Surrounded by hundreds of kilometres of shoreline, national parks and historic sites, the sparkling waters of Sydney Harbour are synonymous with Australia’s most famous city. Alive with ferries, yachts and kayaks, one of the world’s great natural harbours is also a gateway to other parts of Sydney.
A delightful way to experience its beauty is to catch an iconic Sydney ferry. Passing by famed landmarks, including the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the harbour offers plenty of scenic vantage points. Follow the Manly, Watsons Bay or Taronga Zoo ferry routes to enjoy panoramic harbour views.
Circular Quay is a great base for exploring Sydney Harbour. Ferries depart from Circular Quay throughout the day to different parts of the harbour, connecting the city with Sydney's waterside suburbs. Circular Quay is also the major transport hub for water taxis, harbour cruises, buses, trains and taxis. Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art and historic Customs House are located on one side of Circular Quay. The Sydney Opera House and Royal Botanic Gardens are on the other. Expect postcard views at every turn.
Climb to the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on a BridgeClimb for unforgettable panoramic views. You'll be guided high into the bridge's arches, ascending 134 metres (440 feet) above sea level. If you'd prefer to keep your feet on the ground, it’s free for visitors to cross the bridge along the pedestrian walkway. Enjoy a bird's-eye view of Sydney Harbour on a scenic flight over the beaches and city skyline. Flights depart from Rose Bay and can be combined with lunch at exquisite waterfront restaurants or a prepared picnic hamper to be enjoyed on a secluded beach.
Festivals and events are based on or around Sydney Harbour throughout the year. In May Sydney's historic landmarks become a canvas for brilliant light installations and projections during the Vivid Sydney festival of light, music and ideas. The spectacle stretches from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour and Taronga Zoo Sydney. Boxing Day sees the kick off of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, and on New Year's Eve you can join the party as more than one million people gather around the foreshore to take in the spectacular fireworks display from the Sydney Harbour Bridge. During major events, make sure you plan your day ahead and arrive early.
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