8 amazing things to do around Sydney Harbour

From the best views to best cruises to explore the Sydney Harbour, here's everything you need to see and do along the world's most beautiful harbour.

Visitors from across Australia and around the world are always struck by Sydney’s beauty. A visit to Sydney isn't complete without a spectacular harbour cruise past the iconic Opera House and under the Harbour Bridge. A photo opportunity is waiting around every corner, making Sydney a photographer's delight.

1) Visit the world's most spectacular harbour

Sydney is a vibrant, multicultural city, with an enviable lifestyle centred around its spectacular harbour. Adored the world over, ‘on the list’ for international travellers, loved by the locals and gasp-worthy for all who visit. Here are 10 reasons why Sydney Harbour can stake its claim as the best harbour in the world. From ancient history, settlement history modern life and modern art. Sydney Harbour is the apex of them all. 

The Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge are Australian icons and twin jewels against the backdrop of this bustling metropolis. You can enjoy the stunning views and conquer the icon with a Sydney Harbour Bridge climb. Whether you’re a tourist or a first-time traveller, Sydney Opera House has something for everyone. Pick a tour or watch a live performance, Sydney Opera House’s magnificent beauty never fails to mesmerise.

Sydney Harbour aerial shot
Sydney Harbour

2) Sydney Harbour Sightseeing Cruise

The easiest way to explore the harbour is aboard a sightseeing cruise. Dotted along the 240km of shoreline, you’ll discover craggy cliffs, secluded beaches, hidden coves, significant historical sites and an abundance of natural bushland. The harbour and its unique blend of aboriginal, colonial and naval heritage is yours to explore.

Make sure you allow plenty of time to visit the many waterside attractions that wrap around the bustling foreshore. When you are ready to dine, the harbour city has you covered.

3) Hop-on Hop-off ferry pass

Discover Sydney Harbour’s sites at your own pace by picking up a hop-on hop-off ferry pass. It’s a fun and flexible way to get around the harbour by water and experience popular destinations including Taronga Zoo, Manly, Watsons Bay, and the Sydney Opera House.

4) Iconic Sydney Harbour Events

Get ready to party like a local at one of the many harbour celebrations. From Australia Day in late January right through to our world-famous New Year’s Eve celebrations, there’s a packed program of events — tall ship races, fireworks, sailing regattas, Vivid light festival, concerts and more for you to enjoy.

6) Sydney whale-watching cruises

Witness majestic whales at play on a Sydney Harbour whale-watching cruise. You’ll get up close and personal during whale watching season (June to October) and learn more about these gentle sea creatures.

7) Captain Cook Cruises Dining Experiences

For over 50 years, Captain Cook Cruises has been at the forefront of quality on-water dining experiences on Sydney Harbour. Our award-winning range of dinner cruises, high teas and lunch cruises on Sydney Harbour are all prepared freshly onboard by our international chefs. 

Looking to explore some of the best food and wine experiences Australia has to offer? Here are our top picks of epic culinary adventures

Your trip to Sydney would not be complete without a Harbour Bar and Restaurant dining cruise with the city lights as your table backdrop. Be served gourmet food paired with amazing Australian wines and decadent desserts from the chef on board, for a night to remember.

All menus feature the freshest Australian produce, sourced locally and prepared simply.

Gold Penfolds dining cruise
Gold Penfolds dining cruise

8) Vivid Sydney

Sydney is transformed into a magical wonderland with stunning light and sound displays adorning its historical precincts. Vivid Sydney, the annual celebration of creativity, innovation, and technology is one of Sydney’s premier events attracting visitors from across Australia and the world.

From Darling Harbour, and Taronga Zoo to the Sydney Opera House and Barangaroo, the biggest Sydney attractions are bathed in a technicolor display. This year’s theme centre around Humanity and invites visitors to find things that make us human – love, kindness, compassion, and creativity. 

Stay tuned for 2025 dates!

Current Special Discounts and Deals

Start planning your next brilliant holiday to Sydney, by checking out the special discounts and deals with Captain Cook Cruises Sydney.

Captain Cook Cruises Sydney Special Deals

Explore Sydney Harbour

The Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, are Australian icons and twin jewels against the backdrop of this bustling metropolis. You'll love every minute of your time exploring this spectacular harbour.