Thinking of going on a Sydney harbour cruise to see the beautiful harbour, city skyline and most famous Sydney icons but not sure if you want to spend your continually decreasing supply of money? Well, I have the perfect solution to get you out on the harbour while not spending much more than you would on coffee and cake, $7.20 (each way) to be precise.
The famous Manly Ferry has built a reputation as a great alternative to joining a regular Sydney harbour cruise and at a fraction of the price... Now that's what you want to hear... value for money! It's even rated on Trip Advisor as one of Sydney's best attractions!
So let's climb aboard the Manly Ferry, take a seat on the outer deck and go see why everyone gets so excited about Sydney Harbour and the Manly Ferry. The 30-minute journey departs from Circular Quay at the northern end of the CBD, pretty much every half hour from about 5:30am to 11:45pm every day.
From the moment you set sail you'll need your camera ready to capture the Opera House to the east, the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the west and the city skyline to the south.
The ferry takes you out into the Harbour past Fort Denison and all of the ritzy city suburbs. You will see where a lot of the wealthy people of the city live. All the way if you're looking out the back you will still have views of the icons and the city which from a distance over water is such an amazing sight!
About halfway through the "Harbour Cruise" you will take a 90-degree turn to the north and eventually lose sight of the city but this is not the end of the sightseeing.
The sights you will see in the second half of the journey are vastly different to the ones mentioned previously. You will see the setting change from city structures and development to national parks and beautiful harbour beaches.
If you look close enough in to the rock cliffs on the shore you will see carved caves and barracks in the headland to the west, this is from where the armed forces defended Sydney during World War 2. Shortly after, on the eastern side of the manly ferry you will see the harbour heads and be looking straight out into the Pacific Ocean.
If there is large swell at the time you can expect a bit of a rough ride. For first timers it is always a bit daunting and a bit of a shock when the ferry starts rocking but I can assure you it is safe. It is actually more of a reason to take the "Manly Ferry Harbour Cruise", if there is large swell the regular harbour cruises do not venture past the heads because they are on a smaller vessel! Once past the heads still looking out to the east you will see the "Quarantine Station".
In World War 2 this is where all of the people arriving in boats that had infections and diseases were sent so they didn't pass on their illness... still to this day they do ghost tours there, it's quite creepy really. And if you're really in to it, they have turned part of it into a hotel so you can go stay amongst the ghosts!
After this you will soon be approaching Manly. From all angles you will see the beautiful semi-private harbour beaches and to the front of the vessel you will see Manly, which is another adventure on it's own.
Once you've arrived you have the choice of spending some time in Manly or just catching the ferry back to the city. Which is the same journey just obviously going the other way, but there are still many other things to see that I haven't mentioned, so on your return keep a look out, because you will be passing amongst other things the Taronga Zoo, the Prime Minister of Australia's house and the Botanical Gardens.
So go and enjoy the cheapest harbour cruise out there, you'll love it!