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Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour and Port Botany are important working ports, with an average of 12 ships manoeuvring in or out each day.

Steps to stay safe near seagoing ships

  • Before heading out, check when ships are arriving or departing at the daily vessel movement schedules.
  • Listen to the safety broadcasts from the 24/7 Vessel Traffic Services centre (Sydney VTS).
    • Sydney Harbour - Channel 13
    • Botany Bay - Channel 12

  • Familiarise yourself with the shipping channels or fairways — don’t block or anchor in them.

  • Stay clear of shipping channels when seagoing ships are entering or departing the ports.
    Remember in Sydney Harbour it can take cruise ships up to 45 minutes from departing Sydney’s two cruise terminals before they get to the harbour’s busiest area at Bradleys Head.

  • Always keep at least 30 metres away from large ships and do not pass between any ship and it’s escort vessel.

  • Determine if a ship is moving towards or away from you and act early so you can easily move away in time.

  • Be aware of wakes of seagoing ships, particularly when the large vessel is in relatively shallow water and moving at higher speeds

  • Always have your navigation lights on at night so other vessels can clearly see you.

Download our look out, ships about safety notice brochure for all boat operators. 

Useful links

Make sure you check out the links below so you are fully prepared for your time on Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay.