The Best Way to See the Harbour in Sydney

Things to Do — By Jenny on September 20, 2010 at 11:19 pm

There are so many vantage points to see the world-renowned Sydney Harbour from, and you should explore as many as possible while you’re here.

One of the more impressive views (and one with the highest altitude) can be found at the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The climb to the top of this architectural marvel takes a couple of hours, but is quite safe and worth the effort for the view. Guides take groups of visitors up the many stairways to the top, stopping at advantageous spots to talk about the bridge and the city. You’re not allowed to carry anything with, including cameras, so they can charge an arm and a leg for the pictures they take. As a result, the overall experience isn’t cheap, but can be quite rewarding and a highlight of any Sydney visit.

For a cheaper view of the bridge, you can just take a walk across rather than splurging on the Bridge climb. There is a smaller lookout that doesn’t have an equivalent view to the top of the bridge but still gives a good vantage point, and you can even use your own camera!

Of course, there are an abundance of different harbour cruise options if you want to get out on the water. From super-yachts to ships resembling various historic vessels, you can find just about any kind of boat. Some include drinks and/or food, which can be hit or miss. If a dinner cruise is the only type available to go out around sunset, though, opt for that – it’s a particularly lovely time of day to enjoy the sights and sounds of the harbour.

For a more active way to see the harbour from water level, there are outfits that do kayak rentals and lessons. Early morning sightseeing trips around the harbour edge mean ideal views of the Opera House, Bridge, and more – with a workout included! Different length options mean these work for beginners and experts alike.

To enjoy the harbour’s natural areas from the safety of solid land, visit one of the many parks, reserves, or green spaces along the water’s edge. One of the most beautiful is the Royal Botanical Gardens, located just a stones throw from the Rocks and the Opera House. It’s a fun spot to learn about much of Australia’s flora and fauna, from trees to bats to birds. It’s also the perfect spot to unwind after a busy visit, and enjoy a picnic along the water under the palms.

[photo courtesy of Altered Lens]

Tags: Australia, beach, botanical gardens, cruise, harbor, kayak, Opera House, Sydney, Sydney Harbour, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Things to Do