Slice through the city on this 6.4km path linking Sydney’s two most iconic bridges, the Harbour Bridge to the north and the Anzac Bridge to the west. Take advantage of the dedicated cycleway across the Harbour Bridge before joining the Kent St cycleway beginning at the foot of the Sydney Observatory, one of the best vantage points on the harbour. Bike lanes shield cyclists from traffic over the Pyrmont Bridge and then the Anzac Bridge, which enjoys lofty views over Johnstons Bay.
Ignore the name — the Bay Run’s not just for fitness freaks desperate to pound the pavement on foot. There’s also a 7km flat-as-a-tack cycleway curling around the waterfront, connecting Rozelle, Lilyfield, Drummoyne and Birkenhead Point in Sydney’s inner-west. Sandwiched between parklands on one side and the serene Iron Cove on the other, this leafy loop never strays more than 20m from the water.
Cyclists have been flocking to Centennial Park in the heart of the city since it first established bike paths in 1900, and the 360 hectares of urban greenery are as popular with pedallers as ever. The 3.5km Grand Drive loops the perimeter of the park while kids will love the Learners Cycleway, which includes a playground. Centennial Park’s open 365 days a year from dawn till dusk and you can hire bikes and even your own four-seater pedal car with enough room for the whole family.
Sports nuts can cycle the sights that made up the glittering Sydney 2000 Olympic Games at the sprawling Olympic Park in Homebush, half an hour south-west of the city. More than 35km of cycleways are split into three main circuits — the 11km River Heritage Circuit through the woodlands, the 7.6km Olympic Circuit taking in all the big sporting venues, and the 5.5km Parklands Circuit through the mangroves.
Sydney’s historic Royal National Park — a must-visit in its own right, an hour’s drive south of the city centre — can be appreciated up close and personal on this 10km riverside route shaded by towering gum trees; which passes by creeks, rainforests, and picnic areas to break up the journey. Serious cyclists can also tackle the 70km Royal National Park Loop that really gives you an appreciation of the vast scale of this epic nature reserve.
One of the Northern Beaches’ favourite recreation spots features a recently completed 8.4km nature trail connecting four picnic grounds dotted around the tranquil Narrabeen Lagoon. Keep an eye out for the healthy population of native fauna residing there — particularly the 200 bird species that flourish around the lake — that help you feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of busy Sydney.