The Seven Bridges Walk is a cancer research fundraising event that is held every October in Sydney. The walk is 25km long and does a loop around Sydney Harbour. Yesterday, Team Makepeace, along with my parents, and Craig’s dad and sister, took on the challenge to raise money for cancer, our fitness levels, and our appreciation of one of the most beautiful harbours in the world.
Ours was a walking party spanning 3 generations so I’m afraid I can’t report that we completed the Seven Bridges walk. We managed walk 12 kilometres and over 3 bridges, which would have been more if not for a very strange bus scheduling arrangement. The free buses ran in the opposite direction to the walking course so we couldn’t skip ahead to have the chance to walk over all of the bridges.
Even if you are not in Sydney for the actual event there is every reason and opportunity for you to follow the trail yourself. It is a fantastic way to see Sydney Harbour and explore the many streets that hold a lot of history and architectural surprises.
Milson’s Point, north of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and CBD is where you can begin your trail by walking over the first and the best of the bridges
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Australia’s most iconic structure and most photographed Australian landmarks. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world’s largest steel arch bridge with the top of the bridge standing 134 metres above the harbour. No matter where you are walking on the Seven Bridges Walk trail around the harbour you can see her majestically standing guard above the city. She was our point of reference and an encouraging reminder to keep moving forward. There are high safety rails over the bridge, but in between the spaces you can take in the views of the Opera House, Harbour and surrounding land out to sea. Don’t look down if you suffer from vertigo.
As you come off the bridge, you can walk through the Rocks area down toward the base of the bridge. The Rocks is the oldest section of Sydney and my personal favourite. There is so many narrow cobblestoned streets to explore and historic buildings to learn about. I spent a lot of time here during University learning about drinking beer and live acoustic music.
Your walk will take you around the foreshore, past The Hyatt with its impressive views of Sydney Harbour and the Opera House, and then under the bridge and around to Miller Point section of the city. This is the old warehouse area that has been restored to fancy restaurants, function centres, and Channel 7 studios. If you follow the harbour path it will take you through the new development area of Barangaroo. Set to be completed in 2017 this is an area that will be a mix of office and residential buildings and parklands. This area runs straight into Cockle Bay and Darling Harbour.
There is always something for you to look at and do in Darling Harbour. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, shops and attractions. The Sydney Aquarium and the Maritime Museum can be found here. We stopped here for a coffee break and to watch the Dragon Boat Races that were happening on Cockle Bay. You could easily spend a day in Darling Harbour but be prepared to spend a lot of money if you do. It’s not cheap- $5 for a coffee is pretty scandalous.
To save the destruction of your wallet, make a quick getaway over the
Once a major transport route to the west, the narrow Pyrmont Bridgeridge is now a pedestrian bridge standing at the Entrance to Darling Harbour. The bridge still opens its swingspan to allow commercial and leisure water craft to pass into Cockle Bay. It is a great photo opportunity spot for the bustling and popular Darling Harbour. Once you leave the bridge you will be entering into more warehouse converted areas along the harbour. Follow this path as it takes you through Pyrmont Point Park to the next of the Seven Bridges.
Once called the Glebe Island Bridge, the Anzac Bridge spans Johnston Bay. The ANZAC bridge is the longest cable-stayed span bridge in Australia and one of our most recognizable. It’s two towers support 128 cables and is 120m high and 800m long. Two statues of ANZAC soldiers stand guard on either side of the bridge as you drive toward the CBD.
Our walk then took us to the village of Roseville, where we stopped to have lunch on the balcony of a pub. The refreshing breeze cooled us down as we filled our empty bellies, rested our legs, and watched the traffic move down Darling St into the trendy suburb of Balmain.
It was at this point that we threw in the towel and caught the bus back to the city. Here is the remainder of the walk that you can complete at any time and we hope to finish one day
Iron Cove Bridge
The Iron Cove Bridge spans Iron Cove and connects Leichardt to Canada Bay taking you to the popular Birkenhead Point shopping district. This is a great spot to end your walk and catch a ferry back across the Sydney Harbour to Circular Quay. The Iron Cove Bridge, the last steel bridge to be built in NSW, has distinctive piers and abutments which reflect the Inter-War Art Deco Style.
My mother was quite happy that we did not make it this far on our walk as their is quite a steep walk across its span.. When completed in 1964 it was the longest single span concrete arch every constructed. The Gladseville Bridge crosses over the Parammatta River- the river that eventually empties out into Sydney Harbour.
Tarban Creek Bridge
Before the arch span Tarban Creek Bridge was built in 1965, residents of the wealthy suburb of Hunters Hill had to negotiate the streets to cross Tarban Creek further upstream.
Fig Tree Bridge
The last of the seven bridges was built in conjunction with the Tarban Creek and Gladesville Bridges as part of a planned north-western expressway linking the city with the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway. It never happened but now we have a girder bridge that spans the Lane Cove River connecting Hunters Hill to Linley Point
Walking over the last of the bridges will find yourself just over the halfway point of the Sydney Harbour Seven Bridges loop walk. The walk now takes you around the Northern side of the Harbour through the wealthy and quite hilly suburbs of Lane Cove and North Sydney before returning you to your starting point at Milson’s Point.
If you are not too tired on your arrival back you can always take a short walk down to Luna Park on the foreshore for some fun at Sydney’s famous adventure ride park…. or maybe not.