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Best ferry for harbor tour

Fort Myers, Florida
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Best ferry for harbor tour

I am wondering the best ferry line to take to just sit back and watch the scenery of Sydney Harbor. Any suggestions?

We don't want a Capt Cook with meal experience.

If we just do the Manly Beach Ferry will that give us a good overview of the harbor?

Should we also take one that goes east? We are staying in the Rocks area and would like to go round trip from there. Husband uses a wheelchair so convenience factor is important, too.

I appreciate any advice!


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1. Re: Best ferry for harbor tour


I'm looking for something the same - we're also stopping in the Rocks area - early November.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Best ferry for harbor tour

The ferry to Watsons Bay is a good one, goes quite close to the shore line, stops at Rose Bay. Watsons Bay Pub is a good casual place for lunch, and there are a couple of other restaurants right near the jetty.

Not sure about wheelchair access at the pub, but Doyles on the sand and the restaurant right on the jetty would both be fine.

The trip to Manly is very nice and just about all of Manly is very wheelchair accessible. The return trip gives spectacular views of Kirribilli House, (the PM's Sydney residence), Botanic gardens, Opera House & Harbour Bridge.

I like the Mosman route too - goes into Mosman Bay & back past the Zoo.

You might also consider a River Cat out to Parramatta.


Sydney Australia
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3. Re: Best ferry for harbor tour

IMHO the Manly ferry is much nicer than the one to Watson's Bay. the Route to watson's bay is very nice but the ferry they use on that run lacks charm. However in your case its an easy decision as Watsons Bay does not feature on the Sydeny Ferries list of wharves that are wheelchair accessible. Matlida Cruises also note that Watson's bay is very difficult for wheelchair access.


How mobile is your husband? Is he able to walk short distances, or is he completely wheelchair bound? I ask because I don't find the windows on the Sydney Ferries vessels all that well maintained ie cleaned. It is first and foremost a commuter service. I always sit outside on the ferries to get the view and as I recall there aren't really any outdoor areas that are wheelchair friendly on the Manly ferries (or other Sydney Ferries vessels) though you could locate yourself by the open area where you board on the Manly Ferry.

It might be an idea to consider one of the commercial tourist services in some detail. It's a while since I went on one of them, but as I recall the windows sparkled and from that point of view it might be a more enjoyable trip for your hubby.

It might take some effort digging up the best option for wheelchair access. Matlida Cruises provided really useful detailed advice about the various wharves (well done Matlida)


but it would not be difficult to email the various service providers and ask them about these issues.. Certainly that's what I would be doing if it were my holiday.

As to what you do when you get here, Manly is a prime destination for visitors so you could always do that and if you find the trip over underwhelming due to issues like I have mentioned, you would be armed with the other options that would suit your situation.

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4. Re: Best ferry for harbor tour

We are taking a cruise to NZ from Sydney. What ferry do you suggest so we don't duplicate the cruise route?

Edited: 7:42 pm, August 20, 2010
Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Family Travel
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5. Re: Best ferry for harbor tour

The Darling Harbour loop will take you to the other side of the bridge, but Manly or Watsons Bay will get you closer to the shore & you'll see different things to what you'd see from the ship anyway.

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6. Re: Best ferry for harbor tour

The ship into Sydney will follow the exact same route as the Manly ferry.

If you want to go the other direction down the harbour (less scenic but still a nice ride), take a ferry to Balmain or Parramatta.

Im also slightly concerned about wheelchair access.... you'll definitely be able to get inside the Sydney Ferries vessels, but access to outside areas will be very difficult (and as others have said, the windows are not great for sightseeing out of)

7. Re: Best ferry for harbor tour

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