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First comments[edit]

Harbours aren't just in cities, surely? What would be a better way of saying this?? Nevilley 11:35 Jan 21, 2003 (UTC)

Mention "natural harbours" too. -- Tarquin 11:49 Jan 21, 2003 (UTC)

Erm and at the risk of asking a really stupid question, are they always coastal? Can you have an inland harbour on a river etc?? Not in the UK (I think) but I wondered about elsewhere ... Nevilley 16:51 Jan 21, 2003 (UTC)

ah - already dealt with, I see! :) Nevilley
It seems to have disappeared again; and it's an interesting question
There are ports not on the coast; Manchester, Bruges, Houston spring to mind, but they aren’t necessarily harbours;
There are harbours on lakes (Jinga, Kigowa), but maybe lakes also have coasts.
A harbour on a navigable river could fit the bill (Manaus? Vicksburg? Aswan? Belgrade? Basle?)
How about a place with "harbour" in the name, but not even on water (like Cold Harbor, Virginia)? Swanny18 (talk) 16:35, 6 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"During the D-Day operations of 1944, two artificial harbours (codenamed Mulberry) were built just off the invasion beaches."

Do we really need a mention of the Normandy Phoenixes used for Operation Overlord here? I'm a nut for WWII History, but that doesn't really seem relevant, especially where its placed now in the introduction. If nobody objects, I'll remove it. If someone wants to put a link to that improvised structure in the notable harbour section near the bottom of the article, I think it would be better placed. RudyB 23:06, 11 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Erm ... in light of the most recent edit, clearly we need to decide whether we're using British spelling (harbour) or American (harbor). Are there any guidelines about this? The Singing Badger 17:02, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Well because the page title is using American spelling perhaps it should use American spelling of "harbour" as "harbor". Or if there is a concensis move this page to make the page title use British spelling. -- 12:31, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I think this page SHOULD be moved to conform not only to the spelling on the page, but also to the majority of contributors to this page, who insist on using British spelling. -- AxSkov 13:08, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
It's a stub article, let us give it some time to get expanded a bit before we try and settle out the spelling issues. In general, I don't care what the article name is or the spelling convention, as long as we remember to keep the native spelling for actual places. For example, for American areas it will always be (for example) Copper Harbor, Michigan and not "Copper Harbour", likewise, it should always be "Sydney Harbour" and not "Sydney Harbor". Ahh, the joys of multiple spellings. -- Kaszeta 13:28, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Why not use both spellings for the page name such as Harbour, Harbor or Harbour/Harbor (not sure if this is allowed) to keep everyone happy. This could be applied to the other pages with similar regional variations (ie. colour, honour, organisation, etc). Just a suggestion. -- 01:04, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Largest Harbours[edit]

Did anyone notice how Rotterdam is said to have 137 million tons/year handled which is smaller then even the 11th port listed there? I have also seen conflicting listings which show quite different figures for the busiest ports. Shall I update them accordingly?

Secondly, I find the term "largest harbours" confusing, because it seems to be suggesting physical size rather then in terms of port activity, especially when the "natural harbours" subsection is actually refering to area. Shall I reconfigure the tables and call it "Busiest Harbours (or Habors)" instead?--Huaiwei 10:33, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Found the original data, quoted the source, and moved to port -Hlaw 18:02, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Is there a source for Sydney's claim for the lagest nautral harbour ? A casual look on a map suggests that Dunedin Harbour which, including Port Chalmers, runs the whole lenth of the Otago Peninsula seems to be a strong candidate. Having traveled by boat along both of these I know that it took a great deal longer to reach the sea from leaving Dunedin than it did to reach Manley from Sydney. Velela 14:56, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The Kaipara Harbour in the far north of New Zealand is larger still (about five times the size of Sydney's, IIRC). It's a natural harbour that is rarely used by boats, though, and has no large towns close to it. Grutness|hello?
I wonder that Puget Sound doesn't enter into this discussion. It is a well sheltered arm of the sea, 90 miles long, with several important port facilities, (Everett, Edmonds, Seattle, Tacoma, Bremerton, and Olympia, all in the state of Washington) and many minor ones, a long fjord, Hood Canal, and several inlets. In point of use, Hampton Roads is the world's most important harbor. Too Old 21:52, 2005 May 15 (UTC)
The San Francisco Bay is a natural harbor an order of magnitude or two larger in area than Sydney Harbor. Gentgeen 21:25, 27 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Many fjords are a lot larger than Sydney Harbor - Trondheimsfjord, Oslofjord are just two examples. Orcaborealis 20:00, 24 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Largest harbour reprise[edit]

We don't actually need to establish which is the largest natural harbour in order to disprove the claim that it is Port Jackson/Sydney Harbour. According to its Wikipedia article, San Francisco Bay has a surface area of 1040 to 4160 square kilometres, depending on exactly how you count it. According to its article, Port Jackson has a surface area of 55 square kilometers. No contest on size then. I can see no reason that would exclude SFB from being a natural harbour whilst not excluding PJ; both are largely surrounded by land; both have relatively narrow entrances; both are used as places of shelter by commercial and naval shipping; both contain major port areas.

So I think I've proven that the claim that Port Jackson is the world's largest working natural harbour is wrong; I shall remove it from the article. -- Chris j wood 17:09, 7 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The definitiion of harbour seems a little vague everywhere - i can't really see why the mediteranean isn't technically a harbour also - but what is certainly true is that Sydney Harbour is colloquially known as the largest in the world - other articles such as Natural harbor (and many more) have a consensus that this is the case. I've edited the section also because to say that two places claim the title, then give such disparate areas devalues the whole article anyway...... I'd love to hear more discussion on what 'counts' as a harbour or not - I actually arrived here trying to work out why Pittwater and Port Stephens (two more New South Wales bodies of water that open to the sea - one larger than Port Jackson) don't seem to count in 'largest harbour' lists....... Petesmiles 23:16, 7 October 2005 (UTC) 23:10, 7 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Actually, is this section really contributing to the article? To be honest, it sounds a tad trival to me (and I actually worry that every folk is going to add in their own definitions of what's considered a "beautiful" harbour!).--Huaiwei 13:04, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I think's it's pointless too. The Singing Badger 15:11, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)
As far as I know there are several natural harbours that are famous around the world as tourist destinations. An example would be Sydney, with the Opera House and the Bridge. Perhaps the Lower New York Bay in New York / New Jersey, with the Statue of Liberty is also a good example. -- 15:28, December 8, 2004 (UTC)
Moved the scenary section below. Many famous tourist cities have harbours (and other facilities). Seems no point to plug in tourism ads in every article describing the functions of facilities there. -Hlaw 18:02, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Natural harbours can be scenically attractive tourist destinations. A notable example is Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong. The best view is from Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island.

Merge from Natural harbor[edit]

I have proposed the merge from Natural harbor as I think the separate article adds no information and there seems no reason to develop two separate articles.--A Y Arktos 11:41, 21 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree. I can't see any reason for them to be seperate articles. Hegar 15:26, 23 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Please do not move this to Harbour (haven). Haven is implied in the standard English usage of this word and thus this article should remain at the standard title. pschemp | talk 23:40, 2 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]