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The Quirky Lower North Shore

Great harbor views, bridge walk and premier location for short stays
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 3.5 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  It's impossible to make the most of Sydney without enjoying its visually spectacular harbor. The northern foreshore suburbs of Milsons... more »

Tips:  The daily travel ticket that allows you unlimited trips on ferries, buses and trains is only a good value if you intend hopping on and... more »

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Points of Interest

You have to keep telling yourself that this is a form of public transport and not a harbor cruise. Ferries are a great and cheap way to appreciate Sydney and its harbor highlights. City workers living on the northern foreshore covered by this guide must have the best commute in the world. They are blessed with three ferry stops, so it makes sense ... More

The slightly sinister, toothy-faced entrance to this 1930s amusement park has become a Sydney icon. Arrive by ferry to get the full impact. Don't expect to find modern roller coasters or high-tech amusements--this place is about old-fashioned fun. Judging by the squeals, it still works for the kids.

That squealing can be less fun if you're... More

Coming from the Milsons Point ferry, stick to the boardwalk that skirts to the left around Luna Park and takes you around the edge of picturesque Lavender Bay.

If you are staying here, it's likely to be in one of the high-rise apartment buildings above you on the right or across the bay on McMahons Point. Either way, expect visitors in the form ... More

4. Wendy’s Secret Garden

This botanical gem is the inspiration of local resident Wendy Whitely, otherwise best known as the former wife of the late Australian artist Brett Whitely. Brett's paintings sell for millions but you can enjoy Wendy's creation for free.

Brett achieved global fame in the 1960s when his work became sought by everyone from the Beatles to the Tate... More

5. New Year's Eve Fireworks

NYE fireworks are a mega production in Sydney and the areas around Lavender Bay and Kirribilli are prime viewing locations. The competition will be fierce for apartments with harbor-facing balconies but the view is as good from the bay foreshore and Clark Park, just above Wendy's Secret Garden. It's family friendly with a 9pm display for anyone... More

If time is an issue, you can cut this trail short by heading up the hill from the Secret Garden, turning right at Lavender Street and right again at Alfred Street and pick up the trail at Milsons Point train station. Otherwise, the café strip on Blues Point Road is a worthy destination.

The POI marker is on Delicado, a popular lunch and dinner... More

7. McMahons Point / Blues Point

While the whole suburb you've just walked through is called McMahons Point, the tip at the end is known as Blues Point--a good spot to just sit and enjoy more harbor viewing and get up close to passing ships.

The reserve is dominated by the controversial Blues Point Tower. Built in 1961, it earned a heritage listing for pioneering high-rise... More

Take the ferry back to Milsons Point and immediately in front of you is North Sydney Pool. It's about as close as you can get to swimming under the Harbour Bridge. Even if you don't fancy a swim, it's an interesting piece of architecture in its own right--the style is Art Deco meets Austrailiana.

Up the steps between the pool and Luna Park,... More

9. Milsons Point train station

Trains to and from Milsons Point run across the Harbour Bridge; the station is built beneath it in one of the pedestrian tunnels. It's only one stop to the central city district and 45 minutes to the airport.

It's not like traveling by ferry, but trains go places ferries don't and come more regularly (it's rare to wait more than 10 minutes).

10. Broughton Street

Once you've passed through the train station tunnel, you have crossed from Milsons Point to Kirribilli. The name means good fishing spot and residents continue to rely on it for nourishment.

It's a strip of shops, cafes and restaurants catering to hankerings ranging from Italian to Malaysian. There are four Thai restaurants within a couple of... More

When you're ready to walk off the Broughton Street lunch or dinner, you are in the right neighborhood to access the pedestrian path across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Let's not be under any illusions that this is a peaceful stroll. You will be sharing the bridge with eight lanes of traffic and a railway line, but it's on the tourist must-do list... More

Look left at the end of the bridge pedestrian path and you'll see the white umbrellas on the roof of the Glenmore Hotel mingling with the "sails" of the Opera House. Looks like the perfect setting to reward yourself for completing the trail.