Important boating advice for Australia Day on Sydney Harbour

Special exclusion zones will apply on Sydney Harbour this coming Tuesday 26 January to cater for Australia Day celebrations, Ports and Waterways Minister Paul McLeay today advised boaters. 

“We are expecting more than 2500 boats to head out on the harbour to be part of the festivities on Australia Day,” Mr McLeay said.  
Major events during the day include the annual Ferrython, midday 21 Gun Salute, aerial exhibitions and flyovers, Tall Ships Race, 174th Australia Day Regatta, Sydney Ports Jazz on the Water concert and the Darling Harbour fireworks.
“Australia Day is one of the busiest days of the year on Sydney Harbour, so I encourage people to get out there and enjoy the celebrations – but remember with increased traffic comes the need to be even more vigilant about safety.
“All watergoers need to remember that they’ll be sharing the harbour, and public safety takes first priority. NSW Maritime safety officers and Water Police will be on patrol to ensure boaters act safely and responsibly.
“Skippers need to be particularly conscious of the wake created by their boats and are urged to go slow (at 6 knots or less) and make no waves within 200m of any event,” Mr McLeay said.
The Minister said NSW Maritime is responsible for on-water traffic management on the day and will be enforcing specific exclusion zones.
He advised boaters  the following navigation restrictions will apply on Sydney Harbour on Australia Day:  
• A 50m exclusion zone will apply around each of the four competing ferries in the Ferrython, which starts at 11am.  
• In Farm Cove, a 180m exclusion zone will apply on the water side of the gun positions for the 21 Gun Salute at midday.
• There will be marked exclusion zones for the Navy Sea King helicopter Search and Rescue (SAR) displays In Farm Cove at 12.15pm, and in Athol Bay west of Bradleys Head at 12.45pm.

• In Sydney Cove there will be an exclusion zone near Dawes Point for the Red Berets parachute drop at 2.30pm.  
• A 50m exclusion zone will apply around each Tall Ship in the Tall Ships Race, which starts at 1pm.  
• A 60m exclusion zone will apply around HMAS Darwin, moored near Clark Island.
• In Farm Cove an exclusion zone will apply for the Sonar helicopter dunking display at 3.30pm.
• Special traffic arrangements will apply from 3.00pm to 11.00pm for vessels moving in and out of Johnstons Bay for the Jazz on the Water Concert and Darling Harbour Australia Day Spectacular.
Mr McLeay also directed skippers not to anchor their vessels in the exclusive use areas in Farm Cove and Athol Bay and not to anchor or stop their craft in restricted areas in Darling Harbour during the Jazz on the Water concert, which starts at 4pm.
“It’s a long day and all skippers are reminded that the 0.05 alcohol limit applies – so go easy on the drink. Remember that wind, waves and sun can increase the effects of alcohol.”  
Random breath testing applies on the water with the risk of heavy penalties.  
Skippers can tune in to VHF 17 for advice, updates and situation reports on the water as they happen.  
For further information on navigation restrictions, visit the Maritime website:
For further details on Australia Day activities go to
For high resolution diagrams of Australia Day 2010 events and navigation restrictions on Sydney Harbour, visit the web site