Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour: Hours, Address, Sydney Harbour Reviews: 5/5

Sydney Harbour
5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
Secluded beaches, quiet coves and soaring headlands predominate this harbor, which is considered one of the world's most beautiful.
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Tours & experiences
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What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Top ways to experience Sydney Harbour
The area
How to get there
  • Circular Quay • 6 min walk
Best nearby
We rank these restaurants and attractions by balancing reviews from our members with how close they are to this location.
Restaurants
4,937 within 5 kms
Attractions
643 within 10 kms
Popular mentions

5.0
21,842 reviews
Excellent
17,924
Very good
3,501
Average
382
Poor
24
Terrible
11

Katie D
Brighton and Hove, UK354 contributions
Sep. 2021
You can get a ferry ride around the whole harbour, stopping off at all the places you could want to visit.
Written 17 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Amanda
2 contributions
Jan. 2022
Beautiful sight and must see for everyone even if you have a few hours in Sydney. I truly recommend this
Written 5 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Natalie D
Melbourne, Australia13 contributions
Dec. 2021
Recommend taking a local ferry to see the view of the harbour form the water. Great walk along the water all the way from botanic gardens, around the harbour and continue on to Observatory park for views of the bridge.
Written 10 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JnVSydney
Greater Sydney, Australia12,232 contributions
Sep. 2021
In our opinion it is one of the beautiful harbours in the world, the perfect picture frame for the city with the Harbour Bridge and Opera house as the picture.
Written 20 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rotiman1
Sydney, Australia1,420 contributions
Nov. 2021 • Couples
I’ve always rated Sydney harbour to the best in the world and beautiful when explored by ferry.
Sydney’s recent lockdown led to a rediscovery of some of the excellent harbour side walks. The Bradley’s Head walk is particularly recommended for its views back to the city, the navy ship memorials and the the wildflowers
Written 11 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Teresa C
Metro Manila, Philippines1,232 contributions
Oct. 2021
On a sunny day, it's great to wander around Sydney Harbour. Can walk, travel by ferry, train, drive. Worth the time.
Written 2 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

blackeldo
Kiama, Australia2,046 contributions
Jun. 2021
NO BANK JOB IS NEEDED TO FINANCE A FULL CRUISE OF THE HARBOUR.

Starting at CIRCULAR QUAY** you can do the whole harbour/river from Sydney Heads to Paramatta on 4 inexspensive ferries. Takes most of the day even if you don’t linger long at any stop (and trust me, they have some great attractions), but costs few bucks.

STAGE 1 – CIRCLULAR QUAY** TO PARAMATTA RETURN.
This lengthy cruise is on a RIVERCAT^^ ++.
There’s plenty to see. Like how the scene changes as the route progresses: first the harbour is wide and lined with top grade residential but it progressively narrows so that past OLYMPIC PARK** it’s a mangrove-lined narrow channel. Tweeters will enjoy this last few km: no shortage of bird life.
Also bridges get lower – the first, the mighty SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE** is waaaaay overhead (feel special – not many public ferries go WEST under the bridge – most move EAST from the QUAY) but the last 3 or 4 bridges prior PARRAMATTA have only a few cm clearance (newest river cats are late entering service needing modifications to clear).
Also neat: the chance to get up close and personal to harbour/river side places pulling in to the many stops – looks so different up close than from mid harbour/river.

TIPS
- ferries to/from PARRAMATTA run roughly hourly:take approx 85 mins ; cost $6-7 each way/seniors $2.50 total.
- careful which ferry: some terminate at SYDNEY OLYMPIC PARK**. It’s not unknown for PARRA services to also terminate there when the upper river is in flood. Ask before boarding.
Other ‘cats from pier 5 do an inner-west trip taking in COCKATTOO ISLAND**.
- some early services (too early for most tourists) run express with only one stop to PARRA. Some early services actually start at BARANGAROO**. Some weekend and early return journeys are express with only one stop – consult online timetable.
- Ferries spend about 10 minutes at PARRA, time to grab a snack at PORT BAR RESTAURANT** behind the pier. We found service quick/food yummy/not small. Booze sold. An pstairs wine bar for a meal with river views - catch a later ferry.
- A later ferry alternative: walk to PARRA CBD. The main drag, CHURCH ST. is 10mins. This had been modernised with lots of footpath alfresco cafes etc last time I passed thru, but this trip the LIGHT RAIL was being built, turning an attractive precinct into a construction site. 10-15mins left is historic PARRA SQUARE**/PARRA RAIL STATION area , about as far as you should go if you want to catch the next ferry.
- best views are at the bow seats but it can get breezily cold cool days. The interior is spacious with approx 250 seats.
- this ferry is popular with commuters so best avoid am and pm peaks. There are stories of intermediate stops being missed because of full ferries.

STAGE 2 CIRCULAR QUAY TO WATSONS BAY**.
The WATSONS BAY FERRY^^ ++ leaves hourly a few Quay piers east : personally my favourite: with great views of the OPERA HOUSE**, GARDEN ISLAND NAVAL BASE**, some of the most expensive homes in Australia and lots more. A shorter trip (25mins) cost $5-$7: senior card holders 0 if they already used it that day.

TIPS
- some ferries from the same pier terminate at ROSE BAY.
- best seats are outside at back. Sit right side (you can check the other side of the harbour from the MANLY to Quay ferry).
- WATSONS BAY is a great destination with attractions like THE GAP**, CAMP COVE BEACH**, LADY BAY**nude beach, SOUTH HEAD**, DOYLES SEAFOOD** and more. Worth as much time as u can spare.

STAGE 3 – CROSS HARBOUR – WATSONS BAY TO MANLY
NOTE – THIS FERRY^^ ONLY RUNS WEEKENDS.
You are heading for the north side of the harbour on a private (not govt) ferry.
Rear deck right side best in good weather. Otherwise right hand inside for views of CAMP COVE, LADY BAY and SOUTH HEAD soon after departure – then the open ocean thru the HEADS – then the huge NORTH HEAD RESERVE** with its cliffs and isolated beaches in MANLY COVE on approach to the pier.
MANLY is a great destination – walk across the peninsula to the ocean beach. Turn left for the beach** prominade, right to the SHELLY BEACH path. You won’t have time to explore NORTH HEAD**

TIPS
- if a big sea is running thru the HEADS this can be a thrilling ride. Sometimesferries are cancelled
- cost $8, use OPALCARD or plastic, pay on board.
- short trip: 16min
- free wifi;
- bar

STAGE 3
MANLY FERRY^^ ++ BACK TO THE QUAY.

Every tourist does this trip. Best sit on the right for harbour north-side views which are much different from south side – but move up front approaching Bridge, Opera House and Quay area.

TIPS
- every 20-30mins; takes 30m. Cancels in big seas.
- Costs $2.80 off peak (Seniors’ Card 0 if already used that day). Opal card less than ticket office. Private fast ferry costs more.
- iconic “FRESHWATER” class ferries are being retired – getting one a matter of luck.

The BIG FLAW: Stage 3 ferries only run weekends. Weekdays you could go back to the Quay and catch a MANLY FERRY return. Alternatively you can’t get much closer to the harbour’s east end than WATSONS BAY. I suggest you take the short, scenic walk^^ to SOUTH HEAD (the START of SYDNEY HEARBOUR) for a different perspective of the eastern harbour.
None of these ferries head into the many harbour offshoots (this is a RIA INLET with many side-branches). Some govt ferries like to MOSMAN do this, but as far as I know the biggest offshoot, MIDDLE HARBOUR** has no service.

**TRIPADVISOR has review pages
++TRIPADVISOR has reviews on the “SYDNEY HARBOUR FERRIES” page
^^ see photograph
Written 19 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Peter H
2 contributions
Nov. 2020
If you come from the outback - the Sydney Harbour is an amazing eye candy. Lot's of things to explore and our little holiday treat.
Written 13 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jeffry b
Essendon, Australia9,323 contributions
Apr. 2021
Few other natural harbours can match Sydney Harbour for scenic beauty. With its natural advantages, the Harbour became the birthplace of the Australian nation. There are many vantage points from where you can take in the Harbour's wonders -- the Opera House, The Harbour Bridge and more.
Written 9 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

705annettea
Mareeba, Australia8 contributions
Jun. 2021
A great arrangement of restaurants, and the view and entertainment was awesome. Easy walking around and felt very safe, even on my own.
Written 8 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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