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COVID-19 and Australia Day >

Our priority is to keep the community COVID Safe. >

Waterways and exclusions

Australia Day 2021 activities and events will be significantly different to previous years due to COVID-19.

For private boat owners and commercial operators

As usual, boats will be permitted on Sydney Harbour on Australia Day.

Be aware of the 6 Knots No Wash Zone and Exclusion Zones that will affect the Sydney Harbour Bridge transit zone.

Learn more about safe boating during major events

A map of exclusion zones is available on the Transport for NSW website.

Events that will proceed on Sydney Harbour in 2021

The following events will proceed on Sydney Harbour in 2021 include: 

  • 185th Australia Day Regatta: Skippers will need to follow special waterway control measures so everyone can enjoy their time afloat.
  • Australia Day Live at Sydney Opera House: A show incorporating music and fireworks displays will take place in Sydney Cove and around the Sydney Opera House. An exclusion zone will be in place to manage navigation around the area, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge transit zone. Vessels must follow the direction of control vessels and must not stop in the transit zone.

Events that will NOT proceed on Sydney Harbour 2021

Some of events traditionally held on Sydney Harbour on 26 January are not going ahead in 2021. These include:

  • Ferrython
  • Harbour Parade
  • Tug and Yacht Ballet
  • Tall Ships Race

Day time activities on Circular Quay foreshore will also not be taking place. 

We look forward to welcoming these events back in 2022.

Safety on the water

With extra maritime traffic expected on the state’s waterways during Australia Day celebrations, NSW Police and maritime authorities will be out in force to ensure operators of recreational and commercial vessels are compliant with maritime laws.

Before heading out, check the vessel is in good working order, and ensure all the required safety equipment – including lifejackets – is on board.

Skippers are reminded of their responsibility to ensure there is safety equipment on board their vessels and are responsible for the manner in which their vessel is driven. 

Download the MarineRescue app from the App Store or Google Play and stay safe on the water.