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6 of Sydney’s best icons you’ll run past on the Sydney Marathon


From water views to architectural beauty, these stunning attractions will help inspire you to run your best race yet.

Sydney is undoubtedly in a class of its own – where else can you down a beer overlooking the water at sunset, swim in a sheltered harbour beach and commute by ferry to work? It’s also jam-packed with iconic views, locations, and parks – most of which you’ll run past in this year’s new Sydney Marathon Course.

“This course is probably one of the most beautiful courses you can run,” says Sydney Marathon Race Director Wayne Larden. “I mean, the city itself is obviously beautiful, but this year’s new course has participants running past all of the famous icons as well.”

Not only will you run around the world’s most stunning harbour (as voted by us), but you’ll run over the harbour to start your race, traverse the historic foreshore and inner-city parklands and finish in Circular Quay at the foot of the Sydney Opera House. Iconic doesn’t even begin to cover it. The deep-blue water will be sparkling, the waves gently lapping, and the seagulls will be watching.

“We are consistently told that the main draw card for runners when they sign up for the Sydney Marathon is the iconic landmarks that they get to cross over, run past or finish at,” says Larden. “In particular, our recent research shows that the main reason people sign up is the chance to run over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, as well as finish at the Sydney Opera House.”

Tempted? Well, if you’ve already signed up for the 2023 Sydney Marathon, or you’re thinking about it, you can look forward to striding past these beauties on your way to a PB:

1.Barangaroo and Walsh Bay

Once you’ve crossed the bridge, negotiated downtown, and run past Darling Habour, you’ll experience Barangaroo Reserve – Sydney’s newest Harbour foreshore park. It’s a stunningly repurposed industrial site that’s now home to natural gardens, wide pathways and almost 360-degree views of the inner Harbour and city skyline. Right next door are the historic Walsh Bay wharves, and an easy run along the water under the Bridge (you’ll love that view).


2. The Rocks and Circular Quay

Hugging the western side of Circular Quay, The Rocks is one of the city’s most popular and beautiful reminders of Australia’s ancient and recent history. Home to the Gadigal people for thousands of years, from 1788 onwards The Rocks was the epicentre of the modern-day city as we know it. It’s full of perfectly preserved sandstone buildings from the 18th and 19th century, cobblestones (we’ll avoid most of them – don’t worry), the famous Argyle Cut and the Museum of Modern Art, housed in a restored Art Deco building. Run back in time and imagine yourself here over two hundred years ago when the local inhabitants would never have thought of going for a run for fun!


3. Centennial Park and Oxford St

One of the most enjoyable sections of the Sydney Marathon has got to be running through the expansive Centennial Parklands. Reached by an epic run up the iconic Oxford Street – home of the famous Sydney Mardi Gras and many wine bars – Centennial parklands are every Sydneysider’s favourite patch of green. As you run, you’ll pass century-old trees, wide open grassed areas and peaceful duck-filled ponds; your eyes will love the short break from the shadows of the city high rises.


4. Lady Macquarie’s Chair and the Royal Botanical Gardens

With our new course, you’ll also now be treated to one of Sydney’s best views as you run past the Royal Botanical Gardens and down to Lady Mac’s Chair. Perched on the edge of the water with a view that perfectly frames the Bridge, Opera House and city, this sand-stoned carved seat dates back to the early 1800s. It was commissioned by Governor Macquarie for his wife Elizabeth, but now it serves as marker for a postcard-worthy camera shot. You’ll won’t have time to stop, of course but the view you’ll enjoy is worth the effort. Trust us.


5. Sydney Harbour Bridge

Normally packed with 10, 000 cars, buses, and trains, having the chance to run across the Sydney Harbour Bridge with 40,000 other runners is a once in a lifetime experience. Take the time to look up so you can admire the six million rivets that hold the steel together, and perhaps tell the runner next to you that it takes nearly a year to refresh the paint job. A year! You’ll be amazed at how long, large, and impressive our coat hanger really is, and as the bridge is only closed a handful of times every year, you’ll be part of a select group of people who have crossed it on foot.


6. Sydney Opera House

We’re going to put it all out there and say that the Sydney Marathon finish line is the most beautiful marathon finish line in the world. Not only do you get to finish your marathon almost on the steps of the Sydney Opera House but this year, runners will be able to battle it out down the final stretch along Macquarie Street, which borders the Royal Botanical Gardens and opens up to the harbour foreshore. Expect stunning views of the central harbour, throngs of spectators cheering you on, and a photo finish that will make it all worthwhile.

Interested in seeing the new Sydney Marathon Route? Click here and get excited.

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