Sydney International Boat Show preview


The Sydney International Boat Show returns to the International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney and Cockle Bay in Darling Harbour from August 1- 5, 2019.

The show is the largest recreational boat show in the southern hemisphere, filling the entire exhibition space available at the ICC including the open-air event deck, as well as the show’s purpose-built marina on Cockle Bay.

Every year, more than 60,000 people visit the show, which is renowned for also being the largest public exhibition hosted at ICC Sydney, with more than 800 watercraft housed within the exhibition
space, and another 200 on-water vessels berthed at Cockle Bay.

The popularity of the show with exhibitors means available display space is always in high demand, with visitors to the show expecting quality presentations and gear to suit all budgets.

It’s important to remember that the ICC has two exhibition levels, upper (level 4) and lower level (level 1), so be sure to check both the upstairs and the downstairs of the show. Last year, the BIA introduced ‘The Blue Line’ to direct people to the upper and lower levels of the show. “It was a great success,” said Domenic Genua, General Manager of Marketing and Events at the BIA. “The venue allowed us to put markings on the floor of the foyer area, leading people around the venue. It worked a treat!” The Event Deck adjacent to the upper level proved particularly popular last year, and this year features an enormous 35-metre boating safety pool, with its own DJ island providing music, and a 7-metre tall lighthouse. The pool is devoted to demonstrating aquatic products such as kayaks, paddle and pedal boards, doubling as a great attraction for kids where they can also enjoy bumper boat rides included in the ticket price.

The entire show always showcases the recreational boating lifestyle plus all the gear you need for a great experience on the water.  With almost 5 million people enjoying our waterways each year in Australia, this show is again expecting thousands to visit for their annual pilgrimage.

Beyond the abundant choice of boats, accessories and fishing gear, there’s plenty of educational and entertaining activities as well, as the BIA’s charter includes education, with water safety being a
significant feature.  Fishing masterclasses, the maritime museum’s historic boats, the Australia International Dive Expo included, are just a few of the many activities to be seen.

The Sydney International Boat Show was first launched as a standalone event in 1968. Prior to this, it was common for boats to be displayed as part of a motor show or at the Royal Easter Show. The first boat show site was at the Hordern Pavilion at Moore Park, where it remained until 1985.

1989 was a milestone year with the opening of the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre. This big, first-class facility had the added benefit of Cockle Bay being within a short walking distance.

Having the undercover facility and on-water displays working in tandem, the show grew tremendously at Darling Harbour for 25 years until 2013.

The major upgrade to Darling Harbour’s exhibition facilities started soon after the 2013 show. For the next three years, 2014 to 2016, the show moved to another temporary facility, this time located at Glebe Island.

For the 50th Sydney International Boat Show in 2017, the event returned fully to Darling Harbour.


Located in the heart of Darling Harbour, International Convention Centre Sydney and Cockle Bay Marina is easily accessible by public transport, including light rail, ferry and train and is an easy walk from either Central or Town Hall train stations. Secure car parking is available and conveniently located within the Darling Harbour precinct.

Cruise into Darling Harbour on a ferry with direct services from Circular Quay and Pyrmont Bay Wharf.

Darling Harbour is only 8km from Sydney Airport.

The Light Rail travels right through Darling Harbour with stations including ICC Sydney’s Convention and Exhibition stops. The Light Rail connects with Central Station in the CBD and travels to Dulwich Hill in the inner west.

A Water Taxi is a great option for getting to and from Darling Harbour. Water Taxi’s depart from The Rocks, Circular Quay, The Opera House and Luna Park.

A short walk from Central or Town Hall will take you directly to Darling Quarter, Tumbalong Park and the Sydney Visitor Centre. Walking from Town Hall takes 10 minutes, and 15 minutes from Central Station.

ICC Sydney has two car park facilities located within the Exhibition Centre and International Convention Centre’s Sydney Theatre, comprising a total of 826 car spaces.

Parking Rates:
0-1 hour $18.00
1-2 hours $30.00
2-3 hours $38.00
3-4 hours $44.00
4+ hours $49.00
Lost ticket $49.00

Additionally, there are several other car parks located in and around Darling Harbour, the closest located at Harbourside Car Park, 100 Murray Street, Pyrmont.

ICC Sydney has its own bus stop. Bus routes 389 and 501 stop at Harris Street near Allen Street – a 10-minute walk to ICC Sydney.

The best taxi drop off and pick up locations include the new Iron Wharf Place next to Harbourside Shopping Centre and Zollner Circuit on the Southern end of ICC Sydney Theatre, both accessed via Darling Drive.

Tickets are available to purchase now online but if you would rather wait in a queue you can also buy them at the door.

Adult entry: $22
Kids (6-17 year old): $13.
Kids aged five and under are admitted free.
Family tickets: (2 adults + 3 kids) are $49,
Seniors: $20
Pensioners: $16.
2 Day pass: $30
3 Day pass: $40

A great initiative for those wanting to head to the show after work, if you arrive after 5pm all tickets are just $5 when purchased from any of the ticket booths at the show. All other tickets can be purchased online, which is a good way to avoid queues on popular days. Visit to purchase.

10AM to 7PM
1 – 5 August 2019