Cronulla and National Park Ferry Cruises

Cronulla and National Park Ferry Cruises


Posted 2012-04-27 by Lexa Tfollow
Sydney is world renowned for its numerous breathtaking waterways, Port Hacking in Sydney's South is assuredly the jewel in the crown.

You will find this gem just 30 kms south of the CBD. It is an easy one hour drive or hop a train on the Illawarra Line to Cronulla.

Port Hacking encompasses 11 square meters of pristine waterways; The Royal National Park flanks the southern and westerly side region providing the northern foreshore homes spectacular panoramas.

Champagne Breakfast Cruise:

The T.S.M.V. Gunnamatta lingers on Cronulla Wharf for its passengers to join her on a three hour Champagne Breakfast Cruise. A three hour cruise? hmmm the tune to Gilligan's Island sprang to mind. I wonder if we will end up on an island?

A glass of champagne slips into our hand by sociable crew members soon after we step on board.

The captain begins his 1 ½ hour narration on the history of the waterways, ferry services and national park as we slowly manoeuvre between the multitudes of moored boats.

Port Hacking is steeped in history, named after Henry Hacking a quartermaster on HMS Sirius, (part of the First Fleet) who informed George Bass and Matthew Flinders of a large river he had seen on a hunting expedition. Bass and Flinders set out in a 2.5 metre long open boat named Tom Thumb, exploring and mapping this estuary in 1796 on their journey along the south eastern coastline.

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Three ferries service these waterways.

The T.S.M.V. Gunnamatta, a twin decked catamaran boasts a large open top deck with seating, perfect for viewing and experiencing the scenery. The enclosed lower deck seats around 40 people for meals and 80 for cocktails with unisex amenities. Gourmet meals, buffets and cocktails are prepared on board by a qualified local chef and is fully licensed with a well stocked bar to ensure you don't go without, maybe not enough If you get stranded on Gilligan's Island though.

Our Champagne Breakfast Cruise costs $55 and lasted three hours which I found stunning,

Sights of residents and visitors flaunting their fun on the water with fishing, scuba diving, kayaking, and long board surfing gave a twang of envy to their lifestyle. We even saw people walking their dogs on the sandbar which appears only on a low tide; local life is tough here. We were told the water quality is classed 'extremely good', unlike our heavy commuter waterways of Sydney Harbour.

Residents wave as the boat cruises close and personal past the luxurious homes and boat houses.

Just like one of those 'Hollywood Homes of Stars' tours, the captain directs our sights to the homes of various celebrities, including Ricky Ponting, Wayne Gardener, Tim Cahill, Glen McGrath to name a few. I must admit yet unsure why; I found it a little exciting gawking at their homes.

Wafts of bacon cooking began to rise to the upper deck, ahhh breakfast. With the sun glistening on the water, a slight breeze in our face, eating a big breakfast of scrambled (or poached) eggs, grilled tomato, grilled mushrooms, hash brown, chipolata sausages and toast, life could not be better, your cares were miles away.

The captain ceased his commentary and allowed us to take in the sights to some cruzy music for the next 1 ½ hours as we drank our coffee basking in the sun and taking in the sights.

With our cruise coming to an end, my thoughts of returning were evident, perhaps next time we may end up on an island and live an exotic life.

Sydney Harbour cruises have a lot to offer, yet I would recommend taking your interstate or overseas visitors on this cruise to illustrate the best of Sydney life on the water.

Regular three hour scenic cruises sail throughout the summer period.

Sunset Dinner cruises, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day and Melbourne Cup lunches at $60 per person.

Live music cocktail cruises sail for four hours at the end of each month departing at 2pm, playing 60s, 70s & 80s music, costing $45, I have heard it is a fun night of singing and dancing

This service has received several awards; including 2010 & 2011 Greater Sydney Tourism Gold Winner Awards and I can see why.

Cruises predominantly sail during the warmer months of the year, phone to check for dates.

Bookings are Essential.
Private charters also available for your events.

Other Ferries Servicing Port Hacking:
Curranulla is now the oldest commuter ferry in Australia working to a regular timetable servicing resident and day trippers between Cronulla and Bundeena costing $6.10 Adults, $3.05 Children/ concession , $20 family (2 Adults & up to 4 children) one way.

M.V. Tom Thumb III (named after the explorers, Bass and Flinders boat) provides year round scenic cruises and occasional commuter services to Bundeena.

Summer Cruises: September to May
Departing Daily: 10.30am returning 1.30pm
Departing Sunday: 10.30am returning 1.30pm & departing 2pm returning 5pm

Winter Cruises: July to August
Sunday – Monday – Wednesday – Friday
Departing Daily: 10.30am returning 1.30pm

Adults: $25
Children/Seniors/Pensioners: $20
Family: (2 Adults up to 4 children) $70

  • Note: there are no cruises during the July School Holidays

  • Phone and bookings: (02) 9523 2990
    Web site: is a good read including timetables.
    Departs: Public Wharf, Tonkin Street, Cronulla - a short stroll behind the train station.
    Parking available: Signage quite visible.

    160697 - 2023-06-14 18:07:34


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