrilling jet boat ride; paddle boarding lesson or catch a water taxi to a harbour-side restaurant. Take the helm of an America's Cup yacht; or spend the night on board a luxury cruiser.

Manly Ferry, Sydney Harbour, Sydney, NSW

Manly Ferry, Sydney Harbour, Sydney, NSW

Sydney Harbour beaches and parks

Catch a ferry from Circular Quay and explore beachside suburbs such as McMahons Point, Manly, Mosman and Balmain. Sydney Harbour National Park hugs the coastline at North and South Heads at the entrance to Port Jackson. Stay overnight at the historic Quarantine Station at North Head. See Australia’s unique wildlife at Taronga Zoo. Catch a ferry to Darling Harbour and visit Sydney Aquarium, Wildlife Sydney Zoo, Cockle Bay and King Street Wharf. Disembark at Pyrmont Bay Wharf and you'll be close to the Australian National Maritime Museum and Harbourside Shopping Centre. Head to Watson’s Bay and have fish and chips by the beach. Soar over Sydney Harbour in a seaplane from Rose Bay. Cruise to Parramatta along the river and stroll the Riverside Walk in Parramatta Park. The Sydney Harbour Circle Walk winds along the foreshore west of the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Hunters Hill.

Sydney Harbour events

Many special events are based on or around Sydney Harbour throughout the year. Some of the major events when the harbour comes alive are the Vivid Festival when the city’s buildings are illuminated each night; Sydney’s New Year's Eve Fireworks; Australia Day and the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race on Boxing Day. Harbourside suburbs and beaches becomes vibrant vantage points for these major events as crowds swarm to get the best views. Make sure you plan your day and get in early for a prime spot at a Sydney Harbour event.

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New South Wales

New South Wales

New South Wales

Explore New South Wales from Sydney, where Bondi Beach is a day trip from the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley wineries. Drive north for the coastal jewels of Coffs Harbour and Byron Bay, or south to swim with dolphins in Jervis Bay. Inland lies the Australian Alps, picturesque country towns and Mungo National Park.

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Sydney Harbour National Park

Sydney Harbour National Park

Sydney Harbour National Park

Beyond its landmark buildings, Sydney Harbour National Park shelters secluded beaches, picturesque islands and rare pockets of native bushland. Swim, picnic and bushwalk along the spectacular foreshore or visit harbour islands on a ferry. Go sailing or kayaking, get up close to wildlife and discover ancient rock art and convict-built buildings. The harbour's bays, parks and headlands are also natural grandstands for some of Australia's biggest events, from New Year's Eve fireworks to the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

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Three Great Days in Sydney

Three Great Days in Sydney

Three Great Days in Sydney

Explore the harbour, beaches and inner-city precincts of this exuberant city. See dawn break from the top of the Harbour Bridge or the sun set on the Opera House. Fine dine along the Woolloomooloo finger wharf or experience theatre and dance along the redeveloped wharves of Walsh Bay. Take the ferry to Manly, walk from Bondi to Bronte along the spectacular sea cliffs or relax in a beer garden with harbour views in Watsons Bay. Discover the unique character of Surry Hills, Kings Cross, Glebe, Newtown or Balmain. Spend your final day indulging at wineries, restaurants or day spas of the Hunter Valley.

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The Rocks

The Rocks

The Rocks

Sydney's early convict days live on in the Rocks, a jumble of cobblestone streets and cul-de-sacs just five minutes from Circular Quay. You only have to step off the harbour foreshore to find the sandstone terraces and cottages and some of Sydney's oldest pubs. This historic precinct also draws both visitors and locals with its museums and galleries, lively weekend markets and hotels with harbour views. The past and present collide in the best way in the Rocks, home to both ghostly tours and some of Sydney's liveliest celebrations.

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