Our Top 5 Beaches & Harbour Ferry Cruises
There’s no time like right now to be exploring all that Sydney has to offer. Sydney WorldPride is at our doorstep, and we’re uncorking two very special limited edition cocktails to celebrate being the official gin partner for all the frivolity taking place between 17 February to 5 March.
So, in the name of pride, we thought we’d show a bit of our own for our beloved city and these delish bottled cocktails, with our top 5 Sydney beaches and best harbour ferry cruises below! So pour yourself a Harbour Cruisin’ or Peaches On Beaches and sit back for a fabulous ride around Australia’s rainbow capital.
Manly Ferry and Beach.
Taking the ferry to Manly is a well trodden cruise, for great reason. Soak in the city skyline as you amble away from Circular Quay, not to mention glimpses of the rest of the city amongst the stunning rugged coastline. When you arrive, the beach is a perfect spot for a relaxing swim, surf or a stroll along the promenade. Post-dip, grab a natural wine or three at Banco (they’ve over 300 to choose from) or head to Donny's for exposed bricks and cocktails.
Located a few roo hops over the bridge, you’ll find Sydney’s scenic North Shore and Balmoral Beach. This cute spot boasts gentle currents and clear waters, thanks to the sheltered aspect, so is perfect for those not wanting to make too many waves. Plus, The Bathers’ Pavilion, directly overlooking the beach, is currently playing host to a short residency from the three-Michelin-starred English restaurant L’Enclume. A delicious excuse for a visit.
In a little nook between Clovelly and Coogee beaches, you’ll find Gordon’s Bay, a serene oasis and local fave that boasts a 500-meter underwater nature trail. Here divers can poke around diverse marine environments, including reefs, sand flats, and kelp forests. If you’re not feeling so energetic, set up camp in one of the many rocky alcoves, and alternate between basking in the sun's warmth and paddling in the water. After a refreshing swim, head to Out of the Blue on Clovelly Road for one of their legendary fish burgers. Fish tastes better by the sea, fact.
Circular Quay to Parramatta
Parramatta is the capital of Sydney’s West, and a bustling hub of street eats, art galleries, theatres, live music venues, and an eclectic mix of bars. Don’t bother with the 23-kilometre, often congested highway between Parramatta and Central Station. Be smart and take the ferry instead. Depart from Circular Quay and take a one-hour, leisurely journey on a RiverCat through Sydney's waterways, passing by stunning landmarks like Cockatoo Island, Drummoyne, Bayview Park, Kissing Point, Meadowbank, and the Sydney Olympic Park before, finally, reaching Parramatta. Local theatre Riverside has an excellent program of WorldPride events running and Temasek will serve you quite possibly Sydney’s best laksa going.
Take a leisurely 40-minute coastal stroll (i.e can be done in sandals) from Bondi Beach to reach its tranquil, lesser-known sibling, Bronte. Its robust swell attracts lots of surfers (that’s what he said), while swimmers tend towards the rock pool at the southern end of the beach. There's a vast stretch of lush grass, equipped with top-notch barbecue and picnic amenities. Or if you'd rather let someone else hold the tongs, head to Moxhe for elevated European-inspired Australian food or wander back to Bondi to Neighbourhood Bondi for a few cocktails.