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Monday 25 October 2021

Walking, or running, in Sydney sunshine


I no longer run very much. Unless someone is chasing me. 

Which doesn't happen very often. 

But I do remember from my days living in Sydney that the city is a runner’s and walker's paradise. 

From the Bay Run and the Bondi to Coogee Walk to the Pool to Pool Run that takes you past some of the city’s most renowned sights, here are some suggestions from Destination NSW. 

The Bay Run

Just a 10-minute drive from the city centre in the inner western suburbs, this 7km loop around the shores of Iron Cove Bay links the suburbs of Drummoyne, Russell Lea, Rodd Point, Haberfield, Leichhardt, Rozelle and Balmain. It’s one of the most popular harbourside running tracks in Sydney, traversing the natural course of the cove and never more than 20 metres away from the water. The predominantly flat, well-maintained track is a local favourite, regularly frequented by cyclists, dog walkers and pram pushers. A recently added 500-metre extension for cyclists and pedestrians has just been opened to offer more space for everyone.

The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

One of Sydney’s most iconic tracks (above), this 6km run starts at the southern end of Bondi Beach and follows the coastline to Coogee via Tamarama and Bronte. Though the course is not particularly long, you’ll encounter stairs, hills and narrow parts along the path, as well as plenty of locals who take a more leisurely pace, taking two hours or so to complete their walk. You can choose to tackle portions of the track, then reward yourself with a dip in the water at one of the beaches and pools along the way including Clovelly, Gordons Bay, McIvers Baths, Wylies Baths and Giles Baths. For those looking for a further challenge, continue onwards from Coogee to Maroubra, another 5km stretch. 

The Manly to North Head Walk

On the Northern Beaches, a string of sandy beaches stretching north from Sydney, start this 10km stroll at the lagoon near Queenscliff, then head towards Manly Beach and Shelly Beach, admiring the cliff faces. From the path at the Shelly Beach carpark, you can begin your ascent to North Head - this run is a little more challenging due to the steep incline. Reach the Fairfax Walk at North Head for spectacular views across Sydney Harbour Heads. This paved track, ideal for a run, starts at the end of the North Head Scenic Drive and circles around the top of North Head, encompassing three lookouts. 

The Pool to Pool Run 

A perfect way to start a Sydney summer’s day, this invigorating run will have you sweating then swimming to cool right off. You’ll also pass some of the city’s most beloved spots. Starting at the pretty-as-a-picture North Sydney Olympic Pool at Milsons Point, this run will take you over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, along the Cahill Expressway passing Circular Quay. You can jog past the Sydney Opera House and then sprint into Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, finishing at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and Andrew Boy Charlton Pool in a pocket alongside the garden for a recovery splash in the striking outdoor pool. 

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