Exploring nature is a big part of my life and I try to hike in national parks as much as possible. I'm also a proud foodie, arts and cuture nerd and content coordinator at mozo.com.au.
Published June 24th 2018
Paid walking tours, who needs them?
Sydney's inner-west has a lot to offer and when it comes to historical architecture, there's no going past the suburb of Balmain, which is a short ferry ride from the CBD.
If you're on a budget I'd highly recommend doing a self-guided tour to enjoy its quaint streets lined with sandstone buildings. That's what I did with friends recently and we had a blast learning about Balmain's industrial roots.
Balmain has even more to offer when you explore it by foot.
Everything is mapped out for you in the form of a modest 2.7km stroll, which takes you to 21 locations. The charming suburb is dotted with colonial structures, and the Balmain Association has included a good range built from 1840s to 1860s.
Something you'll notice on this walk is how plain the suburb's historical buildings really are, which may remind you of Ancient Greece and Rome. As I've learnt from the tour guide, this is because the early settlers and workers in Balmain at the time simply didn't have the local craftsmanship at hand.
As Balmain grew more prosperous over the years, so did the architecture and you'll see subtle changes in its later structures throughout the walk.
My personal favourite spot is one of the oldest at stop number 3, "Waterman's Cottage", which has a delicate balcony and as the guide aptly describes, "the cottage has a primitive quality".
While they say it's a hilly walk, you only have to be modestly fit to enjoy it. Plus, there are several attractive watering holes along the way.
What about lunch? If you complete the walk on a Sunday, you'll be spoilt for choice with traditional pub specials. That said, there's nothing wrong with snacking among the pleasant scenery of harbour views instead.
What are your thoughts on hosting a walking tour in Balmain? Let me know if you've done it before and share your experience.