One of the great harbour cities of the world, Sydney is best experienced by those lucky people who travel by sea.

Few sights can compare with Sydney Harbour as it unfolds around the Heads upon arrival, and few ports can offer the chance to berth within sight of its best tourist attractions.

The Harbour is the frame for the city, providing the picturesque setting around which everything else is formed, the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, The Rocks and the central business district.

Within walking distance of either one of Sydney's two modern purpose-built passenger terminals are sites such as the Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Darling Harbour and the National Maritime Museum.

A visit to Taronga Zoo on the harbour shore at Mosman, the best duty-free and fashion shopping, or a ferry trip to the beach at Manly are among the range of diverse experiences possible from the Sydney cruise base.

Sydney is a destination in itself, and a great starting point to visit many places of interest. The Blue Mountains are within 1.5 hours of the centre of the city, with coastal resorts to the north and south. Those looking for a rural experience can find it within an easy 2 hour drive, with the Hunter Valley wine-growing district also a 2 hours away.



Sightseeing Opportunities (Half Day)

  • Sydney Opera House : Bennelong Point - walk or taxi;
  • Royal Botanic Gardens : Macquarie Street - walk or taxi;
  • Taronga Zoo, Mosman : by ferry, 15 minutes;
  • Olympic Site : Homebush Bay;
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout : walk or taxi or take a guided tour over the bridge span;
  • Darling Harbour : Sydneyメs Entertainment precinct, 10 minutes by taxi;
  • The Rocks : the historic site of Sydney's first European Settlement - walking distance from port;
  • Hay Day City Sights Tour : departs from passenger terminal.

Sightseeing Opportunities (Full Day)

  • The Blue Mountains features breathtaking scenery. They can be visited on a day tour, but it is recommended that visitors allow time for an overnight stay;
  • Hunter Valley wineries;
  • Port Stephens;
  • Southern Highlands;
  • Wollongong and the south coast.

Dining (Best Restaurants for Lunch and Dinner)

Seafood is a particular specialty of the Harbour City.

  • The Rocks : food ranging from casual pizza restaurants and pub counter meals to the fine dining provided by famous restaurants such as The Rockpool and Bel Mondo;
  • Darling Harbour : close to Darling Harbour Passenger Terminal is another of Sydney's famous entertainment districts, including a mix of cafes and restaurants;
  • City Centre : located approximately 1 kilometre from the port, the Central Business District has several fine dining restaurants offering spectacular 360 degree views of the city and surrounds. Restaurants include Sydney Tower Restaurant, The Summit and Level Forty One.

Evening Entertainment

Sydney is a cosmopolitan centre that attracts the best in Australian and international performances. From musical theatre and drama to opera and the symphonies, there are programs of activities in Sydney to suit all tastes.

  • Sydney Opera House;
  • Sydney Theatre Company;
  • Sydney Symphony Orchestra;
  • Evening Dinner Harbour Cruise;
  • Darling Harbour.

Best Hotels

  • ANA Hotel Sydney;
  • Observatory Hotel;
  • Quay West Apartments;
  • Renaissance Sydney Hotel;
  • Sydney Hilton;
  • Sheraton on the Park;
  • Park Hyatt;
  • The Regent of Sydney;
  • Hotel InterContinental.

Best Beaches

  • Bondi Beach : 4 km;
  • Manly Beach : 5 km or 25 minutes by ferry;
  • Balmoral Beach : 7 km;


  • The Australian Golf Club;
  • Woollahra Golf Club Ltd;
  • Royal Sydney Golf Club.


  • Inner City Tennis;
  • Kent Street Tennis Courts;
  • North Sydney Tennis Centre.

Other Sporting Activities

  • Scenic Walks on the harbour foreshore.

Best Shopping Areas

  • Queen Victoria Building : 1.5 km from port;
  • Pitt Street Mall : 1 km from port;
  • The Rocks : 1 km from port;
  • Oxford Street : Paddington 3 km from port;
  • Central Business District : 1 km from port;
  • Double Bay : 5 km from port;
  • Mosman : 10 km from port.

Best Shopping Buys

  • Opals;
  • Pearls;
  • Aboriginal art;
  • Contemporary Australian art;
  • Local and international fashion;
  • Duty free;
  • Australian contemporary designs.

Working hours

Customs Officers 24 hours
Quarantine Officials 24 hours
Immigration Officials As for Customs

Customs and Immigration

Passenger Manifest Three copies at the first port of call with one copy to Immigration with the passengers card one copy to Customs and the third copy to remain on board the ship.
Embarking Passenger Manifest 3 copies - 1 to Customs 1 to Port 1 stays
Crew Manifest 2 - 1 at first port to Immigration 2nd stays.
Stores List 2 (Aust. Customs Service and Sydney Ports Corporation
Customs Declaration (Ship) 1 (Australian Customs Service)
Customs Declaration (Crew) 2 (Australian Customs Service)
Forms Comments All forms listed above are produced at the first Australian port of call and then one copy of each form travels on board the ship to be produced at subsequent ports.
Customs Declaration (Passengers) One at first Australian port of call only.

Port health

Health Declaration One (pratique) at first Australian port of call only


Ground Operations

The following Ground Handlers are ACA members and supply superior ground handling services throughout Australia.

Port Approach


Arrival Departure Restrictions Yes
Tidal Variation 1.5 metres maximum
Prevailing Currents 1.2 knots
Prevailing Winds n/a
Length of Channel West channel 1000 metres
Depth of Channel 13.7 metres
Comments Access to Circular Quay (Sydney Cove Passenger Terminal) is limited during peak ferry periods.

Depth and breadth of turning basin

Location of Turning Basin n/a
Diameter No restriction
Depth 13 metres
Other points Constant ferry traffic and dense recreational traffic on weekends and holiday periods.


Pilotage Name Sydney Sea Pilots P/L (SSP)
Pilotage Address Marine Parade Watson NSW
Pilotage Phone No 61 2 9337 6648
Pilotage Fax No n/a
Is Pilotage Compulsory Yes
Position of Pilot Pickup 4 nautical miles east of Sydney Heads entrance
Distance from Berth 11 nautical miles
Pilot VHF Channel Channel 6 when directed by Harbour control or pilot vessel
Description of Pilot Boat 15 metre, aluminium hull, orange superstructure
Pilot Hours 24 hours
Pilotage Fees On application


Port Services

Shipping agents

The following ACA members offer superior service throughout the region.

Port Operations/Services

Inchcape Shipping Services

Suite 604, Level 5 152 Bunnerong Road

Eastgardens, NSW 2036 Australia


+61 2 9314 1666 

24 hour contact

+61 2 9314 1666 


+61 2 9314 1599


Services Contact: Karlie Taylor


Are tugs available Yes
Are tugs compulsory As required
Tug operator`s name Waratah Towage Pty Ltd
Tug operator`s fax 61 2 9810 7991
Ship or tug lines Tugs
Tug working hours Normal hours 0730 to 1530. Available 24 hours.


Working hours 24 hours
Port officials
Working hours 24 hours
Overtime Yes


For details of suitable stevedores, please contact the Shipping Agent


For details of quality competitively priced contractors please refer to the port operator.


Telephones Yes
How many 5
Notice required Yes


Fuel Grades All
Quay or barge Both
Suppliers Shell operates only available bunkering barge Caltex will supply by road tanker


Fresh Water Yes
Exquay or barge Quay
No of hoses 2 connections 4 hoses
Capacity per hose/hour n/a
Tonnes per hour guaranteed 25
Type of connect Male
Connect size in inches Various

Dry garbage

Dry garbage Yes
Barge alongside No
Containers available No
Size of containers N/A
Number available N/A
Incineration or dump Incinerator
Facilities to transport Can be pumped to either barge or truck

Wet garbage

Wet garbage Yes
Ship or shore pump Both
Sludge disposal Yes
Sludge details Sludge can be pumped to facilities at Shell tanker berth Gore Cove by prior arrangement with Shell


Port Charges Not known

Repair facilities

Nearest dry dock Sydney - Australian Defence Industries - Garden Island
Length 347 metres beam 40 metres
Maximum Tonnage 110000 tonnes deadweight (according to vessel design)
Divers Available Yes
Engineering facilities Yes


Dredging undertaken No
Dredging when n/a


Port Operator

Port operator

Name Sydney Ports Corporation
Address Maritime Centre Tower
  207 Kent Street
Telephone 61 2 9296 4999
Facsimile 61 2 9296 4776
Web Site
Email Address

Berth details

Berth Darling Harbour Passenger Terminal (DHPT)
Maximum draft 9.9 metres
Tidal variation 1.5 metres
Berth length 376 metres
Guaranteed berthing for cruise ships Yes
Are other ships able to dock Yes
Cargo ships at dock Yes
Security fences Yes
Berth Sydney Cove Passenger Terminal (SCPT)
Maximum draft 10.4 meters
Tidal variation 1.3
Berth length 300 meters
Guaranteed berthing for cruise ships Yes
Are other ships able to dock Yes
Cargo ships at dock N/A
Security fences Yes

Nearest ports

Australia Melbourne 36 hours, Brisbane 36 Hours
Nearest Overseas Port Amadee Island, New Caledonia, 2.5 days



Terminal facilities

Terminal Building Yes Circular Quay and Darling Harbour
Meet and Greet Facilities Yes
Toilet Facilities Yes
Telephones Yes
Availability of Maps and/or Brochures Yes
Souvenir Shopping Yes
Money Exchange No
Is the US Dollar Accepted? No


Closest Airport to Pier Sydney Airport
Distance to Airport 15 kms
Transport to Airport Taxis (AUS$25 from either cruise terminal)
Can Passengers Walk to Town Yes
Drive Time from Pier to Shuttle Stop Not applicable
Distance from Pier to Town Centre 1 km from Circular Quay; 0.5 km from Darling Harbour
Are Shuttle Buses Necessary No
Suggested Shuttle Stop in Town Not applicable
Availability of Taxis at Pier Yes
Availability of Public Transport at Pier Yes
Other Forms of Transport at Pier Yes

Tour buses

Distance from Ship to Tour Buses 50 metres
What is the Normal Coach Capacity 50 passengers
Are Tour Buses Air Conditioned Yes
Are Refreshments Provided on Buses On request
Are Cold Towels Provided on Buses On request
Are Step Stools Provided on Buses Yes



Tourism operators in New South Wales: