Boating on Sydney Harbour
Boating is a wonderful way to enjoy the beauty of Sydney Harbour. Hire a skipper to take you sailing past iconic attractions, such as the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Hoist the sails on a majestic tall ship. You can even explore the sparkling blue waterway on a jet boat or in a kayak.
Things to do
There are many delightful tours of one of the world’s finest natural harbours. With Explore Sailing Sydney, you can relish 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, which departs from Darling Harbour.
Sydney Harbour marks the starting line of one of the great ocean yacht races. Every Boxing Day – December 26 – the world-famous Sydney Hobart Yacht Race sets sail on the 628 nautical miles to Hobart, Tasmania. You can watch the exciting start up close on various boating and cruising tours.
Another exhilarating experience is to 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.
Options to charter a captain and a yacht include EastSail in Rushcutters Bay, Sydney by Sail, Sea Sydney Harbour and Australian Spirit Sailing in Darling Harbour, and Harbour Cruises in Lavender Bay. There are sightseeing tours as well as lunch, twilight and dinner cruises. You can also charter motorboats.
If you plan to hire your own boat to skipper, Roads and Maritime Services' user-friendly Boating Destination Map will help you find facilities and services. There are marinas and services dotted around the harbour, from Manly near the harbour’s entrance to Cabarita on the Parramatta River.
If you’re after something a little smaller, you can get up close to the sights of Sydney Harbour by kayak. Ozpaddle runs tours departing from Andrew Boy Charlton Pool in the Royal Botanic Garden or you can join Sydney Harbour Kayaks on a sunrise paddle from Neutral Bay on the North Shore.