Think of Sydney, and for many people the first three things that spring to mind are the Bridge, the Opera House and the magnificent Harbour that’s home to them both.
Sydney Harbour is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and plays a huge role in securing the capital a spot on just about every list of the most beautiful cities in the world. But it’s not just good to look at – there’s plenty of fun to be had on the water as well.
Whether you live nearby or you’re just visiting, here are three things you really need to do on the water in Sydney…
Romantic dinners, sunset drinks, coffee cruises, vintage water taxis, lovely lunches – there are so many different types of cruises you can board to explore the Harbour, but common to all is the incredible location. Time your chosen cruise just right (generally certain days in May-June), and you might even get to see some of Vivid Sydney – a magical annual festival of light, music and ideas – as well.
Are you a Sydney commuter who takes this trip twice a day, every day? Then you’re excused from this one. But for everyone else, this is a classic Sydney experience that needs to be experienced at least once. The views are incredible, with the journey taking you past the Opera House and under the Harbour Bridge. And when you reach your destination, Manly Beach and the charming Little Manly Cove will both provide lovely temptation.
Read more: 8 free things to do in Sydney
The Bondi Baths (at Icebergs, at the southern end of Bondi Beach) have been a Sydney landmark for more than 100 years – and it’s easy to see why. Open to the public all year round (check the website for times), the waves here crash against — and into — extraordinary shoreside pools. You can swim laps in the 50-metre pool and then head to the fully licensed, beachy clubhouse for drinks and sweeping views on the sundeck.
Okay, so technically the Sydney Harbour Bridge is not on the water, but it’s certainly over the water, and if you’re able to tackle the climb that will take you to the top of this popular tourist attraction, you’ll be rewarded with sublime views of the Harbour.