Where to Get the Best Views of Sydney Harbour


Sydney Harbour is undoubtedly one of the most iconic waterways in the world.

As a fellow traveller who seeks the time to scope all the best views of the city’s renowned arches and bridges hoping to get that perfect snapshot, this guide will unveil all the hidden and not-so-hidden vantage points so you can get the best possible photographs of Sydney's crowning landmarks.


Here are some of the six best views of the Sydney Harbour:

  1. Mrs. Macquarie's Chair

  2. Observatory Hill Lookout

  3. Lavender Bay Wharf

  4. Wendy's Secret Garden

  5. Illoura Reserve

  6. Blue’s Point Reserve


Mrs Macquarie's Chair, Sydney

First on our list, Mrs Macquarie's Chair offers some of the most iconic views of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House - Talk about a two-for-one special!

Nestled in the far end of the Royal Botanic Gardens and only a short walk from the city centre, this sandstone peninsula can get quite busy during the evening, with avid photography lovers hoping to get that one magical shot. If you're hoping for a more toned-down and tranquil experience, consider visiting on weekdays before the sun sets for a truly breathtaking sight.

How to get there:

The best way to get here is to walk the Harbour Foreshore Track from the Sydney Opera House to the Botanic Gardens (~20 minutes).


Observatory Hill Lookout, Millers Point

For a touch of romance to your picnic plans, the Observatory Hill Lookout in The Rocks offers awe-inspiring views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Darling Harbour. Although it can get quite busy during summer, especially during weekends, its charm is worth the visit. You might even catch a happy couple saying 'I do' with the Rotunda offering panoramic views that doubles as an event space for weddings and proposals.

How to get there:

A short walk from Wynyard Station, The Rocks and Circular Quay. 

Lavender Bay Wharf, Lavender Bay

Only a short walk from Sydney's iconic Luna Park, Lavender Bay Wharf makes the perfect space to enjoy a relaxing stroll around North Sydney's best secret. The Wharf itself only provides access to private vessels, so it's a familiar spot to see local fishermen at work. If you're looking for a serene escape from the bustling city, this place offers breathtaking views of the Sydney Harbour that can't be unmatched.

How to get there:

The best way to get to Lavender Bay Wharf is by walking from North Sydney or Milsons Point Train station, which is a 10-15 minute walk.


Wendy's Secret Garden, Lavender Bay

Situated amongst the Lavender Bay Parklands and offering spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and its surroundings, Wendy’s Secret Garden is a short walk from the aforementioned Lavender Bay Wharf. Boasting beautifully manicured gardens that will leave you with a special feeling of peace and tranquillity, the gardens will transport you to a world where the hustle and bustle of city life fades. Combining nature, history and culture, the garden often attracts numerous visitors captivated by its ‘secret’ allure, so it’s best to visit during weekdays as it's free and open 7 days a week. Whether you're looking to take new vantage shots of the Sydney Harbour, indulging in a picnic with your loved ones or delving into a book beneath the garden’s canopy, this not-so-secret, ‘secret’ garden is waiting to be discovered.

How to get there:

The best way to get to Wendy's Secret Garden is by walking from North Sydney or Milsons Point Train station, which is a 10-15 minute walk.

Illoura Reserve, Balmain East 

Settled above sandstone cliffs that conveniently doubles as the perfect natural viewing platform, Illoura Reserve offers an intimate and obstructed view of Sydney's iconic cityscape. Located just a ferry ride from Barangaroo, the vicinity boasts a variety of quaint cafes and restaurants like the iconic Fenwick Restaurant, which also has equally impressive harbour views. Lesser known to many tourists, this easily accessible tranquil oasis can serve as an ideal location for shaded picnic spots with your family or friends, making it a perfect escape against the stunning backdrop of Sydney Harbour.

How to get there:

Short walking distance from Balmain East Wharf (~5 minutes).


Blues Point Reserve, North Sydney 

A popular site amongst tourists and locals, Blues Point Reserve offers the best view of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, making it a photo enthusiast's dream with its full frontal, uninterrupted views. Depending on the tide, a little beach appears with a play park a short walking distance away, so you'll be sure your little ones will make good use of their time there. 

How to get there:

The best way to get here by public transport is by catching a ferry to McMahons Point from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour. 


Final Thoughts

So there you have it, our list of six best places to see the Sydney Harbour. Whether it's a glance at the majestic Sydney Harbour Bridge or your thinking of testing out your camera skills with a snapshot of the Sydney Opera House, we present both the popular and lesser-known spots to capture the essence of Sydney's heart. 

Although you can find spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour through various parks and reserves, the best way to explore Sydney and grasp its true grandeur is through a boat ride across the harbour. 

Suppose you're looking to hire a boat. In that case, Sydney Harbour Escapes stands as your premier partner in this endeavour, presenting a vast fleet of over 140+ boats, each offering unique features to cater to different styles, occasions, and budget ranges. Reach out to us today to embark on a journey of luxury, comfort, and unforgettable memories!

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