A local's guide to the best views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a Sydney icon, and one of the most recognisable bridges in the world. It is a must-see for any visitor to the city, and there are plenty of places from which to get that picture postcard view. 

Having lived in Sydney for nearly five years, we've scoped out all of the best views of the Harbour Bridge to ensure you come away from your trip with the most beautiful photographs possible. Some of these are well known and some are frequented only by locals. This guide will take you to lots of great parts of the city that many visitors don't get to see, enjoy! 

 

Best views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Tip: If you don't mind the cooler weather and can plan your trip to coincide with Vivid (late may to mid June), then you'll have the added bonus of being able to get a shot of the bridge lit up too!

 

The Opera Bar

Yep, you get to kill two birds with one stone with this spot! One of the best views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge is actually from the Opera Bar, as it sits directly opposite the bridge.

You can explore the Opera House up close and then settle in for a drink and some harbour bridge shots. 

Getting there: The best way to get to the Opera House is to walk 10 minutes from Circular Quay ferry terminal or train station. Otherwise you can get a taxi that will drop you in the ferry terminal area. 

 

 

Blues Point Reserve (McMahons Point)

This is a local favourite as Blues Point Reserve in McMahons Point offers the perfect spot for a picnic with a view. We lived very close to this spot and passed it every time we went to the ferry. It still blew us away, despite the fact we saw it every day.

At low tide, there's also a little beach that appears that means you can get a shot square on (and you can also get someone in the pic to give perspective, just like our neice kindly did here!).

Getting there: You can get to this spot by catching the ferry to McMahons Point from either Circular Quay or Darling Harbour. Alternatively you can get the train to North Sydney and walk down. Blue Point Reserve is just by the gaudy Blues Point Tower (known as the ugliest building in Sydney).

 

 

 

Cahill Expressway

The Cahill Expressway is the perfect spot for a night time shot of the Harbour Bridge, especially if you're lucky enough to be here during Vivid. You can get a shot taking in the full beauty of the harbour including both the bridge and Opera House. 

During Vivid you can catch some amazing light trails, just like our friend Lee did with this shot.

Getting there: The only way to get to the Cahill Expressway is by getting the lift up from Circular Quay. Don't try to drive as it's a highway and there is nowhere to stop!

 

 

Circular Quay Train Station

The view once you step off the train into Circular Quay station is one that we love. Having been underground, you immediately appear on top of the world, with a panoramic view of the harbour from the platform itself. 

You couldn't pick a better place to wait for a train! 

 

 

Mrs Macquarie's Chair

A classic view of both the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, Mrs MacQuarie's Chair is the place to catch a sunset in Sydney. From here you look right out across the harbour from the Botanic Gardens. 

Getting there: The best way to get to Mrs MacQuarie's Chair is to walk the coast track from the Sydney Opera House through the Botanic Garden (15-20 minutes). It's a beautiful walk and one of the highlights of visiting Sydney.

 

 

Luna Park (Milson's Point)

It always staggers me that one of the best pieces of real estate in the city is owned by a ricketty old theme park! But this is part of the charm of Sydney.

From Luna Park you'll get an amazing view of the Bridge with the Opera House underneath it. It is a great spot at night where you can get light trails or at sunrise where the sun rises behind both icons.

Getting there: The best way to get to Luna Park is by ferry from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour to Luna Park Wharf. Alternatively you could get the train to Milson's Point or even walk across the Harbour Bridge from Circular Quay.

 

 

Jeffrey St Wharf - The Reflection Puddle

Best view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge: from the reflection puddle

An instagrammers favourite, this puddle gives you the perfect reflection without having to use Photoshop! It's right beside Jeffrey Street Wharf, and due to the waves crashing up from the harbour it doesn't even need to have been raining. 

Getting there: The reflection puddle is a few minutes walk from the Jeffrey Street Wharf. You can either get the ferry to Jeffrey St Wharf or the train to Milson's Point.

Head to the shore line and keep walking away from the Harbour Bridge until you see the trees hanging over the path. 

 

 

Jeffrey St Wharf - Shore front

Best views of the Sydney Opera House: Jeffrey St Wharf

A local favourite for sunset, Jeffrey St Wharf enables you to photograph the bridge hopefully with equisite colour in the sky as the sun sets directly behind it. In the summer we would come here after work and take in this beautiful view. It's one of Sydney's most instagrammable spots.

Getting there: You can either get the ferry to Jeffrey St Wharf or the train to Milson's Point. From Milson's Point Train Station it is a 5-10 minute walk.

 

 

Jeffrey St Wharf - Car Park

This view isn't too far from the previous two, but it allows you to get some interesting foreground and some light trails from the buses that drive by. It's a little higher up and you can see the city skyline as well.

Getting there - This viewpoint is from the shore car park in Kiribilli. You can get here by car, ferry to Jeffrey St Wharf or get the train to Milson's Point.

 

 

 

From a helicopter

If you fancy a splurge, there's no better way to see the city than by helicopter. It is well worth the money as Sydney is even more spectacular from the air. Many companies offer short trips over the harbour (15 minutes) or longer trips which include the beaches (30minutes - one hour), so save up the pennies for this experience you'll never forget!

 

Lavender Street

Another local spot, Lavender St offers great views of the harbour from a high vantage point. At night you can get some really unique shots of the ferris wheel at Luna Park and the ferries blur beautifully.

During the day, Lavender Bay is a nice leafy suburb with Wendy Whitely's Sectret Garden being a highlight. 

Getting there: The best way to reach Lavendar Bay Road is by train to either Milsons Point or North Sydney station. From both it is a 10-15 minute walk. You can also take the ferry to Luna Park Wharf and walk along the board walk and up the hill to this view point. 

 

 

Cremorne Point

There are plenty of great spots on the North Shore, but Cremorne is one of our favourites for getting a striking view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It's a local's suburb, with a lovely short walking track taking you around this suburb and nearby Mosman too. It's the perfect place for a picnic. 

Getting there: The easiest way is to get the ferry to Cremorne point from Circular Quay, and enjoy the view from the park nearby.

 

 

Balls Head

This is another local's favourite. Despite it being a fabulous view point you will likely have it to yourself, or with just a few other people around. It's another high vantage point and it is a great place to sit and relax away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but keeping those incredible views. 

Getting there: You can reach the lookout at Balls Head either by walking from Waverton train station or you can actually park on the street (Larkin Street) just beside the lookout itself. 

 


 

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Are you visiting Sydney? Are you a photographer looking for the perfect places to shoot the Sydney Harbour Bridge? Let us know in the comments below!


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