Best Boxing Day Harbour Cruises in Sydney 2018

Chase the Sydney to Hobart yacht race on 26 December.

Christmas might be over but the holidays have only just begun. If you’re itching to explore the city or have racked up a decent amount of Christmas money and want to spend it on something amazing, you can’t go wrong with a Sydney harbour cruise.

Not least because Boxing Day is the day the yachts set sail for Bass Strait in the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Whether you’re visiting Sydney or you’re a local Sydneysider, seeing the boats as they take to the seas is a sight not to be missed.

This year's Boxing Day cruises have yet to go on sale. When they do, we'll update this page with all your best options to chase the race.

Where to watch the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

If you haven't secured yourself a spot on one of the spectator ships above, there are numerous vantage points in both Sydney and Hobart where you can watch the race in action.

Sydney vantage points:

  • South or North Head: These are the ideal spots to catch the fleets as they set sail from the two starting lines to the north and south of Shark Island. In North Head, find your place at Cremorne Point, Bradley's Head, Clifton Gardens or at the Q Station while in South Head, try for Rushcutter's Bay, Hornby Lighthouse and restaurants along the shore front of Watson's Bay.
  • Sydney Harbour National Park: Offering more space for a better view, Sydney Harbour National Park boasts panoramic views of both North and South heads.
  • Headland Park: This former military lookout drinks up endless views of Sydney Heads, the city skyline and the eastern suburbs.

Hobart vantage points:

  • Constitution Dock: Sending the fleets off is one thing, welcoming the winners as they stream in is another. In Hobart, Constitution Dock comes to life with the Hobart Race Village. It's a week-long festival, family friendly activities, food trucks, markets and more.
  • Battery Point: For that glorious photo finish, be there at the official finishing point on Castray Esplanade in Battery Point.
  • Wrest Point: Overlooking the Derwent River, Wrest Point hotel is one for the fanatics trying to catch the first fleets as the arrive in the wee hours of the morning from the comfort of their private balconies.

The official Rolex Sydney to Hobart website provides a live tracker to monitor the progress of the fleets in anticipation of the winner. You can also follow the race on the site via live feed.

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race FAQs

  • When does the Sydney to Hobart start? The fleet officially set sails at 1pm from the start lines just off Nielson Park. A 10 minute warning signal is made at 12:50pm and a preparatory signal sounds at 12:55pm.
  • When does Sydney to Hobart finish? The race ends on 1 January, the time of which is dependent on when the first ship crosses the finishing line in Hobart.
  • Where does the Sydney to Hobart finish? The official finishing line of the Sydney to Hobart is off Castray Esplanade on the River Derwent, right in Battery Point.
  • When was the first Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race? The first Sydney to Hobart set sail in 1945 after a group of friends decided to sail in competition. The winner took 6 days and 14 hours to complete the journey.
  • How far is Sydney to Hobart? The course is 628 nautical miles, which is approximately 1,170 kilometres. It sails from Sydney into the Tasman Sea, travelling down the south coast of Australia, through Bass Strait and down the coast of Tasmania, ending in Hobart.
  • How long does the Sydney to Hobart Race take? While the first Sydney to Hobart may have taken over six days to complete, these days the Sydney to Hobart race lasts around one and a half days. In 2017, LDV Comanche completed it in 1 day, 9 hours, 15 minutes and 24 seconds.

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Alex Keshen

Alex takes care of the travel section here at If there's a new sale on tours or cruises, discounted flights or hotels, or anything else that can be on offer, she'll fill you in.

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