Your Key To Running in Sydney, The Harbour City

Running is a great way to stay in shape and also to see a city while on vacation. Sydney is an excellent city to run because the climate is very runner-friendly (no snow or extreme heat), and there are many different tracks and areas to discover. Being an avid marathon runner, I can share with you some of the best running routes in Sydney by using my favourite tracking app: Strava!

Royal Botanic Garden 

Easily accessible from any hotel in the Sydney Central Business District (CBD), the Royal Botanic Garden course is definitely one of the most picturesque running routes in Sydney.  You can run through Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair – the best place to see the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  As well, this is where you can catch the most beautiful at sunset and the changing colours of the sky.  


Insider tip: 

  • The Royal Botanical Garden is closed between sunset and sunrise (time varies depending on the season). 
  • Water fountains are available at the Opera House and Royal Botanic Garden. 

Sydney Harbour Crossing 

If you are up for more of a challenge, I recommend the Sydney Harbour Bridge course.  Affectionately known by Sydneysiders as “The Coat Hanger”, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the biggest arch bridges in the world.  Sure, it is tough running on the bridge as there are many steps that lead to it, but it is well worth the effort when you can admire the amazing steel architecture up close and the breathtaking view of Sydney Harbour. 


Insider tip: 

  • Water fountains are available at Circular Quay

Barangaroo Explorer 

Need a longer workout?  You can also include a run through Barangaroo Park.  This park has been beautifully restored with natural stones and native plants, and it offers a beautiful view of the Sydney Harbour.  Named after an influential Aboriginal leader, you would not believe that this idyllic headland used to be a busy container terminal.  


Insider tips: 

  • Water fountains are available at Barangaroo Park.  
  • If you are a fast runner, be careful not to run the tourists over! 

Centennial Park 

If you wish to have an uninterrupted and smooth run, Centennial Park is the perfect place for you. Approximately 4km from Sydney CBD, the park is over 190 hectares in size. The Grand Drive loop, 3.8km long, is ideal if you wish to explore the whole park.  It is a very scenic park with duck ponds, horse riding facilities and sporting grounds.  It is hard to believe this spacious park is only a short distance from the heart of the city! 


Insider tips: 

  • Water fountains are available throughout the park. 
  • There are nice cafés and restaurants in the middle of the park to relax post run. 

Rose Bay to Watsons Bay 

If you love adventure and getting off the beaten track, there is a hidden walkway between Rose Bay and Watsons Bay that is perfect for an off-road run.  Take a ferry from Circular Quay to Rose Bay, follow New South Head Road, turn left into Tivoli Road and you will reach Hermitage Foreshore Walk. It is a coastal track that will take you through bushland and hidden beaches.  The good thing is that there is hardly anyone around, especially on weekdays, and you can still see Sydney’s city skylines and the Harbour Bridge from the route.  After some time on the track, you will reach Shark Beach, a calm and popular beach with the families.  Keep running along the track, through luxurious waterfront homes, until you reach Watsons Bay.  At this scenic point of the course, you can enjoy a well-deserved break at one of the cafés or pubs.  If you are keen to keep running, you can continue to South Head.  From here, you can have a magnificent 360 degree view of Sydney Harbour.  To get back into the city, catch a ferry or bus from the Watsons Bay wharf. 


Insider tip: 

  • Water fountains are limited in Rose Bay, Shark Bay and Watsons Bay. If possible, carry your own water bottle. 


Meet the Author
Hidetaka Tanaka, Assistant Chief Concierge Hilton Sydney

I started my hotel career as a Bell Attendant in my home town of Yokohama, Japan. After working for 3 years, I had an urge to travel, so I headed overseas and landed in Sydney. Upon completing the Hospitality program and receiving a Diploma, I was hired by The Grace Hotel, Sydney as a Porter and was promoted to Concierge after some time. I was accepted into Les Clefs d’Or Membership in 2006.

In 2008, I joined The Westin Sydney and assumed the role of State Delegate for Les Clefs d’Or from 2012 to 2013.

Currently, I am based at the Hilton Sydney as the Assistant Chief Concierge. As you can assume from this article, my passion is running. Every year, I participate in several full marathons, half marathons as well as some fun runs.

Hilton Sydney

With exceptional facilities for business or leisure, Hilton Sydney is superbly located right in the heart of the city, with magnificent views and convenient access to Sydney's favourite attractions , including Darling Harbour, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Bondi Beach.

At the Hilton Sydney, you can choose from a range of hotel accommodation from guest rooms to spacious suites. Meet and do business in our 28 meeting and conference rooms, or get active at the LivingWell Hilton Health Club, with a 25m swimming pool and full gym facilities.

The Hilton Sydney also boasts stylish bars, with dining by celebrity chef/restaurateur Luke Mangan at the famous glass brasserie . Or relax with a cocktail on the rooftop terrace at Zeta Bar, and enjoy live music at the iconic Marble Bar. Website: Phone:

+61-2-9266 2000

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