Things to do in
Circular Quay

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Our most recommended things to do in Circular Quay

Sydney: Taronga Zoo Tickets

1. Sydney: Taronga Zoo Tickets

Overlooking magnificent Sydney Harbour, Taronga Zoo is just 12 minutes by ferry from Circular Quay and offers amazing wildlife experiences with stunning harbor views. Nestled on the shores of the world's most beautiful harbor, Taronga Zoo is surrounded by lush bushland of Bradley's Head National Park, popular for early morning walks. Ferries depart from Circular Quay every 30 minutes. The Zoo has many popular trails to explore including the Australian Walkabout, Kids' Trail, Reptile World, African Safari, Big Cats' Trail, Rainforest Trail, Seal Walk, Seals for the Wild, and the iconic must-see Free Flight Birds presentations. Zoo entry includes limited keeper talks, presentations, and access to the Sky Safari cable car. The many exhibits in Taronga Zoo can be reached by footpaths, ramps, lifts and escalators. 90% of Taronga Zoo is fully accessible. Strollers can be hired from the Visitor Information Desk in the main entrance at a small fee and manual wheelchairs can be rented for free and should be booked in advance.

Sydney: Harbour Cruise, Taronga Zoo and Sky Safari

2. Sydney: Harbour Cruise, Taronga Zoo and Sky Safari

Experience the most fun way to travel to Taronga Zoo and save money with a return ticket on the rocket ferry Circular Quay. Once inside the zoo, take in as many of the exhibits as you like at your own pace. Explore 10 themed areas, including Wild Australia, Wild Asia and the Great Southern Oceans. Hear talks by the zookeepers and go to interactive shows, such as the free bird show and free seal show. See native Australian animals, including koala and platypus, along with creatures from around the world such as Asian elephants, lions and giraffe. Grab some lunch at one of the many cafés, or take your own picnic and find a nice spot in the shade. Once you've had your animal fix for the day, head back to the dock and get some amazing views of Sydney on the cruise back to Circular Quay.

Sydney: Harbour Dinner Cruise with 3, 4 or 6-Course Menu

3. Sydney: Harbour Dinner Cruise with 3, 4 or 6-Course Menu

Experience a first-class dining experience aboard one of Sydney's premier vessels, the MV Sydney 2000 or John Cadman II, as you sail around a dazzling night sky or a mesmerizing Sydney Harbour during sunset (summer). Enjoy the enchanting backdrop of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge and savor the scrumptious choices of an a la carte meal of a Contemporary Australian menu and 5-star service. Once you have indulged in the fantastic cuisine on offer, enjoy live music on Saturday and Sunday nights. See stunning Sydney Harbour by night aboard your premium dining experience.

Sydney: Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on Hop-off Tour

4. Sydney: Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Benefit from access to the 2 different routes of the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus and see all the sights of Sydney and Bondi Beach at your own pace. Your ticket permits unlimited rides throughout its validity and provides premium views of iconic sights such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. There are over 30 stops in the two tours to hop off and experience the diversity of Sydney’s lifestyle. Both tours feature an entertaining and informative audio commentary available in 8 languages. Savor the culinary delights of cosmopolitan cafés and restaurants, explore the city's maritime history at the Maritime Museum, take a stroll in the Chinese Gardens or shop for unique gifts in some of Sydney's finest shopping districts. Create your own itinerary around the city. The Classic Ticket allows you to experience Sydney aboard the double-decker buses for 1 day. Or you can choose the Premium Ticket which will extend your experience to 2 days. Buses run approximately every 45 minutes on the Sydney route and approx. Every 2hrs on the Bondi route, subject to local traffic conditions. Stop at locations like Circular Quay, Hyde Park, and Sea Life Sydney Aquarium on the Red Route. To complement the Sydney tour, the Bondi Beach tour is a great introduction to Australia’s beach culture. On the way to this famous beach, the tour passes by cosmopolitan shopping and dining precincts plus Centennial Parklands, one of Australia’s most picturesque parks. You can explore stops like Central Station, Sydney Tower Eye, and Bondi Beach.

Sydney Convicts, History & The Rocks 2.5-Hour Walking Tour

5. Sydney Convicts, History & The Rocks 2.5-Hour Walking Tour

Join this tour for an immersive exploration of Sydney’s notorious heritage as you uncover the stories, sights and secrets of its hidden convict origins in The Rocks. As you navigate your way past the forgotten relics and ruins of this historic quarter, your guide will unpack the process of criminal transportation to Australia and its immediate effect on Sydney’s indigenous population at the turn of the 19th century. You'll discover the curious case of the convict architect and the ambitious Governor who wanted to decorate the prison settlement, and you’ll retrace the steps of the teenage girl who rose from chains to riches by conquering Sydney’s economy. Expect unique examples of Georgian and Victorian architecture, hidden corridors, convict cut sandstone, abandoned slums and enormous cellars for spirits and stores. Get lost in charm of The Rocks as its past is brought back to life by your expert history guide, and develop a d great understanding about how early Sydney came to be. Crafted to suit both locals and visitors, this tour will keep your eyes wide open, your ears pricked and your imagination ignited.

Sydney: Hop-on Hop-off Harbor Cruise Ferry Ticket

6. Sydney: Hop-on Hop-off Harbor Cruise Ferry Ticket

Get your keys to the city of Sydney with a 1 or 2-day pass for the Sydney Harbour hop-on-hop-off fleet. Cruises depart from Circular Quay and Darling Harbour and allow you the flexibility of visiting up to 8 famous harbor precincts or simply stay on board for a round trip.  • Darling Harbour: Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, Wild Life Sydney Zoo, Madame Tussauds, National Maritime Museum, Explorer Bus, China Town, shopping, restaurants, bars, ICC Sydney, Barangaroo and more • Watsons Bay: Home of Doyles famous seafood restaurant and one of Sydney’s best waterfront pubs. Take a short stroll to Camp Cove, the Gap and historic South Head • Circular Quay: Sydney Opera House, the historic Rocks precinct, weekend markets, Royal Botanic Gardens, Harbor Bridge pylon, restaurants, bars and the Explorer Bus • Taronga Zoo: Discover Australia’s amazing wildlife including koalas, platypus and kangaroos plus animals of the world. Park entry fees apply • Manly - A short walk to famous Manly surf beaches, ocean-front restaurants, bars and cafés

Sydney Harbour: 2-Hour Morning Yacht Cruise with Morning Tea

7. Sydney Harbour: 2-Hour Morning Yacht Cruise with Morning Tea

After making your own way to Circular Quay, step on-board your 52-foot motorized yacht for your deluxe cruise. Begin your day with a sensational morning tea cruise and enjoy a unique, Sydney Harbour highlights cruise experience. Get great photo opportunities of iconic sights including Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Fort Denison and more. Enjoy ample time to discover the delights of the harbor and learn about its history from your informative captain.   Enjoy the company of a small group aboard a 52 foot motor yacht. Your personal captain and host will share the rich history of Sydney Harbour and its foreshore as you take in the sites of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and the bays and coves of Sydney Harbour. Enjoy a light morning tea with coffee, tea, juice, water and 5-star service.  

Sydney Highlights 2.5-Hour Bike Tour

8. Sydney Highlights 2.5-Hour Bike Tour

Whether you are visiting Sydney for the first time, have friends coming to town, or are setting up a group activity, Bonza Bikes is ready to show you a good time! Sit back on one of our super-comfortable bikes, while our expert Bonza guides show you the way. This 2.5-hour tour is perfect for those short on time, or who want to see the highlights only. We have carefully planned routes that ride in the streets for a minimal amount of time. Instead, we take you through parks, harbor fronts, and sidewalks. Our guides will give you great tips on what to do while in town, what's on and where, and where are the best places to eat. Hop on the Sydney Highlights tour to experience the essentials of Sydney. We will take you on a super easy ride featuring stunning harbor views as we pedal past Circular Quay, the piers at Walsh Bay, Darling Harbour, Hyde Park, and the Royal Botanic Gardens. There is no better way to get a quick feel for the city. An all-round entertaining and informative experience, you will meet other travellers from around the world for an experience to remember forever!

Sydney: Northern Beaches and Ku-ring-gai National Park Tour

9. Sydney: Northern Beaches and Ku-ring-gai National Park Tour

Enjoy a full-day trip to the most scenic part of Sydney on this fun-filled and unforgettable tour of the Northern Beaches and Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Relax on a scenic drive in an air-conditioned minivan to Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. While there, bush walk to sacred rock engraving sites to learn about local Aboriginal culture. Enjoy stunning ocean views at Manly Beach, the Spit, West Head, Barrenjoey Lighthouse, Long Reef, North Head Palm Beach, Summer Bay and Palm Beach Lighthouse. Then travel to Narrabeen Beach, one of the best surfing spots in Sydney. Take advantage of the superb photo opportunities from Long Reef Headland, where you may even be lucky enough to see a whale. Then, escape the crowds and stroll the cliffs along the Curl Curl coastal walk. Stop to admire the spectacular views of Freshwater Beach, where you can learn about the origins of surfing in Australia. Sail past Sydney Harbour’s entrance between North and South Heads on the Manly ferry before enjoying views of the mighty Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House at the end of your tour!

Sydney: Private Sightseeing Cruise of Sydney Harbour

10. Sydney: Private Sightseeing Cruise of Sydney Harbour

Sit back, relax and take in the views of Sydney Harbour from the water on a 90-minute sightseeing cruise. Enjoy a private tour aboard the catamaran for you and your group. Indulge in morning or afternoon tea as you cruise around the harbor, with snacks and drinks provided. Ask your expert local captain for further insights into the region.

Other Sightseeing Options in Circular Quay

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What people are saying about Circular Quay

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 3,530 reviews

My grandchildren and I had a great time traveling on the Hop On Hop Off cruiser. It was a perfect day, sun shining and the views from the top deck were incredible. We spent time in Manly seeing the markets and having morning tea. Then we went to Watson's Bay for lunch at Doyle's on the beach and walked to The Gap along the promenade where we took photos of the city and the views. We finished at Circular Quay where we spent an hour walking around The Rocks and the markets there before heading home on the train. Worth it!

I gave this as a Christmas gift for my daughter, partner and 2 children. They had a wonderful day and thanked me many times for it. Due to the rains they changed their booking a number of times without any problems.

My family and thoroughly enjoyed our cruise around Sydney Harbour. The services was great and the musicians were very talented.

A great guide who used narrative so skillfully to accurately portray Sydney's early history.

Overall wonderful had a wonderful time,highly recommend