Sydney: Harbour Circle or 7 Bridges Walk 27 km

Looping around a part of Sydney Harbour today…

Up early. In fact, I was up at 4am as I couldn’t sleep this, another hot and humid night, and after online reading the stories of the day, I had breakfast, packed up and was on my way to town on the first Manly ferry for the day at 6.35am.

Here I am having arrived at Circular Quay just after 7am.

Today’s hike is referred to either as the Harbour Circle because, well you figure it out, or the Seven Bridges Walk, which also is an annual charity event organised by Sydney Morning Herald.

What are the seven bridges you may ask. Well, I was walking the loop anti clockwise and the bridges in order of appearance today were:

  1. Sydney Harbour Bridge
  2. Figtree Bridge (between Linley and Hunters Hill)
  3. Tarban Creek Bridge (between Hunters Hill and Huntleys Point)
  4. Gladesville Bridge
  5. Iron Cove Bridge
  6. Anzac Bridge
  7. Pyrmont Bridge

So off we go towards bridge number 1, Sydney Harbour Bridge.

February is Cruise Ship Month in Sydney and every other day or so there seems to be another big monster at the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Lavender Bay with Luna Park just behind…

…and looking across Lavender Bay to where I just came from and bridge number 1.

First break after about an hour at Waverton Park and this is the view from the bench where I sat. I have stopped here for that first break during earlier hikes as well as the distance and time from Circular Quay feels right and of course, it is a very nice spot.

The eastern end of the Gore Cove Track in Wollstonecraft, just off Shirley Road.

This is where the creek enters Sydney Harbour at Gore Cove. For a while you would not think that you are in the middle of a big city and surrounded by suburbia.

Climbing up the hill to the western end of Gore Cove Track, with Greenwich and the oil terminals to the right.

Another very nice spot is the Gore Creek Reserve, where Gore Creek is actually the next bay west of Gore Cove (lots of Gore in this area).

Yes, time for today’s second break and I took the opportunity to let my hiking boots “breathe”…

After a bit of suburbia in the form of Northwood and Longueville, I entered the Tambourine Reserve. This area has very good tree cover and it seems to always be quite humid and wet there so no surprises to find some mangroves as well.

The pool at Tambourine Bay. Nobody there today.

The suburb of Riverview seems to be dominated by St Ignatius College. Huge grounds and adjacent sport fields. Always looks very nice here.

And from a little hill there, you get great views back towards Sydney CBD.

Another very pleasant area is around Burns Bay. I think that I scared the pigeons here…

Adjacent to above is the final reserve, Linley Park Reserve, on the north shore prior to crossing bridges for the return to Circular Quay on the south side of Parramatta River. So, I had my next break there having clocked up pretty much 3 hours on the dot here.

This was also where I encountered oddball number 1 today (of 3, yes, it was one of those days). As I say on one of the two available benches eating a can of tuna, an elderly lady in what looked like a pajamas arrived and started to do “exercises” a la Mr Bean using that second bench. After a couple of minutes of that silliness, she walked the small perimeters of the reserve and departed the same way that she had arrived from.

Moving right along and I crossed bridge number 2, Figtree Bridge.

Good view east towards town from bridge number 3, Tarban Creek Bridge.

Then Gladesville Bridge came into view and I was using the ramp to get onto it, here arrived oddball number 2… on an eBike.

Oddball number 2 asked Hans how to get to the “north shore”. Well, I asked him, where to on the north shore and he answered anywhere. The ramp that we were on would of course take us both across Gladesville Bridge and away from any connection to the north shore before Sydney Harbour Bridge.

I suggested that going back the same way he came from and follow signs towards Lane Cove as those were visible from where we were. At this point, he muttered something about this eBike running low on power, said goodbye and… took off across Gladesville Bridge towards town. Go figure.

On the bridge… Feels a bit enclosed, but I assume the fencing is there to deter any potential suicide jumpers.

Instead of follow the dreaded Victoria Road on the Drummoyne side, I wandered north towards Parramatta River for a better view and less noise. This St Andrews Cross spider looked really artistic outside house number 107.

A quick break and selfie on one of several small reserves along Parramatta River. It looked like that you could walk along the water at low tide, but I didn’t give it a try and instead followed St George’s Crescent to and rounding Birkenhead Point…

…and coming out just underneath bridge number 5, Iron Cove Bridge or bridges as there are two parallel these days.

An old favourite of mine is to stop at Darling Street in Balmain for a Chinese lunch at this place.

This eat in meal cost me $8.50 and it is pretty darn good. Of course, a whole bottle of ice cold water is just what a hiker needs after 20 odd kilometers and I usually finish most of it. Today I also added a can of Coke for an extra $1. Yep, very thirsty as today being mostly overcast was still very humid.

Good to see that restoration work had started on the old White Bay Power Station.

Here was also where I encountered my final oddball number 3 for the day. This guy looked like he had walked from town and asked me in a Russian(?) accent if I was from Sydney. When I said that I lived here, he brought out a mobile phone and asked me if I knew this place that he had taken a photograph of… The sign said Erskineville.

I pointed across town and told him that Erskineville was over there and that he had walked pretty much in its opposite direction. He asked about the footbridge to Glebe whether that would take him there and I said, yes, sure, but I wasn’t sure how to give him directions. Good enough for him as he disappeared across the bridge towards Rozelle Bay…

The rest was uneventful as I wandered across Anzac Bridge and onto Circular Quay. All good and I felt a sense of achievement.

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