We set out after breakfast up Pyrmont Street; it’s hard to believe that this street use to be the heart of the industrial area. The tree lined streetscape is extremely quiet on this glorious Saturday morning and as we continue we catch glimpses of towering Anzac Bridge to the left.
Finally we arrive at Giba Park, the park opens up and there stretched before us is beautiful Johnson Bay sparkling like a billion stars with the winter sun bouncing off the surface.
The pathway meanders around Pyrmount Park and on towards Anzac Bridge; we’re not sure which is the best route but we are all enjoying the Sydney foreshore looking magnificent in the early morning light. Getting engrossed in the location we ended up taking the long way around towards the access point to Anzac Bridge.
Impressive access ramp – Anzac Bridge
The access point to Anzac Bridge is very impressive, the concrete overpass snakes and curves effortlessly to the top. The 120 metre towering structure is very imposing with its stark white concrete and steel cables towering into the deep blue sky.
The view of Johnston Bay and Glebe Island is incredible, however the vibrate colours of the bay in conjunction with the light bouncing off my camera lens doesn’t do it justice.
The length of the bridge is around 805 metres and the traffic is fast and noisy but the view is well worth the effort. One thing that amazed us was the cleanliness of the location thus far, no rubbish, everything looked cared for and maintained.
This is a grand testament to the great city of Sydney.
Know your location
Reading a map is an important part of exploring a new area, so it was at this point that I lead everyone up the garden path so to speak. After crossing Anzac Bridge I felt we should climb the stairs to the overpass on the left where the Western Distributor’s endless streaming cars were passing underneath.
This was a big mistake we should have continued and climbed the overpass on the right to Lilyfield Road. Don’t make that mistake! (I was reading the map sideways!)
Rozelle a trendy leafy suburb
We are now heading away from the busy roads and towards Iron Cove Bridge; the Streets of Rozelle are leafy and old-world. We pass by parks with Mum and Dads watching their children play there Saturday morning football games, with their younger siblings screaming with delight.
The smell of coffee is heavy in the cool air and we are ready for a latte, however it will have to wait till we get to University of Sydney College. Due to my incorrect map reading we have lost quite a bit of time, so no investigating this beautiful suburb today looking for a cafe.
Sydney College of the Arts
We entered the grounds of this beautiful green expanse and head for the harbour, these grounds are the home to a number of historic buildings known as Callan Park a hospital for the mentally ill and criminally insane.
It had quite a reputation in its day.
However we won’t be investigating it today!
Beautiful Sydney Harbour is back in view and before us is Iron Cove Bridge, but not before we sit for a while on the stone wall at King George Park and admire the view of Iron Cove.
After our break we are back on the beat and looking for the access point to the old structure of Iron Cove Bridge, we want to be on the right side of Victoria Road.
Detour to the shops
From Iron Cove Bridge, we spy Birkenhead Point shopping precinct, with it marina… wouldn’t it be nice to arrive at the shopping precinct by boat. The sight of the shops beckons us to visit, and we make a quick detour to check them out.
The next massive bridge structure is Gladesville Bridge this bridge had the longest single span of concrete ever constructed in 1964.
The vistas from this bridge are magnificent, but watch out for the cyclist’s while you are hugging the bridge rail taking all those photographs. At this point busy Victoria Road swings away to the left and the arterial road changes to Burns Bay Road.
After crossing Gladesville Bridge we were guided down a winding pathway and here’s where it got a bit tricky, locating how to access Tarban Creek Bridge was a challenge.
The best tip is this, when you are directly under the bridge you will see a hole in the wall or a tunnel we walked through here and headed back up the hill to access Tarban Creek Bridge.
While we were trying to figure out the direction we came across fellow walkers wandering around looking for the access point to the Gladesville Bridge, so we exchanged bearings and continued on.
Fig Tree Bridge
Fig Tree Bridge is the last of the seven bridges circling Sydney Harbour, however we decided we wouldn’t walk across, hunger pains had now taken over our bodies and it’s time to rest up at the Hunters Hill Hotel for one of their famous chicken burgers and a well earned break.
We have succeeded in covering half of the Harbour Circle Walk and crossed the seven bridges of Sydney Harbour. Well six bridges really, Fig Tree Bridge will be crossed when we walk the North Shore side of Sydney Harbour very soon.
These are the seven bridges of Sydney Harbour loop
- Sydney Harbour Bridge
- Anzac Bridge
- Iron Cove Bridge
- Gladesville Bridge
- Tarban Creek Bridge
- Fig Tree Bridge
At this point I could say that we walked back to our accommodation at Darling Harbour, but we didn’t. Instead we decided to walk back across Tarban Bridge to Huntleys Point and catch the ferry to Darling Harbour.
Some pre-walk planning had taken place, originally I had hoped we could have explored another way back, through a local reserve but after my flawed map reading ability (looking at the map sideways) I thought it best we went back across Tarban Bridge and follow a familiar route to Huntleys Point and along Huntleys Point Road to the roundabout and then to Gladesville Wharf.
The ferry ride back to Darling Harbour took us around 15minutes, and was a fitting end to a wonderful day.
If you enjoy walking and want to take advantage of seeing famous Sydney Harbour from elevated bridges this is the walk for you. Check out the government site for walking maps of Sydney, you could spend days discovering this beautiful city and return to comfortable accommodation in the evening.
So plan a weekend in Sydney or maybe a walking holiday. One bit of advice I wouldn’t plan to walk the seven bridges of Sydney Harbour during the summer months, you just might fry with all that concrete and steel.
However if you are an early riser by all means, get going early watch the sun rise over Sydney Harbour and do some research and take one of the many transport options back to your accommodation.