Fun things to do in Sydney; the ferry date map

Sydney Harbour Ferries

Without doubt, Sydney is certainly up there as one of the most spectacular cities in the world. One particular feature that makes it such a beautiful place to be is its marine environs. To celebrate the shimmering blue expanse that is Port Jackson, we thought it apt to cobble together an extensive list of fun things to do in Sydney based on the city’s ferry network.

For over 150 years, passenger boats have been navigating Port Jackson’s waters, ferrying Sydneysiders from Parramatta to Manly, and everything in between. With nearly 15 million journeys made by ferry each year, Sydney’s infamous green-hulled vessels are much loved by locals and tourists alike.

However, what’s perhaps not as well-known is the wealth of novel and boat-accessible date ideas strewn throughout the city – whether you’re a seasoned commuter, or an inquisitive day-tripper, we feel that Sydney’s ferry network offers up some off-the-beaten-track nuggets perfect for both first dates and the more extravagant rendezvous! What could be better than meeting other like-minded Sydney singles out on the high seas!

sydney singles banner

Fun things to do in Sydney, by ferry!

To put together our map we adhered to a fairly particular set of rules. First of all, every Sydney date idea has to be easily reachable on foot from each wharf – ideally, the closer the better. Thus, we’ve tried to ensure that each recommendation is a maximum 5-20 minute walk from each stop.

Secondly, we wanted to guarantee that each suggestion would actually be good! To accomplish this aim, we based our choices on sheer popularity. At the time of publication, every local date idea included scored an average of 4 stars or above when its rankings on Google, TripAdvisor and Yelp were averaged out (only Cockatoo Island’s tip missed the mark by a decimal point!).

Thirdly, we really wanted to mirror the diversity Sydney enshrines in our picks. Owing to the fact that there are so many fun things to do in Sydney, we thought it would be a bit of a travesty to stick unswervingly to the bar and restaurant tack. So, on top of Sydney’s culinary gems and wonderful watering-holes, we’ve also selected a few diamond picnic spots and a handful of other exciting activities (including one where you can even take your romance to the skies!).

So without further ado, top up your Opal card, fish out your sea legs and set sail on voyage to discover the surfeit of fun things to do in Sydney!

We’ve also made a street map that pinpoints each idea – just click here to find it or scroll to the bottom of the page!

Sydney Date Ideas Ferry Map

Circular Quay Ferry Terminal

• Circular Key Ferry Terminal: Bulletin Place (4.4). Good for: Lip-smacking cocktails.

F1 Manly

• Manly: 4 Pines Brewing Company (4.5). Good for: Delectable craft beers.

F2 Taronga Zoo

• Taronga Zoo: Taronga Zoo (4.6). Good for: Zoological fun!

F3 Parramatta River

• Milsons Point: Wendy’s Secret Garden (4.6). Good for: A secluded prosecco picnic.
• McMahons Point: Moorish Blue* (4.3). Good for: Contemporary North African cuisine.
• Darling Harbour: The Baxter Inn (4.5). Good for: Whiskey aficionados.
• Balmain East: Kafeine (4.3). Good for: A sterling cup of Joe.
• Balmain: Efendy* (4.3). Good for: Tasty Turkish treats.
• Birchgrove: Yurulbin Park (4.7). Good for: Headland hang-outs.
• Greenwich Point: Greenwich Point Reserve (4.4). Good for: Waterfront walks.
• Woolwich: Cucinetta* (4.3). Good for: Low-key Italian.
• Cockatoo Island: Marina Cafe (3.9). Good for: Casual coffee.
• Drummoyne: Ecco* (4). Beachside bistro fare.
• Huntleys Point: Banjo Paterson Cottage Restaurant* (4.4). Good for: Poetic plates.
• Chiswick: Chiswick Pizzeria Ristorante (4.3). Good for: Uncomplicated Italian grub.
• Abbotsford: Bistecca (4.4). Good for: Steak lovers.
• Cabarita: Vela Dining & Bar* (4). Good for: Modern Mediterranean dishes.
• Kissing Point: Putney Park (4.5). Good for: BBQ dating
• Meadowbank: Anema E Core (4.4). Good for: Traditional wood-fired pizza.
• Sydney Olympic Park: Newington Armory (4.2). Good for: A historic bike ride.
• Rydalmere: Big Tree House Cafe (4.5). Good for: Brekkie and burgers.
• Parramatta: Kanzo Fresh Sushi (4.6). Good for: Simple yet delicious Japanese.

F4 Darling Harbour

• Milsons Point: Wendy’s Secret Garden (4.6). Good for: A secluded prosecco picnic.
• McMahons Point: Moorish Blue* (4.3). Good for: Contemporary North African cuisine.
• Balmain East: Kafeine (4.3). Good for: A sterling cup of Joe.
• Pyrmont Bay: Sydney Wine Centre* (5). Good for: A true bacchanalian experience.
• Darling Harbour: The Baxter Inn (4.5). Good for: Whiskey aficionados.

F5 Neutral Bay

• Kirribilli: The Botanist (4). Good for: Basement cocktail quaffing.
• North Sydney: The Ensemble Theatre* (4.5). Good for: Contemporary theatre.
• Neutral Bay: Lime Light Thai (4). Good for: No-nonsense Thai grub.
• Kurraba Point: Kurraba Point Reserve (4.2). Good for: Sweeping harbour-side vistas.

F6 Mosman Bay

• Cremorne Point: Cremorne Reserve (4.7). Good for: Romantic gardens with a view.
• South Mosman: Sirius Cove Reserve (4.7). Good for: A date-spot for dog lovers.
• Old Cremorne: Tobikiri Japanese Kitchen (4.7). Good for: Splendid sashimi.
• Mosman Bay: Four Frogs Creperie Mosman (4.5). Good for: Parisian-style crepes.

F7 Eastern Suburbs

• Garden Island: RAN Heritage Centre (4.8). Good for: Off-the-beaten-track museum.
• Darling Point: McKell Park (4.3). Good for: A leafy picnic spot.
• Double Bay: Arte Bianca (4.8). Extra-crispy pizza and BYO wine.
• Rose Bay: Sydney Seaplanes* (4.8). Good for: An extravagant way to see Sydney!
• Watsons Bay: Sydney Harbour National Park (4.5). Good for: Winter whale watching.

About the author: Alex Rennie

See more articles written by Alex Rennie