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Sydney Harbour - Cruises, Attractions and Points of Interest

The city of Sydney has been built around its beautiful harbour, yet much of it is protected with large swathes of green, multiple headlands and cozy sandy beaches.

An enjoyable way to get to the places to visit on the harbour such as historical Parramatta, the Olympic Site at Homebush, Manly Beach and others including Taronga Zoo is to take a ferry, jetcat or rivercat from Circular Quay.

Harbour Side Attractions

Royal Botanic Gardens - Has more than 7500 trees and was established in 1836. Situated by the Sydney Opera House the gardens cover more than 30 hectares of colourful flowers, rose gardens, threatened and exotic species and splendid harbourside views.

Taronga Zoo, easily accessible by ferry from Circular Quay, has a large collection of Australian fauna plus other animals from around the world. Including of course, Koalas, Wombats, Kangaroos, Wallabees and many more.

Mrs Macquaries Chair, on the other side (north) of the Royal Botanic Gardens by the Sydney Opera House, has the best views of the harbour.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge can not only be photographed, but climbed, walked over and explored at the Bridge Museum. Entrance Cumberland Street, there are great harbour views to be had. A BridgeClimb Tour is the ultimate way to enjoy spectacular Sydney Harbour views.

The Harbour Islands, including Fort Denison and Goat Island can be toured via the National Parks and Wildlife Service harbour cruises at Cadmans Cottage on Sydney Cove, The Rocks.

Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House juts out into the Harbour on Bennelong Point. There is actually quite a lot to do and see there, including plays, orchestras, jazz, dance, cultural performing arts from around the world, tours and even shopping for performance memoribilia and souvenirs. Close up views: Sydney Opera House Photos.

Places to Go

You can get to historic Parramatta by Rivercat from Circular Quay. This route follows the scenic Parramatta River from the west of the harbour, and you can also get to the Homebush Olympic Site, with its parks, attractions and sporting venues.

The Rocks, on the west side of Sydney Cove at Circular Quay, is Australia’s finest restored historical district. Here you will also find a great collection of restaurants, historic pubs and places to shop.

The body of water that separates the Sydney Opera House from the Rocks is called Sydney Cove, where the First Fleet decided to settle.

Manly Beach

Manly Beach is another favourite place to visit on the harbour for both Sydneysiders and overseas visitors. Accessible from Circular Quay, ferries and Jetcats take you across 7 miles of spectacular harbour views.

Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour has great shopping and things to do for kids of all ages. Visit the National Maritime Museum, visit the new Sydney Wildlife World, the Sydney Aquarium and the Powerhouse Museum.

Sydney Harbour Cruise Tips

Lunch cruises, dinner cruises and sightseeing cruises operate daily from Circular Quay and Darling Harbour.

Five Great Tips to consider when booking a Sydney Harbour Cruise.

Circular Quay

Getting to Circular Quay is easy, as it is a major train, bus, taxi and ferry terminus. See The Rocks and Circular Quay Map.


City on the Harbour
Photo: City on the Harbour



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