The most scenic running routes in Sydney

Lace up your sneakers and get ready to explore the Harbour City. Sydney is full of spectacular scenic running trails that promise fitness with a view.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Mar 2024 -
min read

Blackwattle Bay Run (Glebe Foreshore Walk)

Following the shoreline of Blackwattle Bay between Bicentennial Park and the Sydney Fish Markets, this paved trail offers views of the Anzac Bridge and the CBD beyond. It’s dog-friendly, so you can bring your four-legged friend for a jog off lead, and reward yourself with fish and chips at the end. 

Length: 2.2km one-way 

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Centennial Parklands

This enormous green space in Sydney’s east covers 189 hectares and is threaded with running, cycling and horse-riding trails. The main loop through the park is Grand Drive, which will take you past duck ponds, historic homesteads, playgrounds and sporting fields. 

Length: 3.5km loop 

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Resident ducks waddling across the lawns in Centennial Parklands

Centennial Parklands, Moore Park

Barangaroo Reserve to Sydney Opera House 

Tick off Sydney’s most iconic landmarks on one run, following the shoreline of Sydney Harbour. Starting at Barangaroo Reserve, run along the heritage-listed wharves of Walsh Bay, underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge, past the Museum of Contemporary Art, through the busy Circular Quay and finish at the Sydney Opera House. Run in the opposite direction and you can finish with a dip at Marrinawi Cove

Length: 3km one-way 

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Sydney Opera House to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair

A short but scenic trail following the water to the east of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the leafy edge of the Royal Botanic Garden, flanked by vast fig trees that are more than 100 years old, until reaching the historic Mrs Macquarie's Chair. Continue on another 500m around the trail and you can dive into the cool waters of Andrew Boy Charlton Pool, overlooking the Garden Island naval base. 

Length: 1.5km one-way 

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Narrabeen Lagoon

Discover a little slice of tranquil bushland in the Northern Beaches. The Narrabeen Lagoon trail loops around the edge of the water – keep an eye out for windsurfers and kayakers. The surrounded green space is full of wildlife and birds, and there are parks and picnic areas where you can take a break. 

Length: 8.6km loop 

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Couple running around Narrabeen Lagoon, Narrabeen

Narrabeen Lagoon, Narrabeen - Credit: Northern Beaches Council

Hermitage Foreshore Track (Rose Bay to Watsons Bay)

Run between pretty parkland, secluded beaches and mega mansions in Sydney’s east along the Hermitage Foreshore Track. Admire the views out to Shark Island, stop for a swim at Milk Beach, cross the suspension bridge at Parsley Bay and finish in the glamorous enclave of Watsons Bay

Length: 5.5km one-way 

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The Bay Run 

A favourite with Inner West locals, The Bay Run is always busy with runners, walkers and cyclists. The mostly flat path follows the shore of Iron Cove, where you can spot pelicans bobbing in the water, kayakers, people fishing and dogs frolicking at the small beaches. There are lots of cafes along the way and you can look out into the Inner Harbour as you cross the Iron Cove Bridge. 

Length: 7km loop 

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Scenic view of the Bay Run, Drummoyne

Bay Run, Drummoyne - Credit: Ming Ye

Bondi to Coogee Coastal Track

Arguably Sydney’s most famous path, this popular track follows the cliffs between Bondi and Coogee beaches. It can get very busy, so if you want to maintain a good pace it’s best to go early in the morning. There are multiple beaches and ocean pools along the way, and it’s line with spectacular artworks during the annual Sculpture by the Sea festival in spring. 

Length: 6km one-way 

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Couple overlooking coastal views from Tamarama to Coogee, Tamarama

Coastal views of Tamarama Beach along the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

Shelly Beach to Curl Curl

Breathtaking ocean views will accompany you for the full length of your run between two of Sydney’s best beaches: Shelly Beach and Curl Curl. Part of the track covers the Curl Curl Boardwalk, which runs right along the edge of the cliffs with the pounding surf below. Finish with a swim in one of the two rock pools or try bodysurfing at Curl Curl Beach. 

Length: 5km one-way 

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Friends enjoying coastal run, Freshwater Beach

Coastal run, Freshwater Beach

Spit Bridge to Manly Walk

Ocean cliffs, untouched bushland, ancient Aboriginal sites and quiet beaches await along this famous walk through the Sydney Harbour National Park. There are some challenging sections, where you’ll be running up stairs or scrambling over rocks, but the gorgeous ocean views will keep you motivated. 

Length: 10km one-way 

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Friends enjoying a walk along Forty Baskets Beach, Balgowlah

Forty Baskets Beach, Balgowlah

Parramatta to Olympic Park 

For serious runners in Western Sydney, this route follows the Parramatta River Walk, a pretty trail that sits close to the edge of the water. Starting at the historic Paramatta Park, the route follows the river, running through quiet parklands and suburban streets. Cross over Silverwater Bridge and loop through another historic site, Newington Armory, as you come into Olympic Park

Length: 13km one-way 

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The Elizabeth Street Footbridge designed by Sydney artists Greg Stonehouse and Susan Milne over the beautiful Parramatta River, Parramatta

Parramatta River, Parramatta

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