Boating and sailing in 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.

Yacht sailing, Sydney Harbour
Two women on front of yacht sailing on Sydney Harbour

Explore beautiful Sydney by boat

Sydney is a beautiful and easy city to explore by boat, with coastal routes and inland rivers giving you plenty of options for a day trip or overnight cruise. The easiest way to see Australia’s most famous city by boat is to take a ferry.

From Circular Quay, there are many destination choices. The ferry to Manly is popular, passing by the iconic Sydney Opera House on its way to one of Sydney’s vibrant beachside communities. Other favourite ferry stops include Watsons Bay in Sydney’s east, Parramatta in Sydney’s west, or one of Sydney’s Harbour islands.

Or combine spectacular harbour views with delicious food on a sightseeing cruise with Captain Cook Cruises, Magistic Cruises or Matilda Cruises. For a romantic night out, consider a dinner cruise at sunset or cabaret on the harbour with Sydney Showboats. Fantasea Adventure Cruising offers a Sydney Seven Wonders cruise and tour on which you’ll see Aboriginal rock carvings.

For adventurers seeking an adrenalin 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 zoom across the harbour in high-speed boats, performing quick spins and sharp turns.

Prefer to captain your own boat? Take the wheel by renting a yacht or learning to sail. Or join the crew or become a passenger on a genuine America’s Cup yacht with Explore Sailing. You can also tour with EastSail and Harbour Days Sailing, two of the many operators that can help you enjoy a lovely day on the harbour. A great way to enjoy the Hawkesbury River is to rent a houseboat.