Walking the Bay Run, Sydney - What you Need to Know

The Bay Run, also referred to as the Bay Walk is a picturesque 7km continuous circuit, situated in Sydney’s Inner West. It is a popular route for walkers, joggers, runners, cyclists and even roller skaters looking for exercise and enjoying the fresh air and views. Following the scenic foreshore of Iron Cove Bay, Sisters Bay and Half Moon Bay, you will be greeted by picturesque views of the Parramatta River throughout most of the route.

Passing through the suburbs of Rozelle, Lilyfield and Haberfield within the Inner West Council and Drummoyne, Rodd Point, Russell Lea and Five Dock within the City of Canada Bay, this easy route is mainly flat with designated lanes for walkers and cyclists. It is also wheelchair and pram friendly, making this route one of Sydney’s most enjoyable and accessible for the whole family.

Throughout this route you will pass a number of parks with playgrounds for the children, exercise areas for additional body workouts as well as picnic and BBQ areas. There are also a number of cafes and restaurants en route for that quick coffee pick me up, breakfast or a well-deserved lunch.

How long does it take to walk The Bay Run?

Depending on how fast you walk and how many times you stop will determine how long The Bay Run takes to complete. I tend to complete the walk in approximately 1 hour 20 minutes at a brisk walking pace. If you have children, you might like to break the walk up with some stops at different parks such as King George Park in Rozelle and Leichhardt Park in Lilyfield, or simply take time out and sit overlooking the water or have a BBQ and a picnic with friends or family.

Where to start the Bay Run

Where you start really depends on your transport method and what your plans are. For those relying on public transport, I recommend starting at your drop off points such as by Victoria Road. If you simply want to walk or run and come by car then you can start anywhere that has parking, whilst for those with children, I recommend parking by one of the parks with toilets such as King George Park in Rozelle which has plenty of parking options, and has a fun playground and picturesque water views.

Which direction should you walk The Bay Run?

It really doesn’t matter which direction you walk as you will be following the water. I like to walk in a clockwise direction with the water on my right as I find it less busy in this direction, however many people like to go anti-clockwise with the water on their left as it involves a hill climb by King George Park.

The Bay Run Route

Let’s take a closer look at the route, significant landmarks and historic sights. I will be starting at King George Park walking in a clockwise direction, as this is convenient for both public transport users and drivers.

King George Park to Callan Park

If you have come by bus, you will enter The Bay Run via Victoria Road, just past Byrnes Street, before the Iron Cove Bridge. Follow the pathway down the hill and King George Park will be on your left. Keep to the left of the path and walk past the Constellation Playground, a great area for children to play on the swings, slides, rope climbs and flying fox.

Continuing round, you will walk past the athletics field with running track which is popular during weekends. On your right will be a long jump sand pit, alongside the ‘Fish Traps’ art installation by Edwards Clarke (2019) – as part of the Gadigal Wangal Wayfinding Project. As you round the corner and walk uphill the pathway begins to narrow so watch out for other walkers, runners and cyclists. Emerging onto Waterfront Drive continue straight ahead and down the hill to arrive at Callan Park and Callan Park Oval on your left, with the Iron Cove Bay on your right. Watch for cars as you walk along here. Callan Park was once the grounds of Rozelle Hospital (originally called “Callan Park Hospital for the Insane”), and a number of beautiful sandstone heritage buildings remain here today.

Flying fox king george park

Athletics track king george park

Callan Park to Leichhardt Park

From Callan Park, continue following the water, before passing the Leichhardt Rowing Club to arrive at Leichhardt Park, the largest park along The Bay Run. Here you can find a fenced shady playground for children of all ages, an outdoor fitness station, water fountains, a toilet block and picnic benches. Le Montage, an exquisite waterfront venue sits right next door, and also sells light snacks and coffee from the Café Lobby if you’re feeling peckish.

Leichhardt park playground equipment

Le montage the bay run

Leichhardt Park to Robson Park

After Leichhardt Park continue along the shared pathway and head up the steps to cross the bridge, whilst admiring the views of the water. Note that the paving slabs will be a bit rocky. Walk down the sloping path to walk past the UTS Haberfield Rowers Club and Restaurant. This is a popular spot for coffee with a hut outside (The Kiosk) serving drinks and snacks. Alternatively, visit UTS Haberfield Rowers Club and Restaurant at another time for a casual lunch, dinner or a sunset cocktail. Continuing on, the walking and cycling paths separate with some shrubbery between the two lanes, whilst the City-West Link Road will be on your left so this part of the walk can be quite noisy. Robson Park will also be on your left across the busy road, home to a small playground and manicured gardens. Many people will continue on the walk with other more convenient parks to access during the Bay Run, however this park might suit you if you’re coming from this direction.

Pedestrian and cycle bridge the bay run

Haberfield rowers club uts

Robson Park to Rodd Point

Just after Robson Park, turn right along the Iron Cove Creek pedestrian and cycle bridge which opened in 2015 to improve safety and features a public art installation from local artist Angela Pasqua. Many birds also like to rest here including pelicans so have your camera handy. After crossing the bridge, the expansive Timbrell Park will be on your left but you will need to cross Timbrell Drive to reach it. Walking along the Henley Marine Drive with its spectacular waterfront houses, you will soon reach Rodd Point and Rodd Park, home to the Dobroyd Aquatic Club. This is a good spot to admire the harbour views and watch the boats and kayakers in action.

Iron cove creek pedestrian and cycle bridge

Rodd point dobroyd aquatic club

Rodd Point to Brett Park

Continue along Henley Marine Drive (named after Sir Thomas Henley, described as “one of the most prominent figures in the public life of NSW”) and pass by Nield Park on your left, a nice green area to kick a ball around. Admire more of the impressive waterfront houses and have fun deciding which property is your favourite. You can also learn about the local flora and fauna and mangroves via the information signs. Pass by Half Moon Bay Yacht Club before arriving at a resting spot with a drinking fountain and shaded picnic bench area by Thompson Street. This part of The Bay Run does get busy as the pathways are tighter so watch out for runners and cyclists and try to keep single file where possible. Further around is the Thompson Street Jetty before you arrive at Brett Park, situated on your right. If you want to cross the road to enjoy this park, be careful and watch for traffic.

City skyline across the bay run

The bay run henley marine drive

Brett Park to King George Park via the Iron Cove Bridge

This final leg of the walk will have you go past Aqua Luna Waterfront Dining, another popular spot for weddings as well as The Watershed Kitchen, a good place for breakfast, brunch and lunch with picturesque water views. You will also pass by the Drummoyne Rowing Club as well as Drummoyne Swimming Pool. If you’re feeling energetic during the summer months, why not pop into the historic Drummoyne Swimming Pool for a swim in their 50 metre outdoor swimming pool, alongside the harbour. It certainly is a stunning setting for a swim. There are also grass areas to sunbathe, as well as a toddler pool for the little ones and an onsite cafe.

From here, walk up the bridge to arrive at the heritage-listed Iron Cove Bridge. This bridge links Drummoyne to Rozelle and has a wide path for walkers and cyclists along with four lanes for road traffic. This outstanding steel truss bridge is a local landmark and acts as a gateway due to its impressive size. First designed in 1942, it features an Inter-War Art Deco style. Enjoy the views of the water, Parramatta River and Drummoyne Swimming Pool as you walk across this bridge. Beware, as it can get windy walking along here so hold on to your hats. After crossing the 461 metre Iron Cove Bridge, you will arrive back at King George Park.

Brett park the bay run

Walking across the iron cove bridge

Important Information

There are currently changes happening along The Bay Run as part of WestConnex that might affect the route. The Iron Cove Seawall Renewal is also underway with works including rock protection and landscape improvements, mass planting of native vegetation and repairing existing sandstone block walls to help build a better Bay Run.

Westconnex the bay run path changes

Estuary ecology along the bay run

Getting to the Bay Run

There are a number of transport options to help you get here.

  • Car
    There is plenty of car parking available throughout the route. You can park for free along Henley Marine Drive, however, I recommend parking slightly before South Street as Henley Marine Drive can be busy with traffic especially at weekends for those visiting Birkenhead Point. Alternatively, many of the parks such as King George Park and Leichhardt Park have parking and are close to toilet facilities.
  • Bus
    The Bay Run is well serviced by a variety of bus routes. Along Victoria Road after Chubb Street by King George Park has many services from the city (501, 502, 504, 505, 506, 507, 508, 515,518, 520, M50 and M52). These same buses also stop just after the Iron Cove Bridge along Victoria Road just before Day Street. This is a popular stop for those looking to go shopping at Birkenhead Point Brand Outlet shopping centre. Bus services 406 and 436 stop by Robson Park along Mortley Avenue, as well as by Timbrell Park along Timbrell Drive at Arthur Street. Close to Rodd Point is bus service 490 that runs along First Avenue at Henley Point Drive.
  • Light Rail
    The nearest light rail stops are at Leichhardt North by Darley Road and Hawthorne by the Hawthorne Canal.
  • Train
    As there are no train stations close to The Bay Run, I recommend travelling by bus or light rail.
  • Ferry
    The closest ferry wharf is Drummoyne at Wolseley Street and is about a 25-minute walk to Drummoyne Swimming Centre. However, Birkenhead Point has its Shopper Hopper ferry service operating between Circular Quay or Darling Harbour to Birkenhead Point. From Birkenhead Point it is a 7-minute walk to Drummoyne Swimming Centre to start The Bay Run circuit. You can access the route by walking along Henley Marine Drive, passing underneath Victoria Road. We recommend to check timetables for the latest ferry services.

Is the Bay Run lit up at night?

Parts of The Bay Run are lit up at night, however there are sections without lighting or poor lighting such as through Callan Park. I recommend completing the route during the day to stay safe.

Extend your walk

7km not quite long enough? Why not extend your walk with some of the following ideas:

  • Explore Callan Park
  • Walk along the Hawthorne Canal
  • Walk under the Iron Cove Bridge to Bridgewater Park and explore Balmain and Rozelle

Top tips for tackling The Bay Run

  • Arrive early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the crowds
  • Weekends are very busy, so either arrive early, or visit during the week
  • As there are plenty of drinking fountains, you don’t necessarily need to carry a water bottle
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses and suncream
  • Wear comfy exercise clothes and trainers
  • Bring some cash or your credit card if you want to buy a drink or snack en route from the cafes
  • If you’re walking in a group, try not to take up the whole path
  • The pathways can change so make sure you are walking in the right lane – these are clearly marked
  • Have fun and enjoy the views as you walk round!

Track leading to pedestrian and bike bridge

Iron cove creek pedestrian and cycle bridge with birds

Get inspired to walk with these great walking books

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