Manly Ferry Sydney Australia
To From Circular Quay to Manly by Ferry
Taking the ferry from Circular Quay in Sydney to Manly is something I do every time I am in Sydney, Australia. At one time, a JetCat hydrofoil made this run. Being faster and smaller, it was even more fun! Sydney Ferries have great views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, as well as The Gap -- the channel entrance to Sydney Harbour.
Manly Ferry Leaves Circular Quay near Sydney Harbour Bridge
The ferry to Manly departs from Wharf 3 at Circular Quay, and goes non-stop to Manly, about 7 miles, and taking about 30 minutes each way.
Summer weekends, especially school holidays (late Dec-late Jan) and Christmas and New Years are very busy as visitors and residents head for the Beach at Manly.
One Friday around New Years, it took almost an hour to get through the lineup just to buy tickets for the Manly ferry.
Then there was another lineup to get on the ferry. It took well over an hour, and went the length of Circular Quay, from Wharf 3 back to Wharf 1.
All told, some 8 million people take the ferry to Manly each year.
Ferry to Manly Affords Great Views of Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge
I waited until after the holidays to go to Manly. The ferry was still packed, but there were no line-ups.
I headed for the back of the ferry to take pictures as it left Circular Quay.
If you are staying in Manly over the Christmas season, take the ferry lineups into consideration.
Each crossing to from Manly and Circular Quay is $6.60 per adult (at time of posting).
There is also bus service to Manly, but it requires a transfer once you make your way to North Sydney. The bus is cheaper, but of course it takes longer.
Ferry Views of The Gap, the entrance to Sydney Harbour and Sailboats
The Gap: Where the open Pacific / Tasman Sea enters Sydney Harbour.
The land on the left is North Head, on the Manly side; The land on the left is outside Watson's Bay, the South Head, Sydney side.
The Sydney Harbour National Park spans both side of the harbor entrance.
Ferry staff give passengers fair warning to sit tight and hang on when crossing this gap.
Even on fairly calm days, the swell rocks the ferry. It doesn't last long, though.
In the days of the faster Manly JetCat (no standing alllowed) first time passengers let out Whoops! of surprise as JetCat bounced over the ocean swell.
Inside the Manly Ferry to from Sydney
Sydney ferries run year round, in most kinds of weather (as long as its safe), but if it's not sunny and warm, you can ride inside the cabin.
All Ferries have WIFI and washrooms. There's also a place to store your bicycle, if you have one, and there's no charge to bring your bike.
Just wait until others have boarded or disembarked to take it on/off the boat.
There is good access for strollers (prams) and wheelchairs.
Ferry Leaving Manly Dock for Crossing to Sydney Circular Quay
The ferry leaves to from Manly roughly every 20 to 30 minutes.
You pass your ticket into a scanner to have it 'cancelled' and validated.
Not all ferry terminals have ticket scanners. If there isn't a place to 'log in' on a ferry, be assured there will be a place to'log out'.
If you are not sure how to go through the ticket turnstiles, just ask Ferries' staff or follow the crowd.
Staff are accustomed to visitors' questions and are very nice at helping out.
Since I was also taking a ferry to Watson's Bay, it was cheaper to buy a $20 Day Pass ticket that could also be used on buses and City Rail.
See Sydney Transportation site for details.