Warships sailing from Jervis Bay to Sydney for the International Fleet Review will pass the Illawarra beyond the horizon on Thursday, meaning any residents keen to watch the spectacle will have to do so in Sydney.
Tall ships passed within five nautical miles of Wollongong's coastline late on Wednesday. But Royal Australian Navy commander Nick Hart said the warships would not be visible from shore because of the need for official photo opportunities.
The ships will pass more than 40 nautical miles east of Wollongong before moving into formation for photos at sea. They will sail into Sydney Harbour at 5am tomorrow.
"Photographing will be done all day [on Thursday]," he said.
"They'll complete that then go back into their normal positions and line themselves up for the entry."
For those prepared to make the journey north, Sydney City Council has released a list of sites where the best views can be found.
These include Observatory Hill Park at The Rocks, Embarkation Park at Potts Point, Bicentennial Park at Annandale and Pirrama Park at Pyrmont.
An extra 4000 bus and 1000 train services will operate from today until Friday next week - the biggest logistical challenge for the public transport network since the Sydney Olympics.
The International Fleet Review won't be the only event held in Sydney this weekend - hundreds of thousands more people will be travelling to the NRL grand final, the One Direction concert at Sydney Olympic Park, the Manly Jazz Festival, the Parramasala Arts Festival at Parramatta, and Epsom Day at Royal Randwick.
State Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said public transport employees had been working for months leading up to this weekend.
"We want to make sure people are aware that catching public transport is the way to go and that driving into the city will only lead to disappointment," she said.
"I encourage everyone to allow plenty of extra travel time to get to wherever they are going.
"And of course enjoy everything great this city has to offer."
"The International Fleet Review is a huge challenge for the road and transport network of Sydney.
"But the NSW government has been collaborating with the Royal Australian Navy to make sure this event is well co-ordinated."
For more information, head to navy.gov.au.