From CruisersWiki

Jump to: navigation, search
WorldAustraliaNew South WalesSydney
Port of Entry
33°49.505'S, 151°16.606'E Chart icon.png
lat=-33.82508 | lon=151.27676 | zoom=12 | y

Sydney is Australia's largest city, and largest / principal sea port. It is the capital city of New South Wales, and located on the East Coast of Australia roughly half way between Brisbane to the north and Melbourne to the south.

Sydney faces eastwards on to the pacific ocean with a coastline of high sea cliffs and bays with sandy beaches. Its coastline is punctuated by three large bodies of water: Sydney Harbour, The Hawkesbury River and Botany Bay.

The city is centred on Sydney Harbour (Port Jackson) which is home to the city centre, as well as the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. The main part of the harbour is deep with wide channels. It extends 25 km inland via the Paramatta River, and has numerous branches and bays. these are fringed by everything from exclusive suburbs to industrial ports to secluded bushland. The harbour has numerous yacht clubs and facilities for yachts. It also has extensive traffic including large commercial vessels, ferries and recreational boaters.

The northern fringes of the city touch on Pittwater which is part of the Hawkesbury River region, which is technically part of the Central Coast region. Pittwater is a 10 km (6 mi) long inlet extending south from the mouth of the River separated pacific ocean by a long, narrow peninsula. There are several yacht clubs with facilities along Pittwater as well as the Central Coast to the north.

The southern suburbs of the city wrap around Botany Bay, which is a wide, open and unsheltered harbour with a width of several kilometers. Georges river enters the bay on the southeast with two marinas. While the river is deep and navigable some km upstream, it is crossed at its mouth by a 16m clearance bridge and 1km further upstream by a 5.6 m clearance bridge 1.2 km (3/4 mi) further upstream.

The smaller Port Hacking is located south of Botany Bay. This is a small drowned valley estuary. The entrance is shallow, but a dredged channel gives access to deeper waters of the sheltered Gunnamatta bay. The port is navigable several kilometers further inland, although the river is crossed by an overhead power line with 9m clearance.


Charts of Sydney Harbour are readily available, but the harbour pilots contained in the cruising guide mentioned above, along with a depth sounder, are your best guides. Sydney Harbour is wide and deep throughout, and except at the far reaches of Middle Harbour or the Lane Cove River there is very little to hit.

NSW Road and Maritime Transport publish boating maps for NSW which are also available online for free. The relevant maps for Sydney Harbour are:

  • 9D Port Jackson east of the Harbour Bridge [1]
  • 9D Middle Harbour [2]
  • 9G Port Jackson west of the Harbour Bridge including Lane Cove and Lower Parramatta Rivers [3]
  • 9G Upper Parramatta River [4]

Note: details on these charts may be out of date.

See also New South Wales.


See New South Wales.

Sources for Weather forecasts:



Hawkesbury River Region Sydney Harbour (Port Jackson)
Cogra Bay (accessible only by water)
Dangar Island
Little Wobby {accessible only by water)
Long Island
Peat Island
Pelican Island
Rileys Island
Scotland Island
Spectacle Island
St Huberts Island
Clark Island
Cockatoo Island
Fort Denison
Goat Island
Rodd Island
Shark Island


Water Nearly all marinas offer water at the dock, and places such as Baileys Marine Fuels and Clontarf Marina have water available at the fuel dock.
Electricity Nearly all marinas have power to all berths
Toilets In the marinas
Showers In most of the marinas
Laundry Most areas of Sydney have one or more coin-operated laundromats, or more frequently bag wash services where you can drop a bag of dirties and pick it up clean the next day. Check with the marina or other locals as to where you might find the nearest.
Garbage Garbage disposal in Sydney is always a problem -- check with the marina or nearby locals as to where council bins might be located. Councils usually only clear away rubbish left in specific bins by residents, and the residents are often on the look out for any unwanted dumper
Fuel Fuel docks are available at many places around Sydney Harbour, some of the ones I have frequented include the following:
  • Baileys Marine Fuels at White Bay, on the south side of the harbour just past the Harbour Bridge. They have the cheapest prices on the harbour that I have encountered, as well as free water, pump-out facilities, and they are open 24x7 if you have a credit card.
  • Clontarf Marina just before the Spit Bridge in Middle Harbour. Because of its location it's probably the most stable and sheltered fuel dock in inclement weather.
  • d'Albora Marinas at Rushcutter's Bay also has a publically accessible fuel dock that is available 24x7. There was once a pump-out station on the fuel dock, last time I checked it had gone although there were rumours that it was about to be replaced.
Bottled gas Bottled gas is widely available from service stations and hardware stores. While it is possible to get bottles filled. Many of these places do not fill bottles, but run a bottle exchange system. There are several bottle exchange companies wich operate Australia wide. Bottles cost around AU$40 and replacements cost around $20.
  • Whitworths is the best known marine chandlery in Sydney, and operates 5 stores.
  • BIAS Boating Warehouse is also a good supplier of all marine equipment. Their showrooms are more widely distributed than those of Whitworths.
  • Bargain Boat Bits sell boat bits, sometimes at a bargain price. Caveat: shop around, as the name of the store may not reflect any relation to having consistently the lowest prices.
  • Classic Boat Supplies Operates from a shop in Belrose, but also accepts online orders. Has a good range of bronze deck hardware and bits for wooden boat repair, epoxy, etc. Australian distributor for Davey & Co.
  • The Boat Warehouse Online-only chandlery although they do allow pickups from their Sydney depot, but you need to order ahead. Has a wide range from many of the major brands such as Harken, Ronstan and Oceansouth. Will send orders internationally.
  • Aquatronics in Brookvale are probably the best suppliers / installers / repairers of anything electronic on your boat.
  • Oceantalk have a good range of specialist electronic equipment. Although they are distributors they are usually able to be spoken to on the phone, and will offer product advice and let you know where to purchase the gear they distribute. Norm Bretherton was the guy to talk to last time I dealt with them.
  • There are many fishing tackle stores located around Sydney which have limited ranges of items such as rope, chain, etc that might be easier to reach than major chandlers.
General Hardware
  • Bunnings is the major hardware chain across Australia and operate warehouse hardware with a relatively wide range of general (non marine) hardware items and moderate prices.
  • Mitre 10 smaller more local hardware stores with a smaller range than Bunnings.
  • Home Hardware, another chain of smaller local hardware stores.
Repairs There are many repair yards around Sydney, mostly are of generally OK quality but the prices are somewhat higher than others in the region. Some that I have frequented include:
  • Sydney City Marine almost directly under the Anzac Bridge at the entrance to Blackwattle Bay.
  • River Quays Marina at Mortlake.
  • Treharne's Manly Boatshed at North Harbour -- however last I heard from them they were no longer slipping boats for repair due to damage to the slipway. Hugh Treharne is one of the most respected shipwrights on the harbour, having had the distinction of being the tactician on Australia II when it won the America's Cup in 1983.
Internet It's quite tricky to find free or even cheap WiFi in Sydney although many cafes now provide free WiFi with purchase. MacDonalds are one restaurant chain that always has free WiFi, and Burger King/Hungry Jacks have it in most stores as well.
Mobile connectivity Mobile connectivity is good throughout Sydney.
Vehicle rentals Nearly all major car rental companies are represented in Sydney, from the executive fleet to rent-a-ruffy. Some picks include:

In addition, Sydney has an innovative car share scheme called goGet. For a membership fee of approx. $25 per month you get to rent cars by the hour, paying only an hourly fee. Fuel is paid for, and the cars are serviced regularly. Inner city and harbour areas of Sydney have many goGet cars located on the streets, check out the web site for your nearest car.


Australia's two major grocery stores, those being Coles and Woolworths with a scattering of outlets such as Costco, Aldi, Lidl, IGA and 7 Eleven. These stores tend to be located in shopping malls. Generally in Sydney there will be one of these stores within a few kilometers. Ethnic grocers such as Asian grocers and Indian grocers are also common.

Eating out

Sydney has many eateries of every possible persuasion, and then some. Web sites that are worth checking out include:


Sydney has an excellent train network, a passable ferry and bus network, and many other forms of public transport. Taxis are easy to find but somewhat expensive.

Sydney is served by Kingsford Smith Airport which has separate international and domestic terminals (connected by the Sydney train network) with flights to most domestic locations and international flights.



Give a short history of the port.

Places to Visit

There are many things to do ashore in Australia's largest city, many people live their entire lives there and never leave. To attempt to list them all here would be futile -- check some of the "what's on" type links in the links section, check out the happenings in the local newspaper (Sydney Morning Herald) and also check one of the tourism web sites such as or Destination NSW (both run by the State Government).

Famous tourist attractions include

  • Sydney City: Restaurants, Bars and Shopping.
  • The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House
  • Sydney beaches: Bondi Beach is the most iconic, but there are many along the Pacific Coast.
  • The Rocks: the original site of the Sydney settlement with many old (by Australian standards) building and lots of bars and restaurants.
  • The Taronga Park Zoo: a picturesque zoo located on the northern shore of the main harbour.
  • Darling Harbour: A dense area of tourist attractions including the National Maritime Museum, Sydney Aquarium, Madame Tussauds Sydney, dining, Chinese Garden of Friendship, Paddy's Markets and the Crown Casio. Chinatown is nearby.
  • Sydney Botanical Gardens
  • Kings Cross: theatre, bars, restaurants, markets.


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


Sydney is a popular tourist, business, and cultural destination being the largest city in Australia and the largest in the region. There are a great many sites offering everything from a "quickie" to 5 star escorted tours of the city and hinterlands. Here is a small selection of the most appropriate sites:


See also Australia.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

Verified by

Date of member's last visit to Sydney and this page's details validated:

This is a usable page of the cruising guide. However, please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to add your personal notes on this page or to discuss its contents. Alternatively, if you feel confident to edit the page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Lighthouse, Delatbabel, Haiqu, Peter McHugh

Personal tools
Friends of Cruisers Wiki