Major Yacht Services (MYS), an AYSS member since 1997, is based in Sydney, a modern operational port which is hailed as one of the most beautiful harbour cities in the world. Dotted with beautiful beaches and an abundance of safe anchorages in crystal clear, calm sailing waters, it is no surprise that this is considered one of the most stunning locations to ring in the New Year.

Halfway between Brisbane and Melbourne, with New Zealand within close proximity, Sydney and Australia are part of a cruising itinerary that offers exciting and diverse cruising experiences for any vessel. Over the years, as yachting traffic has grown so too has MYS. The entire team is well versed in supporting the complex needs of a superyacht cruise.

Right now is the perfect time of year to visit (anytime between September and April), and on the water is ideal with cooling sea breezes that keep the heat at bay. If you are lucky enough to be in the area or are dreaming of a stunning beach BBQ for Christmas next year, let the team at MYS help create your itinerary. From the impressive yachts sail-out on Boxing Day for the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race to the million-dollar fireworks on New Year’s Eve, let’s take a look at MYS’s top suggestions of where to go and what to see to make a visit to Sydney unforgettable.

Relaxation & Retail Therapy

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Settle aboard at the 1919 heritage location of Jones Bay Wharf and then motor directly under the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge to Farm Cove. This small bay is just across from the Opera House, and it hosts Sydney’s spectacular Botanical Gardens. Enjoy the views with an al fresco lunch off the aft deck, and in the afternoon you are just a short tender ride from some shopping therapy in the city center, also called the CBD (Central Business District).

Visit the Two Icons of Sydney

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The hub of Sydney Harbour is Circular Quay, which is the main ferry terminal and a key point of transit for Sydneysiders. From here, it is an easy walk to the historic district called The Rocks, the Harbour Bridge, and the Sydney Opera House. A VIP backstage tour of the Opera House will give you the best insights into the landmark and the controversies of its build, and it will give insight to understanding how important this monument is to the locals. Get hooked in and take the Bridge Climb for some of the most spectacular views from the top of the bridge. In the late afternoon, cruise and watch the spectacular sunset show from the best vantage point on the Harbour, Athol Bay, which is also a perfect anchorage spot to spend the night.

Koalas and Kangaroos

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The infamous Taronga Zoo is situated just above Athol Bay. Opened in 1916, the zoo offers unbeatable views of Sydney, and its 21 hectares showcase Australia’s diverse animal life. After a koala cuddle, head over to the other side of the Harbour to Watsons Bay for lunch at Doyle’s Restaurant. Directly on the beach (in fact locals pull up their dinghies right in front of the restaurant), you’ll have an unforgettable seafood feast with views over the Harbour and city.

Dinner with a difference

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Get ready for dinner and spread your wings to experience Sydney from the air. Sydney Seaplanes offer the best scenic flights and provide quick transfers to the Northern Beaches. Land in the Pittwater waterways for your private table on the terrace balcony at Jonah’s that is perched on the cliffs of Whale Beach overlooking the Tasman Sea. Fly back to Rose Bay and spend the night at anchor in Vaucluse Bay surrounded by the stunning million dollar mansions.

Favorite Anchorages

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After breakfast, depart Sydney Harbour through the Spit Bridge to Middle Harbour, and anchor at Sugarloaf Bay, known for its beautiful secluded anchorages. Here, you are surrounded by nature, protected from the wind, and in the ideal spot for some serious water sports enjoyment. From paddle boarding to kayaking or even a little fishing, this is one of the best places for a relaxing day of sunbathing and enjoying the water.

Life is Better at the Beach

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Pass back through the Spit Bridge and anchor at Little Manly Cove. The beach town of Manly is famous for its quaint cafes and beach boutiques. Take a hike or mountain bike around the pristine bushland at the North Head Nature Reserve or finally try your hand at surfing. Manly is THE ideal place to give it a go with great conditions year-round; it is an Australian experience not to be missed!

The Northern Beaches and a Spot of Golf

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In the morning, head out to the Great Pacific Ocean through the Sydney Heads and motor north to Pittwater. Some may prefer a relaxed beach BBQ on the sweeps of golden sand at Whale Beach and Palm Beach which are Sydney’s northern-most and perhaps finest beaches, while golf enthusiasts will love a game at the Royal Sydney Golf Course, famous for hosting the Australian Open.

National Parks

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In the morning, explore the many secluded bays and anchorages in Sydney’s Cowan Creek, located in the stunning nature of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. There are plenty of great swimming spots and fishing holes. Active minds will want to hike to the spectacular waterfall in America Bay. Kuringai also has a high concentration of significant Aboriginal heritage sites. Following your aboriginal descendant guide, step into the shoes of the traditional owners of the land and enjoy a special lunch with a taste of emu and kangaroo meat!