We’ve been getting into the fitness vibe here lately and have discovered Sydney has a whole lot to offer (especially when the sky is blue and the sun is shining). And so, in preparation for the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival on Sunday, September 21, we thought a look at the best – and most scenic – tracks was in order.
Preparing for a marathon, half-marathon, national park trail run, or even a 5km family fun run in Sydney will require getting a few kilometres under your belt and right there’s probably a trail right near you to get you on your way.
Michelle Bridges, head coach of the Sydney Running Festival, says:
“I love running through the Botanical Gardens and there are some great runs along Rose Bay. I also love doing the Bay Run in Drummoyne and running through Lane Cove National Park for a change of scenery.”
If you’re not a natural runner, you’re sure to find a route below that will have you reaching for your running shoes in no time:
- The harbour loop: Iron Cove will have your blood pumping with its 7km Bay Run Loop around Iron Cove that takes in the sights of riverside Rozelle, Lilyfield, Haberfield, Five Dock, Rodd Point and Russell Lea. The route is mostly flat and includes running across the Iron Cove Bridge. An official Bay Run race happens each year if you feel like the competitive type.
- The coastal run: Bondi to Coogee is the city’s most popular run. At 14kms the seaside run begins at Bondi Beach and then heads along the coastal path of MacKenzie’s Bay to Bronte via Tamarama. You’ll pass Clovelly and Gordon’s Bay and then voila, suddenly you’re on Coogee Beach.
- The sea eagle run: Manly to North Head starts from the ferry wharf in Manly and continues down the mall to the beach. Continue along the Esplanade and you’ll reach the coastal path to Shelly Beach which will take you to a number of secluded lookouts along the cliffs. The oceans views are well worth the 4km journey.
- Olympic glory: Olympic Park is home to many major Sydney running events and has limitless running tracks. Free from traffic, the park offers visitors an astounding 640 hectares of man-made and natural attractions. With over 35kms of walking and running trails you’ll never do the same route twice.
- The easy west: Parramatta Lakes has three tracks including 1.5km, 2.4km or 4.2km and is considered one of the most significant and beautiful bushland remnants in Western Sydney. With a plethora of native birds, reptiles plus several exotic species of mammals the lake has something for everyone.
- Go bush: Lane Cove National Park is an inner-city bush-running track enveloped in eucalyptus and overlooked by Australian native birds including kookaburras and lorikeets. This is the closest you’ll get to running in the bush this close to the city.
- The point push: Cremore Point Circuit starts at Cremore Point Wharf with a full view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Continue on to MacCallum Poolside and you’ll be presented with a number of different options, all including a stair challenge at some point.
- The pool to pool: North Sydney kicks off at North Sydney Pool and takes you over the Harbour Bridge chasing the Cahill Expressway eventually arriving at Circular Quay. From here you can easily continue to Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair and Andrew Boy Charlton Pool. Take a dip for a rewarding run and knock out view
- The two-bay: Rushcutters Bay to Double Bay is an easy 5.5km run along the foreshore which will see you pass Sydney largest marina and whilst enjoying breathtaking views of Garden Island and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
- The Lake laps: Chipping Norton Lakes is something for the southwest runner. The highlight of the area is the 3.2km Lake Moore run starting at Chauvel Park following the lake’s scenic foreshore to Haigh Park.