It’s easy to see why Sydney Harbour is regarded as one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world.
Sydney Harbour is an aquatic playground for Sydneysiders, with more than 240 kilometres (150 miles) of shoreline, punctuated by unspoiled beaches, picturesque gardens and pockets of natural bush. It is also home to some of Australia’s big-name attractions, including the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Read on and explore.
A delight to explore, Sydney Harbour is one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world. The sparkling blue waters, iconic attractions, hidden beaches, enchanting bushland, pretty gardens, charming islands and intriguing heritage are all easy to enjoy in an enticing range of experiences.
Hop on a ferry at Circular Quay and glide past the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Taronga Zoo. There are all kinds of harbour cruises, including lunch cruises, tall ships and an Aboriginal cultural heritage cruise. Boating is popular too, with sails dotting the deep blue waters.
Walking is great way to see the harbour, which is also known as Port Jackson. You’ll find various walks with superb views of Sydney’s famous landmarks. One of the best city walks in the world is from Woolloomooloo to Barangaroo, stopping at Mrs Macquaries Point for a perfect postcard selfie.
The harbour is teeming with wildlife with big-belly seahorses and hundreds of other fish species inhabit the waters. Take a ferry to Manly and spot little penguins near the wharf. Pockets of bushland are home to colourful birds, such as rainbow lorikeets and crimson rosellas.
For a bird’s-eye view, you can climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb or fly in a seaplane from Rose Bay. The splendour of the harbour is breathtaking. The Sydney Harbour National Park includes The Heads, the dramatic sandstone cliffs at the entrance, and many of the harbour islands.
You can take a ferry to Cockatoo Island, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Australian convict sites. Fort Denison’s sandstone Martello Tower is the only one of its kind in Australia. On Garden Island is the Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre, a museum, and Shark Island is a lovely spot for a picnic.
The harbour is also a famous world stage. The Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks are a dazzling celebration, lighting up the skies and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Vivid Sydney festival illuminates harbour icons in May and June, and the thrilling start to Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is on Boxing Day.
Swim at pristine beaches
Sydney’s idyllic harbour beaches are some of the most beautiful in the city. Harbour beaches are generally calmer than the ocean beaches, with gentle, bobbing waves, making them popular among families. Take a dip in the turquoise waters of Camp Cove, and then walk around to Watsons Bay, where you can tuck into fish and chips on the grass.