I am a freelance writer and photographer from Sydney who has now had five books published on fishing. I also write for the Fishing Monthly Group and Australian Fishing Network.
I also like to travel and experience new things to do.
Once again, it was extremely hard to pick five places out of the hundreds that I know in the area, but I will give it ago.
PIERS 2 and 3
Location: Piers 2 and 3 are located on the south-western side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge not far from Millers Point, the Rocks and Barrangaroo. You could catch a train to central and it would be about a fifteen minute walk from the station.
Walking: One of the fascinating areas to go walking down this way is The Rocks. What you have now to assist you is a 'Walking the Rocks' app that was created by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority. This self-guided walking tour of nooks, pathways and cobbled streets to reveal fascinating facts about The Rocks.
Every place has a story to tell, even the very spot you're standing on now. The 'Walking the Rocks' app will take you through it, from the earliest days of the first settlement when The Rocks was home to merchants, warehouses, and wharfing, to the scenic and lively place it is today.
This app also lets you explore so much more where you can navigate The Rocks waterfront using contemporary or historic map views and discover the nearest point of interest, listen to or read stories about what happened in the past, on the spot you're standing today, view your current position within historical paintings and photographs to show where you would have been standing when these images were created.
The streets adjacent to Piers 2 & 3 hold a lot of Sydney's history.
There is so my of Sydney's history to be explored while walking from The Rocks to Millers Point and beyound. You should try it one day.
Picnics: Head to Dawes Point Park for extensive views of Sydney Cove. Dawes Point was the site of Australia's first fortified position, constructed in 1788 to protect the cove from foreign invaders. Five cannons are all that remain from the former Dawes Point Battery which was manned until 1916. The fort was removed during construction of Sydney Harbour Bridge which now passes above the park.
If having a picnic is not your scene, maybe you would like to get a coffee and a muffin from Simmer on the Bay.
Fishing: There are a number of piers in this area, but it seems that Piers 2 and 3 attracts many of the shore-based from throughout Sydney, as the water is fairly deep here which in turn attracts bream, dusky flathead, sand whiting, leatherjackets, yellowtail, silver trevally, paned size snapper, tailor, mulloway, Australian salmon and kingfish. Try using a paternoster rig and lower it down to the bottom directly beside the wharf using either a whole pilchards and garfish rigged on a set of ganged hooks.
Great place to take the kids for a fish, but you will need to remember you are on a wharf that is about three metres above the water. Care will need to be taken as there are not many access points down to the water if they fall in.
Location: You could travel by train to North Sydney and then once on Miller Street at North Sydney walk south into Blues Point Road. It's about a twenty minute walk down to the park at the end of this road.
Walking: Once you are at the park you will get great views of the Sydney Harbour bridge and the Opera House to the east. From here you can walk around the point via the shoreline and back up to Blues Point road. Here you could grab a coffee and take a walk to McMahons Point wharf and catch a ferry back to Circular Quay.
Some of the stairways you will come across will look inviting, but will lead to private property.
Or maybe you would like to venture further afield and walk the streets of North Sydney to the Lavander Bay Parks lands which comprises of Clark Park, Watt Park, Quibaree Park, the Lavender Bay Foreshore and a variety of smaller green spaces, including Wendy's Garden, Art Barton Park. From here you could venture around to Luna Park for a few thrills and spills. On the way you will notice a lot of old magnificent old houses nestled in amongst tall high-rise. You will need to have your walking shoes on as this part of North Sydney is fairly hilly.
Picnics: There are toilets and a very small playground with limited amusements in Blues Point Park. Adjacent to the park there is a sloped grassed area where you could lay out a picnic rug and take in the views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and The Opera House while listening to the cheers and screams coming Luna Park. There are limited parking spots and shops just up the road. Parking here at times can be a real problem. You will need to get here earlier to get a parking spot as there are only a few close to this spot.
There is a large grassed area for you to lay out that picnic rug adjacent to the park.
Fishing: Blues Point Reserve is arguably the finest place in Sydney from which to view the harbour, the bridge and the Opera House and for that reason Blues Point Reserve is arguably the finest place in Sydney to enjoy a picnic while at the same time having a fish.
A view of the Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Luna Park.
The water here is very deep which makes it very attractive to mulloway, bream, dusky flathead, sand whiting, leatherjackets, yellowtail, silver trevally, paned size snapper, tailor, luderick, garfish, mullet, Australian salmon, kingfish and flounder.
During the summer months a few mulloway, snapper and big dusky flathead have been caught here. You will need to get a descent cast in here to get your rig out pass the kelp and snags. Try using a number five to six ball sinker that slides down onto the bait or the paternoster rig.
During the autumn to winter months you will be in with a good chance of catching luderick on cabbage or weed. I would suggest that you use a mixture of bread, sand and chopped up weed and cabbage for berley for the luderick. One of those stemmed floats will do the trick, no need to use a bobby cork here.
An old shipwreck at Sawmillers Reserve photo courtsey of North Sydney Council.
Location: Clarkes Point is easily reachable from a Woolwich ferry wharf and also by bus 538 from Hunters Hill. At the far end of the leafy French settlement of Hunters Hill lies Woolwich Peninsula. The Woolwich peninsula consists of a succession of knolls leading down to the meeting point of the Parramatta and Lane Cove Rivers. Weathering has resulted in a spur off the Woolwich ridgeline forming Clarkes Point at the meeting of the 2 rivers.
Not all of the walking areas of Clarkes Point are concreted pathways.
Walking: The reserve is a popular weekend spot for picnickers and anglers alike. If you need a change you could always go for a walk in Kelly Bush Reserve or to the Woolwich Lookout, where you could Explore Sydney's maritime past with a visit to Woolwich Dock where boats have been built and repaired for more than a century. Watch vessels being lifted in and out of the water at this majestic sandstone dry-dock, which is linked to parklands by picturesque walkways with breathtaking harbour views.
Picnics: Sydney has plenty of scenic picnic spots along the harbour one of which is the Clarkes Point Reserve on the northern side of the Parramatta River the north shore. The reserve is a popular Sunday picnic destination as it has barbeque and other facilities. It also has one of the more extensive grassy slopes on Sydney Harbour and just to lie down and watch the boats and yachts as they go by.
The are a number of gas BBQ's to use at Clarkes Point.
Fishing: Fishing in close with a stemmed float for luderick. You need to berley to keep them around your float. You will need to find either your green weed or cabbage elsewhere and bring it in with your as there is very little on the rocks.
Also, due to the fact that the wall is a fair bit off the water you will need to bring a long handled landing net with you. Once you have caught a fish you can keep them fresh by putting them into a bucket or hang a keeper net over the side of the wall. Just keep an eye out for rats that will take a liking to your fish.
A descent cast from here will get you out into mulloway, kingfish, tailor, salmon, bream and flathead territory. On the run-in tide you could move around the point and fish on the upstream side of the point for bream, trevally, snapper and flathead. The water depth here is about nine to ten metres.
It might not be a mulloway, leatherjackets are very tasty.
Location: Once on Burwood Road at Burwood you will need to travel north along this road for about four km until you reach Bayview Park at the end. There is off street parking here as well as paid parking near the boat ramp.
Bayview is a paid parking area, but you can park for free in the side streets.
Walking: You can walk from Bayview Park in Canada Bay right around the shoreline along side Exile Bay to Prince Edward Park. This walk would take around forty five minutes return and you would go past a golf course, other parks. If you were feeling really energetic you could start your walk from Werrell Reserve in Abbotsford and walk around the whole perimeter of Hen and Chicken, Canada, Exile and France Bays to the point at Cabarita Park. This walk would take you most of the day
Cabarita Park is one of the City of Canada Bay's showpiece parks and Located on the Parramatta River at Cabarita, the 10-hectare park features a heritage pavilion, ferry wharf, children's playground, picnic facilities, remnant bushland, a swimming centre, marina and restaurant, and grassy areas on which to enjoy the view of the river.
The Chateauguay Walk is a private walk around the foreshore of Excile Bay.
Picnics: You will find barbeques, toilets, a playground, covered picnic tables, plenty of trees to keep the sun off you and a concrete path that leads back around to Price Edward Park in the south-east and Exile Bay in the north-east.
Gas BBQ's, a playground, walking track, toilets and fishing spots. What more do you need for a place to take the family for a picnic.
Plenty here for the kids to do. If they get sick of fishing they can play in the park, walk along the ferry wharf or just chill out watching the boats come and go at the ramp.
Fishing: You could try casting a line off the wharf on the run-out tide or you could take a short walk through the park into the back of Hen and Chicken bay. Here you will come across a small set of mangroves. Try working floating shallow lures over the mangrove roots for bream, flathead and whiting.
On the northern side of the park you will find a two laned boat ramp with a pontoon running up the middle. On the left hand side of this ramp there is a small beach, come mud come rocks area that is worth a cast from the top of the tide and about half way down. You will need to get a descent cast in here to get out past the weed beds.
At high tide you can fish from the small beach beside the boat ramp.
Location: Once on City West Link at Lilyfield heading towards the city turn left into Victoria Road, then left into Toelle Street. Once at the end of Toelle turn left into Manning Street.
Walking: King George Park is a fantastic foreshore park located next to the Iron Cove Bridge. The 'Bay Run' curves past the outside of the sporting ground and follows the harbour. There is something for everyone here, including an outdoor fitness station. There is a concrete pathway that winds its way around the shoreline from the bridge and around to Rodd Point. There are a number of restaurants and cafes along the way that you could stop off at for a coffee or an ice-cream.
If you are up for it you could start walking from here and walk around the whole of the Iron Cove River. It would be a comfortable two hours walk with not many stops on the way round.
Heading south you will wind your way around the bottom of the bay where you will come to Rodd Point. From here it is a fairly flat walk up to Birkenhead Point where you could spend a few hours going through the many shops that are here. It would then be a short walk across the Iron Cove Bridge back to the park. This walk can be as short or as long as you want.
Picnics: You will find barbeques, toilets, covered seating, a great playground for the kids, plenty of parking and grassed area for having those family picnics.
There is a great selection of playground equipment at King George Park for the kids.
Fishing: The stretch of water just out from the park is fairly snaggy, so you will need to get a fair cast into get over them. Further around the bay the floor of the bay changes to deeper water and a good cast will get you out to where a few of the moored boats are. Try using a quarter ounce blade to get the distance or maybe you could try using a soft plastic weighted down with a quarter ounce jig head to get the required distance.
You could always take a short walk to the underside of the bridge and bait fish for bream, flathead, whiting and flounder on the run-out tide. You could try berleying up a few mullet for bait. You could spend two to three hours casting out a few lures as you walk around the foreshore.
Well, here you have it five of my favourite places to go for a walk, have a picnic or chuck a line in for a fish or two. Why don't you give it ago and you might find something that you might like to share with everyone.