Sydney Harbour. See the world’s greatest natural harbour on the Sydney Bus Tour

This is the most stunning harbour in the world. Fact. Just look at it. A vast amount of water, a beautifully calm natural harbour and 240 kilometres of shoreline - no wonder it’s a natural playground for everyone who likes water. Technically-speaking, it’s a drowned river, or ‘ria’, and it stretches inland for 19 kilometres (12 miles).

Lieutenant James Cook made the first recorded European discovery of Sydney Harbour in 1770. He named the inlet after Sir George Jackson, one of the Lord Commissioners of the British Admiralty. He must have been amazed by the natural beauty he had sailed into, and you will be too.

Get onto the water

You can hop off your Sydney Bus Tour at a variety of stops around the harbour’s edge. Wherever you disembark you’ll find lots to do, but for a real experience of Sydney Harbour's famed beauty try to get out on the water. You’ll notice boats galore, so grab the opportunity to take a ferry ride or a cruise, or even hire a yacht with its own captain.

Island hopping

The harbour is so vast that there are a number of islands nestled within it. Cockatoo Island was a penal colony, where many convicts were incarcerated, and is now on the UNESCO World Heritage list. You can take ferries between the islands to explore the harbour.

Other interesting facts about Sydney Harbour

  • This is the site of the first European settlement in Australia
  • In 1942, a submarine net spanned the entrance to the harbour to protect it from Japanese submarines
  • The volume of water in the harbour at high tide is 562 million cubic metres (1,844 million cubic feet)
  • Over 580 species of fish are found in Sydney Harbour