Boating and fishing in Sydney

Boating and fishing are two great ways to enjoy Sydney, from sailing on one of the world’s most beautiful harbours to casting a line from a sandy beach. You can hire a skipper and yacht to explore Sydney Harbour and other sparkling waterways, or join a deep-sea fishing adventure off the coast.

You’ll be thrilled with the range of choices. There are delicious harbour cruises, including sunset cocktail and dinner cruises. You can sail aboard a traditional America’s Cup yacht, enjoy twilight sailing on the splendid Pittwater, and even captain a houseboat on the gorgeous Hawkesbury River.

Friends sailing on Sydney Harbour, Australia

The deep blue ocean off the spectacular Sydney coastline is teeming with fish. With Deep Sea Fishing Charters, you can combine a harbour cruise with an exciting fishing trip beyond The Heads - the dramatic entrance to Sydney Harbour, which is also known as Port Jackson.

Beach fishing is popular too, with Sydney blessed with fabulous beaches. There are great spots in the Northern Beaches as well as in Sydney’s east, such as Maroubra Beach. You’ll find more superb beach fishing spots in Cronulla and the Royal National Park, including Garie and Wattamolla beaches.

View of boats moored at Double Bay Marina, Sydney

Please read these fishing safety tips before your adventure. Rock fishing is also popular and can be particularly dangerous. If you’re keen on fishing from rock platforms, make sure you follow the safety advice carefully for rock fishing. Important safety rules for rock fishing include:

  • Always wear a life jacket
  • Stay alert to weather conditions
  • Never fish alone
  • Never turn your back on the ocean
  • Wear appropriate non-slip footwear
  • Inform family or friends of your plans

In Sydney’s west, the meandering Nepean River is ideal for boating and fishing. Join Nepean River Tours on a fishing day trip or a two-hour cruise to hidden gems along the river, winding through sandstone gorges and towering eucalypts. Or cruise aboard the Nepean Belle, a paddlewheeler.

Before you go fishing, you’ll need a NSW recreational fishing licence and carry the receipt with you. They’re available online at Service NSW. Or your tour guide will supply the licence. You can keep up to date with bag and sizing limits, and closure zones at the NSW Government’s Recreational Fishing.

Sydney Swimming safety

NSW has a wide range of wonderful swimming options including beaches, ocean pools, harbourside pools, lakes, rivers, and swimming holes at the bottom of waterfalls. However to ensure maximum safety and enjoyment, swimmers should follow this general advice:

Look for patrolled beaches (this is where lifesavers are on duty; you will see red and yellow flags that indicate this). You should always swim between the red and yellow flags as they mark the safest place to swim.

Never swim alone at night, or under the influence of alcohol, or directly after a meal.

Always check water depth, as rocks or trees could be submerged, and never run and dive into the water from a beach, riverbank or other surface.

Check for signs regarding advice on water conditions at your chosen swimming spot and at any natural swimming hole. Always proceed with caution as surfaces could be slippery and water conditions may not be immediately apparent; particularly if the area has recently experienced heavy rain or flooding.

Pay attention to the advice of the lifesavers and safety signs. Visit SharkSmart to understand any potential risks in the area you are swimming. 

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