21st September, 2022

Houses of the rich and famous on Sydney Harbour

Why wouldn’t you want to live on Sydney Harbour if you could? Unfortunately, the views are exclusively multi-million dollar only attainable to the rich and famous.

From the early days of European settlement, opulent harbourside homes have held aspiration and prestige. Many still stand today and are passed down through generations of family corporate empires or snapped up by the present-day disruptors of new tech start-ups, not to mention our Hollywood celebrities.

Some hold pride of place on the Harbour’s edge, visible from the water and you can marvel at the beautiful mansions on any Captain Cook Cruise on Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Harbour offers a lifestyle aspiration to celebrities and prime ministers, well, all of us. It fringes the city centre and suburbs to the north, south, east and west with its natural beauty and iconic man-made attractions, sparkling water and access to pretty harbourside beaches.

At the water’s edge, atop sandstone cliffs, strutting from finger wharves, magnificent homes with harbourside pedigree are as synonymous with life on the Harbour as the superyachts you find moored or cruising on the water.

Historic homes

Cadmans Cottage in the historic harbourside Rocks precinct used to sit beside the water and experience high tides at its front door. This sandstone cottage was built in the first 30 years of European settlement. Modernisation and land reclamation that later led to the construction of Circular Quay means the cottage is now 100 metres from the water.

Across the sparkling waters from Circular Quay, sitting high on the cliffs of Kirribilli Point is the second residence of the Australian Prime Minister, Kirribilli House, and its neighbour, Admiralty House, the Sydney residence of Australia’s Governor General. Built in the mid-1800s the Marine Barracks on the property were added during the Crimean war.

Other historic homes that grace Sydney Harbour can be found on Cockatoo Island, where heritage homes are also maintained and available to rent. Finally, at Millers Point, adjacent to The Rocks and the Harbour, Richmond Villa found its final location.

Designed by the notable Colonial Architect Mortimer Lewis, this Gothic Revival style residence was his own home, moved from Macquarie Street to an artificial escarpment. It is believed to have been created from an early stone quarry to make way for an extension of the Parliament Houses.

The home of the New South Wales governor is inside the Royal Botanic Gardens and Strickland House in the Sydney Harbour National Park on Hermit Bay in Vaucluse. It is a heritage-listed home in the Victorian Italianate style that was once home to leading figures of Sydney life. It has since been a women’s convalescent home and aged care facility. It’s a popular place to picnic and swim at Milk Beach - with the best views of Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Sydney Harbour aerial looking towards the Pacific Ocean - stock

Harbourside elegance

Living beside Sydney Harbour has been the aspiration of Sydney locals since European settlement. Notable suburbs include Point Piper, where a former politician has lived since before he became Prime Minister and is often spotted taking the ferry from Rose Bay to the city. Continuing his advocacy of public transport beyond the country's highest public office.

Grand homes with their own names such as Elaine and Fairwater are dotted along the Harbour at Point Piper, previously owned for generations of the Fairfax family and now in the hands of successful start-up disruptors.

The stunning art deco mansion, Pt Seymour, holds pride of place overlooking the entrance to Parsley Bay. It is a beacon for commuters on the Captain Cooks Cruises Watson’s Bay ferry with its timeless P&O architecture.

Celebrities with homes on Sydney Harbour

A drawcard for the wealthy; corporate leaders, celebrities and Hollywood and Chinese movie stars have all called an opulent residence on Sydney Harbour home at some stage.

Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, James Packer, and Hugh Jackman, to name a few have held splendid harbour-facing properties.

Visiting actors might stop in Sydney before filming on the Gold Coast. Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman, the Hemsworth brothers, Sean Penn, Angelina Jolie, and Tom Cruise (you get it, the list is endless) have all settled into harbourside mansions or penthouses for the duration of their visit.

Even Sir Elton John. You can imagine it’s a dream come true when success offers the means to fulfil a long-held aspiration for a home on Sydney Harbour.

When you are floating on Sydney Harbour with Captain Cook Cruises you will see the beauty of the residences that hold pride of place on the water’s edge or high up on a craggy point and also fall in love with the dream lifestyle locals behold.

JX The Jackson drone image bow on with Opera House and city skyline

Super Yachts

It’s not just the homes on Sydney Harbour that give a special significance to a life well lived and the trimmings of success, out on the water super yachts and super cruisers dominate the sparkling waters of the Harbour.

Moored for the night or filled with party people, super cruisers are a feature of Harbour life. Speaking of important people and Sydney Harbour, on 18 July 2008, Captain Cook Cruises hosted Pope Benedict XVI on super-cruiser Sydney 2000 on his journey from Rose Bay to Barangaroo for the official World Youth Day 2008 welcoming. Today, you can cruise Sydney Harbour on Sydney 2000 on a lunch or sunset cruise with friends and family for a premium dining experience on the harbour.

Imagine a wedding or special occasion on a super yacht on Sydney Harbour. You can do that on The Jackson, the newest luxury super-cruiser on Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Harbour is indeed the most aspirational destination for special occasions or just for fun on Sydney’s aquatic playground. Not just for the rich and the famous, the natural beauty of Sydney Harbour is open for all to enjoy. Get in amongst it on a Captain Cook Cruise.

Experiences mentioned in this article

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