If you are looking for new ride ideas, what about the Balmain Peninsula? Early on a Sunday morning is best, when it resembles a big sleepy country village. I parked on the city side of the Anzac Bridge only because I love riding over it, but you could approach from any direction including by ferry.
A few hundred metres past the Bridge you turn towards the Harbour where the former White Bay Power Station stands. Head past the wharves and see what the rear of the famous silo mural looks like, then check out the cruise liner terminal.
Squeezed onto a wall between layers of modernism is this particularly poignant reminder of our First Nation people.
The cruise liner terminal is a dead-end street, so you need to start weaving your way through the foreshore streets of Balmain. Below is the first of several bays and reserves you will pass.
Everything about Balmain feels rustic heritage, even the children’s climbing maze.
With its majestic harbour backdrop, Balmain is a photographer’s picnic with so many pretty things to see.
What a blend of colours and styles: this is the heritage restored Bells Store on Illoura Reserve right on the shoreline, followed by the Waterview Wharf Workshops and the Colgate Palmolive Building.
The locals like to keep Balmain a secret and some will do anything to ward off visitors; but surely a pet dinosaur is going a bit far.
If you are a fan of ecclesiastical architecture, Balmain has more beautiful churches per square inch than the Vatican.
As you continue around the Peninsula, you will find the wonderful Ballast Point Reserve with its gorgeous views over the Harbour.
The Reserve was once the Caltex Oil Depot and some of the huge tanks remain as historic features. Before then it was a sandstone quarry which supplied local homes and provided ballast in ships. The structure below was originally part of an oil storage tank and has been transformed into an amazing public artwork.
The views change constantly as you continue around the foreshore. This cricket oval scene looks like a time-warp in history.
As the Iron Cove Bridge comes into view, you know that riding around the Peninsula is almost over.
What an interesting ride! It’s just over 30kms and took two and a half hours, which is on the slow side because of the labyrinthine streets and alleys. It’s also a very hilly area so an ebike definitely helps. On the other hand, once you are away from the main road the streets and paths are very quiet so this ride gets the Safe and Scenic big tick from me.