An expert's guide to sailing in Sydney

Discover the different ways to experience sailing on Sydney Harbour with Olympian and sailing expert, Olivia Price.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Sep 16 -
2
min read
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People enjoying a chartered sailing tour on Sydney Harbour

Where are your favourite places to sail in Sydney & in NSW? 

I love sailing anywhere on Sydney Harbour, but there’s nothing more special than sailing out of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and looking at the Sydney skyline, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.  

Outside of Sydney, I enjoy spending time sailing on Lake Macquarie. Belmont 16 foot skiff sailing club holds great regattas and the conditions make for some great tactical racing.

Group enjoying yacht charter experience with Allsail Sailing Club & Pittwater Yacht Charter, Church Point

Allsail Sailing Club & Pittwater Yacht Charter, Church Point

What’s a place that’s perfect for novice sailors? 

There are so many great sailing schools for beginner sailors, like Flying Fish Sailing at Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Mosman, the conditions are perfect to learn because the water is flat and sheltered.  

Man learning to sail on Newcastle Harbour, Newcastle

Man learning to sail with Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club, Newcastle - Credit: Tyson Mayr

Where in NSW do you recommend for experienced sailors? 

Newcastle is a fantastic place to sail, providing great offshore events. As you leave Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club and head out of the channel, there’s an open ocean to explore just minutes from the city.  

People enjoying a chartered sailing tour on Sydney Harbour

People enjoying a chartered sailing tour on Sydney Harbour, Sydney

Where should I get some training or lessons before I start? 

I recommend getting involved with a local yacht club's learn to sail program. Having someone on board the yacht with you gives hands on experience and direct feedback to put into practice. East Sail in Rushcutters Bay is perfect for that, on board yachts. However, if you’re keen to do most of the sailing by yourself while a coach follows in a dinghy, Woollahra Sailing Club have some great learn to sail courses as well.  

Couple enjoying harbour views from a chartered sailing vessel, Sydney Harbour

Harbour views from a chartered sailing vessel, Sydney Harbour

What if I want to be mostly a passenger & just do a bit of sailing – what are my options? 

Sailing can be as hands on as you’d like to make it. If you’re wanting to have a cruiser experience, step on board a yacht rather than a dinghy, as many people make light work! There are some amazing harbour cruises like Sydney Day Sailing in Darling Harbour if sipping champagne is more your style.  

People enjoying chartered sailing tour, Sydney Harbour

Chartered sailing tour, Sydney Harbour

Is sailing a family-friendly sport? 

Sailing is a sport for life! Whether you’re young or old, sailing is the most family-friendly sport I can think of. Once you’ve got the basics down pat, you can take anyone out sailing with you.

Group enjoying yacht charter with Allsail Sailing Club & Pittwater Yacht Charter on Pittwater, Church Point

Allsail Sailing Club & Pittwater Yacht Charter, Church Point

Isn’t sailing something that only rich people can do? 

Not at all, you don’t need to own anything special to get involved in sailing! Having a T shirt and shorts are the requirement to learn to sail, as life jackets are provided at any sailing school.  

Of course, some people have their own boat, but you can always head down to your local sailing club and find someone looking for crew without buying any special gear or equipment.

 

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