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Sailing & Boating on Sydney Harbour

  • Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 24 June, 2023

Sydney’s harbour is considered by many to be the most beautiful in the world, so getting out and exploring on the water – be it by yacht, motorboat, jetboat or even sea kayak – is a must-do.

A range of boating options is available, from short sightseeing pleasure cruises, to days spent moored up (and swimming) off hidden sandy coves, to romantic sleepovers on board.

If you don’t fancy the cost or are not enamoured of boats, at least take the Manly ferry from Circular Quay and back for a similar, if less intimate, harbour experience. For a mere few dollars, it’s outstanding value.

Sail in a tall ship

For a more cultured (if touristy) twist, try a 2-hour sailing cruise aboard a vintage tall ship. It’s not as intimate, as you’ll be sharing the experience, but you’ll learn about Sydney’s maritime history and can help hoist the sails.

Spend the night on the water

EastSail offer an (expensive) opportunity to spend a romantic night on the harbour. The Overnight Indulgence package includes a private evening sail, a safe anchorage, dinner and breakfast. Your skipper will leave you overnight, return in the morning and sail back you to the marina. Choose from a yacht or motor cruiser.

Logistics

Price from: £40
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: -

Getting there & doing it

There are a number of pleasure cruise operators based at Darling Harbour, but these tend to be the touristy options (which are still fine). A better option though is to head to EastSail, based at the marina in the picturesque Rushcutters Bay, a 10-minute cab ride from the city or the Woollahra Sailing Club at the equally pretty Rose Bay, a further 5 minutes along the coast. If you want to try sailing, both offer a 2-hour ‘taster’ sailing lesson.

When to do it

Charter and sailing lessons are available all year round by private arrangement.

There’s never a bad time to be on the water, though July to October is best if you plan on swimming, otherwise the water is too cold.

Who to go with: organised tours

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