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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Urmenyhazi

Manly to Circular Quay Ferry: Sydney's Classic Journey

Updated: Apr 18



Sydney's harbor boasts many jewels, but the Manly to Circular Quay Ferry, with its storied history and captivating views, stands out as a gem that has been enchanting travelers for over a century. Since its inaugural journey in 1895, the Manly to Circular Quay Ferry has become a quintessential experience for visitors to Sydney. It weaves together the beauty of Manly Wharf, the splendor of Sydney Harbour, the majesty of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the architectural marvel that is the Opera House, and the bustling activity of Circular Quay. It's a journey that offers a front-row seat to some of Sydney's most iconic sights.


A Historic Voyage


As you board the Manly Ferry at Manly Wharf, you're stepping onto a vessel that has witnessed the passage of time and played a pivotal role in the city's history. For well over a century, this ferry service has connected the tranquil suburb of Manly with the bustling heart of Sydney, allowing commuters and tourists alike to savor the Sydney Harbour in all its grandeur.


A Scenic Symphony


The Manly Ferry isn't merely a mode of transportation; it's a captivating visual experience. As the ferry departs Manly, it embarks on a scenic voyage through the tranquil waters of Sydney Harbour. The views are nothing short of spectacular. To the left, the Sydney Opera House gracefully stands, its iconic shells resembling sails on the harbor. To the right, the Sydney Harbour Bridge stretches out, connecting the city's northern and southern shores. It's a vista that postcards are made of, and it's right before your eyes.


Front-Row Seats to Sydney's Best


The Manly Ferry provides you with more than a glimpse of Sydney's most cherished landmarks; it offers you a front-row seat. As the ferry glides through the harbor, you'll also catch glimpses of Fort Denison, a historic defense facility, and the beauty of the coves and beaches that line the shoreline. Every moment on this journey is a photographic opportunity, so be sure to have your camera or smartphone ready to capture these stunning vistas.


A Convenient Commute and More


While the Manly Ferry is a tourist attraction, it's also a practical means of getting around the city. It's an integral part of Sydney's public transportation system and is connected to the Opal card, making it convenient for commuters and locals to traverse the city. In the summer, when the city comes alive, the ferry can transport up to a staggering 45,000 people a day to and from Manly.


A Day Well-Spent


For those seeking a fantastic day in Sydney, here's a suggestion: start your day with a visit to the Opera House in the morning, appreciating its architectural brilliance and perhaps catching a performance. Then, let the Manly Ferry transport you to a world of relaxation. As you make your way to Manly, you'll be treated to incredible views.


Once you arrive, the charming Manly Beach awaits, providing the perfect setting for a leisurely day by the sea. The best way to enjoy your time at Manly is to go for a relaxing walk along the beach. You can watch my video about this (and the local sharks) in my video Manly Beach Walking Tour.


The Manly Ferry isn't just a mode of transportation; it's an iconic journey that offers a glimpse into Sydney's heart and soul. With a rich history dating back to 1895, this beloved service continues to enchant visitors and locals alike. So, whether you're a traveler seeking a quintessential Sydney experience or a local looking for a scenic commute, the Manly Ferry is your gateway to the city's most cherished sights and experiences. All aboard!


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