Walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge from The Rocks to Balmoral
The walk from Circular Quay over the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Balmoral on the Lower North Shore is one of Sydney’s most scenic harbour walks.
My wife and I walked the 21km journey at a slow pace with a couple of breaks — it took us 6 hours, but could be done in less than 4 hours.
We started our walk to Balmoral at the Argyle Stairs located on the northern side of Argyle Street in The Rocks. The stairs lead you up to the Bridge Stairs on Cumberland Street — For those who want to access the Sydney Harbour Bridge, there is now an elevator located near the Bridge Stairs at The Rocks.
Once you access the Bridge Stairs walk north across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The walk across the bridge is about one kilometre from the southern approach to the northern approach — walkers can only use the path on the eastern side of the bridge.
You’ll enjoy the amazing views of Sydney’s harbour, eastern suburbs and Lower North Shore. If you have time, visit the small museum located inside the south-east pylon — the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout.
Walkers can exit the Sydney Harbour Bridge at the northern end via a set of stairs or the new elevator near Burton Street Kirribilli.
Once you leave the bridge, walk towards Milson Park in Kirribilli. The park was originally a rubbish dump and called Careening Cove. Some trees in this park were planted in 1912.
Head east past the Kirribilli Marina onto High Street and down to the North Sydney Ferry Wharf. Enjoy the view of Neutral Harbour and walk through the Sub Base Platypus. Climb the stairs from Oberon Park, and walk north to Anderson Park in Neutral Bay.
Continue east from the park up the stairs to Kurraba Road — Head east down Billong Street at Kurraba Point to view ‘The Roses of Billong Street.’
You’ll find a plaque installed by the North Sydney Council in 2002 that explains the history of the roses: “This rose garden was established by local resident Mark McGuire. The remarkable floral display from October to April attracts visitors from all over Sydney. For his outstanding contribution to a public area, Mark was awarded the North Sydney Achievement of Excellence as part of the 2002 North Sydney Garden Competition.”
We headed north along Shellcove Road and down to Mosman Bay where we joined the outstanding Cremorne Point walk.
The point is located not far from the Cremorne Point Ferry Wharf — walk to the end and visit the Robertsons Point Lighthouse where you’ll experience a good view of Sydney Harbour.
Head back and join the eastern side of the Cremorne Point walking track.
You will pass Reid Park and the Mosman Bay Ferry.
At this point, my wife and I headed up the stairs near the bus stop and made our way to Illawarra Street to enter Sirius Cove. We later learnt the cove can be access via a foreshore track at the end of McLeod Street Mosman.
After you exit the the Sirius Cove Reserve follow the foreshore track towards Taronga Zoo.
At one point you will need to chose whether you want to continue to walk around to the Taronga Zoo Ferry Wharf or along the northern fence line of the Taronga Zoo. We chose the northern fence line and caught a glimpse of the zoo’s bird aviary and the Taronga Zoo Wildlife Hospital on Whiting Beach Road.
Not far from the entry to Taronga Zoo is a track called Parkinsons Walk that leads you down to the popular Taylors Bay Track — you’ll see the entry point near the Sydney Harbour National Park sign at the corner of Bradleys Head Road and Whiting Beach Road.
The stairs at the end of Burrawong Avenue in Mosman took us down to the Taylors Bay Track.
Walk around to Chowder Bay where you can join the bush track that leads up to Georges Head Lookout — this track is located at the western end of the cafe, behind the building — the entry is not well sign posted.
You’ll see the Georges Head Battery at this location, and some amazing views of Sydney Harbour.
Work began on the Georges Head Military Fortifications in 1871.
“The construction of fortifications on the site followed the departure of British Imperial forces in 1870 and is evidence of the British Government’s resolve that colonies with responsible government should bear the cost of their own defence” — NSW Government Office of the Environment & Heritage.
As you exit Georges Head, you’ll come across some signage — follow the signs to Balmoral. The track will lead you across Middle Head Road and into Balmoral Park.
There’s plenty of parkland at Balmoral. Several cafes and restaurants. And a frequent bus service that can take you back to Sydney’s CBD. We hope you enjoy Balmoral as much as my wife and I do.
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