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 up to 12 stops and up to 2 days to visit them. Th­ese red rocket fer­ries zoom be­tween Cir­cu­lar Quay, Taronga Zoo, Wat­son’s Bay, Fort Deni­son, Fish Mar­kets, 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 75% 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.

The young and young at heart hit the har­bour in April with the NSW Se­niors Fes­ti­val 4–15 April with sav­ings of up to 50% and school hol­i­day fun for the kids 14–29 April with one child free with ev­ery full priced adult on the Seafood Buf­fet Lunch, Har­bour Story and Hop On Hop Off Har­bour Ex­plorer.

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.

My Fast Ferry.

Cap­tain Cook Cruises.

Fan­tasea.

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