A bright sunny day in Sydney and cruise boats are out in force on Sydney Harbour.
Picture: ©Jiri Foltyn/123RF.COM
Sydney Harbour is the
city's No.1 attraction
To visit Sydney and not venture out onto the harbour would be to deny yourself of one of the world's great travel experiences.
The beauty and splendour of Sydney Harbour is something that has to be experienced first-hand
- no picture or video can do justice to it.
Sydney Harbour is in fact just one of a number of bodies of water that form Port Jackson, but it is the main - and most beautiful - waterway.
The other waterways accessed from Sydney Harbour
are Middle Harbour, North Harbour and the Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House are the best known faces of Sydney Harbour, but they are just two of the many spectacles that make up the harbour.
The best way to experience everything that Sydney Harbour has to offer is to book a harbour cruise. There is a huge variety of cruises on offer, and they are great value for what they offer. You can enjoy a simple leisurely daytime cruise around the harbour or make the outing more memorable with a lunch or dinner cruise. You can venture onto the harbour on a luxury boat catering for small groups or you can cruise under sail. For those who enjoy fine food, you can book a Gold Dinner Cruise and enjoy a degustation dinner.
These are other points of interest you should look out for on your harbour cruise, with the view to seeking them out for a visit:
Northern side of the harbour
- Kirribilli House, the Sydney residence of the Prime Minister of Australia, and Admiralty House, the official Sydney residence of the Governor General, the Queen's official representative in
Australia. Both residences sit on the point at Kirribilli, immediately to the east of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
- Neutral Bay, the first bay east of the harbour bridge, is an affluent harbourside suburb of Sydney.
The origins of its name lies in the early colonial times, when different bays were zoned for different vessels entering the harbour. All foreign vessels were permitted to dock in this bay,
which gave rise to the name "Neutral Bay". English-born children's author and painter May Gibbs, the author of the Gutnut Babies series of books, lived for a time in a two-storey
Federation home in Phillips Street before building Nutcote at Kurraba Point.
- Mosman Bay, once the location for a whaling station, is now one of the most sought-after places to live in Sydney. It is also a safe haven for hundreds of yachts. There's a walking path
from the ferry terminal that takes you along the foreshore to Cremorne Reserve. Once around Cremorne Point you get to see some of the best views of the harbour. Along the way you get
a good look at the fine homes that line the point. The path loops back to the ferry terminal.
- Little Sirius Cove, a gorgeous small cove with a sandy beach next to Taronga Zoo. It was named after the flagship of the First Fleet, HMS Sirius.
- Taronga Zoo, one of Sydney's major attractions, which boasts the world's most scenic setting for a zoological garden. The giraffes, in particular, enjoy amazing views of the Opera House
- Bradley's Head, in the Sydney Harbour National Park. There are excellent harbourside walks from Taronga Zoo to Bradley's Head, from Bradley's Head to Chowder Bay and from Chowder Bay to Balmoral Beach. Part of these walks are through the Sydney Harbour National Park.
- Chowder Bay, once the site of Middle Harbour gun placements guarding Port Jackson. The former Gunners Barracks is now a restaurant.
- Middle Harbour, the gateway to bays and coves. Much of the shore of the Middle Harbour is covered with bushland and lies under the protection of parks and reserves.
- North Harbour, the gateway to Manly and Manly Beach, Sydney's iconic surf beach.
- North Head, heavily forested and larely part of the Sydney Harbour National Park.
Southern side of the harbour
- Farm Cove, Royal Botanic Gardens, Mrs Macquarie's Chair.
- Fort Denison, a former penal settlement and naval defence for the harbour.
- Garden Island, a major Royal Australian Navy base. The RAN Heritage Centre museum, on the northern tip of the island, open to the public.
- The Prime Minister of Australia, Malcom Turnbull's, private waterfront home at Point Piper. A 1930s Mediterranean-style home looking out onto Lady Martin’s Beach,
it is thought to be worth more than $50 million. Point Piper is Sydney (and Australia's) most exclusive suburb with harbourfront homes worth tens of millions of dollars.
These properties rarely come onto the market.
- Rose Bay, famous for its seaplane terminal, which in 1938 became Sydney's first international airport.
- Shark Island, a former quarantine station and naval depot up until 1975, when it became part of Sydney Harbour National Park. Named because of its shape,
which is claimed to resemble a shark. Barely 1.5 hectares (3.7 acres) in area and 250 metres by 100 metres, interestly parts of the island were actually set aside
as a recreation reserve as early as 1879.
- Vaucluse, one of Sydney's most exclusive suburbs.
- Watsons Bay, popular with tourists who venture to Doyles seafood restaurant on the beach and nearby Camp Cove, featuring a small, picturesque beach.
- South Head, a great vantage point for viewing the annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
See pictures of Sydney Harbour