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Boating and sailing in Sydney

Highlights

Boating in and around Sydney

Set sail on an adventure this summer and explore Sydney Harbour by boat. Go for a twilight sail, or visit any number of Sydney must-see attractions, sites or iconic locations by jumping on a ferry from Circular Quay. Summer marks the busiest months on the harbour, so if you're planning on becoming a skipper for the day, make sure you observe boating-safety guidelines.

Must Do

Kayak Sydney Harbour in 360°

Want to see more aerial views of Sydney? Visit Sydney 360 to explore Sydney like you have never seen it before.

Explore Sydney by boat

Sailing on Sydney harbour with Eastsail. Image James Pipino

Sydney is a beautiful – and easy – city to explore by boat, with coastal routes and inland rivers giving you plenty of options on where to go for a day trip or overnight houseboat adventure.

The easiest way to see Sydney by boat is to take a ferry. From Circular Quay, there are many destination choices. The ferry to Manly is popular – not only because it passes the Sydney Opera House but also because it ends at one of Sydney's most vibrant beachside communities. Other favourite ferry stops include Watsons Bay in the eastern suburbs or one of Sydney's Harbour Islands

For something more unique, choose a sightseeing cruise or a cruise with onboard dining. For a romantic night out, consider a dinner cruise at sunset.

If you prefer an adrenaline rush, hold on to your hat and book a ride on an Oz Jet Boating or Sydney Jet cruise. Operating out of Circular Quay, these excursions take you around Sydney's waters in high-speed boats, performing quick spins and sharp turns – perfect for a mini adventure!

Prefer to be captain of your own ship? Take control by hiring a yacht or learning to sail. EastSail or Sydney by Sail are just two of the many operators who can help you enjoy a lovely day spent sailing on the harbor. For those looking for fitness and fun, hire a kayak for the day so you can explore the city's waters at your own pace.

Ferry, Milsons Point
Sydney Harbour Island hopping

The Sydney Harbour IslandsFort Denison, Shark, Clark, Rodd, Goat and Cockatoo – are among some of Sydney Harbour's most accessible natural attractions. Catch one of the regular ferry services from Circular Quay and take in the scenery. For a New Year's Eve with epic views of Sydney's famous fireworks, secure a spot on Cockatoo, Shark, Clark or Goat islands.

New Year's Eve fireworks in Sydney Harbour
New Year's Eve Cruises

Celebrate your Sydney New Year on the water with a cruise on Sydney Harbour. Enjoy a banquet on a luxury yacht, or cruise the waters with dinner and a show. If it's dancing you're after, Rhythmboat Cruises have a DJ and dynamic floor show.

Houseboat holiday on Hawkesbury River, Image James Pipino
Hawkesbury houseboat holiday

Just an hour's drive north of the CBD is the beautiful Hawkesbury River. Here, you can hire a houseboat and cruise around in your floating home, away from the bustle of the city. From budget four-berth options to Ultimate Spa houseboats, your Hawkesbury holiday is the perfect short summer break.

Boating in Sydney

You don't have to travel far in Sydney to discover a city in love with water activities. Whether you're on the water for play or to learn a new skill, you'll find just what you're looking for. Take a high speed ride across the harbour on a jetboat or paddle along a quiet stretch of river with pelicans and kookaburras for company.

A scenic Sydney Ferry ride to Manly or down the Paramatta River to Paramatta, departing Circular Quay, is an easy and affordable way to catch a glimpse of isolated landmarks surrounding the city centre. Relax under the sun while cruising sparkling Sydney waters. Why not take one of the daily sightseeing cruises or a dinner cruise and marvel at the harbour's picturesque sunset while devouring a hearty meal. 

For a more active day kayaks and canoes can be hired from Rose Bay, The Spit and Manly or from Sydney's northernmost stretch of sand, Palm Beach, hire a boat from the Audley Boatshed. Learn to sail yourself with EastSail or Sydney by Sail, both have twilight sailing and weekly competition racing for the really keen. The adrenaline seekers will want to experience the blasting speed Oz Jet Boating shark boats or Sydney Jet as they dash past the beautiful harbour foreshore with 270-degree spins and power brake stops.

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