Boating and sailing in Sydney


Boating in and around Sydney

Set sail on an adventure and explore stunning Sydney Harbour by boat. Go for a twilight sail, book a cruise or visit Sydney’s must-see attractions by ferry from Circular Quay. You can even be a skipper for the day – just make sure you observe boating-safety guidelines.

Explore Sydney by boat

Sydney from the Harbour

Sydney is a beautiful and easy city to explore by boat, with coastal routes and inland rivers giving you plenty of options for a daytrip or overnight cruise.

The easiest way to see Sydney by boat is to take a ferry. From Circular Quay, there are many destination choices. The ferry to Manly is popular not only because it passes the famous Sydney Opera House but also because youll land in one of Sydneys most vibrant beachside communities. Other favourite ferry stops include Watsons Bay in the eastern suburbs or one of Sydneys Harbour islands.

For something unique, choose a sightseeing cruise or a cruise with onboard dining. For a romantic night out, consider a dinner cruise at sunset with Captain Cook Cruises.

For adventurers seeking a real adrenaline rush, hold on to your hat and book a ride on an Oz Jet Boating, Sydney Jet, Thunder Jet or Harbour Jet cruise. Operating out of Circular Quay and Darling Harbour, these excursions take you around Sydneys waters in high-speed boats, performing quick spins and sharp turns perfect for a mini adventure!

Prefer to be captain of your own ship? Take control by hiring a yacht or learning to sail. Join the crew or become a passenger on a genuine Americas Cup yacht with Sailing Sydney. Take lessons or a tour with EastSail or Sydney by Sail, two of the many operators that can help you enjoy a lovely day of sailing on the harbour. 

  • Book now

    Buy 2 day tours, get a free Sydney Harbour Story Cruise

    Book 2 day tours with Austravel and get a free Sydney Harbour Story Cruise to explore the Harbour City at its best. Free harbour cruise is valid on new bookings made between 1 February and 14 March 2016 for departures up to 31 March 2017. To qualify, booking must include a minimum of 2 adults with international flights, plus a minimum of 5 nights’ additional accommodation or a minimum of 7 nights’ motorhome hire.

    Blackout dates and normal booking terms and conditions apply, see for full details. Offer subject to change and availability and may be withdrawn at any time.

    *Terms and conditions apply.  

  • Book now

    4 nights Sydney & Food Highlights

    From £339pp

    Lap up the luxury of Sydney’s five-star Shangri-La Hotel, explore one of the world’s most iconic landmarks – the Sydney Opera House – and indulge your taste buds with an al fresco lunch at the Opera Kitchen. Jump aboard a Captain Cook cruise around the harbour to learn all about its history and of course, take full advantage of the great photo opportunities of Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

    Add return international flights from £749pp (price based on Emirates in Economy for selected travel Apr to Jun 2016).

    *Terms and Conditions apply

  • Houseboat holiday on Hawkesbury River, Image James Pipino

    Hawkesbury houseboat holiday

    Just an hour's drive north of the city centre is the beautiful Hawkesbury River. Here, you can  Sightseeing in classic Aussie car and cruise around in your floating home, away from the bustle of the city. From budget four-berth options to Ultimate Spa houseboats, your Hawkesbury holiday is the perfect short break.

Swimming safety information

Swimming safety information

NSW has a wide range of wonderful swimming options including beaches, ocean pools, harbourside pools, lakes, rivers, and swimming holes at the bottom of waterfalls. However to ensure maximum safety and enjoyment, swimmers should follow this general advice:

Look for patrolled beaches (this is where lifesavers are on duty; you will see red and yellow flags that indicate this). You should always swim between the red and yellow flags as they mark the safest place to swim.

Never swim alone at night, or under the influence of alcohol, or directly after a meal.

Always check water depth, as rocks or trees could be submerged, and never run and dive into the water from a beach, riverbank or other surface.

Check for signs regarding advice on water conditions at your chosen swimming spot and at any natural swimming hole. Always proceed with caution as surfaces could be slippery and water conditions may not be immediately apparent; particularly if the area has recently experienced heavy rain or flooding.

Pay attention to the advice of the lifesavers and safety signs. Visit SharkSmart to understand any potential risks in the area you are swimming.