Sydney's harbour is one of the most wonderful places to visit in Australia
Sydney is one of most stunning places to visit in Australia and boasts one of the world's most beautiful harbours. 
Photo: Destination New South Wales

Sydney's harbour

Sydney's harbour is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Australia. It is a magical playground for children of all ages, whether you are 5, 45 or 105 years old. There are so many things to do, from walking across Sydney Harbour or climbing to the very top of the Harbour Bridge; taking a harbour cruise or jumping on a Sydney Ferry; or walking or cycling around the Sydney Opera House.

Create your itinerary

A family enjoying a day of sailing on Sydney Harbour
Enjoy a day of sailing on Sydney Harbour.
Photo: Tourism Australia
  • Go cruising or sailing on one of the world's most beautiful harbours. It's time to pinch yourself and ask if it could get any better? Enjoy Sydney harbour on a cruise boat or sailing boat​, or a Sydney ferry, or maybe a harbour taxi. There are so many great cruise and boat companies to choose from, so all you need to do is find the best time and price to suit you.
  • Jump on a Hop On Hop Off cruise and go island hopping. Harbour islands ​include Fort Denison, Shark, Clark, Goat and Cockatoo, and are a unique part of Sydney's history.
  • An absolute must when visiting Sydney is a BridgeClimb where you literally climb to the very top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and get the view of a lifetime. It doesn't matter how young or old you are, this is something that needs to be ticked off your bucket-list. If you're wondering if this is safe - the answer is yes. You wear a grey jumpsuit so that you blend in with the bridge and don't cause any car accidents, and you're attached to a safety harness before setting off on your adventure. 
People at the top of the Harbour Bridge on their BridgeClimb
Enjoy the best view of Sydney. Photo: BridgeClimb
Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour
Visit the historic Fort Denison. Photo: Tourism Australia
  • Fort Denison is a heritage fort is in the middle of Sydney harbour, and has the most complete Martello Tower in the world. It was originally built as a jail for second offender convicts. This prison was not worth escaping from because there were many sharks circling around Sydney Harbour back in the day. Fort Denison was also famously known as pinchgut because the hungry convicts were forced to survive on rations of bread and water. 
  • Cockatoo Island is the largest harbour island. It was originally a convict jail, guardhouse and convict workshop. It later housed young offenders before being transformed into one of Australia's biggest shipyards. Today, Cockatoo Island is full of adventure, with ghost tours, convict tours, self guided tours, camping, kayaking, tennis, playing chess on the giant chess board, or enjoying a picnic overlooking million dollar homes.

Enjoy a visit to Cockatoo Island. Photo: Tourism Australia 
Manly ferry wharf. Photo: Destination New South Wales

Cool & inexpensive things to do

  • Take a walk along the Opera House foreshore and into the Royal Botanic Gardens. Entry is free. Why not grab a snack or sandwich and enjoy an afternoon lazing in the Gardens overlooking the harbour. You'll also get a chance to do some serious people watching.
  • Check out the local buskers at work along Circular Quay, or grab a cappuccino at one of the funky cafes or pubs along the harbour.
  • Catch a Sydney Ferry from Circular Quay in the city to Manly, Parramatta, Balmain, Watsons Bay or Taronga Zoo. 
  • Take a free self guided walking tour around Sydney, and learn about Aboriginal history and culture, the infamous Kings Cross, the historic Rocks, celebrity stories, and so much more.
The bottom line, if you're looking for places to visit in Australia, Sydney needs to be on your itinerary.