Har­bour Cruis­ing: Syd­ney ex­plored by sea

Hump­back whales, spec­tac­u­lar fire­works, midget sub­marines, an in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned yacht race and a world fa­mous opera house.

Where Sydney - - Contents -

SYD­NEY’S ICONIC HAR­BOUR has pretty much seen it all since then Lieu­tenant James Cook ar­rived aboard the En­deav­our in 1770 and named it Port Jack­son. It was here that the first set­tlers set up camp in 1788 and the har­bour has been an im­por­tant part of city life ever since, used for trans­porta­tion and recre­ation.

Lit­tle won­der it is widely re­garded as the great­est leisure har­bour in the world. On any given day, the har­bour is alive with boats of all shapes and sizes, be it pas­sen­ger fer­ries, state-of-the-art yachts or kayak­ers. This is par­tic­u­larly true dur­ing the tra­di­tional Box­ing Day launch of the Rolex Syd­ney to Ho­bart yacht race, when hun­dreds of craft fol­low the rac­ers out of the har­bour. And on New Year’s Eve, there’s no bet­ter spot to be than on a boat be­neath the Syd­ney Har­bour Bridge as the breath­tak­ing fire­works dis­play takes place in the skies above.

While the Har­bour Bridge and Syd­ney Opera House are its two most fa­mous land­marks, the har­bour has plenty more sights up its sleeve. Cir­cu­lar Quay, Luna Park and An­zac Bridge are all ac­ces­si­ble and vis­i­ble from the wa­ter along with hun­dreds of bays, coves, beaches and water­ways. Sev­eral is­lands can also be found in the har­bour, the most no­table be­ing Fort Deni­son, Shark Is­land and Cock­a­too Is­land.

His­to­ri­ans will no doubt want to head round to Green Point in Wat­sons Bay where the re­mains of for­ti­fi­ca­tions de­signed to pro­tect the har­bour from a sub­ma­rine at­tack in World War II can still be seen. The net an­chor points are still in place and one of the midget sub­marines caught up in those de­fences in 1942 is now on dis­play at the Aus­tralian War Me­mo­rial.

With so much to see and do, it pays to plan ahead and the good news is that there are plenty of ways to get out on the wa­ter, de­signed to suit all bud­gets, time frames and in­ter­ests.

Multi-award win­ning Cap­tain Cook Cruises of­fers premium din­ing, sight­see­ing, ferry and whale watch­ing cruises. The Har­bour Story cruise com­bines premium sight­see­ing with the sto­ries of Syd­ney’s most fas­ci­nat­ing char­ac­ters every day at 10am and 2.15pm from Cir­cu­lar Quay. Up­grade to the premium pack­age in­clud­ing

a glass of sparkling wine, morn­ing af­ter­noon tea se­lec­tion and cof­fee to or­der.

Syd­ney’s of­fi­cial Hop On Hop Off Har­bour Ex­plorer pass now in­cludes 11 stops and up to two days to visit them. These red rocket fer­ries zoom be­tween Cir­cu­lar Quay, Taronga Zoo, Wat­son’s Bay, Fort Deni­son, Shark Is­land, Gar­den Is­land, Luna Park, Manly, Baranga­roo, ICC Syd­ney and Dar­ling Har­bour with com­men­tary. Start your jour­ney from Cir­cu­lar Quay, Dar­ling Har­bour or Manly and save up to 95% on at­trac­tion en­try with a Cap­tain Cook cruise and at­trac­tion combo ticket in­clud­ing en­try to Syd­ney’s most pop­u­lar wa­ter­front at­trac­tions. The com­pany’s flag­ships Syd­ney

2000 and John Cad­man 2 take Syd­ney Har­bour din­ing to an im­pres­sive level. A com­pre­hen­sive range of break­fast, lunch, high tea and din­ner op­tions op­er­ate daily with a choice of con­tem­po­rary Aus­tralian buf­fet, à la carte, and six-course de­gus­ta­tion menus.

Cel­e­brate Au­tumn with a High Tea at Sea on­board Cap­tain Cook Cruises. A peren­nial favourite with the girls, the cruise de­parts five days a week at 2.30pm and in­cludes a de­lec­ta­ble se­lec­tion of sweet and savoury treats, a wel­come glass of pink bub­bles, tea and cof­fee.

Baranga­roo Fast Ferry is the new di­rect ser­vice be­tween Manly and Syd­ney’s new­est and most ex­cit­ing city precinct—baranga­roo. From the calm head­land re­serve to the ur­ban en­ergy of the re­tail cen­tre, Baranga­roo is a place to meet, work, dine or re­lax. Ferry trans­port spe­cial­ists, Sealink, op­er­ate two fast ves­sels daily, seat­ing up to 400-pas­sen­gers.

Ex­pe­ri­ence the best of Syd­ney Har­bour with My Fast Ferry. Book on­line at my­fast­ferry.com.au or pur­chase tick­ets di­rectly via the My­fast­ferry app. It’s free to down­load and has an ex­ten­sive range of ferry op­tions. You can even use your Opal Card to travel with Opal­pay on se­lected My Fast Ferry routes from Wharf 2 in­clud­ing the Manly Fast Ferry and ser­vices to Dar­ling Har­bour, Wat­sons Bay and the City Link 1 Hour Cruise.

The Eco­hop­per 24-hour hop-on hop-off sight­see­ing pass vis­its pop­u­lar har­bour lo­ca­tions; Manly, Dar­ling Har­bour, Wat­sons Bay, Taronga Zoo, Fort Deni­son, Quar­an­tine Sta­tion, Cir­cu­lar Quay, Rose Bay, Pyr­mont Bay and Mil­son’s Point.

Of­fer­ing great value, Eco­hop­per 24-hour hop-on hop-off pass pro­vides travel on five dif­fer­ent ferry ser­vices, in­clud­ing the pop­u­lar Eco­hop­per City Loop ferry. This ver­sa­tile ticket has the most in­clu­sions, high­est ser­vice fre­quency and long­est op­er­at­ing hours and is the only ticket which in­cludes un­lim­ited travel on Manly Fast Ferry, so there’s no need to rush back from Manly in the evening, with the fi­nal Fast Ferry de­part­ing at 9pm. Com­men­tary and al­co­holic re­fresh­ments are avail­able on-board. Why not also in­clude a visit to Taronga Zoo or Syd­ney SEA LIFE Aquar­ium with the pop­u­lar Combo Pass. This is the only Zoo Combo ticket that pro­vides travel on five sep­a­rate ser­vices with di­rect con­nec­tions from Manly to Cir­cu­lar Quay and Dar­ling Har­bour with no ves­sel change re­quired.

If you don’t have time to do it all, but still want to ex­pe­ri­ence Syd­ney from the wa­ter, one-hour and two-hour cruise op­tions are also avail­able. With com­men­tary and li­censed bar on­board this is a great, re­lax­ing way to see iconic Syd­ney. There are reg­u­lar de­par­tures from

Wharf 6 Cir­cu­lar Quay and Dar­ling Har­bour each day. Also on of­fer is a Weekend Har­bour Beaches ser­vice which pro­vides a quick and af­ford­able cross har­bour con­nec­tion be­tween Manly, Wat­sons Bay and Rose Bay.

If you are just af­ter a fast ferry ride than a trip to Manly is a must do, it only takes 18 min­utes and ser­vices de­part every 20 min­utes from Wharf 2. Use your Opal Card to travel on Manly Fast Ferry Opal­pay sys­tem, set fares are $9.10 per adult and $5.40 per child.

My Fast Ferry ticket of­fices are lo­cated on wharves 2 and 6 Cir­cu­lar Quay as well as Manly Wharf and Dar­ling Har­bour—pier 26 shop 2B. So if you are still un­sure as to which har­bour ex­pe­ri­ence is best for you, speak with the friendly and knowl­edgable My Fast Ferry sales staff and they will ad­vise you on the best ways to get the most out of your time on Syd­ney Har­bour.

A ferry is the per­fect way to ex­plore Syd­ney, and with so many op­tions avail­able with My Fast Ferry, there is sure to be some­thing for ev­ery­one.

Fan­tasea Cruis­ing of­fers a wide va­ri­ety of har­bour cruise ex­pe­ri­ences, from hop-on hop-off cruises, to morn­ing tea cruises to wa­ter taxis. En­joy Syd­ney like a true Aussie with an Aussie BBQ and beer on a fam­ily friendly, fun cruise. The Clas­sic Aussie Cruise has four daily de­par­tures from Dar­ling Har­bour and Cir­cu­lar Quay, with a 24-hour hop on hop off pass also avail­able.

Photo: Hugh Ste­wart/des­ti­na­tion NSW.

High Tea with Cap­tain Cook Cruises.

My Fast Ferry.

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