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“Thank God for Howard!”

Convict, Castles and Champagne Tour
Book In Advance
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US$60.51*
and up
Sydney Harbour Cruise and Goat Island Walking Tour
Ranked #98 of 353 Tours in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Reviewed 3 January 2017 via mobile

The highlight of the trip was having Howard give us a tour of Goat Island, he is a star and is very friendly, knowledgable and informative.

Overall this was very a disorganised event and although you think you have paid for a tall ship adventure - you have not. Lunch consisted of chicken and mayo wraps (advertised as your choice of beef, lamb or chicken rolls). The wraps were not cold and were siting out on the deck in plastic containers sweating in 38 degree heat when we boarded. The guide started the day by subjecting us to a personal tirade about plastics and how he hated them. He then with the stamina of a nazi general made sure everyone brave enough to eat warm chicken and mayo recycled correctly and drew unnecessary attention to people who did not.

When we arrived at Goat Island, The nazi general rationed the water giving everyone only 1/2 of a 500ml bottle of water (one between two) for an 75 minute walk on an island in 38 degree heat. He kept yelling at people who wanted a bottle to themselves (which they had actually paid for in their tickets) thats enough, thats all you need. You dont need anymore. I guess he was giving us the real convict experience. Thankfully we planned ahead and had our own water with us.

When the Goat island tour finished there were several people not feeling well I put this down to not enough water being provided. The nazi general then singled out an American lady of Chinese descent by yelling where's the asian lady, where's the asian lady (who happened to be sitting right in front of him) and told her and the rest of the boat through his yelling that she should have drunk more water if she didnt want to be sick.

I had to make the deck hand open the windows on the boat as it was boiling hot and this was also contributing to peoples discomfort. As she was opening them her comments were 'I should have done this 2 hours ago - Im not sure why I didn't'. I guess some people shouldn't work in service or tourist industries. Without Howard this day would have been really awful.

1  Thank Orangetablet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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9 - 13 of 284 reviews

Reviewed 2 January 2017

I live near Sydney so not a "tourist" as such. It was so nice to see something different and hear about the history of Goat Island without having to travel too far! The boat is old, yes, but in a good way! It has great character. The food was great and satisfied my mother's fussy palate as well as having enough flavour for me. The bar was a nice touch too.
My mother is 80 and had no trouble with the walking. Take a hat and sunscreen and wear walking shoes. Fascinating, fun and relaxing.

1  Thank Heidi B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2016

What a great surprise to board the Wangi Queen ferry for our trip to Goat Island. Have had many a trip on her when she was in Lake Macquarie, my home base. Blessed with great weather we had a pleasant trip to the Island whilst enjoying lunch and taking in the harbor highlights. Once on the Island we were well looked after by our knowledgeable guide Esther who balanced the history fact and fallacies with good humour. It was over in no time and I would definitely consider a visit again perhaps when the Island is open to the public as it affords one of the best vistas of the whole harbor that I know of.

1  Thank Fiona1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2016

As you prepare for your voyage back in time to the early settlement years of Sydney Harbour we were graced with a lovely old girl who was able to transport us to yester year past. (some imagination required). Crew were friendly but don't be late or you will miss the boat.... The tour itself was very interesting and the guide "Esther" was quite knowledgeable in relaying information concerning "Goat Island" and its wonderful past.
Don't forget to wear sunscreen, take a hat to wear and water to drink... Oh also a camera for the superb photos that you will get of the harbour. Wonderful day.

Thank sherylpayne62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2016

Sydney Harbour is beautiful but be careful what tours you book.
We were given a gift of a tour with Red Balloon on Sydney Harbour.
The boat was so old, it leaked & broke down before we even started our cruise.
The staff were inexperienced in roping the boat to shore for us to get on - rough seas
- it took 1/2 to put board out for us to walk on to boat!
When we did get going there was no commentary.
We had to rush walking tour of island as we were very late.
I don't know where the Castles were!!!
Food was less than average.
We did a Review as requested by Red Balloon but have not received any feedback.

1  Thank travellers0212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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