Spring Sailing Charter – Sydney Harbour Hidden Beaches

Winters finally gone, and you are yearning for some sun rays around Sydney Harbour? Spring is a great time for a sailing cruise to some of those special Sydney Harbour beach hideaways.

We all know the famous beaches that we can drive to like Balmoral Beach, Nielson Park and Rose Bay. Beautiful yes – but not secluded and unique. Take a sailing yacht charter to some of the exclusive and stunning sandy harbour beaches.

Three hidden golden sandy beaches near the Quarantine Station near Manly are best accessed by boat. Quarantine Beach, Collins Beach and Store Beach – beautiful clear water beaches surrounded by lovely dense green vegetation. You wont believe you are in Sydney. Drop anchor, swim into the beach and enjoy lunch and a chilled wine on the yacht.

Another favorite Sydney Harbour cruise for Eastcoast Sailing is Castle Rock – again best accessible by beach. With the shallow waters here, chartering a shallow draft hire boat such as a catamaran, you can anchor in nice and close to the 2 beaches.

Across the water from Castle Rock is Chinamans beach – a huge expanse of sandy beach. And around the point from Castle Rock is Clontarf.

What about Cliftons Gardens – better known by sailors as Taylors Bay? Often over-looked by landlubbers, it has a real wow. There are some naval maritime exhibits on the northern side and a swimming enclosure on the Southern side. All surrounded by lovely bush, and a great outlook to the sailing yachts on Sydney Harbour.

Athol Bay – never heard of it ? Well it’s the sandy beach to the east from Taraonga Park Zoo. You will often see some stunning luxury motor boats and yachts at anchor here. From the beach you look out to the Sydney city skyline.

Finally in the east, we love Milk Beach. Again, off the beaten track, but easily accessible by boat anchored just off the shore.

Contact Eastcoast Sailing to plan your Sydney Harbour cruise – your private skippered yacht charter to discover some unique and exquisite Sydney Harbour beaches.

Enjoy the Eastcoast Sailing experience. 1300 883 023

By May 23, 2014 Blog Comments Off

Vivid Sydney Starts tonight

Vivid Sydney starts tonight promising to be the most spectacular yet. The incredible lighting of Vivid Sydney is best seen from Sydney Harbour. Amazing laser light images are projected onto the Sydney Harbour icons including the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Customs House, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Also, around at Darling Harbour is the National Maritime Museum.

Plus, for the first time in 2014, Vivid Sydney extends onto the harbour. Many of the large cruise vessels, and ferries that travel around the harbour will be decorated with brilliant LED lights that change colour as they enter different parts of the harbour. These “colour precincts” will be computer controlled using Intel technology and the latest in sat-nav geo-positioning; Harbour Lights will give Vivid another technological world first.

Eastcoast Sailing is delighted to offer several Sydney Harbour boat tours of Vivid Sydney. We have several per person ticket options including on luxury vessel, as well as private harbour cruise on a luxury cruiser. Don’t miss out !

Acrobatics on yachts comes to Sydney Harbour

Yachts and acrobatics ? An unlikely mix, but French couple Delphine Lechifflart and Franck Rabilier, and their daughters are performing acrobatics in Sydney on their yacht La Loupiote. Lechifflart said the performance blends circus, dance and theatre.

The couple use the mast, boom, rigging, spinnaker and other parts of their yacht in their shows, together with long strands of silk fabric. ”It’s definitely harder than in a theatre, because the boat is moving all the time,” Delphine says.

Lechifflart and Rabilier have been performing these nautical acrobatics for nine years around the world on their yacht. Their 2 daughters, aged 5 and 13 are now also part of the performance.
The family have been performing shows in Darling Harbour in Sydney.

Since 2004, the crew has travelled the world sharing this experience. Thousands have been awed and delighted in France and Portugal (2004/06), Morocco 2004/07, the French Caribbean (2007-2009), Canada, the United States, and Mexico (2007-2011), and French Polynesia (2013).

Here is a link to their website and youtube video clip. 

Unique to Sydney Harbour – Pontoon Cruiser

This unique hire boat is new to Eastcoast Sailing and to Sydney Harbour! The Pontoon Cruiser is the ideal venue for a small group or intimate charter cruise on Sydney Harbour. The layout of this boat is great for socialising, with uninterrupted views from lovely comfortable lounges.

This sumptuous boat is also popular for wedding party transfers. These vessels are safe for children (and inexperienced adults) due to their high sided rails and flat deck. Shallow draft enables pick up or landing on the beach without getting wet feet. Great to swim off.

This unique boat concept originated in France and grew in popularity.


  • Ideal layout for socialising
  • Comfortable lounges and tables
  • Extremely stable vessel
  • BBQ
  • Toilet
  • Swimming ladder
  • Shallow draft – ideal to get close to harbour beaches

Navy Fleet review Spectacular

Thousands of spectator yachts and motor boats anchored around the inner bays of Sydney Harbour to watch the main day of International Navy Fleet Review spectacular. During the day, the Navy fleet warships cruised past dignitaries including Prince Harry and the Governor General. Quite an imposing sight.

Fly overs from various warplanes, roaring over boats created a real buzz. The stunt planes appeared just before sunset and amazed with breathtaking aerobatics.

The artistic fireworks on a clear evening did not disappoint. With fireworks barges moored westwards from Cockatoo island, to Clarke Island in the east, the flotilla of boats enjoyed synchronised pallets of colours into evening.

The International Navy Fleet review comprises over 40 warships, 8000 sailors from 20 countries. This special event will commemorate the centenary of the first entry of the Royal Australian Navy Fleet into Sydney Harbour. A century later, the program for the International Fleet Review on Sydney Harbour will include a tall ships parade, warships arrival, ceremonial fleet review, naval gun salutes, aerial flypasts, a spectacular fireworks display and light show.

Historic Quarantine Station Family Fun Day

Quarantine Station at North Head was swarming with families young and old at yesterday’s Family Fun Day. The weather was superb, bringing crowds to soak up the history, sun , sand and ocean together in one magnificent location.

Manly was originally a quarantine station for migrant ships arriving in Sydney from the 1830s to 1984. Those ships with suspected contagious disease aboard had to off-load their passengers and crew at the quarantine station where they stayed for about 40 days before they were released (if they were deemed disease-free) to settle as Australian residents.

The North Head site was selected for the establishment of the quarantine station because it was the first safe anchorage point inside the Heads; it was sufficiently isolated and the presence of natural springs ensured a constant water supply to the inhabitants. Today, the historical site comprises of 65 buildings, several archaeological sites, and some spectacular vantage points to view the beautiful Sydney Harbour and native bushland.

Yesterday’s fun day offered activities such as exhibitions, talks, open buildings, native wildlife presentations, stalls, kids’ activities, tours and more.

Some of the event highlights included:
. Live Music
. Sausage Sizzle plus other food
. Quarantine Photographic Exhibitions
. University Of NSW Fine Arts Exhibition
. Sydney University “Stories from the Sandstone” Inscription Talks
. In Focus Movable Heritage Exhibition
. Author Felicity Pulman talks about her book “Ghost Boy”
. Author Gunilla Haglundh talks about her book “Manly Murders”
. Author Perry McIntyre talks about “Lady McNaughton: the first official Quarantine”
. All authors gave advice to hopeful writers on things like how to become a better editor
. Latitude 33 – bootcamp, zumba & boxing session
. Q Station Accommodation & Function Room Tour
. Open Buildings – visit the historic Quarantine Shower Block, Autoclaves & Hospital.
. Wildlife Encounters – native animal presentation
. Mural Painting
. Kayaking

Plenty of yachts and catamarans stopped by to see what all the fuss was about. A perfect place to drop anchor and take a swim or row into the beach at Qstation. It is an idyllic place to explore or relax and soak in both the historic buildings and the magnificent backdrop of Sydney harbour and surrounding National Park.

A Family Fun day enjoyed by many!

Georgia – one of the world’s largest yachts enjoying Sydney Harbour

The luxury super yacht, “Georgia” is gracing our Sydney Harbour. Our boat charters have enjoyed cruising past this breath taking sloop – it is one of the largest sailing yachts in the world ! Her rust red hull, with white topsides and sky scraper masts creates an imposingly beautiful yacht.

Built by Alloy Yachts in 2000, and designed by Studio Scanu / Butch Design, GEORGIA is a 48m (159 ft) sloop . She can sail up to about 16 knots with comfort and stability. It is powered by a 1000HP cat engine. A very capable ocean cruising vessel…

Apparently it has four generous guest cabins, to accommodate 12 overnights guests in luxury, plus a crew of 7. The master suite is huge taking the full width of the boat. As you can (or can’t) imagine, it has every conceivable luxury, including a spa, bar, dining room, TV room / lounge room, etc. It also has lots of aquatic toys, including 21 foot tender capable of 35 + knots for 10 people. Of course, it has a gym to keep fit for those lazy ocean crossings..

A truly magnificent yacht under sail.

Sailing Regatta – Property Industry Foundation 2012

Another successful Sailing Regatta for the wonderful charity PIF on Friday 23 March 2012. Under stunning blue skies on Sydney Harbour, the regatta provided tight fun racing in various categories, appreciated by the large cruising spectator fleet.  Then afterwards at the “surfin’ safari beach party” at Middle Harbour Yacht Club for regatta awards, much solcialising and to debate which yacht had right of way..

The PIF Regatta is a fantasic sailing regatta on Sydney Harbour where a large number of companies from the property fraternity clamour onboard a large fleet of yachts to race, and to raise money for PIF.

PIF, the Property Industry Foundation charity raises funds to support homeless kids around Australia.  “This is our indusrtry working together to raise a million dollar difference to help solve a very important problem – youth homelessness.

Victor Hoog Antink, National Chariman, PIF.

On Sydney Harbour – 10 things the locals wont tell you

Are you about to go on holiday to Sydney? Or have you only just moved to Sydney after using a Sydney removalist company? Either way, you’re going to want to know where all the best places to go are. But this can often lead to over-crowded tourist areas that leave you in a queue for most of the day. This is why you’ll want to look for things to do that the locals won’t tell you about.

1. Discover secret harbour beaches accessible only by boat

Hire a skippered yacht and discover the hidden jewels of Sydney Harbour. There are a large number of sandy beaches draped by lush bushland around the harbour. Many of these beaches are only accessible by boat, or bush walking tracks. Hence, many of these special beaches & bays are unknown to tourists, and to many of the locals. On the north side near the old Quarantine Station on North Head, are several excellent beaches nested close to one other, called Collins, Quarantine and Store beach. Around Middle Harbour is Castle Rock (a favourite for boaties), and Obelisk Bay, Athol / Taronga Zoo beach on Middle Head. And in the East is Neilson Park and Hermitage Reserve. Spend a day on a yacht eating, drinking and lounging, then swim in crystal clear water into the beach.

2. Catch the Manly Ferry

One the best and cheapest (!) thing to do on Sydney Harbour is to catch the Ferry from Circular Quay to Manly. You get a great view of the harbour passing iconic landmarks such as Fort Denison, Farm Cove, Taronga Park Zoo, Shark Island, Middle Head, passing the Sydney Heads, and over to Manly. Many tourists don’t realise the duality of Manly, it is both a beautiful harbour beach on one side, and a fabulous ocean beach on the other. Spend a day shopping around Manly, and enjoy the contrast of the surf beach and the inner harbour beaches.

3. Cruise the Harbour, Islands, Bays & Beaches

There are the usual large ferry operators carrying tourists by the hundreds, BUT a much more personal and fun way is to charter a yacht or catamaran. Your skipper will take you around many of the Harbour Islands and explain some interesting history. There are Shark and Clark Islands in the East, and Goat and Cockatoo Islands just west of the Harbour Bridge. On the North Shore are some lovely bays, including Kirribilli, Cremorne, and Mosman. And lastly, from the history file, there is Fort Denison and Garden Island near circular Quay, and the swathe of military ‘bunkers’ scattered around Middle Head.

4. Lunch on the Marina at Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is a very exciting place for both tourists and locals. It is even more spectacular when you tie up to the marina, and order some great restaurant food and wine that many of the nearby establishments gladly deliver to your boat. You get a very different view of the excitement from your relative serenity of your boat watching the people stroll past and the amazing Sydney skyline. A cocktail at sunset on your boat on the marina is memorable.

5. Learn to Sail a Yacht

A fun way to see Sydney harbour is to sail it yourself !! A professional Skipper will teach you to Sail a Yacht, take the tiller and pull some lines as you learn. This is great fun for 2 to 8 people.

6. Overnight stay on a yacht

Imagine waking up to a sunrise with uninterrupted waterviews through to Sydney Heads – because you are on your own yacht ! The skipper quietly exits the yacht in the evening when the yacht is secured – the boat is all yours. This is great for a very romantic evening, or a special time with family & friends. Dinner and breakfast is organised. There are range of bays to drop anchor, but Balmoral Beach, Flat Rock Beach and Bantry Bay are a couple of favourites. This is better than a 6 star hotel !

7. Relax and Swim at Sydney’s finest harbour beaches

There a lots of beautiful beaches on Sydney harbour all offering there own magic. Some of our favourite beaches are Chinaman’s and Clontarf . If good food and coffee from the shore is a must, Balmoral, Manly and Neilson Park are the picks. But a tip for the other beaches, watch out for the coffee & ice-cream boats that come around in summer!

8. Tour of the wealthy Sydney waterfront mansions

Cruise around the gorgeous houses and mansions on the bays, beaches and cliffs. There are many sections of the harbour where you will appreciate the style and grandeur of some of Sydney finest homes. Three favourite cruising sections are (a) Watson Bay all the way to Garden Island, (b) Kirribilli (from Kirribilli House – the Prime Minister’s Sydney house) to Mosman through Neutral Bay and Cremorne, and (c) from Spit Bridge around through Seaforth through Beauty Point, Cremorne, and Castlecrag.

9. Sydney Fish Markets Marina

After cruising East Balmain, Pyrmont, and around the Big Boats marina at Roselle, tie up to the marina at Sydney Fish Markets. Check out the amazing selection of seafood at the Sydney Seafood Markets, and then order a fabulous lunch and wine from the markets.

10. Inner harbour and rivers

Done the Sydney Harbour cruise before? Then cruise away from the usual tourist areas, and explore the beautiful waterways around Lane Cove / Parramatta rivers, like Woolwich and Drummoyne. Around Middle Cove are some lovely serene bays including Bantry Bay and Sugarloaf Bay. The lush vegetation dispersed with lovely homes, beaches, cliffs and bays is truly memorable. You won’t believe you are still in Sydney.

copyright Eastcoast Sailing, October 2011

About Eastcoast Sailing :

Eastcoast Sailing provides skippered Yacht Charters and Sailing School on Sydney Harbour. Kylie Noble is the principle of Eastcoast Sailing, and regularly enjoys the delights of Sydney Harbour with her family and friends. Let Eastcoast Sailing help you enjoy Sydney Harbour from one of our luxury yachts.


+61 459 060 011 (outside Australia), 1300 883 023 (within Australia).

Sea Shepherd leaves Sydney Harbour

The Sea Shepherd vessel, with its formidable camouflage paint, on its way out of Sydney Harbour on a stunning sunny Friday afternoon.