Top Things to Do in Sydney Harbour

Iconic Sydney Harbour is the heart and soul of the city in so many ways. Combining the immense natural beauty of the local landscape with the city’s architecture, especially the world-famous Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, the harbour is the perfect playground for locals and visitors alike all year round.

Eastcoast Sailing, as one of the foremost boat, yacht and catamaran hire companies in Sydney, we can help you to experience first-hand the beauty and excitement of Sydney Harbour on a cruise. You will take in the most beautiful sights, along with scenery and lessor know places that many people miss out on. If you’re planning on visiting this beautiful part of the world, take a cruise with us to get the very best views of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

Here are some of the top things to do in Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Harbour Foreshore Walks

Middle Head walks – One of the most popular parts of Sydney Harbour among nature lovers, Sydney Harbour National Park was created to protect the foreshore and islands around the harbour and enable everyone to enjoy the fantastic foreshore walks and swimming spots that have made this national park a must-visit destination while in Sydney.

The area is rich in history as well as natural beauty, with Aboriginal sites, military fortifications, including the famous 1801 Forts, convict-built buildings and a heritage lighthouse some of the many historical places of interest that can be visited while bushwalking. Plus visiting all the beautiful beaches like Cobblers Beach, Clifton Gardens, Balmoral Beach, Oblisk Bay, and Whiting Beach / Athol Bay, by charter yacht.

There are also many scenic places of note in the park, with the harbour’s astounding coastline which creates a natural lookout that stretches as far as the eye can see, providing jaw-dropping views that attract visitors the world over. Middle Head is one of the best spots provides spectacular views extending all the way to the Middle Harbour, Manly and the Eastern Suburbs.

Spit Bridge to Manly – Probably Sydney’s best harbour side walk. It takes in fabulous views on Chinamans Beach, Balmoral, Middle / North and South Heads as you walk around stunning beaches, and bush tracks. Passing from Clontarf, you walk past Castle Rock where dozens of boats (including Eastcoast Sailing !) will be at day anchor and enjoying a swim to the beach. Past Grotto point and Dobroyd Head, to Forty Casket’s beach and then onto Manly Cove.

Woolloomooloo to Darling Harbour – Tick off all the major Sydney Harbour icons on this walk. Starting in Woolloomooloo, walk around the beautiful Mrs Macquarie Chair, named after the wife of the first Governor Macquarie. Fort Denison is located just off this point. Keep walking around the lovely Botanical Gardens, to the Sydney Opera House, and onto Circular Quay. Keep following the shore line through the Rocks takes you right under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Then stroll past all the historical piers, will bring you to Sydney’s newest foreshore development of Barangaroo. Finally, the walk progresses onto King St Wharf and Darling Harbour.

If you’d like to cruise past these unique locations, call us to arrange a Sydney yacht rental with Eastcoast Sailing on a lovely yacht of your selection.

Sydney Harbour Islands

Cockatoo Island – Many Sydney locals and visitors to the city spend time on Cockatoo Island, the only island in Sydney Harbour that offers accommodation. But that’s not all that makes it such a unique place to visit while in Sydney.

The Island used to be a penal settlement to prevent overcrowding and its later establishment as a shipbuilding base (for over 150 years) before the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust assumed control of it and it became the tourist attraction it is today. For those thinking of staying the night, camping is something to consider, with Lonely Planet billing it as “one of the world’s most spectacularly located campsites”. You are highly likely to see some of the marine wildlife on the way too! So much so that some people choose to sail here specifically for the wildlife, just like they would go whale watching california, the key difference is that they also get to visit these beautiful islands!

Fort Denison – Directly opposite the Sydney Opera House, this island has had a chequered history. Known as “Pinchgut”, it was for a time a tough penal facility. It has also served as a fortified defence battery for Sydney Cover in the early years of settlement. Now you can arrange trips to visit and even have lunch at the restaurant there.

Shark Island – A gorgeous island located off Rose Bay. 360 degrees views of Sydney Harbour. Shark Island has been used as an animal quarantine area and naval storage depot. The island is now a recreational reserve, with picnic shelters, a gazebo, and large grassy areas. Access to the island requires reservations, as the island can only cater for up to 500 people at any one time. The island can also be booked for private functions.

Clarke Island – This small island is located near Darling Point in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. With 360 degrees of Sydney Harbour, it is used for recreational activities. The island was named after Lieutenant Ralph Clark from the First Fleet. Apparently he attempted to grow a vegetable garden with limited success. Access to the island requires booking.

If you’d like to sail around these islands, and others, call us to arrange a Sydney yacht rental with Eastcoast Sailing on a lovely yacht of your selection.

We have a broad selection of yachts for you to select from, including luxury yachts, classic yachts and racing yachts, all of which are immaculately maintained and available for hire throughout the year, enabling you to experience the beauty of Sydney Harbour and it’s islands.

Sydney Harbour Beaches

The city and its harbour are also home to some amazing beaches which many people don’t get a chance to visit. If you’re planning to arrange a catamaran rental to tour Sydney Harbour in the summer, you may like to visit the following beaches on your cruise with Eastcoast Sailing.

Quarantine Beach – What a stunning sandy Sydney Harbour beach. As the name infers, this was originally a quarantine station for early immigrants and goods into the Sydney settlement. There is a lovely resort converted from the old quarantine residents. A quality restaurant and a museum are located on the wharf into the crystal blue waters.

Balmoral Beach – Not one, but two great sandy beaches for swimming and sunbaking. Balmoral beach on located on the north side of Middle Head. Close by are several quality cafes and restaurants. Balmoral also has some lovely walking tracks.

Nielsen Park – One of the most popular beaches in the harbour and not without good reason as there really is so much to like about it. With a sandy beach, clear water and a beautiful rocky area to explore it has so much to offer visitors, plus it has a café and walks.

Parsley Bay – The perfect beachside picnic spot, Parsley Bay has lovely soft sand and clear water that’s perfect for swimmers of all ages set among a picturesque, postcard-perfect natural setting. And like Nielsen’s Park, it’s netted off, making it very popular among families and swimmers. In summer, there’s no place better to dive from the bow of a yacht rental into the waters of Sydney Harbour.

As one of the leading boat charter companies operating in Sydney Harbour, Eastcoast Sailing can help you plan the perfect day on the water visiting these beautiful beaches, islands, national parks and more. To find out more about the skippered boat catamaran and yacht charters, and the unique places you can visit around Sydney Harbour, please contact the team today.