An Adelaide boy new to Sydney with a thirst for exploring!
Published October 17th 2014
Best Lookouts you can bike to in North Sydney
Studying a map of the bike paths on the northern shore can be somewhat daunting as you digest the network of intricate routes. Amid the masses of line work, one thing that does stand out is the number of one way tracks extending towards the various points infringing into Sydney Harbour. Unless you're Stuart O'Grady or Cadel Evans, chances are you won't be able to experience them all in a day (especially if the children are in tow!). So which are the best ones to explore? Ultimately the answer to this question lies in the experience you are seeking. This article will uncover some of the options, leaving it up to you to decide on where your destination (or destinations!) will be.
Views of the Bridge and Opera House from McMahons Point
Let's start with one of the blatantly obvious one. McMahons Point situated some 500 metres north west of the Harbour Bridge offers breathtakingly up-close views. There's an expansive park as well should you wish to sit down and soak in the scenery, however don't expect to be alone. In such an amazing location there will almost certainly be a gathering of other like-minded people relaxing on picnic rugs and taking it all in. The ride down is fairly steep but definitely manageable.
From here, we'll trek to the other side of Berrys Bay to Balls Head. Come racing down Balls Head Drive and you'll be treated to a nice looping track through the nature reserve. Here you'll be able to find a much more secluded pocket to enjoy your aspect over Sydney, with the park offering an assortment of isolated areas. At the southern most tip you'll be treated to a much broader outlook of the Sydney CBD skyline. In addition to the Harbour Bridge (much further away this time of course), you can also see the tops of the Anzac Bridge peeking out above Balmain to the South. For those seeking a bit of privacy this is a great place to come, especially if you've packed a picnic. The gradient of the ride is a bit less severe as well (you're much higher up rather than down at the water level) so may be friendlier to little peddling legs.
Outlook from the southern most tip of Balls Head Reserve
Moving further west, we have the tucked away Berrys Island in Wollstonecraft. This one comes with a warning though – it is STEEP!! You will find yourself gathering a ton of momentum as you descend, with a rather sharp dead end to greet you at the bottom. Be sure to apply brakes early and please look out for your children if they are along for the ride! Once you safely reach the bottom, you'll discover a quaint park and open lawn area. While the views here aren't in the same magnitude as the last two (you can only just see the tall buildings of the city in the distance!), you do get the chance to marvel at the sheer rock wall behind the HMAS Waterhen Naval base across the other side of Balls Head Bay.
So far we've only explored west of the bridge, how about what lies to the east? Mosman and Cremorne are renowned for having some of the best views in all of Sydney. The first of our eastern 'fingers' takes you down Milson Road with a slow gradual descent to towards Robinsons Point. The unobstructed viewpoint here provides you with all that Sydney CBD has to offer. Asides from a few park benches there unfortunately isn't anywhere that you'd want to settle in for a while, so best to ride down and then turn around and begin the climb back up. This one is another moderate grade welcoming to both experienced and novice riders.
The next path on our eastwards journey is a short stretch down Avenue Road culminating in Mosman Bay. Given the bay is set back, there are no glimpses of the city or the bridge, however Reid Park offers a nice area for the kids to play and there are some fantastic houses to marvel at.
As you cycle down Raglan Street towards Cremorne point, you are presented with two options; the high road or the low road! Venture down the low road (Musgrave Street) and you will end up at the South Mosman Wharf ferry stop. Those that continue along Raglan Street taking the high road will find themselves a hidden gem, with a perfectly manicured lookout at the end of the cul-de-sac. Park yourself on the bench and enjoy the amazing scenery that exists beyond perfectly shaped border hedge.
Breathtaking views from a perfectly positioned lookout
One thing is for sure – you are absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to biking options on the North Shore! It's a great way to explore some of Sydney's prime real estate locations while getting some exercise and sunshine at the same time. So strap on a helmet, pack a picnic, take your camera and get riding!