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 !

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.

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.

Hamilton Island Race Regatta

Another exciting sailing race week concludes in the beautiful Whitsundays.  The 29th annual Hamilton Island sailing regatta, held 23-31 August, provided lots of competitive sailing racing, but also lots of off-water fun, dinners and partying in this bluewater island playground.

The Hamilton Island sailing regatta is the largest off-shore regatta in Australia. The race week was launched by the Bob Oatley, (of Wild Oats II yacht fame, and oh, he owns Hamilton Island), followed by a spectacular fireworks display.

The regatta program includes the Grand Prix category for top-class racers, plus several other classes for cruising yachts, performance yachts and sports boat classes.

Marcus Blackmore’s Sydney based “Hooligan”, was crowned Hamilton Island Race Week Class A winner. The championship is endorsed and scored by Yachting Australia.

Eastcoast Sailing offers corporate sailing regatta’s on Sydney Harbour.  These sailing events are great for customers, as well as staff.  Regattas are also popular for team building events.  Our professional skippers provide fun friendly tuition, and can as competitive as the crew wish.

New Large Marinas slated for Sydney Harbour

There are several large marina developments slated for Sydney Harbour. Whilst the large Marina at Rose Bay has been taking most of the headlines, with wealthy proponents and vocal detractors, there are several lesser known proposals in (long!) process including Balls Head, Berrys Bay, Elizabeth Bay and Blackwattle Bay.

Balls Head

This is essentially a redevelopment of the existing dilapidated coal-loader wharf complex on the western side of Waverton Peninsula. It is owned by Roads and Maritime Services (the Old NSW Maritime). The park and some of the buildings next to the Wharf have been upgraded, but let’s be frank it – the loader wharf is an eye sore, and off –limits to the public due to safety issues. So a re-development here is surely a good thing. But the North Sydney Council and a group of activists don’t think so. There seems to be an enpasse between the RMS & North Sydney Council as a road upgrade proposal has been rejected by council, until RMS submit further details on their Marina proposal. The 160m wharf is proposed to be re-developed for larger yachts and motor cruisers from 12m to 50m, suitable for commercial operations such as Yacht charters, motor cruiser charters and other commercial vessels.

Berrys Bay

There are plans to build a 92 berth marina at Berry Bay – a development proposal was approved by the previous NSW Labour government. Meriden Marinas were awarded the development for up vessels 30m, including a boat yard & car parking. This construction is now underway.

Blackwattle Bay

This area adjacent to the fish markets is sadly run down. It is well used by the larger commercial charter vessel operators. There has been a development proposal accepted by the NSW Maritime as far back as 2005, with several revisions in the interim, but to date no real construction work has progressed.

Rose Bay

This is essentially a redevelopment of the existing marina, however much larger number and capacity of berths. There has been much debate in the public domain, especially with some of the original concepts proposing a massive super boat marina – fortunately, this is has been scaled back and is now under construction…

Point Piper / Elizabeth Bay

Like Rose Bay proposal there has been a strong resident pushback. This development has been previously approved by (the former) NSW Maritime. However, the future of this development proposal is clouded, and seems to have become a political item between City of Sydney and the Ministerial Office for Planning and Infrastructure.

Typically, these new Sydney Harbour Marina developments have good support from the boating fraternity, but some are aggressively opposed by residential activists, green lobbyists, and some councils. Sydney Harbour has been rightly claimed as a working harbour by successive governments. Further the Charter of the RMS is to promote a balanced safe access and use of the harbour. So, the “no new marina” position is simply untenable and short sighted, and the environment damage claims are usually misleading. Tasteful, well designed marinas can be beautifully integrated with the environment – think the lovely (old) Havorsens marina with fish sanctuary at Bobbin Head. Indeed, most boaties by nature absolutely love and care for a beautiful harbour. Equally though, massive new super marina proposals are too imposing and unattractive. A little constructive balance is all that is required. Good luck RMS..!

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).

Sydney to Hobart – yacht racing and the spectator fleet

The start of Sydney to Hobart 2011 Yacht Race was a stunning event  as usual.  The super maxis had the size and speed to lead the 86 yachts out of the Sydney Harbour.

The other excitment often over looked is the mahem, bravery, jockeying, and sometimes fear, is within the spectator fleet jostling

to a get a close vantage on the race, whilst avoiding each other, outside the race boundary as well as handling the white water chop and swells. The spectator fleet often numbers 5 to 10 times the number of racing yachts. Ranging from surf skis, to which the water police on the jet skis chased back to the shores, speed boats, sailing yachts, charter yachts, cruisers, ferries in all shapes and sizes. (btw – jet skis are illegal for all othe people on Sydney Harbour, except apparently the water police.)

Hamilton Island Race Week

Another fun exciting yacht sailing and racing week in the Whitsundays for the annual Hamilton Island Race Week . Over 200 yachts competed across multiple boat categories, including Grand Prix and Super Yachts, along with a range of more humble yacht classes. The Vodafone trimaran was a spectacle when it got onto the plane and dramtically lifts out of the water.

In the Grand Prix class, familar maxi yacht names like WildOats XI, Ivestec Loyal & Loki battled it out in sometimes brisk conditions.

Lots of fun – on and off the water… !