Iron Cove Ride

Cycle Sydney, Road Ride, Iron Cove Ride

A great ride for serious cyclists and families alike. The flat terrain and beautiful views make this a popular area for locals. It’s good for bike riding and if it’s people watching you’re into then this is the place. You’ll see runners, super fit triathletes, rowers, pram pushing families, dog walkers, you name it, you’ll probably see it here.

The loop around Iron Cove has been a training institution for many years, but it became so popular that the council was forced to put a bit of organisation in. For this reason, you’ll see a dedicated bike lane as well as a pedestrian lane. Please remember to stay in the correct one If you see some grey wading birds with greenish legs and a curved bill, these are Japanese Snipe, which will have migrated to the bay from Siberia. The black and white Pied Stilts are resident.

You’ll also see a small island in the bay called Rodd Island. This obscure little place has an interesting history. It’s the place where the Pasteur Institute, formed by Louis Pasteur, developed the miximatosis virus to help curb the rabbit plague that was threatening Australia. In an interesting twist, the famous actress, Sarah Bernhardt was touring Australia at the time. As part of her entourage she brought her two dogs, which Australian quarantine authorities refused to let in. Pasteur’s nephew came to the rescue, offering his island and rumour has it, that Miss Bernhardt was keen on visiting and not just for the dogs.

On the southern side of the bay, you’ll pass Rozelle hospital, the grounds of which are worth visiting. It was built in 1885 as a hospital for the insane and within five years contained over 1,000 inmates. Despite government attempts to sell the land to housing developers it is now home to Sydney Collage of the Arts. If you ride through you will see many buildings that have featured in popular movies such as Shine and Cosi.

As you head back under the Dobroyd Parade Bridge, take care as the other side is open to traffic for a short distance. It is also home to a very popular dog obedience school, and not all of the pupils have graduated!


Mainly bike path with a little bit of road and a short section of dirt. There are a couple of very short climbs near Terry Street on the Balmain side of the bridge.


Henley Marine Drive and Victoria Road are quite busy traffic arteries. However, you are only on Henley Marine Drive for a short period near Iron Cove Bridge. You don’t actually ride on Victoria Road but nervous riders may find the proximity of traffic when crossing the bridge a bit daunting.


The nearest train station to the start of this ride is Petersham station on the other side of Parramatta Road. If driving, you can access the canal via Marion Street, Leichhardt or Ramsay Street, Haberfield.

Food and Drink

There are a couple of good options here. Firstly, as you pass under Iron Cove Bridge you’ll see Birkenhead Point ahead of you. This is a factory outlet centre and food options are available. Alternatively, on the other side of the bridge is Rozelle. When you turn into Terry Street, keep riding straight up the hill and you’ll see them at the second roundabout. Lastly, if you turn left into Lilyfield Road and ride up the hill you will find a bike shop/café called Bicycle Garage, which has excellent coffee.

Side Trip

This is an interesting part of the world. A maze of leafy backstreets with beautifully restored houses and glimpses of the harbour. You can quite easily extend this ride from Terry Street. Instead of turning left into Margaret Street, continue straight on, bearing left at the roundabout. This will take you into Balmain and Birchgrove. When you reach Elliot Street turn right and then left into Darling Street. Follow it until you reach the shops. Every Saturday Balmain markets is on in the church and it’s definitely worth looking at. And don’t forget, bring your money with you, there’s lots to buy!


Ride Log

  • 0.0 Begin ride on western side of the canal and head north east.
  • 1.4 Follow path under City West link and head left.
  • 1.5 Continue straight along not forgetting to walk past the rowing club.
  • 2.3 Turn right, staying on the path into Timbrell Dr.
  • 2.5 Follow path right into Henley Marine Dr.
  • 3.2 Pass Rodd Point and Dobroyd Aquatic Club.
  • 4.9 Bike path ends. Cross to left hand side of Henley Marine Dr.
  • 5.3 Follow road under Iron Cove Bridge. The path loops around to the left onto the bridge.
  • 5.8 Reach other side of bridge and continue uphill.
  • 6.1 Turn left into Terry St.
  • 6.2 Turn left into Margaret St and then left into Warayama Pl.
  • 6.5 Reach the bike path next to the water. Optional turn to the right.
  • 7.0 Reach turnaround point.
  • 7.6 Pass under bridge. Follow path around King Georges Oval and past hospital. There is a short section of dirt.
  • 8.9 Bike path ends and runs onto shared car park area.
  • 9.1 Ride under Dobroyd Pde and continue into Canal St. Canal St is open to traffic here so please take care.
  • 10.9 Bike path crosses canal via footbridge on right.
  • 11.2 End of ride.
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    10.698 km / 6.647 mi

    Total Distance

    117 m / 384 ft

    Total Ascent

    117 m / 384 ft

    Total Descent

    33 m / 110 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Easy (Blue)
    Ride Duration: <1 hr
    Fitness Level: Low
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Trail Signage: Non Existant
    Mobile Coverage: Excellent
    Estimated Distance: 11.0
    Elevation Gain: 135
    First Aid
    Bike hire
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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