Sydney Ferries
Sydney Ferries
4.5
About
Sydney Ferries is a public transport agency, providing ferry services on Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River in Sydney, Australia.Having operated on Sydney Harbour and its related waterways since 1875, today Sydney Ferries carry over 14 million customers each year to destinations in and around Sydney.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Top ways to experience nearby attractions

The area
Address
How to get there
  • Circular Quay • 1 min walk
  • Wynyard • 10 min walk
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See what travellers are saying
  • Anthony M
    Farnborough, United Kingdom53 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best way to get around Sydney.
    Just has to be the best way to get around Sydney and such great value. Our hotel was close to circular quay so ideal. We hopped on ferries to Manley, Watson bay and Darling harbour. It’s a brilliant way to get around and what spectacular views. These ferries run like clockwork. Well done!!
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 17 September 2023
  • Tommo
    Melbourne, Australia55,715 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Comfortable slow ride
    We were staying in Parramatta for a wedding and arrived by train. Upon returning we decided on the long and slow scenic trip back to Circular Quay. The ferry was extremely busy but we did enjoy the scenic views along the way. As the ferry was full they did not stop and pick up passengers at several stops along the way.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 6 October 2023
  • Trek89290
    Scottsdale, Arizona6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Ferries can take you from the bustling city to calm villages in 15 minutes!
    We took the ferries from downtown Sydney to Manly and Bondi Beaches. Wonderful ride on the water and dropped off in walking distance to the beach, restaurants , museums and. Shopping. It was like a breath of fresh air. Sydney is much like New York in size and commercialism and we loved the museums, Chinatown, the Que, Opera House etc, all within walking distance from our hotel. And! What a surprise to take the short ferry ride and be transported to a totally different Australia.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 February 2024
  • Traveljunkievn
    27 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Reliable, affordable and lovely
    Took the ferry to visit Manly Beach twice. The ferries run very regularly and it is a great way to take a ride on the Sydney Harbor without a tour. You can just tap your credit card to pay your way to your destination. Great system!
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 31 March 2024
  • vickiebypass
    Stamford, Connecticut297 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Ferries...Fast, Fun and Lovely
    These are so easy to use, relatively inexpensive and an unusual way to see Sydney and surrounding towns. Why take the train to Parramatta when you can see the scenery on the ferry? Or take the ferry to Milsons Point and wander the marina, visit a secret garden, check out an old amusement park, etc.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 18 April 2024
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom10,943 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Spectacular - Circular Quay to Milsons Point At Sunset
    The public ferries are the best way to explore Sydney Harbour. The two best day trips are Circular Quay - Manly and Circular Quay - Watsons Bay. However if you have more limited time, the trip between Circular Quay - Milsons Point is only very short (about 5 minutes) but it is really special too. We recently did this trip at sunset and I was blown away by how lovely it was. It’s just the most beautiful time of day to be on the harbour. The trip from Circular Quay heads west, underneath the Harbour Bridge and towards the setting the sun. Almost everyone was on their feet taking photos. You couldn’t help yourself. It was so beautiful. It pulls up out the front of the iconic Luna Park (although depending on which ferry you are on, it may continue through to Balmain). We got off at Milsons Point and walked along the waterfront. Photographers had their tripods set up along here with the cameras aimed across the water to capture the beautiful view of the city lights and the Opera House. This was a fabulous little ferry trip for tourists who want to see the harbour at night. It would also really suit those who don’t have a lot of spare time but who still want to experience the harbour.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 28 April 2024
  • EndlessTravels
    Greater Melbourne, Australia38,512 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best way to see city
    We used the ferries every day we were in Sydney. Easy to catch them just outside circular quay grain station and we went to Manly and Watsons bay on separate days. Such a pretty view with the harbour bridge and opera house on the way out the window. They even sell refreshments on board including beer 🤣 U can use same card that you use for buses and train.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 5 May 2024
  • roy v
    Traralgon, Australia5,808 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We really enjoyed our many ferry rides
    The ferries of Sydney are Iconic, hard to imagine the harbour without them. We rode quite a few of the ferries to different destination's when recently spending a week in the area, great value, on time and clean . Fantastic way to get to different harbour towns and enjoy the harbour sites.They are coming and going every few minutes so you never have to wait long no matter where you want to go . If in Sydney you have to use the ferries and discover the beauty of the harbour
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 May 2024
  • calguyCalifonria
    Placerville, California235 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A water Subway system
    On time, easy to navigate, multiple stops on comfortable ships. The maps provided give you all the information you need to plan your travel. Always felt safe, staff generous with information and waiting areas easy to find.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 16 May 2024
  • Tommo
    Melbourne, Australia55,715 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Love the view
    We were staying in Manly and enjoyed the ride to Circular Quay which was scenic quick and convenient. Great views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge when arriving into Circular Quay. As a senior we only pay $2.70 for all day public transport in Sydney. During Vivid its great to hop on a ferry and get great panaromaic views of Vivid.
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 June 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles21,354 reviews
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GTOK52
Oxford, UK94 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
The routes available are quite good but the service levels are lacking in many areas.
Locals may get used to the ferries but tourists rely on information screens which were not working at numerous stops. Similarly Opal card scanners at various stops seemed unreliable.

The worse service levels seem to be on Sundays when the transportation system is very busy due to the $2.80 maximum day charge.
Timetables were pure fiction! Additional to this, ferries would arrive and then at short notice there would be a change of stops being visited.

Crowd control was appalling; they need to implement zig-zag lines to stop groups of arrogant passengers pushing in when the gates are opened.
On one occasion, I witnessed very heavy handed behaviour from NSW ferry staff at Circular Quay which was appalling and should not happen if basic queue control was in place. We felt like cattle being herded into the docking / boarding area which totally tarnished the travelling experience that day. These should be happy memories that you want tourists to take back and spread; not so here.
Poor show Sydney Ferries.
Written 21 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dean
Wellington, New Zealand877 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Solo
The ferries are really good in Sydney. They can take you to Manly Beach, Darling Harbour, to the Zoo and a number of other places.

The best way to pay is to get an Opal card which is available from retailers around Sydney. You can also purchase a single trip ticket. Depending on how far you go, you will pay between $5.65 to $9.40.

The ferries are pretty frequent so you don't have to wait long.
Written 20 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Laurie L
Sioux Falls, SD15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
Overall, the Sydney ferry system is very efficient and the best way to travel, particularly if wanting to go to outlying areas such as manly beach. It is important that each person has their own tap on tap off type of credit card or you can use their opal one card but it is not able to be shared so each person Hass to do it individually. You can get these at convenience stores but must put a minimum of 20 Australian dollars down on the card. On Sunday, the fares are significantly reduced, so this is a great day to travel by Ferry Or any other public transportation for that matter. My husband and I stayed at Circle Quay which was perfect with regards to being able to get around the entire city and harbor. I would not recommend renting a car because public transportation is wonderful.
Written 15 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peter C
Wellington, New Zealand610 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
Sydney Ferries are a great way to see Sydney Harbour and get around. The prepaid Opal Card is great and works extremely well. The ferries run on time and are very well operated. During a recent visit to Sydney I caught a ferry to Manly and back to Circular Quay. It was a Sunday, when the trip cost nothing meaning the crowds were BIG. The operators corralled passengers into pens of several hundred before allowing them onto the ferry – I now know how sheep and cattle must feel when going to market. However, the system worked incredibly well – passengers were safe, not crushed and kept informed of progress by constant public announcements. A great service that has operated safely and efficiently for many decades.
Written 22 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

213syd
Sydney, Australia22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
A ferry trip in Sydney is a must for any visitor. While any ferry ride will give you a good vies of the harbour, the Manly ferry will at least provide a worthwhile destination. The Manly ferry takes about 30 minutes, one way. It's an inexpensive way to see the city highlights from the water, and then the scope and scale of the natural harbour. Manly is a good place to have a bite to eat, take a walk along the beachfront, and to amble along The Corso before the return trip by ferry. The Manly and other ferries can be caught from Circular Quay. Note, you are looking for the regular green and yellow ferries. There is a 'fast' ferry service but you will miss the opportunity to sit outside and photograph the famous sights like; the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and the Sydney cityscape. Weather and space permitting, try to sit outside and enjoy the cool sea breeze.
Written 26 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cherie H
Roumazieres-Loubert, France312 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Business
2nd visit to Sydney, love the river ferries, there are a number of tourist ferries available (at a price and are worth it if you want commentary and to learn a little history of the Waterways and surrounds) be sure to sit inside if this is the case as cannot really hear well outside. I took the to uyrist one on the first day hop on and off for the day, visited a couple of the beaches and bays. Over the next 4 days of visit used the public transport ferries. Much cheaper and can go up as well as down river. You can get a drink or snack on board some but price as you'd expect are high, so advise taking your own.
Written 16 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Juliet31
19 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Using Sydney ferries was a novelty and provided great views of Sydney landmarks. Although not a boat person the stops aren’t too far apart and the ride relatively smooth. Using Opal to tap on and off all transport around the city and beyond was easy and cheap. Transport was clean, air conditioned and ran on time

Written 13 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CiderMonkey
Cornwall, UK238 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Ferries have been running in the harbour for years but like everything else the faster the ferry the more it costs. Dont be sucked in by some tout saying this is the best ferry to X, but please check it for yourself as there may and most probably will be a better deal. If you want to take photos of the harbour and its surroundings get an old fashioned boat to say Taronga zoo or Manly which although not slow do allow you upper deck access to get those all important shots. Likewise water taxis are expensive and just do a circular trip of the harbour...again at a cost.
Written 28 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Judith R
Sydney, Australia55 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
If you’re going to the zoo, take a ferry. To explore more of Sydney’s history, take a ferry to Parramatta. For a lovely half hour trip enjoy a ferry to Manly. I always love the older slower ferries but if you’re in a hurry there is a fast option (more expensive). Ferry go to Watson’s Bay every 25 minutes during the day. There is an interesting walk from the ferry terminal to the lighthouse at South Head. Ask for directions at the ferry wharf.
Written 13 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

charlene_veverka
Wilton, Australia363 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021
Great way to experience the harbour - especially on a beautiful day. Easy enough to pay for using an opal card - plenty of seats available and services are fairly regular throughout the day.

We did a round trip from CQ to Watson Bay - give yourself an hour (without getting off at the stopping points). Off peak time you won't pay more than $7.00 return for an adult on this route and you get some stunning views of the harbour as well as get to see some of the high end suburbs that surround Sydney.

Great trip for locals, tourists and families alike. Recommend going during off peak times so you have more room to move and take pictures throughout the trip.
Written 14 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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