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Sydney Harbour

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Sydney Harbour: Our most recommended tours and activities

Sydney: Taronga Zoo Tickets

1. Sydney: Taronga Zoo Tickets

Overlooking magnificent Sydney Harbour, Taronga Zoo is just 12 minutes by ferry from Circular Quay and offers amazing wildlife experiences with stunning harbor views. Nestled on the shores of the world's most beautiful harbor, Taronga Zoo is surrounded by lush bushland of Bradley's Head National Park, popular for early morning walks. Ferries depart from Circular Quay every 30 minutes. The Zoo has many popular trails to explore including the Australian Walkabout, Kids' Trail, Reptile World, African Safari, Big Cats' Trail, Rainforest Trail, Seal Walk, Seals for the Wild, and the iconic must-see Free Flight Birds presentations. Zoo entry includes limited keeper talks, presentations, and access to the Sky Safari cable car. The many exhibits in Taronga Zoo can be reached by footpaths, ramps, lifts and escalators. 90% of Taronga Zoo is fully accessible. Strollers can be hired from the Visitor Information Desk in the main entrance at a small fee and manual wheelchairs can be rented for free and should be booked in advance.

Sydney Harbour: Tall Ship Afternoon Cruise

2. Sydney Harbour: Tall Ship Afternoon Cruise

Hop on a tall ship and discover the sights and sounds of Sydney on a unique historic-meets- modern harbor cruise. Sail past the Opera House and Fort Denison, as well as under Harbour Bridge, as you enjoy a 90-minute sailing experience on board the 1850s style wooden tall ship. Get involved and make the most of this interactive, unique cruise. Try your hand at steering, or help with the sails. If you'd like to heave on a rope, you can. Otherwise, simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the entertainment provided by your friendly crew. You will get to hear some of Sydney’s rich history and tales of Sydney’s only authentic timber tall ships. You will feel like you are being transported back to days gone by, and will be able to say you know what it was like for the sailors of yesteryear. Make sure to bring your camera to capture the best of Sydney Harbour. And expect to be the subject of many a happy snapping tourist, delighted at the sight of your tall ship in Sydney Harbour.

Sydney: Harbour Cruise, Taronga Zoo and Sky Safari

3. Sydney: Harbour Cruise, Taronga Zoo and Sky Safari

Experience the most fun way to travel to Taronga Zoo and save money with a return ticket on the rocket ferry Circular Quay. Once inside the zoo, take in as many of the exhibits as you like at your own pace. Explore 10 themed areas, including Wild Australia, Wild Asia and the Great Southern Oceans. Hear talks by the zookeepers and go to interactive shows, such as the free bird show and free seal show. See native Australian animals, including koala and platypus, along with creatures from around the world such as Asian elephants, lions and giraffe. Grab some lunch at one of the many cafés, or take your own picnic and find a nice spot in the shade. Once you've had your animal fix for the day, head back to the dock and get some amazing views of Sydney on the cruise back to Circular Quay.

Sydney Whale Watching Cruise with Breakfast or Lunch

4. Sydney Whale Watching Cruise with Breakfast or Lunch

Make your way to Circular Quay to board your whale-watching vessel. Numbers are restricted on this whale-watching cruise, allowing for ample elbow room in the cabin and on the outside decks of your boat. You have the choice of two options on this cruise which will allow you to enjoy the whales with ultimate comfort and a delicious meal! Every day the cruise with lunch is available and on the weekends whales with brekky is an option! Seeing these giant mammals of the sea has the ability to change your whole view on life. The gracefulness, the peacefulness, the playfulness, the curiosity, the showmanship and the awesome power of a humpback whale is something everyone should witness in their lifetime. Whale watching is an exhilarating adventure - seeing these incredible creatures frolicking and swimming in the ocean is an awe-inspiring treat that you will remember forever! Breaching, tail slaps, spy hopping, fluke dives and peduncle throws are all some of the great moves you may see from the whales on their migrations. The whale population is increasing each year and and this year there are 30,000+ whales expected to migrate past Sydney. Whale watching season runs from May to November. From May to August, the whales are on their Northern migration to Tropical North Queensland and then from mid August to November, they're on their southern migration back to the Antarctic along with their new born calves - the little calves are just gorgeous!

Sydney Harbour: New Year's Eve Cruise on a Glass Boat

5. Sydney Harbour: New Year's Eve Cruise on a Glass Boat

Experience an unforgettable evening on the Bella Vista, a luxurious glass vessel. Celebrate the New Year on a 5-hour cruise with a dinner buffet, open bar, and DJ. Marvel at the Sydney Harbour New Year’s Eve fireworks display with 3m high glass wraparound windows. The specially designed Bella Vista integrates style with state-of-the-art technology. Enjoy uninterrupted views of the breathtaking Sydney Harbour fireworks from a 5-star venue with an open-top deck with 360-degree views of magnificent Sydney Harbor. The vessel is decked out in amazing lights and participates in the Harbor of Light Parade. Follow a route past Sydney Harbour’s famous icons and return to an exclusion zone by the Harbor Bridge. This is the closest you can get to the action!

Sydney: Harbour Dinner Cruise with 3, 4 or 6-Course Menu

6. Sydney: Harbour Dinner Cruise with 3, 4 or 6-Course Menu

Experience a first-class dining experience aboard one of Sydney's premier vessels, the MV Sydney 2000 or John Cadman II, as you sail around a dazzling night sky or a mesmerizing Sydney Harbour during sunset (summer). Enjoy the enchanting backdrop of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge and savor the scrumptious choices of an a la carte meal of a Contemporary Australian menu and 5-star service. Once you have indulged in the fantastic cuisine on offer, enjoy live music on Saturday and Sunday nights. See stunning Sydney Harbour by night aboard your premium dining experience.

Sydney: Harbor Cruise with 2-Course Premium Lunch

7. Sydney: Harbor Cruise with 2-Course Premium Lunch

Discover the wonders of Sydney Harbor on a luxury cruise aboard a 78ft vessel. Board the boat in Darling Harbor then marvel at the impressive city skyline as you sail towards one of the most iconic destinations in the world. There’s plenty of room onboard to explore, admire the surroundings, or simply relax, including an expansive top deck boasting 360 degree views. Upon arrival in the harbor, enjoy a lavish lunch with an array of generous a la carte meals inspired by locally sourced, regional delights, paired with a selection of beers, wines, soft drinks and tea or coffee. The wine has been hand-selected from some of the finest wine regions in New South Wales, so wine lovers are in for a real treat. After lunch, set sail past the famous Taronga Zoo and the colorful Luna Park, before arriving back to Darling Harbor at around 2:40 PM.

Sydney: Harbor Cruise with 3-Course Premium Dinner

8. Sydney: Harbor Cruise with 3-Course Premium Dinner

Explore Sydney Harbour on a sunset cruise while enjoying a 3-course dinner served with a selection of beers, wines, soft drinks, and tea or coffee. Set sail from Darling Harbor and once the sun goes down, watch the city lights shine bright as you admire the gleaming metropolis reflected in the harbor. Depart Darling Harbor just as the sun begins to set, you’ll be treated to some epic views of the skyline and surrounding bays. There’s plenty of room on the expansive top, fore, and aft decks to ensure you get uninterrupted 360-degree views of the iconic attractions as you sail past. As night falls and the city lights begin to sparkle, dinner is served. Enjoy a regionally focused menu, served over 3 courses. The chefs have created a menu that highlights the multicultural influences that make Sydney cuisine so special, using an array of fresh and flavorful New South Wales ingredients.  Dinner is paired with a selection of beers, wines, soft drinks, and tea or coffee. The wine has been hand-selected from some of the finest wineries in New South Wales. After dinner, sail past Taronga Zoo and Luna Park before arriving back in Darling Harbor.

Sydney: Whale Watching Cruise by Catamaran

9. Sydney: Whale Watching Cruise by Catamaran

Reach a top speed of almost 30 knots on Sydney’s largest purpose-built whale watching vessel, Fantasea Catalina, and take only 15 minutes to get from Circular Quay to the open ocean. Spend less time in the harbor and more time watching whales. Enjoy unobstructed views from spacious, wrap-around decks over 3 levels. Check out the open top sun deck, providing 360 degrees of viewing. Whale watch in comfort with air-conditioned cabins with large windows and great indoor and outdoor seating. Listen to informative commentary by an experienced crew. Know exactly what to look out for with onboard multimedia presentations. Don't worry if you don’t capture the perfect whale photos, as an onboard professional photographer has that covered with photos available for purchase onboard. Tea, coffee, and bottled water are included in this cruise. Additional drinks are available for purchase from the onboard licensed bar.

Sydney Harbour: À La Carte Lunch Cruise

10. Sydney Harbour: À La Carte Lunch Cruise

After making your own way to Darling Harbour, step onboard your spacious, fully-equipped cruise boat and set off on the waters of Sydney Harbour.  The welcoming staff will show you to your table, and soon your lunch will be served. Enjoy amazing views of Sydney as you dine on your choice of a 3-course meal. Savor a selection of fresh seafood, meat and vegetarian dishes; drinks are available for purchase from the bar. Your state-of-the-art vessel features several dining areas, large picture windows, an atrium and a 360-degree viewing deck. Upgrade to a guaranteed window seat for unobstructed viewing. Each guest has total freedom to choose their favorite two courses (main course plus entree or dessert) or three courses (entree, main, and dessert). Cruise aboard Sydney’s premier fleet including the spectacular Sydney 2000 and John Cadman 2, both with million-dollar views and expansive cocktail decks.

Other Sightseeing Options in Sydney Harbour

Want to discover all there is to do in Sydney Harbour? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Sydney Harbour

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 3,310 reviews

Booked this cruise for myself and my parents not knowing what to expect, having not done a cruise before, and it’s fair to say I would absolutely do it again. It was an incredible experience. The service and host were so lovely and welcoming. The food was delicious and the scenery was outstanding. It was a great trip out. We had plenty of time to explore the boat and take pictures and comfortably eat when the food was served. If you are looking for a cruise of Sydney Harbour to do while you are here, I 100% recommend! It was worth every penny!

Amazing experience and the girl that was the guide was lovely! I just didn't imagine I would feel seasick as many others did.

Despite the rain showers, we made a wonderful trip in a small group and 2 super enthusiastic guides.

Food was excellent, service was great. Menu had a good selection, drinks also a good selection.

Our guide was fantastic Very knowledgeable, spoke clearly & answered all questions