My answer to What are the most beautiful places to sail around the world?
Answer by Desmond Last:
Sydney Harbour. Sailing into the Harbour is like opening up a door into Australia. The huge harbour is a delight and has many quiet secluded mooring areas as well as Marinas. I have sailed into Sydney Harbour delivering a yacht from the Gold Coast Australia. I have entered on countess occasions on boat tests and local yacht and powerboat deliveries for my ex-business Sydney Boat Sales.
If you are entering in the Summer I would advise to do it on Mon-Thursday. The weekends are very very busy.
Warning: Sydney Harbour is not Vistor Yacht easy. Make it easy by calling ahead for everything.
Foreign Vessels coming into Australia for the first time via Sydney Harbour will have to clear Customs before going ashore at Neutral Bay. The Bay is to starboard before Sydney Harbour Bridge.
For Sydney harbour
Warning: Watch out for the Sow and Pigs Reef to Port as you run down the Harbour. It is marked. Stick to the shipping channel and you will be fine.
If the weather is very bad steer clear of the Harbour Entrance until you are mid Channel then turn in. There is always a strong current which will take you onto the rocks in bad weather if you are not careful. Be prepared to surf if the seas are strong as you enter the harbour.
If you do not have to clear Customs you can steer to starboard after you enter the heads and picking up the leading lights on the facing shore. You can berth your yacht at the Spit – you will have to wait for the Bridge to be raised. Fuel is available at the Spit and there is a Chandlery and a slip as well as Services.
From there you can explore Middle Harbour amidst the foreshore of Sydney’s North Shore. Sydney City is only one hour by bus.
Manly is to the dead starboard of the Harbour Entrance. There is a Yacht Club at Manly.
As you enter the Harbour immediately to port after Sow and Pigs there is Watsons Bay and the famous Doyles Restaurant. You can anchor up dinghy in.
Warning: Sydney Harbour Ferries have right of way over all Harbour Traffic.
Warning. Yellow mooring buoys are Private. Red are commercial. They are in short supply. If you park on one for the night without permission expect to be moved.
Advice. Most marinas have pump outs but call ahead. Sydney has a shortage of Marina berths – particularly in the summer. Call ahead.
As you steer to starboard after your run from the Heads you will see the Sydney Harbour Bridge. To your port will be Rose Bay and the Royal Motor Yacht Club. Then Elizabeth Bay and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia which has a complete range of services.
Warning. The water under Sydney Harbour Bridge can be very choppy. There is a 15 knot speed limit for power boats. Watch out for Ferries leaving and entering Circular Quay.
To port is the Anzac Bridge and the Superyacht Marina. Opposite is the Fish Markets and Blackwattle Bay – which is the favoured spot for visiting Yachts. It is a 15 minute walk to the City.
Now you are in the Harbour and can motor or sail all the way down to Gladesville Bridge – where my brokerage Sydney Boat Sales used to be. You will motor past Cockatoo Island which has a Marina with berths. Cockatoo Island used to be a Convict Prison.
There are numerous bays but not as many spare moorings as you would expect. Lane Cove river is fine for a motor but has low water about 2 miles in. Darling Harbour is too hard to get close to and has all the Commercial charter boats coming in and out.
Warning. Do not moor in the Gladesville Bridge area. The wash from the Ferries and Power Boats is too frequent.
Once you have a berth or mooring you have the whole City to explore.