Positioned between two Australian icons, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay is one of Australia’s great historical and cultural areas.

Circular Quay is a key entry point to Sydney’s northern CBD, which is being transformed by a multi-billion dollar pipeline of public and private sector investment.


The NSW Government is committed to upgrading the Circular Quay ferry wharves . The wharves need to be upgraded to make them accessible for all customers and support future growth.

As part of this work, Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is conducting investigations at Circular Quay and the immediate surrounding area from April to July 2018. 


  • Investigation to provide data to understand how the wharves might be upgraded
  • Circular Quay will remain open for business during these investigations
  • All ferries, boats and trains will continue to operate.

Information is being collected using the following methods:

  • Geotechnical and geophysical investigation
  • Surveying to map existing structures and physical features
  • Assessing the condition of the wharves and surrounds
  • Locating services and utilities in the area

Due to the operational requirements of the wharves and the high pedestrian traffic in Circular Quay, certain activities will need to be undertaken both day and night. However, where practicable, work hours will be 7am to 6pm Mondays to Fridays and 8am to 1pm Saturdays.  

No work will take place during the VIVID festival (26 May to 17 June) due to the high number of people in the Circular Quay precinct at these times.

Geotechnical investigations help to understand what lies beneath the surface. It involves drilling boreholes to collect samples from approximately 10 to 15 sites. While the exact drilling locations are yet to be determined, they are likely to be on the eastern and southern promenade and on the water using a temporary barge. Investigations at each site will continue for approximately 48 hours. Another notification in late April / May will provide detailed information about the location and timeframe for these geotechnical investigations. 

Drilling bore holes may lead to some noise. Machinery will be switched off when not in use and/or reduced to idle speed to minimise noise. 

How will work affect you

Transport for NSW is committed to minimising the impact to residents, businesses, transport customers and visitors. Circular Quay will remain open and Sydney Trains, Harbour City Ferries, Manly Fast Ferry, Captain Cook Cruises, Australian Cruise Group, water taxis, jet boat services and other private boat services will all continue to operate. 

Access to ferry wharves, properties and businesses will be maintained.