Short Break Sydney

In Holiday Reviews - Australia, Holiday Reviews - New South Wales, Short Breaks by The H4C Team

Sydney born and bred travel writer Rob Dunlop recently released a new app Thirst for Sydneyfor exploring Sydney Harbour by ferry and foot. He joins us as a guest writer to help Holidays for Couples readers make the most of their Sydney short break.

Sydney’s care-free lifestyle is indeed alluring. Sydneysiders appear to have it all — sublime scenery, sunshine, confidence, casual waterfront dining and romantic ferry rides. Well, it’s time to grab your sweetheart because you can have it all too.

Here arefour sun-kissed locations around Sydney Harbour, where you can soak up Sydney’s laid-back vibe, enjoy waterfront dining which is casual and relaxed, and where you can catch a ferry to. Sound that ferry horn.

Inviting deck at 18 Footers, Double-Bay. Photo: Rob Dunlop.

Double Bay

With its good posture, measured shopping and the odd red Ferrari purring down its intimate tree-lined streets, there is no mistaking that Double Bay is indeed smart casual.  The recent opening of InterContinental Hotel Sydney Double Bay only confirms this.

But as you disembark from the ferry, a more relaxed choice beckons — the sunny harbourside deck of the Australian 18 Footers League sailing club. Feast on sumptuous seafood platters combining fish, calamari, scallops, prawns, Sydney rock oysters and mussels. Toast the good life. Be sure to save time to meander boutique strips, shop for something special or head to the beach for a swim. Double Bay is a 12 minute ferry ride from Circular Quay.

View of Mosman Bay from Mosman Rowers. Photo: Mosman Rowers.

Mosman Bay

Little-known Mosman Bay is one of Sydney Harbour’s most desirable neighbourhoods. Think deep sheltered bay, native bushland, tiered harbourside mansions and marinas with gleaming boats.

Tucked away in the secluded bay is Mosman Rowers, the former boatshed of Mosman Rowing Club. Now a neighbourhood watering hole, modern Australian dining is the flavour here with plenty of seafood including chilli lime prawn skewers, pan seared scallops, Sydney rock oysters and classic fish and chips.

Take a chilled drink onto the deck with your sweetheart and embrace the scenery. Finish with a stroll around the bay through bushland parks and gardens. Mosman Bay is a leisurely 20-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay.

Ferry arriving at relaxed Manly. Photo: Andrew Gregory Destination NSW.


The celebrated Manly ferry ride passes Sydney Opera House, harbour islands, waterside neighbourhoods, National Parks, beaches and the harbour entrance — all guaranteed to seduce your senses.

Destination Manly is Sydney’s original seaside resort straddling the harbour and the ocean. And it’s where you can’t help thinking that its residents are on a permanent holiday.

Perched on the wharf along Manly Cove is Manly Wharf Hotel, offering seafood, steaks and sharing plates. Kick back, ferry spot and people watch from sun-drenched decks.

Romantic strolls with ice-creams are the order here — along harbour esplanades, promenades and Pacific Ocean beaches. Manly is a rollicking 30 minute ferry ride from Circular Quay.

Sunset at Beach Club Watsons Bay. Photo: Beach Club.

Watsons Bay

Watsons Bay is one of Sydney’s favoured summer playgrounds, occupying the southern headland of Sydney Harbour entrance. Explore gorgeous bays, beaches (including a legal nudie), bushland trails and dramatic ocean cliffs.

While waves crash against towering cliffs on the ocean side, the calmer harbour side plays host to swimming bays and alfresco indulgences. The namesake Doyle’s restaurant is where Sydney’s famous fishing and restaurateur family have sold daily catches since 1885.

Right next door, the Beach Club serves up a more casual setting along with spectacular harbour views — perfect for long lunches, sunset cocktails and romantic dinners. Watsons Bay is a 20 minute ferry ride from Circular Quay.


Thirst for Sydney features five itineraries with maps, photos, ferry timetables and walking directions for exploring Sydney Harbour. The app’s connect function allows you to meet and send messages to other couples exploring the harbour too. Thirst for Sydney is available free on the App Store or visit to download.

WORDS Rob Dunlop