Location - Sydney, Australia
Ride - The Harbour Bridge, Barangaroo and Blackwattle Bay
Distance - Approx 25 km round trip
Terrain - Mostly separated bike path with a few short on road connections. Sealed for the full distance.
Difficulty - Flat and easy.
Highlights - The views of Sydney's beautiful harbour.
I live in Sydney so I am probably a bit biased but for city views this has to be one of the world's great cycles. It is also flat, easy and almost entirely on separated cycle paths. On a sunny Sydney day, and we get lots of those, there is no better place to be in the world. Now that the new section along the waterfront at Barrangaroo has opened it is just magical.
The Route - We generally start the ride on the north side of the Harbour Bridge. Catch the train to Milsons Point Station. (For route maps and timetables click - here) or park in the streets of Kirribilli. Much of the parking is limited to two hours. There are a small number of unlimited spaces in High St. Failing that head up toward Neutral Bay and Ben Boyd Rd. You can easily finish the ride in two hours but if you plan to stop for lunch then allow yourself a bit more than that.
Access the Harbour Bridge cycleway via the steps from Burton St (off Alfred St), Milsons Pt. The cycleway is on the western side of the bridge. The eastern path is for foot traffic only.
|It is not hard to recognize this landmark!|
Once you have crossed the bridge turn right down Upper Fort St toward Argyle St. Follow Argyle St down and around to the right until you come to a path on your left leading to Barangaroo. If you miss the path don't worry just follow Argyle and Dalgety to the bottom of the hill at Walsh Bay and join the beginning of the path there.
|Looking down on the new Barangaroo Path|
|These must be some of the best city views in the world.|
|Is this Sydney's answer to Stonehenge? It's at the beginning of the path near Observatory Hill. The tower in the background looks like a recently landed UFO. It is actually the old Port Operations Observation Tower - sadly soon to be demolished.|
The path doesn't yet go all the way through on the waterfront. When you come to the barrier turn around and re-trace your route for a couple of hundred metres until you can get through to Hickson Rd, it's not hard to find, then follow Hickson Rd until you are able to turn back towards the waterfront near the KPMG building on Shelley St. You should come out about 100 metres north of Darling Harbour Wharf.
|This might be a dead-end but at least it's a pretty one!|
Follow the water until the old Pyrmont Bridge; now a footpath and cycleway. Take the escalator (or lift) up to the bridge and re-join the path on the bridge. Turn right as you leave the bridge and join Pirrama Rd just before Pyrmont Bay Park. Follow Pirrama Rd to Giba Park and from there just stick as close as you can to the water.
|Looking toward the old Pyrmont Bridge.|
|Does anyone know what this is? It is sitting in the middle of Rozelle Bay. It looks like someone is drilling for oil - lol!|
Eventually, you will cross the Anzac Bridge back to Pyrmont. From here you can either re-trace your steps or take a short cut up Miller Street. Once you cross back across the old Pyrmont Bridge you can take another short-cut along the Kent Street cycleway - stay high as you exit the bridge and don't go back down the escalators.
|The Anzac Bridge|
There are so many cafes, restaurants and takeaways along this ride you will be spoilt for choice. We often stop for lunch at the Fish Markets or one of the cafes at Darling Harbour near the Darling Harbour Wharf. If you fancy a seafood lunch but don't want to compete with the sea-gulls stop at the Deep Seafood Cafe & Oyster Bar just as you enter the markets from the north. It has good food, and tables which don't get inundated by birds.
|Lunch at the Fish Markets!|
A Little Bit of History -
In case you were wondering, Barangaroo is an aboriginal name. Barangaroo was the wife of Bennelong, after whom the land on which Sydney Opera House sits is named. Barangaroo lived in the Sydney area at the time of the first white settlement of Australia in 1788.
Totally confused? Would a map help?
Click here for an online map from SydneyCycleways or go to the link and request a printed one. We find the printed maps much more useful when we are out on a bike, although David is quite a fan of Google maps. The SydneyCycleways map doesn't mark the entire route I have described because we cut through on the footpath here and there - but shhh don't tell anyone! The Barangaroo path only opened a couple of weeks ago and the map hasn't yet caught up either with it or the path around Blackwattle Bay.
For other cycle paths in Sydney click - here