Shark Island Tours
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Shark Island is a 3.5-acre (1.5-hectare) island in the Sydney Harbour National Park that affords sweeping views of Sydney's famous skyline. It’s a popular picnic spot, and visitors can also swim off the sandy beaches and paddle a kayak or other small boat around the shore.
Although some sharks do live in the Sydney Harbour area, the island is so-named because it very vaguely resembles the shape of a shark. From the 1830s until around 1900, the island was used as a quarantine station, first for people and then animals. It opened to the public as a park in 1905.
While it’s possible to visit independently with your own vessel, most travelers will find it more convenient to join a guided tour or ferry over to Shark Island. Active travelers can join a kayak tour of Sydney Harbor, or for a more relaxed experience, there are hop-on hop-off ferry tours.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There’s an entry fee to the island, but kids aged four and under are free.
- It’s important to check whether there is a fire ban in place around Sydney’s parks before heading to Shark Island. The environment here is susceptible to fire, and even something as small as a cigarette spark could lead to catastrophic damage.
- There’s no wheelchair access on Shark Island.
- There are basic facilities on the island: picnic tables, a gazebo for shade, a toilet, and drinking water. There are no trash cans, so pack everything out with you.
How to Get There
If you have access to a kayak or small boat, you can paddle to the island yourself, although private vessels aren’t allowed to moor on the island. Alternatively, join a guided tour that includes activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, and hiking, or jump on a hop-on hop-off ferry around Sydney Harbour, stopping at Shark Island.
When to Get There
Shark Island is open every day of the week between sunrise and sunset. Late spring through to early autumn is a good time to visit, as you can cool down in the sea breezes and by swimming off shore. It’s particularly good to visit Shark Island when there's a boating event happening in the harbor, such as late December's annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
Visit Cockatoo Island
Cockatoo Island is another small island in Sydney Harbour that’s worthy of a day trip. The island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was used as a penal settlement from 1839, and is one of the best surviving examples of convict transportation and forced labor in Australia. During odd-numbered years it also hosts art and installations of the Biennale of Sydney art festival.
Address: Shark Island, Point Piper, New South Wales, Australia
6 Tours and Activities to Experience Shark Island
See Sydney Harbour the way it's meant to be seen: From the water. This lunch cruise passes by such world-famous sites as the Sydney Opera House as well as such hidden gems as secluded beaches and sandstone cliffs. You'll also visit one of Sydney Harbour National Park’s protected islands and get the chance to swim at a hidden beach. On board, enjoy a delicious barbecue buffet lunch.
Customize your sightseeing in Sydney with a hop-on hop-off coach tour and harbor cruise. The ferry pass is valid for 2 days and the explorer pass is valid for 48 hours, giving you two full days to explore Sydney. The Sydney Harbour ferry cruise stops include Circular Quay, Manly, Taronga Zoo and Watsons Bay. The double-decker bus tour travels between iconic sites including The Rocks, Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens and Bondi Beach. Choose to hop off and visit places of interest, or simply remain on board for a comprehensive overview with recorded commentary.
Explore Sydney aboard a hop-on hop-off Sydney Harbour cruise that stops at top destinations including Circular Quay, Watsons Bay, Manly . Get a great vantage point for photo ops of icons such as the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Simply jump on and off at as many stops as you like; when you're ready to move on to your next destination, just catch the next boat. Upgrade to include an entrance ticket to Taronga Zoo, another fantastic attraction located on the harbor shores.
IF BOOKING MORE THAN ONE BOAT MAKE SEPARATE RESERVATIONS FOR EACH BOAT. Experience the adventure of a lifetime on our Speed Boat Adventure Tour®. Navigate and captain your own red speedboat for the entirety of the tour while following our trained and knowledgeable guides to experience the best of both worlds - the THRILL of driving your own speedboat, and the safety of having a skilled guide leading you around Sydney Harbour. See The Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Fort Denison, Taronga Zoo, and more. See them from a whole new perspective that simply cannot be matched by big sight-seeing vessels.
Price varies by group size
Price varies by group size
Capture the essence of Sydney in just one hour on your own private tour. The Harbour is the jewel in this world renowned city and without it the World Heritage listed Opera House and Harbour Bridge would not be as eye-catching. Our unique tour gives you an incite into how "the most beautiful harbour in the world" came into being and now stands at the heart of one of the worlds leading cities. Once you board our boat your skipper can cruise you around the harbour and tell you about the key landmarks, including The Opera House, Mrs Macquarie's Chair, Fort Denison, Admiralty House, The Harbour Bridge, Goat Island and Darling Harbour, to name a few! Your knowledgeable skipper will give you an informative commentary as well as recount anecdotes about the past and present. This is one not to be missed!
Taking safety measures
Face masks provided for travelers
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Shark Island?
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