What to see in Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour is one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world. Meandering waterways, secluded beaches and coastal walks, means there is plenty to see in Sydney Harbour. 


From Sydney Harbour, you can see some of Sydney’s biggest attractions, including the Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and the Royal Botanical Gardens. Also, you can find several hidden gems. Here are our tops things to see in Sydney Harbour.

See in Sydney Harbour



Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island is the largest Island in the Harbour, with plenty of history. It is a short ferry ride from Sydney CBD, making it easy to get there.

Discover the convict history and the stories of the people who tried to escape. Or if boats are more your thing, check out the vast shipbuilding history.

Cockatoo Island has cafes and one of the best camp grounds in Australia. To find out more visit the Cockatoo Island website.

Explore Cockatoo Island with a Trail Quest. You will explore the whole Island, looking for clues to solve a puzzle. The puzzle will reveal a nautical story about the island.


Rushcutters Bay

If you love yachts and sailing, then Rushcutters Bay is a must! The Bay hosted the sailing events for the 2000 summer Olympics. Several boats moored in Rushcutters Bay will compete annually in the acclaimed Sydney to Hobart race, which starts on Boxing Day each year.

You can explore the surrounding area with the Edgecliff Trail Quest. On this Quest, you’ll get some great sweeping views of the Harbour.

If you would like to explore the Harbour from the water, there are plenty of options. Our recommendation is to get a bunch of friends together and charter a yacht for a customised experience. Check out www.ducksridge.com and let me know Trail Quest has referred you for a 5% discount.


Kirribilli House

On the Northern Side of the Harbour, hidden away is Kirribilli House. You can catch glimpses of the house from the ferries that take you to Cremorne, Mosman and Manly.

Kirribilli House has been used by the Australian Prime Ministers as the Sydney residence since 1956.  It is open to the public one day a year, organised by The Australian Fund.

If you can’t wait for that one day and want to know more, then try the Kirribilli Trail Quest, it will take you past Kirribilli House, Luna Park and Wendy’s Secret Garden.



Balmain is a short ferry ride away, with plenty of Instagram worthy shots along the way, so keep your phone handy on the trip.

Our recommendation is to catch a ferry to Balmain Wharf, normally the second of the two Balmain stops if you’re heading there from the Circular Quay. Not only do you go under the Harbour Bridge, but you will also see the converted Palmolive / Colgate factory and a series of colourful boating sheds.

Balmain has been home to many notable residents, including Prime Ministers, Premiers, swimmers, singers, authors, actors and one serial killer.

Complete the Balmain Trail Quest to discover one of these residents and their link to a movie.



Finally, we love Pyrmont. It is a great suburb to explore.  Start at Darling Harbour, and keep the water on your right, and walk around the suburb. You will have views of the CBD, Sydney Harbour Bridge, historical wharfs, and the converted CSR factories. You could easily spend a day here, stop in at The Star or the National Maritime Museum. If you keep exploring, with the water on your right, you will eventually get to the Sydney FisH Markets, a great place to stop for refreshments!

Discover more about the suburb with our Pyrmont Trail Quest.

Whatever you do, have fun exploring the Harbour, take plenty of pictures and #trailquestau.


Where to go in Sydney