Darling Point is a suburb just made for walking.
As a gorgeous harbourside peninsular with leafy, green tree-lined streets, stunning views, and picturesque parks, it doesn’t get much better. Here are some of my favourite walks, both in and around the area.
Take your dog, the kids, or a picnic, and discover Sydney’s great natural beauty while maintaining social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before you head off, check the council websites linked to for the current operating conditions of any park facilities.
McKell Park, Darling Point
Nestled along the shoreline of the Sydney Harbour with sweeping views of both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Heads, McKell Park is Darling Point’s hidden gem and a perfect haven for a stroll, explore or picnic. Landscaped terraces slope gently down to the foreshore and public ferry wharf amongst manicured lawns and mature native trees. Due to its magnificent harbour setting, the park is normally a popular wedding venue, and the heritage-listed Canonbury Cottage at the centre of the park is available for hire.
Rushcutters Bay Park, Rushcutters Bay
Rushcutters Bay Park has been a welcome haven for locals during the COVID-19 shutdown, thanks to its wide-open outdoor spaces with plenty of room for walkers, joggers and wanderers alike. This beautiful harbourside park has a lovely long scenic foreshore walk, which you can stroll, jog or run, from Yarranabbe Park to the Reg Bartley Oval. There are also tennis courts, sports fields, an outdoor personal fitness station, and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, where the boats set sail for the annual Sydney to Hobart Race (it also has a fabulous bar and restaurant). The Rushcutters Bay Kiosk is a popular spot to grab a takeaway coffee or bite to eat.
Steyne Park, Double Bay
Conveniently close to Double Bay’s main shopping strip, Steyne Park is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle and relax, exercise or entertain the kiddies at the playground. From Darling Point you can walk here via several routes – Marathon Road, Greenoaks Avenue, or New South Head Road. Off-leash dog walking is allowed at Steyne Park, making it a popular spot for those with canine friends. Being on the foreshore of Double Bay, the park features fantastic harbour views. Facilities here include a junior cricket pitch, picnic tables, boat ramp, gazebo and public toilets, making it ideal for a quick visit for a stroll or a leisurely afternoon outdoors in the sun. The park is also easily accessible by bus or ferry.
If you want to stretch your walk a little further, head further along to Redleaf Beach and Point Piper, where you can look back towards Darling Point. Those practicing for the City to Surf may like to venture even further, to Rose Bay or beyond. You can get a good workout on the way back too, going up the hill to Darling Point.
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Arthur McElhone Reserve, Potts Point and Beare Park, Elizabeth Bay
Darling Point sits in the middle of the harbourside Double Bay to Potts Point walk. Depending on your pace and how often you stop, this iconic 2.8km walk could take you anything from 45-minutes to two hours to complete. From Double Bay the walk runs along New South Head Road, taking in sweeping Rushcutters Bay Park, which becomes Bayswater Road, leading up and into Potts Point with its many shops and cafes. The many magnificent views and sights to enjoy along the way include the charming waterside Beare Park – an idyllic spot to stop and linger, perhaps enjoying coffee and a bite at The Lookout Café (1 Ithaca Road, Elizabeth Bay). On your way along Onslow Road up to Potts Point, be sure to check out historic Elizabeth Bay House, a heritage Colonial-style property. The tiny park opposite the house (Arthur McElhone Reserve), with its koi ponds and peaceful harbour vista, is unquestionably one of Sydney’s loveliest hidden surprises. Around Potts Point there are, of course, many cafes and restaurants to stop and refuel from your efforts, as well as standout examples of Sydney’s Art Deco architecture to appreciate.
Trumper Park, Paddington
From Darling Point it’s just a short stroll across New South Head Road to Paddington, and if you head down Glenmore Road you’ll find Trumper Oval. Trumper Oval is actually built on a reclaimed swamp, and was originally named Hampden Park Oval. It was renamed in 1931 after local cricket legend Victor Trumper. It’s been home to AFL for over a century, and also boasts a grandstand, night lights, cricket pitches and a playground. From here, you can enjoy the trees and the views and wander up through the gorgeous trails of Trumper Park to the Tennis Courts. Beware – this walk contains a lot of stairs, but the tranquillity of this little bushland pocket and its pond (complete with ducks) is well worth the effort. You certainly wouldn’t know that you’re directly behind Edgecliff station.
Cooper Park, Bellevue Hill
Bellevue Hill’s Cooper Park, an 18-hectare public reserve, is a bushland oasis in the heart of the city. Sure, it’s a decent 30 minute walk to get there from Darling Point, but if you’re a keen walker it’s well worth it. If that’s a step too far, you can always drive to Lough Playing fields and park the car. Cooper Park’s network of cliff walks and bush trails are connected by moss-covered bridges, with the naturally flowing creek that winds its way through the park being surrounded by native trees and shrubs. In such amazing, almost rainforest surrounds, the cares of the city seem a million miles away. A number of recreational facilities in the park include playing fields, picnic tables, tennis courts, a kiosk and public toilets.
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