The Bay Run is a popular walking route in the inner-west of Sydney. It goes around picturesque Iron Cove Bay which is located 5km west of Sydney CBD. Iron Cove is a bay on the Parramatta River and is surrounded by the suburbs of Rozelle, Lilyfield, Haberfield, Five Dock and Drummoyne.
Whilst called The Bay Run, you most certainly don’t have to run it! In fact it is also sometimes called The Bay Walk. The circuit is 7 kilometres long and has designated pedestrian and cycle lanes as it is a popular place for people to walk, run or cycle. The route is mostly flat so it is convenient and easy to bring strollers or wheelchairs here. Not only does this make it suitable for all the family, but there are several playgrounds, parks, BBQ areas and cafes/restaurants here which means you can really make a day out of it. As it is a popular place for runners and cyclists as well as people walking, the path is divided up into a bike path and a pedestrianised path – make sure you are on the right one as they get busy.
How long does it take to walk The Bay Run?
The Bay Run route is 7km in total, so if you want to walk around the circuit at a brisk rate without stopping it will take around 1 hour 30 minutes. Of course if you are going to stroll around, take pictures and stop for some food it will take much longer. Unless this is your regular walking route, this walk should really be enjoyed at a leisurely rate, so take your time.
How to get to The Bay Run Sydney
There are several buses you can take from Sydney CBD to the start of The Bay Run.
The buses 501, 502, 504, 505, 506, 507, 508, 515, 518, M50, M52 go from Town Hall – Park Street Stand K. It is a nice route, going past Darling Harbour, the Anzac Bridge and picturesque Rozelle Bay.
There are lots of free parking spots available around the circuit. Henley Marine Drive does get quite busy with traffic especially on the weekends due to the nearby Outlet Shopping Centre at Birkenhead Point, so I would avoid parking around here. I would advise parking near one of the parks.
Where to start The Bay Run walk?
If you are coming by bus, all the buses stop at both ends of Iron Cove Bridge (Victoria Road) so you can decide which end of the walk to start. I got off at the stop right before the start of Iron Cove Bridge.
If you are coming by car you can start anywhere along the circuit where you find parking. It doesn’t matter which direction you walk the route (clockwise or anticlockwise) as you will be following the water all the way and have the same views either way.
THE BAY RUN SYDNEY CIRCUIT
I started the walk from the Rozelle end of Victoria Road by King George Park and finished in Drummoyne by Brett Park, so this is the order in which the rest of the article follows.
King George Park
From Victoria Road follow the path down to your left into King George Park. Here there is a playground, athletic fields, running tracks and a long jump sand pit – if you turn right off the path here (by the water’s edge) you’ll see a couple of really nice secluded beaches.
Carry walking around the water’s edge – you’ll join onto Waterfront Drive for a little bit before and go past a toilet block, before joining onto the footpath where you’ll walk past the Old Psychiatric Hospital and Leichhardt Rowing Club (you’ll find more public toilets here).
This is a popular dog walking route, plus there are lots of runners and walkers along this footpath. There are plenty bins and dog poo bags available so make sure you dispose of any dog waste appropriately. Also observe the signs when dogs need to be on a leash.
Carry along on the footpath through Leichhardt Park and then at the end you’ll come to Cafe Lobby at Le Montage. They offer a delicious selection of meals and beverages. Plus they have plenty outdoor seating that offers a really nice view across Iron Cove!
Not far after Le Montage the footpath crosses over a little bridge and you go past Haberfield Rowing Club. Here they have a good restaurant and cafe, with a kiosk that offers smoothies, drinks and acai bowls. Haberfield Rowing Club also has a happy hour from 4-6pm on Monday to Fridays if you are here at this time – it does make a lovely sunset spot! A couple of hundred metres past the rowing club there is a water fountain so make sure to top up your water in your reusable water bottle if it is running low! Along this part of the walk you’ll be walking next to the busy road so this will be the noisiest part of the walk.
You then turn off onto the pedestrianised Iron Cove Creek Bridge (looks almost like a mini Anzac Bridge) that will take you on to Timbrell Drive and then Henley Marine Drive.
Henley Marine Drive
Walking along Henley Marine Drive there are some spectacular houses to your left and beautiful mangroves and greenery on your right between you and the river at parts. You’ll then reach scenic Rodd Point where you’ll find the Dobroyd Aquatic Club and another beautiful small secluded beach. Again there are also water fountains here.
Continue along Henley Marine Drive to the end of the walk and you’ll see some really nice views across to Sydney’s skyline. When you get to the end there is a water fountain by Drummoyne Olympic Pool (a great outdoor pool to swim in the summer!) if you need to fill up. Otherwise if you fancy filling up on food head to The Watershed Kitchen – open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
If you want to complete the walk and finish back at King George Park then walk over the iconic Heritage Listed Iron Cove Bridge, which links Drummoyne to Rozelle. Walk along the bridge and enjoy the views down Parramatta River.
Where to get food on The Bay Run:
Cafe Lobby & Restaurant at Le Montage. Cafe open from 7am to 8pm (from 7.30am on weekends).
Haberfield Rowing Club Restaurant, Cafe & Kiosk. Kiosk open 6am to 2pm (from 6.30am on weekends).
The Watershed Kitchen.
Where to find toilets on The Bay Run:
– King George Park
– Waterfront drive sporting ground
– Leichhardt Oval no2
– Leichhardt Park
– Robson Park
Playgrounds on The Bay Run:
– King George Park
– Leichhardt Park
CONTINUING YOUR WALK PAST THE BAY RUN
You may find, like myself that you are keen to continue walking after the 7km is finished. In which case there are plenty more places for you to walk!
Carry on walking straight for a few minutes, going under Iron Cove Bridge to Birkenhead Marina. Here is Sydney’s biggest Outlet Shopping Centre so there are lots of food places, plus it is a really nice walk around the marina once you’ve finished eating or shopping. You can take the ferry (Shopper Hopper service) back to Circular Quay or Darling Harbour from Birkenhead Point if you wish. Check the Shopper Hopper timetable and fares here.
Here you are out of Iron Cove and along the Parramatta River – enjoy the walk along here as well as the views of nearby Cockatoo Island. By the Drummoyne Sailing Club is the Salton Reserve park where you’ll find a playground, some benches and bins. You’ll have to walk on the street for the next bit of the walk so you won’t get any riverside views – turn right along St Georges Crescent and continue walking right to the end to get to Drummoyne Ferry Wharf. This will take about 15 minutes to walk, and you can always get the ferry back to Circular Quay from Drummoyne if you want to call it a day.
Nearby Gladesville Bridge goes over the Parramatta River and provides absolutely stunning harbour views especially the further along you walk on the bridge and look back. It is quite a long bridge and beware it can get quite windy crossing the bridge!
If you want to continue further, follow the footpath around the base of the bridge then walk under the tunnel and towards your left to get to the footpath that will take you over another bridge that crosses Tarban Creek. This then takes you onto Burns Bay Road at Hunters Hill, but if you continue walking you’ll end up all the way in Lane Cove.
The Great North Walk along Lane Cove River
Of if you fancy more of a bush walk, turn left to Hunters Hill. Take Ryde Road all the way up to Boronia Park and turn right down Boronia Avenue. This will take you to Lane Cove Valley Walk – a part of The Great North Walk. The walk takes you past a saltmarsh and for most of the way offers unchanged inland views along the walk of Lane Cove River. There are some interesting mangrove areas and there are a couple of points where you can get back on to the road: the brown sign that says ‘Access to Park Road” (easy to miss!). When you get to Park Road you can take the bus 252 back to the City via Lane Cove and North Sydney. Or you can continue to the Lane Cove Mangrove Walkway at Buffalo Creek.
Remember whenever you are taking a bush walk to always be aware of bush fire safety. If a total fire ban is in place do not attempt to do this walk. To check conditions visit the RFS website.
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