Boating on Sydney Harbour
Boating is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of Sydney Harbour. When you spend time on the water, you gain a whole new perspective. Sail past iconic attractions such as the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge as you sip champagne, get involved and hoist the sails on a majestic tall ship, or strap in for an adventure on a jet boat or in a kayak.
Things to do
Hop aboard a tour to explore one of the world’s finest natural harbours. Explore Sailing Sydney gives you the thrill of sailing aboard a traditional America’s Cup yacht. No experience is necessary and children as young as 10 can enjoy the daily tour. There's more adrenaline to be had with Oz Jet Boating on one of their bright-red ‘shark boats'.
Sydney Harbour marks the starting line of one of the great ocean yacht races. Every Boxing Day – 26 December – the world-famous Sydney Hobart Yacht Race sets sail on the 628 nautical miles to Hobart, Tasmania. You can watch the exciting start of the race up close on various boating and cruising tours.
Step back in time and sail on a tall ship from a bygone era. Join Sydney Harbour Tall Ships or Sydney Heritage Fleet Cruises and take a turn at the wheel, climb a mast for magnificent views or simply sit back and enjoy the spectacular scenery as the canvas sails billow in the breeze.
Charter a captain and a yacht as you sit back and take in those stunning harbour views. Options include EastSail in Rushcutters Bay, and Sydney by Sail, Sea Sydney Harbour and Australian Spirit Sailing in Darling Harbour. There are sightseeing tours as well as lunch, twilight and dinner cruises. You can also charter motorboats.
If you have your sea legs and plan to skipper your own hire boat, consult the user-friendly Boating Destination Map from the Roads and Maritime Services to find facilities and services. There are marinas and jetties dotted around the harbour, from Manly near the harbour’s entrance to Cabarita on the Parramatta River.
If you want to take things slow, hire a kayak for a leisurely time on the water. OzPaddle runs tours departing from Andrew Boy Charlton Pool in the Royal Botanic Garden, as well as Rosebay, or you can join Sydney Harbour Kayaks on a sunrise paddle from Neutral Bay on the North Shore.