couples

The 6 best places to run in Sydney.

Image: iStock

The beaches. The Botanic Gardens. The bridges.

With all its stunning landmarks and suburbs, Sydney is a runner’s paradise. Here are 6 of the best spots to hit the pavement – according to the runners in our office.

Bondi to Bronte

Image via Wikimedia

This is, arguably, the quintessential Sydney run. Stretching from one of the world's most famous beaches, Bondi, through Tamarama to Bronte, this track will spoil you with coastal views and people watching opportunities (look for incognito celebrities). It's not all fun and games though - you'll encounter a steep set of stairs that can make even the most experienced joggers tremble in their Reeboks.

Distance: 4km; 6km if you continue on to Coogee.

Post-run coffee: Three Blue Ducks on Macpherson St - or if you go the opposite route, try Bondi Picnic on Hall St.

The Bay Run

The Bay Run, Sydney
Image via Wikimedia

This is one of the most-loved running spots in the Inner West, and it's a beauty. Circling Iron Cove Bay on the Parramatta River, the Bay Run is an enclosed loop, so you can finish exactly where you started - no need to turn back. It's also dog-friendly, mostly flat, and surrounded by suburbs along the Leichhardt, Drummoyne and Rozelle, so you have plenty of post-run coffee spots to choose from.

ADVERTISEMENT

Distance: 7km (get a map here)

Post-run coffee: Copo Cafe and Diner on Victoria Road, Drummoyne

Spit Bridge to Manly

North Head. Image via Wikimedia.

If you want to make a day of it, the Spit Bridge to Manly track is nothing short of magnificent. There are exit points along the way if you don't feel up to a 9km run, but if you commit you'll reap the rewards - stunning national parkland, rugged coastal cliffs, secluded beaches, city skyline views, wildlife, an Aboriginal engraving site at Grotto Point, and a cold drink and a swim when you finally make it to Manly.

Distance: 9km - but it's up to you how far you go.

Post-run coffee: Barefoot Coffee Traders on Wentworth St as you enter Manly.

Royal Botanic Gardens

Best places to run in Sydney
Image via Wikipedia

Harbour views, city skyline, vivid flowers, smooth winding paths - the Botanic Gardens make a gorgeous setting for a running adventure (and, um, a post-run picnic). If you're based closer to the Eastern Suburbs, try the sprawling Centennial Parklands instead. Just watch out for horses, okay?

ADVERTISEMENT

Distance: If you start and end at the Opera House steps, it'll be a 4km round trip - but this can be easily fleshed out by including the Domain in your running loop, or heading further out past Mrs Macquarie's Chair.

Post-run coffee: Try the Botanic Gardens cafe. When in Rome, as they say.

Cronulla Esplanade

This is one track Shire-based runners swear by. Starting from Cronulla's northern beaches, the track stretches south, taking in beautiful ocean views, parks and coffee spots along the way before ending at the historical Bass and Flinders Point. The path is mainly level but there are some steep inclines throughout.

Distance: Between 4 and 6km, depending on where you start.

Post-run coffee: Barefoot on the Beach cafe.

The Bridge

Image via Wikimedia

A 'running in Sydney' guide wouldn't be complete without the jewel in the crown - our beloved Bridge. You'll be fighting tourists, other joggers and cyclists for footpath space along the Bradfield Highway, but that iconic harbour vista makes the turf war worthwhile.

Distance: The bridge itself is 2.4km long, but you can't just stop there. Stretch it out to include Kirribilli and Luna Park on the north side, or the Rocks and Observatory Hill on the south - or, if you're really wanting to sweat it out, go all the way to Mrs Macquarie's Chair via Circular Quay. So many possibilities!

Post-run coffee: If you can't get enough of those bridge views, Opera Bar - at the base of the equally scenic Opera House - is a good choice.

Don't live in Sydney? Here are our picks for the best places to run in Melbourne and Hobart.

We're bound to have missed some brilliant sports, so Sydneysiders, add your favourite runs in the comments below. We're also looking for running track suggestions for Brisbane, Perth, Darwin, Adelaide and Canberra, so if you live in any of those cities, we want to hear your views too.

00:00 / ???