So you’ve just bought a jet ski and you’re looking for riding spots in and around Sydney that are legal. Let me show you the best places out there!
This guide of mine will share some popular publicly-known spots and local secret spots for the personal watercraft enthusiast. Each of these are less than 2 hours drive from the city, making it the perfect day-trip experience!
Best Places to Jet Ski in Sydney
We’re pretty well spoiled for choice here in Australia. Great waterways and epic weather. Sure, Queensland is slightly better for jet ski adventures, but Sydney still has a few great things going for it. No crocs for instance!
I’m going to share with you 9 great spots to ride your jet ski near Sydney that aren’t the obvious Pacific Ocean.
1. Hawkesbury River
Think no stingers and no sharks and you’ve got the Hawkesbury River. This place is very popular on weekends and during school holidays but there is often enough space to get around people.
The wind is minimal on the river most days so you’ll be able to get past 100km/h if you’re confident enough to do it. Just watch the blind bends as some people don’t understand the rules of the waterways.
2. Botany Bay
You can actually go riding in Botany Bay but be mindful that there is a lot of marine traffic here. Just like the Hawkesbury, this gets packed out on weekends.
It’s also a bit choppy too, so avoid the windy days. I find it hard to get past 70km/h due to the less than ideal conditions here.
3. Port Hacking
Another good spot is Port Hacking where is sort of on the way to Woolongong. There is a couple of spots you can launch but parking is limited at these boat ramps.
There isn’t much of an inland waterway before you hit the open ocean, so my 1st preference is always Botany. But given that most people don’t know about this spot, you’re less likely to come across other marine traffic apart from kayaks.
4. Central Coast
If you’re keen for it, then I would head up to the Central Coast. If you’re going on a weekend, leave Sydney very early and return late (like, after dinner time).
Broken Bay has many good spots and you only need to jump on to the local Central Coast PWC group to find them. I won’t share those local secrets out here. 🙂
5. Tuggerah Lake
Tuggerah Lake is a great spot to visit while you’re on the Central Coast. It has minimal marine traffic and is directly connected to the ocean. It’s pretty big too at roughly the size of Paramatta.
The only issue is the murky water which might be hiding bull sharks and submerged logs. But if you can handle that, then Tuggerah really gets my tick of approval as a place to ride a jet ski.
While just within 2 hours of Sydney, Newcastle has a few great spots that are reasonably good for jet ski riding. Not too many locals own PWCs so the waterways aren’t as packed as Sydney.
My recommendation is that you stretch past Newcastle city-centre and on to Karuah River near Port Stevens. You’ll find much more room than in the Hunter River.
Instead of going north for the weekend, try going south! Woolongong has Lake Illawarra which is the local favourite.
What I like about this lake is that it’s connected to the ocean. If you’re over the flat-water and want to do some wave-jumping action, then you can slip under the bridge and be on the open ocean in less than 5 minutes.
8. Sydney Waterways
Sydney itself has some great jet ski riding spots but unfortunately, none are near the city. If you do have a boat available then west of Beauty Point and west of Vaucluse where kite surfing is held are both great spots. Just watch out for the water ferries that frequent this area, plus other boats too.
Just a word on riding in Sydney Harbour itself. Jet Ski riding is banned from under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and anywhere east and west of this location, with heavy fines issued. Use the southern and northern heads. This is in the interests of public safety, especially as the swell and marine traffic is very intense.
9. Lake Macquarie
Not to be confused with Port Macquarie which is 4 hours north of Sydney, Lake Macquarie is reachable in less than 90 minutes. You can launch your jet ski near Morisset and have a sizable area in which to play.
The depth of this lake isn’t the best. In addition, the locals aren’t too happy with the jet ski riders creating so much noise, so there is talk of this riding spot being shut down soon.
I’m a real advocate of being a responsible personal watercraft user. For that reason, you need to stay safe when riding your jet ski anywhere near Sydney. Remember – it’s not you, but the other person you need to watch out for.
Here are some quick tips:
- Slow down around river bends. Don’t just assume it’s all clear.
- The marine rules are often ignored by people. You’ve been warned!
- People inherently just hate jet skis – you’ll learn that pretty quickly.
- Always wear your life jacket as the NSW water police are everywhere
- Weekends are super busy on the waterways, so weekdays are best
- Take it easy at a new spot & ask the local Australian riders for advice
- Remember the etiquette of boat ramp usage, since they can get busy
Above all else, have fun in our great country!