Whether you’re wanting to take a stroll, go for a run or even a cycle – Balmain and Rozelle deliver. Darling shares the best places to explore.
1. Mort Bay to Ballast Point
If you’re after an easy stroll, stick to the flat foreshore and enjoy the spectacular Harbour Bridge views. If you’d like to work those legs, tackle the many stairs at Ballast Point Park. One of the park’s most interesting features is the way the site’s history has been brought to life through design, art, and poetry. Tank 101 symbolises the site’s working history whilst Delicate Balance represents the use of sandstone from the site as ballast for European ships.
2. Callan Park
Spread across more than 60 hectares, Callan Park is one of the largest parks in the Inner West. Built in 1885 as the Callan Park Hospital for the Insane, it has several exceptional heritage buildings and plenty of open space. Both kids and dogs love to run free here and there’s plenty of space for both to explore. The 100-year-old bamboo forest is a favourite for kids and with many quiet, sealed roads, it’s a great place to learn to ride a bike.
3. Tom Uren Trail
This trail honours the life of long-term Balmain resident, Labor politician, and patron of the original Defenders of Sydney Harbour Foreshores, Tom Uren. It’s a circuit commencing at Thornton Park near Balmain East Ferry Wharf and takes about two and a half hours to complete. The walk is signposted with wooden markers carved with Uren’s signature Akubra hat. Along the way you can read about the life of Tom Uren and learn about Balmain’s Aboriginal history.
4. Bridgewater Park to Elkington Park
If you don’t have the time or the energy to tackle The Bay Run, this is a great alternative. The views overlooking Cockatoo Island are spectacular and the trail has plenty of steps and Balmain’s very own ‘Heartbreak Hill’. Bridgewater Park is located on the site of the old Balmain Power Station with the heritage Pumphouse a remnant of the area’s industrial roots. It’s worth rolling out of bed before dawn to do this walk – the sunrise over the bay is magical.
5. White Bay
During lockdown, The White Bay Cruise Terminal came alive with families on bikes. Although cruise ships are back, the walk and cycleway remains open. Named after John White, the naval surgeon aboard the first fleet to Australia in 1788, White Bay played an important role for the areas heavy industry. Traces of the industrial past can still be seen today, including The Sunlight Factory at 7 Rosebery Place, originally home to the Lever Brothers soap factory and where the first cake of Sunlight soap was produced.
Thanks to Brendan from Redo Health for sharing his favourite walks with us.