Ferries are a great way to travel around Sydney. There’s no traffic, no lights and best of all you get to be out on the water feeling the wind in your hair. You can usually snap a beautiful photo somewhere along your way.
Here are five fun ferry rides from Circular Quay your family is bound to love:
1. Taronga Zoo
Taronga Zoo is one of the most must-see places to visit in all of Sydney. It’s home to a huge selection of native Australian animals, as well as exotic creatures and beasts from all over the world. Check out some amazing animal performances such as the bird show and the seal show. You can’t miss the giraffes – they have the best view in Sydney.
Time from Circular Quay: Around 10-15 mins.
Best bit: Trying to spot the giraffes poking their heads over the fence as you approach.
2. Olympic Park
Sydney Olympic Park was originally developed for the 2000 Olympics. It now hosts The Royal Easter Show, Sydney Festival and the ANZ Stadium. Sydney Olympic Park has a great (flat) bike track which is perfect for beginner riders. The aquatic centre one hosted gold-medal winners, these days it’s packed with kids sliding down waterslides and splashing in fountains. Olympic Park also has a great tree-tops ropes course to test your fear of heights. During the school holidays, the Olympic Park hosts a seriously fun program called Kids in the Park- definitely worth checking out.
Time from Circular Quay: Just under an hour
Best bit: Splashing about in the Olympic Cauldron water play area.
Circular Quay to Manly is the most famous Sydney Ferry trip. People have been catching the ferry from the City to Manly beach since 1885. Check out the gorgeous Manly Beach and try your hand at surfing or kayaking. Then walk down the Corso and check out some of the amazing shops and cafes. Manly Markets are a great place to find hidden treasure, and head to Penguin Cove to spot some of the cutest flippers on this side of Antarctica.
Time from Circular Quay: Half an hour
Best bit: Manly Beach is a beautiful place to go for a swim – stay between the flags.
4. Fort Denison
Fort Denison is a small island in the middle of Sydney Harbour that was turned into a fort in 1857. It is home to the only Martello Tower ever built in Australia. These days it hosts a museum with a restaurant that can only be reached by boat. Fort Denison is also home to more than 100 seabirds that come to sit on the towering stone walls. The best part of Fort Denison is the 1 pm cannon that is fired every day on the island- that and the fish and chips.
Time from Circular Quay: 10 mins
Best bit: Every day at 1 o’clock the cannon is fired from the fort, you can’t miss it.
5. Darling Harbour
Darling Harbour is one of the buzziest and most fun places in Sydney. Check out the Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, Wildlife Sydney Zoo, the Imax Theatre, the Chinese Gardens of Friendship, the Hard Rock Café or just sit by the water, enjoy ice cream and watch the boats go by. There’s something for everyone here. The Darling Quarter Playground is always worth checking out, as is the second oldest carousel in Australia which runs nearly all year round near the Darling Harbour play area.
Time from Circular Quay: Around 20 mins.
Best Bit: The zipline in the kids’ playground.