Category: Sydney Harbour Bridge

Walk Sydney Harbour and See Sydney

Gladesville Bridge on beautful Sydney Harbour walk

 Time to finish the Sydney Harbour Walk

The three of us had arranged to meet again for the weekend staying in one of Sydney’s Hotels to finish the Sydney Harbour loop walk or should I clarify the North Shore leg of the 7 bridges of Sydney Harbour.

We jumped on the ferry at Kings Street Wharf and ventured to Huntley Point where we would continue our journey.
The morning was perfect an Indian summer day for Sydney after a cold few weeks. The harbour was at its best, a day you could only wish for if you wanted to show off this fabulous location to overseas visitors.

We started at Huntley Point

Arriving at Huntley Point Wharf we headed for Figtree Bridge, but not before we indulged in some more photos taking on Tarban Bridge and soaked up the million dollars views of Sydney Harbour, along with all the million dollar homes below.
Fig Tree Bridge with Fig Tree House belowCrossing Figtree Bridge we momentarily glanced at Figtree Cottage below, and wondered what this location looked like in the 1800’s, when this historic stone cottage was originally built by Mary Reiby, a convict woman who made good as a highly successful and influential business person. The cottage was built near a giant fig tree in 1836. (Referenced information)

Uncharted territory coming up!

Soon we would be entering uncharted territory, no landmarks no bridges to look for just streets and the map and my map reading skills… After taking a wrong turn down a street, it was now time to useMe and my sister Wendy at Linley Point, Burns Bay my iPhone to check for directions this is where a handheld GPS would come in handy.

It  would eliminate the occasional disparaging looks I was receiving from an older sibling. The problem with walking is it’s not like driving, if you lose your way you can go around the block a couple of times… here you have to walk back and this can be a challenge with this North Shore the terrain it is hilly in sections.

There’s nothing worse than having to tell your people that this street is on your left, when it should be on the right!

It’s an adventure not a race…

However my view is that’s it’s an adventure, we’ve not in a race and if it all turns pear shaped we’ll catch a cab, taxi or train back to the hotel in Sydney not a biggie in my book.
The reserve at Lindley Point was very pretty, this was a beautiful location tucked away in Burns Bay one of this first vista from the north shore we saw. Every now and then we caught glimpses of Sydney Harbour Bridge looming in the distance waiting for our arrival.

 

There were a number of options to explore

There were a number of options to explore but not being familiar with the area and still a long way to go, time wasn’t a luxury we could afford. So we tramped on feeling the heat of the day, this walk would be a challenge on a summer day.
The view from Tarban Bridge Sydney Harbour walkIt was time for lunch and we were anxiously looking for a cafe to rejuvenate our energy, the local Bowls Club came in view but alas they were having a private function, so we had to soldier on.

Fortunately Lane Cove Country Club was about a kilometre away, we stopped and enjoyed a flavourful lunch at their Thai restaurant.

 

Smoothey Park and Gore Cove Reserve

Continuing on River Road we past Greenwich Hospital and down Vincent Street and on to Smoothey Park, and across Beencke’s Bridge, this little bridge was first built in 1893 according to the sign and serviced the local residents a route to the Wollstonecraft Railway Station just above the walking track.

There is no doubt this would have been an interesting area to explore, “The Gore Cove Track Smoothey Park to Berry Island’ but regrettably this wasn’t to be today.

All unanimously said let’s continue!

Reaching the top of the hill Wollstonecraft Station was on our left, it was at this point I better give the rest of my party an option of going back into Sydney via train. All unanimously said let’s continue, however this enthusiasm was short lived!

Heading down Shirley Road we were diverting to one of the detours mention on to Berry Island Reserve a walking track hugging Gore Cove and Balls Head Bay. At the next intersection I realised we were off the main drag and heading for the Reserve I could have kept quiet but I knew some were strugglingly with the warm day and the hills.

Things turn pear shaped..Kerrie and Wendy at Wollstonecraft Station

So I casually mentioned that we were heading towards the harbour and Berry Island Reserve we should have taken a left at Wollstonecraft Station not gone down the hill.

Well that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was all over red rover we were all catching the train back to our hotel in Sydney town.
It was disappointing that we didn’t complete the “Seven Bridge Walk” loop but it just furnishes us with another excuse to spend one more wonderful weekend exploring Sydney’s North Shore.

Sydney is a wonderful city to explore on foot, with a little preparation you could easily prepare your own walking tour around Sydney Harbour and stay in one of the Hotels in Sydney.

 

See you on my next walk……

Sydney Harbour from Anzac Bridge – Harbour Loop

Gillian and Wendy started their walkSee Sydney Harbour from Anzac Bridge part of the Seven Bridge Harbour Loop

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

Walking up the 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.

Wendy&kerrieonpath

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

Kerrie on the Anzac BridgeWe 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 View from the bridgewatch 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.

Gillian leaning on the wallTarban Creek Bridge

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
  • Pyrmount
  • Anzac Bridge
  • Iron Cove Bridge
  • Gladesville Bridge
  • Tarban Creek Bridge
  • Fig Tree Bridge

What now?

lunch timeAt 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.

My tip…

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.

See you next time …North Shore here we come!

Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk

Beautiful Sydney HarbourWalk the Sydney Harbour Bridge First

October each year Sydneysiders have the privilege of walking across the 7 bridges of Sydney Harbour. Now being a Queenslander I really didn’t know much about this walk and stumbled across an article in ‘Great Walks – Australia’s Bushwalking Magazine’ a great read I might add.

This article inspired me along with my sister and close friend to walk the 7 bridges of Sydney Harbour.

Our break in SydneySydney Harbour Bridge

We stayed right in town so we could enjoy the whole Sydney experience, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Our accommodation arranged it was now down to planning where to start our 7 bridge walk.
Just to clarify we weren’t going to do the 26 kilometre grueling harbour loop in one day, this was all about enjoying the walk, taking in beautiful Sydney Harbour without the crowds. An adventure of sorts…

Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk

We arranged to meet in Darling Harbour with accommodation procured in Pyrmont Street, which was convenient to transport, restaurants and entertainment.

A unanimous decision was made after a latte to walk the Sydney Harbour Bridge first. The weather was beautiful so why not start with the famous coat hanger; after all we weren’t on any schedule.

Signage wasn’t clear, so pay attention..

steps upto the access point of Sydney Harbour BridgeWe headed down George Street and to the Rocks, I know there is an access point to the Harbour Bridge here. We had a vague idea were it was “look for Cumberland Street” I said, and suddenly the sign was right in front of us.

We all climbed the stairs and could feel the looming pull of the Sydney Harbour Bridge above. The signage to the access point wasn’t easy to follow but we just kept heading towards the bridge.

Walkway across the bridge
Before long we were all climbing the stairs to that world famous icon that is in our backyard.

There were a few tourist on the bridge taking copious amounts of photos, like ourselves it was so nice to feel like a tourist in your our country.

There is a sort of freedom attached to it; you know the people and the customs.

The views spectacular

The vista was fantastic, beautiful Sydney Harbour in all its glory, the Opera House with its gleaming wings ready to set sail, Circular Quay and its famous Manly ferry run, all stretched out for us to point too and plan for another day.

They had a vision

The sheer magnitude of the bridge from the walkway is impressive, to think it has been standing for over 83 years is hard to comprehend, the structure appears to be new.

The foresight of the future use of this engineering master piece would have taken remarkable vision… a feat for a small backwater country named Australia in the 1920’s.

The approaches of the bridge itself are extensive and sweeping something you wouldn’t have envisioned in that decade.

No walking access westernside of the Sydney Harbour BridgeCan you walk the western side of Sydney Harbour Bridge?

We had decided that we would take the walkway on the opposite side of the bridge and enjoyed the view from the other side.

The trains speeding past would be noisy but it was all about the view, what’s a bit of noise and pollution.

However when we walk through the underpass Jeffreys Street….. There was no access on foot across the Harbour Bridge’s western side, only by push bike.

That was a little disappointing but no biggie in the scheme of things. So we headed back across the bridge.

Lunch at the Glenmore HotelKerrie and Jill enjoying lunch at the Glenmore Hotel

The Great Walks magazine recommends the Glenmore Hotel for lunch and we were hungry and ready for a nice chardonnay in the shadow of Sydney Harbour Bridge walk with Sydney Opera House in the foreground.

The three of us enjoyed a fabulous rooftop view on a lazy Friday afternoon accompanied by those unfortunate souls who had to go back to work for the afternoon.

Wendy and Jill after crossing the bridge

 

 

Tomorrow Anzac Bridge here we come!

Government House A Tour Worth Taking

Government HouseGovernment House Visit

Recently I was in Sydney for the weekend, doing the family thing and my sister suggested we go to Government House and take one of their guided tours.

I thought about it and realised I had never been there.

We took the train into town and got off at Circular Quay, that place is alive with activity so much to do and see. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to do a tour of Government House, Sydney Harbour was at its best so inviting… Why not just stay here.

However today it was about Government House, so we walk passed all the other ‘fun stuff’ like taking the ferry to Manly (which I love) passed the Opera House with all the hordes of High School students enjoying their school excursion and through to the Botanical Gardens.

A Trip over to Manly would have been nice.

It was a glorious day on the Harbour, not the best time to take photos with the sun on the water but none the less breathtaking.

We followed the signage and the pathway to the entrance of Government House and collected our pass for the guided tour for 1pm we didn’t realise at the time we were in for a treat.

Sydney Harbour what a day!

Our Guide

Lenard was our guide, he was a hive of information, spoke in detail about the Gothic architecture and the history of Government House construction.

The time frame it took to build and the constant struggle to create a beautiful Government House for New South Wales.

Waiting for months or years for an answer from the homeland, with limited means to communicate unlike we are accustomed too. We learnt a lot about the architecture, furnishings, wall paper and ceiling restoration bringing this beautiful building back to its former glory and elegance.

Waiting for the start of the Tour

The thing I enjoyed the most was the human element. Lenard went to great lengths to bring the past into the future, talking about the Governors and their struggles.

And while I was listening I couldn’t help but think about the books by Edward Vivian Timms those wonderful novels about the early struggles of Australian life and the links with the old country.

I enjoyed my afternoon at Government House, ‘High Tea’ in the drawing room would have been nice but I wasn’t invited.

See you later…