15 of the Best Sunset Spots in Sydney
If you’re a sunset lover there are some stunning sunset spots in Sydney to enjoy a magical evening view. The best places to watch the sunset in Sydney have an outlook over water, a wide-open view of the sky with a cityscape or some lovely coastal scenery in the background.
Which way does the sunset in Sydney?
In Sydney, the sun sets in the west and this faces inland most of the time. Sydney’s location on the East coast of Australia gives it a better aspect for sunrise. But there are still some great spots to watch a Sydney sunset if you know where to go.
At most of Sydney’s beautiful beaches (including Bondi Beach), you may get lucky with lovely reflected sky colours but you won’t actually see the sun setting over the water.
But, If you know where to go there are still some fabulous sunset spots in Sydney around the Harbour and in the suburbs where you can watch an amazing sunset.
If you’re happy to pay for the view you’ll get superb sunset vistas on a sunset Harbour Bridge climb. And a helicopter flight over Sydney will deliver sensational aerial views of the coast and city. You can also enjoy unrivalled 360° views from the top of Sydney’s tallest building, the Sydney Tower. From ground level, a Sydney Harbour Cruise is another special way to enjoy a spectacular sunset in Sydney over the water.
But if you’re travelling on a budget or you have other plans for your hard-earned cash, don’t worry, there are lots of other great places where you can enjoy sunsets in Sydney for free.
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Where is the best place to watch the sunset in Sydney?
The best place to watch the sunset in Sydney is at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair in the Sydney Botanical Gardens. Jeffrey Street Wharf in Kirribilli is another fabulous spot with views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. And there are many more superb spots to watch the sunset in Sydney.
I’ve lived in Sydney most of my life and these are my favourite places to watch a sunset in Sydney.
1. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair
My favourite sunset spot in Sydney is Mrs Macquarie’s Chair in the Royal Botanical Gardens. This view is extremely photogenic with both the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge in the same shot. You can watch the sun throwing beautiful colours into the sky as it sets directly behind the Sydney Opera House. In the centre of town & right on the Harbour, Mrs Macquaries Chair is one of the best sunset spots in Sydney.
In January there’s an outdoor cinema at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. It’s summer and you can watch a glorious Sydney sunset & catch a movie afterwards. Take a picnic & make an evening of it. And stop off at the Sydney Art Gallery for some culture on the way.
How to get there
If you’re in the city you can walk through the beautiful Botanical Gardens to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. The gorgeous harbour views along the way are free. Catch a train or bus to Circular Quay or Martin Place. From there it takes around 15 minutes to walk from Circular Quay or Martin Place station.
TIPS: The Sydney Botanical Gardens close at sunset & the gates are locked so you’ll have to walk back via the road past the Art Gallery and the Domain.
You can drive right to the viewing platform at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair & metered parking costs $9 per hour. The road is open at night.
2. Jeffrey St. Wharf – Kirribilli
Head to Jeffrey St. Wharf on the north side of the harbour for unbeatable views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. It’s one of the best sunset spots in Sydney. Walk along the pathway right underneath the Harbour Bridge, past Luna Park and along the boardwalk to Lavender Bay with stunning views all the way. The Sydney sunset views are amazing and it’s a prime location on Sydney Harbour. The Prime Minister’s residence is in nearby Kirribilli.
How to get there
Catch a ferry across the harbour from Circular Quay to Luna Park or Jeffrey St. wharf. Or catch a train to Milsons Point station and stroll down the hill to Jeffrey Street Wharf on the harbour.
3. Dudley Page Reserve – Dover Heights
You can enjoy panoramic views of Sydney city, the Opera House and Harbour Bridge from Dudley Page Reserve in the Eastern Suburbs. Set high on a hill in Dover Heights, this patch of grass is one of the most popular Sydney sunset spots. Backpackers from the Bondi hostels love to come here and it can get quite busy, even in winter.
The Dudley Page Reserve is on the Bondi to Watson’s Bay Cliff walk. Bring a picnic rug and enjoy the stunning Sydney skyline views and one of the most popular sunsets in Sydney.
How to get there
Dudley Page Reserve is on Military Road 9km east of the city. To get there by public transport, catch a ferry from Circular Quay to the Rose Bay Ferry Wharf and from there it’s a half-hour walk via New South Head Road. Alternatively, you can catch a bus from Edgecliff train station. It takes around 40 minutes to walk from Bondi Beach on the cliff walk to Watson’s Bay.
4. Queens Avenue – Vaucluse
Set up your picnic on the grass in Queens Avenue or wander down the pathway to Milk Beach at one of the loveliest sunset spots in Sydney, right on the water. Either way, you’ll enjoy sweeping harbour views with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge in the distance.
Take the Hermitage Walking trail along the Sydney Harbour foreshore and enjoy the gorgeous scenery with views of Shark Island. Stroll through the grounds of historic Strickland House along the way.
The Hermitage walk is one of Sydney’s Great Coastal Walks. It’s just under 2 kilometres one way and takes half an hour to an hour to walk. The easy trail begins at Nielsen Park or Bayview Hill Road in Vaucluse in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.
How to Get there
It’s easiest to drive to Queens Avenue in Vaucluse but if you’re taking public transport, bus 324, 325, or 386 will drop you nearby. Alternatively, you can catch a ferry from Circular Quay to Rose Bay & a bus from there.
Another option is to head to Nielsen Park & walk there on the Hermitage Trail. To get to Nielsen park travel along New South Head Road past Rose Bay, and turn left into Vaucluse Road. Then turn into Greycliffe Avenue and park beside Nielsen Park. Bus 324 & 325 will drop you nearby.
5. Watsons Bay
Lovely Sydney sunset views over the Harbour can be found at Watson’s Bay in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.
Head to Robinson’s Park in Watson’s Bay and stroll along the South Head Heritage trail to pretty Camp Cove Beach where you’ll enjoy distant views of the city. Swim at the beach and soak up a Sydney sunset, right on the Harbour, a delightful way to end the day.
If you continue walking past Camp Cove beach along the Heritage Trail, you’ll come to Hornby Lighthouse on the South Head of Sydney Harbour. On the way, you’ll pass a sandstone lighthouse keeper’s cottage with sweeping ocean and city views.
Make sure you stop off at “The Gap” opposite Robinson’s Park and watch the waves crashing against the rocky cliffs. The Gap was the site of a shipwreck in 1857 and is now a famous suicide spot. The scenery here is wild, beautiful and quite mesmerising.
You can grab a coffee at the Camp Cove kiosk, enjoy fish & chips by the ferry wharf or dine in style at Doyles, one of Sydney’s oldest seafood restaurants.
How To Get There
Drive there or catch a ferry from Circular Quay to Watsons Bay to watch the sunset in Sydney. It’s a scenic half-hour trip across Sydney Harbour.
From Watsons Bay, catch the bus to Bondi Beach. Across the road from the Gap, the 380 bus stops on Military Road, opposite Robinson’s Park. It takes about 40 minutes from Watsons Bay to the famous Bondi Beach.
6. La Perouse
La Perouse is a favourite place to watch a Sydney sunset in the southern suburbs. Locals come here at sunset to enjoy the expansive views across Botany Bay. It’s a popular spot for wedding photos and there are always lots of people soaking in the lovely outlook.
La Perouse is the site of the first landing in Australia by the French navigator La Perouse in 1788, only a few days after Captain Arthur Philip and the first fleet arrived. There’s an old military post at Bare Island and a museum to visit. You can swim at the beach, explore the scenic walking trails and grab a bite to eat at the “Boatshed”. La Perouse is a perfect spot to watch the sunset in Sydney. The sweeping views over Botany Bay are pretty amazing.
How to Get There
La Perouse is 14km southeast of the city. The easiest way to get there is to drive but you can catch a bus from Circular Quay(route 394) and from Railway Square (Route 393).
7. Captain Cook Bridge – Sans Souci / Taren Point
Enjoy gorgeous sky colours reflected in the calm waters of the Georges River as evening settles in at one of the best sunset spots in Sydney.
Wander across the Captain Cook Bridge at Sans Souci & enjoy sweeping water views at the mouth of the Georges River. Take a picnic & a fishing rod and throw a line in underneath the bridge. This Sydney sunset place is just as good in the morning when the rising sun appears to the east, lighting up the place where the Georges River meets Botany Bay.
How to get there:
It’s easiest to drive there, but buses 303, 476 or 477 pass nearby if you’re taking public transport.
8. Barangaroo Reserve
One of the best sunset spots in Sydney is just a short walk from Circular Quay. Barangaroo Reserve is a great place for an evening stroll along the Sydney Harbour foreshore. It’s one of Sydney’s newest harbourside parks and is rich in aboriginal culture and history. The park in Millers Point was once the hunting grounds of the traditional owners, the Gadagal people. Walk, run or stroll along the waterfront pathway and enjoy sweeping views across the water to Glebe Island Bridge. Or find a spot to sit and watch the boats and ferries sail by on the busy harbour.
Nearby Millers Point and Barangaroo Reserve are right next to The Rocks. Wander along the backstreets past the restored cottages and terrace houses in one of Sydney’s oldest suburbs.
How to Get There
Barangaroo Reserve is on Hickson Road in Millers Point. It’s an easy walk from Circular Quay. Just head towards the Museum of Contemporary Art, Continue walking through The Rocks and Argyle Cut, past Observatory Hill to the bottom of Argyle Street. You’ll find Barangaroo Reserve on the waterfront surrounded by lawns, trees and pathways.
Alternatively, follow Hickson Road along the Harbour foreshore. You’ll pass directly underneath the Harbour bridge at Dawes Point. Continue along Hickson Road past the Piers, Walsh Bay and the arts precinct to Barangaroo Reserve.
9. Narrabeen Lake
Head to Narrabeen Lake on the Northern Beaches for a stunning Sydney sunset reflected in calm water. On a good day, you’ll see the bright orange and pink colours of sunset filling the lake as the sun disappears below the horizon. Relax and enjoy the tranquillity of the evening while ducks swim by and a solo kayak paddles quietly across the still water.
Take a picnic and spend the afternoon walking or cycling the popular Narrabeen Lagoon Trail, a stunning 8.4km pathway around the lake. It takes 2 – 3 hours to complete the circuit on foot and if you can watch a glorious sunset in Sydney over the lake.
How to get there
Drive there or use public transport. It takes about 40 minutes by car from the CBD or over an hour on a bus to reach scenic Narrabeen Lake. The walking trail can be accessed from many places including Jamieson Park and Berry Reserve.
10. Bradley’s Head
From Bradley’s Head, you can enjoy panoramic views of the city and enjoy a lovely Sydney sunset on the north side of the harbour. Bradleys Head is right on the water and from the headland, you can see the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House in the distance. It was blowing a gale when I was there but the sunset view was still spectacular.
Taronga Zoo is close by and there are historic points of interest and the old battlement to explore on the headland.
There’s a popular coastal path to Chowder Bay that begins at the Taronga Zoo ferry wharf. It’s an easy walk to the beach and cafes at Chowder Bay The well-maintained path winds its way through the National Park beside the harbour with beautiful views all the way.
The Bradley’s Head to Chowder Bay trail is 4km each way and it takes 1.2 – 2.5 hours to walk.
How Get to get there
The most scenic way to get there is to catch a ferry across Sydney Harbour from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo Wharf.
If you’re driving, head to Mosman and turn onto Military Road, then Bradley’s Head Road. There’s no parking at the ferry wharf but you can park at Bradley’s Head. National Park vehicle entry fees apply and access to Bradley’s Head is available from 6 am to 8 pm daily.
If you just want to walk one way the 244 bus runs from Chowder Bay to Wynyard in the city.
11. Fairfax Lookout – Manly
Another great Sydney sunset spot is The Fairfax Lookout in Manly, across the Harbour to the north of the city. The Fairfax Lookout offers superb city and ocean views from the North Head at the entrance to Sydney Harbour and it’s a great spot to watch the sunset in Sydney.
There are also lovely water views at sunset from Manly Cove and Cabbage Tree Bay near the Manly shopping centre. Stroll along the Esplanade and watch the sun disappear over the water.
Manly is an upmarket Sydney suburb with a relaxed vibe and a famous surf beach. There are lots of cafes and restaurants to enjoy here. Visit for a few hours or stay awhile and enjoy the beach and the local attractions with easy access to the city by ferry. The coastline here is beautiful!
How to Get there
You can drive to North Head if you have a car and walk the short Fairfax track to the lookout.
Or catch the ferry from Circular Quay Wharf 3 and walk to the lookout from Manly Wharf. It’s a steep 45-minute climb up the hill. There’s also an 8 km track that starts above Shelly Beach and loops up and around North Head.
12. Barrenjoey Head
In Sydney’s Northern Beaches Barrenjoey Head is a great spot to watch the sunset in Sydney. There are panoramic views over gorgeous Palm Beach, Pittwater and Broken Bay from the top of the headland.
Take the path to the Lighthouse. It’s a steep climb but you’ll be rewarded with glorious views from the top. Look out for the colourful rainbow lorikeets in the bush along the way and, if you’re lucky, you might also catch sight of a sea eagle or a black cockatoo. From May to September you can spot migrating whales from the headland as they swim close to the coast.
Sydney’s Northern Beaches are simply stunning. Palm Beach has been made famous by the long-running TV drama “Home and Away”. If you watch “Home & Away” you may recognise the lighthouse, the beach and the Summer Bay surf club. Book the Home and Away location tour to visit the places where Home and Away is filmed.
How To Get There
It’s easiest to drive to Barrenjoey and it takes over an hour from the city.
Bus 144, 172X, and 173X leave from Wynyard in the city and stop nearby.
13. Gunnamatta Bay – Cronulla
A lesser-known place to watch the sunset in Sydney is Gunnamatta Bay in Cronulla.
Wander through the park at Gunnamatta Bay and enjoy the view of calm waters and yachts at their moorings. Stop for a picnic or a dip at the beach and watch the sunset from the walkway near the pavilion or take a stroll out around the baths, throw in a line & enjoy a spot of fishing – an excuse to enjoy a beautiful Sydney sunset over the water – or paddle your kayak out on the bay. This is how many locals like to enjoy the evening and take in a beautiful sunset in Sydney.
For a special day out, catch the ferry from Gunnamatta Bay wharf to Bundeena in the Royal National Park. You can swim at the beach, hike along the coastal trails and check out the Aboriginal rock paintings for some local indigenous culture.
How To get there:
Catch a train to Cronulla & walk towards the ferry wharf. If you’re driving there’s plenty of free parking near the park.
14. Blackwattle Bay & the Sydney Fish Markets
An early morning visit to the Sydney fish markets might be great for buying fresh fish, but an evening stroll along the waterfront of Blackwattle Bay can be rewarding for different reasons. The bustle of the day has gone and the market and the waterfront are quiet. There’s a lovely view of the Glebe Island Bridge and you can watch the sky change colour and the bridge lights come on as the day fades away.
How to Get there
The Sydney Fish Market is located on the corner of Pyrmont Bridge Road and Bank Street in Pyrmont. There’s a car park if you’re driving and bus 501 from Railway Square will drop you there.
15. Bonna Point, Kurnell
Across the water on the other side of the headland from La Perouse is a calm & peaceful Sydney sunset spot with uninterrupted views across Botany Bay. Wander along the coastal path to the beach at Bonna Point to watch the sunset in Sydney over Botany Bay.
There’s a lovely park by the water that’s ideal for a picnic in Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Look for the stone marking the place where Captain Cook first landed in Australia.
Venture further into the National Park on foot or by car to the Cape Solander Lookout and hike along the clifftops to the Cape Bailey Lighthouse. Facing east and the open ocean, it’s a popular place for spotting whales as they migrate during the winter months. and a lovely sunrise spot.
How to Get There:
Kurnell is a 40-minutes by road from the Sydney CBD and it’s easiest to drive there.
To get there by public transport, catch a train to Cronulla and bus 987 from Cronulla Station to Kurnell.
Don’t forget to take a Travel Guide for Sydney or Australia. I rarely travel without a trusted Lonely Planet Guide.
For peace of mind make sure you buy Travel Insurance before your trip. I always use Travel insurance so I can concentrate on enjoying myself without worrying about something going wrong.
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Gunnamatta Bay looks so magnificent.
What a beautiful view from Barrenjoey Head! Would love to visit Sydney one day. These sunset spots look amazing
What a fabulous post. I was just in Sydney and got you some of these places. Will have to save this for my next trip!
I love sunsets so your list is excellent! We went to Fairfax Lookout last time we were in Manly but it was too cloudy to get a nice sunset. Next time!
These are great spots, especially the one from Captain Cook Bridge. I would love to go to Sydney; I will make sure to include some of these sunset spots in my itinerary!
Excellent guide! I’d definitely want to watch the sunset from the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Great tips too- saving this for later.
Wow Barrenjoey Head looks amazing! I’ve only spent time in central Sydney, would love to go to the Northern Beaches ? I was meant to go to the Home & Away beach last time (haha!) but ran out of time sadly.
Each one of these photos is stunning!
Barrenjoey bay looks like an amazing spot. Hope to make it to Sydney someday aand see that.
Yes!!!! This is awesome – nothing better than catching the sunset and you’ve nailed it with these top spots! Queen’s Avenue is stunning!
This post is amazing! I am a great sunset lover and I have just arrived in Australia,l. I will take it with me and will make sure to go and see them all! Thank you very much for sharing!
If you catch the right weather a sunset Whale Watching cruise can offer great sunset views from the water too!
There is something extra special about sunsets over water, and it looks like Sydney has soooo many fabulous possibilities! Bradley’s Head is fab with those city views but Watsons Bay is my favourite. Beeeautiful.
I love watching sunset, sunset views from all these points are just so aesthetic and lovely.
Wow what a great line-up of sunsets. I wish I had this insight when I was in Sydney. Such pretty options but I do love the look of Watson’s Bay. Beautiful photographs too.
I love sunsets and that you have showcased Sydney in this way. Thank you for sharing.
I absolutely love finding sunset spots in places I travel because I feel like it gives a new perspective on the city. I’ll be saving this guide to use when I visit Sydney, thanks! 🙂
I love sunsets! It is the most romantic time of the day and these places you are suggesting are stunning. Thank you very much for all you tips and info.