2000 Sydney, Australia
tel: 131500 (Timetables)
Sure, the Manly ferry is justly famous, and the 30-minute trip from the city to Manly is a must-do. But for a definite and surprising change of pace and scenery, try turning west out of Circular Quay and under the bridge (instead of east to Manly) on board a Parramatta RiverCat.
These sleek, low-set catamarans, slice gracefully across the water stopping at various wharves during its 55-minute motor to Parramatta. You pass islands and shipyards, past grand waterside homes and verdant headlands, and past Olympic Park on your way to historic Parramatta.
Go early in the day and take the opportunity to explore this historical precinct. In the first years of the colony, Parramatta literally feed the burgeoning population; it was the site of the first major farm, the first vineyard, even the first legal brewery.
By far the best way to see a different side of the harbor (and the city for that matter) is to purchase a MyMulti DayPass, providing unlimited travel across the city's entire public transport network (ferries, buses and trains).