After New Zealand I flew to Sydney for just over two weeks of exploring and of course training. Landing in a new city makes the first few days a little tricky. I’m not just on holiday but also trying to fit in sessions. So finding the right places to go and times to do training can be difficult.
On the flip side triathlon is a great way to explore your surroundings. Running around a new city is often the best way to explore. You can see a lot in a short space of time. I wandered from the Sydney Opera House to Darling Harbour, it would make a great run and you could eat at one of the many restaurants at the harbour at the end of your run!
I was lucky enough to join my friend Felicity on a number of her training sessions visiting the Olympic Park, Batemans Bay and the outdoor 50m pool at Leichhardt. In Sydney you are spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor swimming. From ocean pools to 50m outdoor laned options I recommend trying to visit as many as possible.
Cycling can often be difficult to plan – where to go, where is safe? And I had been warned about the traffic. But luckily Centennial park has a seperate bike lane with both cars and bikes going in only one direction around the circular loop. If only they would do this in Richmond Park! I also joined a group going to North Sydney to do some of the iconic 3 Gorges ride. Views from Berowra, Bobbin Head and Brooklyn were awesome. And the following weekend cycled to Waterfall with PB3 – a fast highway route….but be warned there isn’t actually a waterfall! You can find these routes on Strava local.
Although I was a little overwhelmed by the bright lights of Sydney (city living!), I did enjoy my time here and it was fun to explore all the sites and food in between training. Here are my top 5 places to visit in Sydney for training & exploring:
1. Centennial Park
Ride or run, this is Sydney’s only flat route. Go early (5:30am!) to see hundreds of cyclists
whizzing around and finish at one of the many cafes in the park for breakfast or a coffee. Try Jozo at Paddington Gate. The loop is 3.7km around but can be extended to incorporate the ‘cat ears’ hills. Good for intervals & a long run.
2. Bondi beach
Swim or sunbathe at the beach. Take a trip to the Icebergs Pool. Have brunch at one of the many cafes along the front. I recommend The Well (also a gym & yoga studio) – I had the salted caramel chia pudding. Or for a cafe with a difference try Gertrude & Alice. Walk from Coogee to Bondi to appreciate all the beaches and ocean pools along the way.
3. Manly & Budgy Smugglers
Take the ferry from Central Quay to Manly for the day. There are plenty of shopping options or just hit the beach. Manly to Spit is also a popular walk/run. Budgy Smugglers also have a shop here….and essential visit for any triathlete! Stay for sunset and grab a drink at Hugos…it’s where the people go.
3. The ABC Pool & Botanical Gardens
Just around from the Opera House is a 50m heated saltwater laned pool. My favourite pool in Sydney. It has great views of the Harbour so you could easily spend a whole afternoon here. Be sure to check out the Botanic Gardens close by.
4. The O bar
For some downtime. Head to O bar on Level 47 for sunset views of Sydney. The bar rotates 360 degrees in 90 minutes, time for a cocktail or two!
5. Gelato Messina
Refuel. No comment necessary, just go. Get your own picture ;).