65 km – 3 days of about 4-5 hours each day
Inspired by the opening of a 300m walkway around Barangaroo in April 2021, I decide it is time for some urban walking. The media is heralding something called the Barangaroo Foreshore Walk – an 11 km walk from Woolloomooloo to Anzac Bridge. That is not really long enough to gain my interest so I start investigating walking a longer version of Sydney’s foreshore.
There is always the 28km Seven Bridges Walk but, to be frank, parts of it are rather boring. Some of it is scenic but you would have to like motor vehicles and traffic fumes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great walk and, every year, thousands of people do it on one day to raise money for Cancer Council. Although for some reason, it is always scheduled at the end of October when Sydney seems to be steaming hot.
However it forms the basis of my new urban series of walks using the foreshore (or as much of it as I can) to navigate the Seven Bridges. I’m not really sure how long this route is (and I cant be bothered to map it out – it’s not like we are going to get lost). I decide it is important to use public transport to make it easy to access and, the bonus will be that the walk starts and ends each day with a ferry ride – quite simply the best way to see Sydney. I also manage to find a good restaurant/cafe at the end of the walk – arguably the easiest part of planning.
I might call this my “F” walk series – Foreshore Fun on Flexible Fridays with Fee via Footways and Ferries and involving Food. Or maybe it should be the Scenic Seven Bridges.
Milsons Point Wharf to East Balmain Wharf (18km)
via Harbour Bridge and Anzac Bridge and walking around Pyrmont Bridge
Starting at Milsons Point, our walk takes us over Sydney Harbour Bridge into the fingers of Walsh Bay wharves – or at least as many of them as we are permitted to walk up and down – sometimes it doesn’t always seem fair that a few apartments took the views away from Joe Public. From Walsh Bay, we hop into Barangaroo, pass Packer’s Pecker and head to Darling Harbour. From here, it is around to Pyrmont Bay, Jones Bay and then up and over Anzac Bridge (sharing this section with some scarily fast cyclists). As tempting as it is to head to the industrial works and White Bay, there is no access to both (as we found out – please dont follow my route at this point). The better option is to walk a section of not so interesting road (which I guess could be broken up with the odd pub or two if that’s your thing). However there are water glimpses and a long term promise of a future where the foreshore may open up to the public one day. Eventually you will pop up out on the foreshore of East Balmain going pass some pretty reserves, Sydney Water Police, some interesting houses (with a few road detours required to navigate areas inaccessible to Joe Public again) before arriving at Balmain East wharf. From here, you can take a ferry back to your starting point at Milsons Point. If fancy restaurants are your thing, try The Fenwick or alternatively some good cafes just up from the wharf.
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Balmain East Wharf to Woolwich Wharf (25km)
Via the Bay Run and Gladesville Bridge
Starting at Balmain East Wharf (arriving by ferry of course), we head off to check out two other ferry wharves: Balmain and Birchgrove before walking under the Iron Cove Bridge and onto the 6km Bay Run. From the other side of the Iron Cove Bridge, we find the foreshore somewhat blocked for public access but can navigate our way by a mix of streets and foreshore to Drummoyne Wharf. From here it is an easy walk over Gladesville and Tarban Creek bridges and into Hunters Hill, where we can do some good real estate viewing with glimpses of the harbour, before finishing at Clarkes Point Reserve and the Woolwich Pier Hotel for lunch. This is a longer half day and there is a certain sense of achievement (as well as relief) in reaching the pub for lunch.
After lunch it is a quick trip to Valentia St Wharf in Hunter’s Hill and a ferry back to our starting point.
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Woolwich Wharf to Milsons Point Wharf (20km)
Via Balls Head Reserve
A slightly misty start to the day, we begin at Valentia St Wharf and find another way to exit Hunter’s Hill (with more real estate perving) before crossing the Lane Cove river on Fig Tree Bridge. From here there is a stretch of road walking before dropping into Burns Bay Reserve and passing St Ignatius College (it would be nice to share that foreshore with the public but it seems to be exclusively for that exclusive school). Our walk now takes us through Tambourine Bay Reserve, Hodgson Park, Gore Creek Reserve with a mix of street walking thrown in to link these areas. We end up at Balls Head Reserve visiting The Coal Loader before heading around to Blues Point, Lavender Bay and finally back to our original starting point at Milsons Point.
My fellow walkers are not at all sure about my planned route around Blues Point but they are persuaded to follow me and we find good foreshore walking around the point.
At Milsons Point, foodies might like to visit Ripples (although at the time of writing it is temporarily shut).
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And there it is, we have covered a total of 65km in glorious autumn sunshine over three days. And best of all, we managed to complete the loop just before Sydney’s lockdown! My thanks to my Fabulous Fun Friday Friends.
Words by Fee/ Photos by the Friday Fun group