Watsons Bay Wharf Upgrade


Project overview

The NSW Government is proposing to upgrade Watsons Bay Wharf as part of the Transport Access Program.

Existing Watsons Bay Wharf

Latest news


DEC 2022Close of consultation

We invited the community and stakeholders to provide feedback on the proposed concept designs between 25 November and 22 December 2022. Thank you to everyone who took the time to provide feedback.

We are considering all feedback received and will prepare a consultation report that summarises the feedback and our responses. The report will be available on our website and emailed to those who signed up for updates.

To receive updates on the project, email your request to wharfupgradeprogram@transport.nsw.gov.au.

Project information

Transport for NSW is improving Sydney’s ferry services for customers. New and upgraded wharves are being delivered as part of the NSW Government’s Transport Access Program.

Due to tidal steps at Watsons Bay Wharf, customers with mobility needs are unable to use the ferry service without assistance.

The project needs to balance a number of important requirements such as ferry operations, customer accessibility and comfort, and mitigating environmental and construction impacts.

We have developed two concept design ideas for feedback from the community. Both designs provide a functional, distinctive and iconic design theme that will unify and identify Sydney Harbour commuter wharves.

Both wharf designs include:

  • hydraulically operated platforms that automatically adjust in height to improve the efficiency of berthing vessels (a hydraulic system is generally used at wharf locations where wave conditions are stronger, allowing for the safe pick-up and drop-off of passengers)
  • a waiting area with a curved roof, seating and glass weather protection panels to provide passengers with a comfortable place to wait for their ferry
  • a jetty to connect the waiting area to land
  • bicycle parking hoops.

Opportunities to cater for the berthing of other vessels would be investigated once a preferred option has been chosen.

We anticipate construction of either option would take around six to eight months.

Both concept design options would improve:

  • access for customers with assisted and unassisted mobility needs
  • access for customers with prams and luggage
  • protection from the weather
  • seating and waiting area capacity
  • safety for customers and staff
  • efficiency of ferry pick-up and drop-off
  • pedestrian access to the wharf.

The following table summarises the key differences between the two options.

ItemOption 1 – next to existing wharfOption 2 – replace existing wharf
LocationLocated next to the existing wharf; longer than the existing structureSame location as existing wharf; longer than the existing structure
Existing wharf structureWould remain during construction, however the future of the structure is yet to be determinedWould be removed and replaced by a new wharf
Visual impact*Anticipate a higher visual impact as it would be a new structure built next to the existing wharfAnticipate a lower visual impact as it would replace the existing wharf
Impact to mooringsAnticipate permanent impact to a number of mooringsAnticipate temporary impact to some moorings during construction
Wharf closure during constructionWould largely stay open during construction (when safe)Would close – alternative transport would be investigated

Both wharf designs would provide Watsons Bay with facilities that all members of the community can access.

* An environmental assessment would be completed once a preferred option is chosen.

Once a preferred option is chosen, a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) would be prepared. The REF is a planning document outlining the proposed work, potential impacts and mitigation measures.

The document includes assessments of the existing environment and expected impacts of the proposal on traffic and transport (including alternative transport options), flora and fauna, aquatic ecology, visual impact, noise and vibration, and heritage.

The community will be able to view and provide feedback on the REF.

In designing the new wharves, a number of areas need to be considered such as accessibility, the environment, customer safety and amenity, future demand and ferry operations. Read more on the Wharf Upgrade Program.

Wharf interchanges across Sydney are being upgraded to improve the transport experience for customers and the community, including at Double Bay and Darling Point. Find out more about wharf upgrades in your area.

Project documents


Contact us

For further information about this project contact:

Phone: 1800 770 973 (during business hours)