The best thing about Sydney is the harbor, and you shouldn’t leave without taking a cruise. Captain Cook Cruises, departing Jetty 6, Circular Quay (tel. 02/9206 1111; www.captaincook.com.au), offers several harbor excursions on its sleek vessels, with commentary along the way. Two-hour morning or afternoon “Coffee Cruises” cost A$55, and there’s a range of dining cruises as well. The 1-hour, 15-minute “Harbour Highlights Cruise,” which costs A$30 for adults and runs five times a day from Circular Quay, is popular. Whale-watching cruises are run from May to November, costing A$88 adults. Check the website for special deals. Captain Cook Cruises has ticket booths at Jetty 6, Circular Quay (open 8:30am–7pm daily), and at Pier 26, Aquarium Wharf, Darling Harbour (open 11am–4pm daily). You will also find other cruise operators here, including Matilda Cruises (tel. 02/8270 5188; www.matilda.com.au), which offers a similar range of cruises at similar prices. Matilda offers a “Zoo Express,” including zoo entry, from both Darling Harbour and Circular Quay. It costs A$52 for adults and A$26 for kids, round-trip.
Yellow Water Taxis (tel. 1300/138 840 in Australia or 02/9299 0199; www.yellowwatertaxis.com) offers a 15-minute mini-tour by small water taxi from its bases at King Street Wharf in Darling Harbour and Circular Quay Jetty 1. This tour is good for a quick look at Sydney’s famous harbor and a great way to travel to or from Darling Harbour and Circular Quay. The tours depart every 20 minutes from 10am until sunset and cost A$15 for adults, A$10 for children (4–12 years of age), and A$40 for a family. A 45-minute Harbour Highlights Tour includes hop-on, hop-off options at Darling Harbour, Luna Park, Taronga Zoo, and the Sydney Opera House. This tour costs A$40 for adults, A$20 for kids, and A$100 for a family.
It’s a good idea to check websites or pop into a ticket office at Darling Harbour or Circular Quay, because cruise options, departure times, and prices change frequently.
If you want to learn more about Sydney’s early history, book an excellent guided tour with The Rocks Walking Tours, based at Clocktower Square, corner of Argyle and Harrington streets (tel. 02/9247 6678; www.rockswalkingtours.com.au). Walks leave daily at 10:30am and 1:30pm. The 1 1/2-hour tour costs A$25 for adults, A$12 for children ages 5 to 16, A$62 for families of four.
Wild Ride Australia (tel. 1300/738 338 in Australia; www.wildride.com.au) runs Harley-Davidson tours of Sydney, the Blue Mountains, and farther. A 1-hour ride (you sit on the back of the bike) around the city or Bondi costs A$130. A 1 1/2-hour ride through the city and out to Bondi costs A$160. A 3-hour trip to the northern beaches costs A$250. Full-day trips cover the Blue Mountains and the Hawkesbury region. If you love motorbikes and want to rent one on your own for a self-guided or guided tour, contact Bikescape (tel. 1300/736 869 in Australia or 02/9569 4111; www.bikescape.com.au).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.