Cruise ships operate out of this busy tourist port, so our advice is to plan your journey well in advance to avoid delays.
There is also a ferry service to the Port of Airlie– Airlie Beach, Shute Harbour and Daydream Island. Airlie Beach Ferry Passenger Ferry services operate from the Hamilton Island Marina. The 60-minute ferry to Airlie Beach operates more than a dozen services throughout the day. The ferry arrives at convenient locations at either Port Of Airlie Marina or Shute Harbour. This ferry pick-up point is just south of Airlie Beach.
Start your Yacht Charter holiday from one of the best harbour cities you can find worldwide. Sydney’s spectacular sailing and unspoilt beaches beckon you while the Blue Mountains are close enough to add a day’s trekking to your holiday. Tempted?
It’s rare to find the buzz of an international city with such unique natural beauty. Explore Sydney like a local on a sailing cruise. Pass iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Fort Denison – before you’ve even left the harbour.
The city is the capital of the Australian state of New South Wales. It has the most people in any town in Australia, with over five million inhabitants. This tourist dream city is located on the east coast and surrounds Port Jackson. The outskirts reach all the way towards the Blue Mountains – about 70 km away. Sydney is divided into 40 local government areas, 15 regions and 658 suburbs. Residents of the city are affectionately known as “Sydneysiders”.
How the city got its name
For at least 30,000 years, indigenous Australians have inhabited the area. Captain Cook landed at Kurnell in 1770 on his ship, the HMS Endeavour. Eight years later, the “First Fleet” bringing convicts to this part of the world, arrived in Botany Bay. Sydney, therefore, became the first settlement for Europeans in Australia and the first Penal Colony here. Admiral Arthur Phillip led the fleet and named the city “Sydney” after Lord Sydney the British Home Secretary, in 1788. Phillip went on to become Governor. Convict transportation to Australia continued until late into the 19th-century. The moniker “POMS” for the British originates from being a shortened version of “Prisoner of his Majesty’s Service”.
The region is rich with Aboriginal archaeological sites. Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is a protected area and houses excellent examples of ancient rock art and engravings. In 1842, the municipal council of Sydney became incorporated. A few years later, colonists discovered gold, and therefore a “Gold Rush” began. Thousands flocked to the region hoping to seek their fortune. The University of Sydney became established in 1850 and still holds regard as a world-leading university. Sydney has the oldest library in Australia. The State Library of New South Wales opened in 1826.
After World War II, mass migration ensued from all parts of the globe. Sydney began its transition to become the major global cultural and multi-economic city that it is today. In 2011, Sydneysiders spoke over 250 different languages between them, reported by a local survey.
Sport and the outdoors
Sydney ranks tenth in the world regarding quality of life. It maintains tremendous influence in the region and across the globe. The city shows economic strength in finance, manufacturing and, of course, tourism. With financial ties to both the east and the west, Sydney has a world presence in the stock market. The banking sector forms a fundamental part of the city’s culture. Concurrently, the area is known for its passion for sport and outdoor life. Many people use the ferry boats across the harbour as their daily commute to and from the city and suburban towns.
Australians didn’t invent the barbeque (it was the Arawaks of the Caribbean), but you would be forgiven for thinking that they did. Their passion for outdoor cooking and socializing is legendary, due to the warm climate.
Sydney continues to host international sporting events. The British Empire Games were here in 1938 and 2000, the Summer Olympics. Millions of tourists visit the city’s landmarks each year. Some never leave and stay for a lifetime. Together with over 2,500,000 acres of parkland the natural features found here include the Royal National Park, the Royal Botanic Garden and, of course, Sydney Harbour. Other frequently visited landmarks are; Sydney Tower, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the Origami-like Sydney Opera House – which became a World Heritage Site in 2007. Kingsford-Smith Airport opened in 1906 and has had many refurbishments over the years. It is still the main international airport for the area, being just 20 minutes drive from the city.
Another site worth visiting is Taronga Zoo. This non-profit organization on the waterfront is a short ferry ride north from the main ferry terminal, Circular Quay. Taronga houses more than 4,000 animals from various exotic and native species, including gorillas, tigers, leopards, chimpanzees, giraffes, Australian sea lions, kangaroos and koalas. It also offers wildlife experiences including the treetop “Wild Ropes” – a mammoth thrill ride of over 60 rope lines including zip-lines, rope climbs and suspended bridges. You can stay overnight at the zoo too, just like a luxury safari. This unique opportunity is named the “Roar and Snore”!
This architectural masterpiece also offers a thrill of a different kind. Generally, there are more than 40 performances per week, so you could likely squeeze in a trip to the famous Opera House if that takes your fancy. Instead, you could sign up for an early morning tour, taking guests behind-the-scenes into the exclusive domain of performers, and including a full cooked breakfast in the Green Room. Tours operate daily at 7 am. To finish a perfect city visit, you can dine overlooking the harbour at Peter Gilmore’s restaurant “Bennelong” or try one of the other unmissable gourmet dining experiences in the harbour area.
Sydney Harbour Bridge, built-in 1932, is a grand feat of engineering. Visitors can walk or cycle across this vast structure, or climb to the summit and enjoy unbeatable panoramic views. Bridge climb tours take you up into the arches before scaling the top at 134 metres (440 feet) above sea level. Another memorable holiday expedition to add to the list!
Sydney’s north side opens to Manly beach across the water, known for surfing, snorkelling, scenic walks and laidback cafés. So, a trip to Manly is a perfect family day out, being just 30 minutes ferry ride or a short sail from Circular Quay.
The Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains National Park is under two hours drive from Sydney. The park is famous for its rock formation known as the “Three Sisters” surrounded by quaint hotels within the charming villages. There are 2.5 million acres of forests, cliffs, waterfalls and bushland. The “Scenic World Cableway” is within the park at Katoomba and offers a walkway over the rainforest canopy or a glass-bottom skyway with spectacular 360-degree views.
Sydney enjoys a temperate, humid climate with plenty of sunshine, spread throughout the year. Because of this, Sydney can often boast even more blue-sky days in winter than in summer.
As a coastal city, afternoon sea breezes gently blow through Sydney, which can be very refreshing on a humid summer’s day. On hot, calm days, smog can become noticeable. National Environment Protection standard ozone quality guidelines are exceeded on average about ten days each year in Sydney. The sea temperature in the region is delightful, and Sydneysiders make use of their ocean for yachting, surfing, swimming and watersports.
Sydney experiences droughts some years, but most years experiences adequate rainfall year-round. Back in 2005, the city reservoirs reached all-time lows. Water levels since then have recovered and are better maintained.