Sydney, New South Wales; Hobart, Tasmania
Beginning on Boxing Day [26 December] each year, the Sydney to Hobart yacht race is an Australian summertime tradition. Maxi yachts to weekend racers take part in this event, which starts from Nielsen Park in Sydney Harbour and takes the international fleet more than 1100 kilometres to the finish line in Hobart, Tasmania. The race finishes just in time for the New Year’s Eve celebrations in the city. You don’t need to be a sailor to enjoy watching the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. The start of the colourful spectacle can be seen from many vantage points around Sydney Harbour.
The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is an annual ocean yacht race, considered to be one of the most difficult in the world. It starts at Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day and finishes a few days later in Hobart, approximately 1,170 kilometres (630 nautical miles) away.
In Sydney, watching the start of the Sydney to Hobart is a Boxing Day tradition. Each year on 26 December, people line the Sydney Harbour foreshore to farewell the competitors as they head out of Sydney Harbour and across the Tasman Sea to the Derwent River. Secure yourself a spot on the headlands from Rushcutters Bay to Watsons Bay and South Head. On the northern shore, vantage points include Cremorne Point, Bradleys Head and Clifton Gardens or past Manly to North Head.
Once the convoy of yachts has headed south and crossed the hazardous Bass Strait, the action starts in Hobart. As the leading yachts race along the Derwent River to the finish line at Battery Point they receive a rousing reception on Hobart’s historic waterfront in an exciting precursor to New Year’s Eve.
Since the inaugural race in 1945, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race has become one of the top three offshore yacht races in the world and it now attracts weekend racers and sleek maxi yachts from all around the globe.
It’s a festive period for the city, which also hosts the week-long Taste Festival at the same time. Watch the fireworks over Sullivans Cove, relax with a glass of fine Tasmanian wine along the waterfront or dance the night away to bands and DJs.
From start to finish, the Sydney to Hobart yacht race is an iconic Australian summer experience.