5 Things to do in Sydney
What are the
best things to do in Sydney? - Take a Sydney Harbour Cruise and catch
the Manly Ferry
The City of Sydney
was built around its beautiful harbour. The magnificent Harbour
Bridge stretches from the city across the water to North Sydney. The
architectural masterpiece called the Sydney Opera House can be found close
by guarding the entrance to Circular Quay. The best things to do in Sydney
1 Catch the Manly
A ferry is the perfect way
to appreciate just how beautiful Australia's largest city really is.
The Manly Ferry will give you an excellent vantage point to enjoy the
full splendour of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. They are all
yours for the photo taking.
Arrive a little early at
Circular Quay to ensure a good position in the queue. Aim for either
the front or the back of the Manly Ferry for the best view of the Harbour
Bridge and Sydney Opera House as you depart Sydney Cove.
Your voyage will last approximately
thirty minutes allowing you time to enjoy some of the best scenery the
harbour has to offer. It can get a little choppy as you approach Sydney
Heads so be prepared to retreat inside.
Manly Ice Cream
Upon your arrival in Manly
check out the large new Manly Wharf Pub and Restaurant on your right.
If you can, resist the delicious looking ice cream, chocolate and other
yummy temptations in the Manly Ferry Wharf.
Manly Fast Ferry
Consider catching the new
Manly Fast Ferry service on the way back across the harbour to Circular
Quay as it will do the same trip in around half the time.
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If you'd prefer an organised
cruise of the harbour then there are quite a few to choose from. You will
find most of the major tour operators like Captain Cook Cruises; operate
from Wharf No.6 on the west side of Circular Quay.
Most of these vessels are
quite comfortable and it can be a very civilised way to see and hear
about the harbour. Be warned that we are obsessed with property prices
and so don't be surprised if the guide starts telling you who lives
in each waterfront mansion and how much they paid for it.
Ferry or Cruise?
Everybody goes on a harbour
cruise. Just bear in the mind the harbour looks equally fabulously the
same whether you are on a cruise or a ferry.
The advantages of a cruise
The advantages of going on
a cruise are that it lasts longer than a ride on a ferry and provides
The disadvantages of a cruise
The main disadvantages are
that a cruise lasts longer than a ride on a ferry, provides commentary
and costs more.
Catch the ferry and go on
My advice is to catch the
Manly Ferry first and then decide. It is certainly easy to argue that
the best way to see Sydney is from the harbour (but she also looks pretty
awesome from the air).
However you look at it and however you experience it, the harbour is
one of the best things to do in Sydney.
Coffee Cruise and/or
There are many
excellent Harbour Cruises to choose from. You can see many of the top
sights from the harbour in just an hour or two. If time allows, it is
worth cruising at night so you can fully appreciate the city lights,
particularly during the Vivid Festival.
and Sailing - Recommended Harbour Cruises
As you might
expect, you can do more than just look at all the wonderful scenery
whilst cruising the harbour. You can go sailing for example, you can
even sail on-board an authentic Tall Ship.
A review of
recommended harbour cruises might help you to decide which
cruise to choose?
a ferry from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour and return
Once again, the harbour is
part of the top 5 things to do in Sydney with a ferry ride to Darling
Harbour from Circular Quay. The trip lasts approximately ten minutes taking
you under the Harbour Bridge as you head out of Sydney Cove. The brief
trip brings with it more opportunities to add to your collection of Harbour
Bridge and Opera House photographs. You'll probably stop at Balmain
along the way.
Darling Harbour - Playground
for Locals and Visitors alike
The Darling Harbour project
was publicly criticised at first, but Darling Harbour has grown to become
a popular and extensive playground for the locals and a key attraction
for visitors. It is also very popular with families.
Darling Harbour Attractions
Darling Harbour is full of
attractions including the Imax Theatre,
Sea Life Sydney Aquarium,
(said to be one of the largest aquariums in the world), Wildlife World
with over 5,000 Aussie critters, the family friendly Powerhouse
Museum and the popular Australian
National Maritime Museum. In addition, there are many Harbourside
shops to browse through and cafes, bars and restaurants to enjoy.
The Star or Star City
Casino, 'Star City' now renamed 'The Star', is also worth a mention
if only for the Lyric and Star Theatres.
Darling Harbour Festivals
Darling Harbour is home to
a growing number of festivals including the Australia
Day spectacular, a Latin American Fiesta, and the Hoopla
acrobatic and street theatre festival. Check out the Festivals
page for the top festivals currently on in Sydney and the Entertainment
page for other top events.
Don't stay in Darling Harbour
for too long
It's very easy, with so many
attractions in one spot, to stay too long. If you have limitless time
and a robust budget then that's not a problem. If you don't, then you
had better not forget the ferry back to Circular Quay. You still have
another 100 things to do in Sydney
from Manly Ferry Terminal (Manly Wharf) to Shelly Beach
Manly features once more in
the top 5 things to do in Sydney, it feels more like a seaside town rather
than part of the largest city in Australia. The ocean side is east of
the Manly Ferry Terminal (Manly Wharf). Just cross the road and walk the
length of the Manly Corso.
Nautilus sculpture at Manly
Stop and wonder at just what
Manly Council was thinking off when they commissioned the steaming Nautilus
sculpture at Manly Wharf, locally referred to as the "steaming
dog poo", just outside the ferry terminal. Don't forget to wipe
Numerous pubs, cafes and
shops will crave your patron along the way. Fairy Bower, on route to
Shelly Beach, would be my choice for lunch and the kiosk on Shelly Beach
is also worth considering but either, or, or not, Manly boasts a million
and one places to eat so you won't starve.
As you approach Shelly Beach
keep an eye out for the rock art to your right. Shelly Beach is an excellent
spot for diving and has free barbeques and shaded areas behind the beach
perfect for picnics. Once you've reached Shelly Beach you can walk up
to and across the car park for cliff top views out to sea.
Walking and the Manly Little
Manly boasts many other walks
including a chance of seeing a Manly Little Penguin. Unfortunately,
the Little Penguins are endangered so it is far from certain that you
will actually see one, but you never know your luck.
Manly Bike Tours
hard to beat Manly Bike Tours
It is hard to beat a self-guided
bike tour that takes you through a National Park incorporating secluded
coves, deserted beaches and unforgettable coastal scenery. When you
consider you'll be cycling through Manly and North Head you might start
to wonder how much this is going cost. Well it's only $28 per person.
For more details visit Manly
North Head (not too far from
Manly) will provide you with a stupendous view of the harbour with coastal
cliffs and the city skyline behind. Depending on the time of year, and
if you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a migrating
humpback whale. If it's wet, or very windy, you might want to postpone
this for another day. North Head is just a little too far away to walk
from Manly, so either drive, cab or bus it from the Manly Ferry Wharf.
Visit North Fort for fortifications,
tunnels and guns, being home to The National Artillery Museum. North
Fort boasts a cafe with a view to go with the refreshments. Alternatively
just make use of the picnic and barbecue facilities.
North Head Views
Look out of, and for, the
North Head lookouts with sweeping views over the ocean and around the
harbour. The combination of the natural flora and fauna, the Sydney
Harbour National Park, wonderful views and intriguing history makes
a visit to North Head a must.
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