"The Sydney Harbour floating heliport is a new signature experience that will help entice visitors to Sydney and make it easy for them to enjoy a birds' eye view of the harbour," New South Wales state Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said.
Industry leaders have long called for a heliport based in the city, which last had one in the late 1980s operating from the Darling Harbour tourist precinct, along the lines of the services available in New York.
The large barge, which will be anchored a short boat ride from Circular Quay, will have two helipads and be in place from early December.
"Tourist flights are definitely a portion of it," said James Guest, director of Newcastle Helicopters which will run the service, adding that businesspeople would also be a major market.
The tourism and business sectors welcomed the development.
"It's a commonsense outcome that puts Sydney in a similar position to other renowned global cities" said Patricia Forsythe, executive director of the Sydney Business Chamber.