Cruise ships of all lines dock in Sydney at two locations, each of which can accommodate 1 vessel at a time.
1. Overseas Passenger Terminal - Circular Quay. Mainly for tall ships which cannot fit under the Harbour Bridge.
In prime position opposite the Sydney Opera House. This terminal is right in the city.
Public Transport options: Bus number 431 drops you off on George Street outside the OPT precinct
Circular Quay train station is located a three minute walk to the OPT building
Circular Quay Ferry Station is located a three minute walk to the OPT Building
Wynyard Train station is located 783m to the OPT Precinct
Taxis available from George Street, in front of the OPT precinct
Onsite parking is available via the OPT Wilsons Car Park
From the airport: Purchase a train ticket to Circular Quay at either the Sydney Airport Domestic or International Train Station. Catch the train to Circular Quay. The Sydney Overseas Passenger Terminal is a very short walk from the Circular Quay Station, towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge
2. White Bay has been in operation as of 2013, replacing the former Darling harbor location. For guests arriving at the airport, cruise lines offer transfers by coach to the new terminal. P&O charges AU$22 per person each way, as well as post-cruise transfers from the ship to Central Railway Station for AU$15 per person. Public transportation is at the moment an issue here. The terminal is 6km from the city center.
The best options to reach White Bay are taxi, private transfer (eg. limo, shuttle bus) or drive and leave your car at Wilsons long-term car park.
Captain Cook Cruises has installed in 2015 the first Sydney Harbour mobile passenger terminal pontoon, which will allow cruise passengers to take a charter ferry, a 15 minutes ride, from the city to White Bay.
Sydney Airport is 17km (11 miles), around a 30-minute drive from White Bay. Some cruise lines operate their own airport shuttle (contact your travel agent).
In addition to the two berths listed, occasionally cruise ships dock at the naval base at Garden Island, a little to the east of Circular Quay, especially for very large ships.
Printable map to take along.
See where you are docked for this port.
Watch a destination video.
a definite stop on just about any cruise that travels Down Under and
often serves as a starting or ending point for ships that also travel
to New Zealand. It is the largest city in Australia, and while many
of the nation's cultural and financial institutions are located in
Sydney, the city's real draw is its dramatic natural scenery.
Although it is a modern city strongly influenced by British roots and current American popular culture, Sydney's real character is derived from its exotic location and brash beauty. Walking through the glass and concrete downtown, known as the Central Business District, you could be in any other Western-culture metropolis -- until a fluorescent red and green lorikeet parrot swoops overhead or an unexpected flash of the brilliant blue harbor appears between the skyscrapers.
Any proper visit to Sydney must begin in the harbor, which is both the birthplace of the city and its current iconic centerpiece. The area is called Circular Quay (pronounced "key" by locals). It is hard to imagine a more picturesque setting for a city's heart than this, with the Opera House and harbor Bridge displayed against the inlet's bright water.
Sydney spreads across a massive geographic area, but the majority of its most interesting areas can be found near the ocean coast, in the area known as the Eastern suburbs. Oxford Street, the main thoroughfare running east from downtown to the ocean beaches, hosts Sydney's famous gay and lesbian Mardi Gras parade each February and is popular because of its upscale shops and cafes during the rest of the year.
Sydney is a well-balanced blend of a big city lifestyle and the laid-back Australian mentality. Although Aussies who hail from other towns often disparage Sydney for its flashiness and hectic pace, urban inconveniences seem minor here compared to places like New York and London. Tourism is a huge industry around Sydney, and locals are accustomed and happy to providing visitors with service, helpful directions and a rousing welcome to the stunning city that they call
Take a tour of the world-famous Sydney
Opera House. There are a handful of varieties (backstage, historic
and what is called the "tour de force" for travelers
with special interests in architecture, engineering or the arts).
Guided tours are conducted between 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily. Of course,
schedule permitting, travelers can also take in a show.
The best way to see the harbor is to get a bird's eye view from the top of the harbor Bridge on a Sydney harbor Bridge Climb -- not your ordinary stroll across a bridge and not just for the young and crazy. The 3.5-hour trek up and down the famous landmark is safe, slow and suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels; you'll don a bridge suit and wear a bridge harness along the ladder-like stairways and narrow catwalks.
The climbs are guided tours and are offered during the day as well as at night. There are lots of rules and regulations, including: no kids under 10 (and children aged 10 to 16 must be accompanied by an adult), no women more than 24 weeks pregnant, climbers must wear rubber soled shoes, and all climbers must pass a breath-test (for a blood alcohol limit of less than .05 percent).
From the bridge, visitors can walk around the inlet to tour the always-crowded Opera House. It is easy to continue from there through the Royal Botanical Gardens, a collection of flowers and trees overlooking the water, where it is possible to see some of Australia's unique flora without having to leave the city.
Mass transit options abound from Circular Quay. Trains (there's a stop across from the terminal) are easily accessed.
Darling Harbour is reachable within a 35-minute (2.6 km/1.6 miles) walking distance from the dock at Circular Quay, or 10-20 minutes driving, depending on the traffic. From the White Bay terminal, it takes only a 5-10 minutes drive to get to Darling Harbour. This waterfront destination is home to some of Sydney's major attractions including Wildlife Sydney Zoo, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, Madame Tussauds wax museum, Australian National Maritime Museum, Pyrmont Bridge, and others.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
Bondi Beach The closest ocean beach to the centre of Sydney (7 km), Bondi Beach has become synonymous with Sydney's beach lifestyle and is very popular with tourists, daytrippers, backpackers, residents and all Sydneysiders.
Hunter Valley Wine Tour. Situated north of Sydney, Hunter Valley is one of Australia's major wine regions, with a wine-making tradition dating back to the early 1800s. This region is home to a large number of wineries, including world-renowned brands and family-run wine cellars, offering vineyard and wine tasting tours.
Options in Sydney include central areas like Pitt Street Mall, downtown and Castlereagh Street (from Hunter Street to Goulburn Street) for chi-chi designer stores. Also include the aforementioned Rocks and Darling harbor, Oxford Street and Five Ways in Paddington. Sydney also has an excellent collection of weekend outdoor markets. Glebe holds its version every Saturday, while Bondi hosts a market each Sunday.
Shops and services are generally open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and until lunchtime on Saturday. In cities and larger towns, many shops stay open late on Thursday or Friday evening - usually until 9pm - and all day on Saturday. Shopping malls are often open on Sundays as well.
In remote country areas, roadhouses provide all the essential services for the traveler and, on the major highways, are generally open 24 hours a day. In tourist areas, even ones well off the beaten track, tourist offices are often open every day or at least through the week plus weekend mornings; urban information centers are more likely to conform to normal shopping hours.
Tourist attractions such as museums, galleries and attended historic monuments, are often open daily, though those in rural communities may have erratic opening hours.
Holidays in Australia
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