The Glebe Foreshore Walk is a 2km paved path that runs from Rozelle Bay in Sydney’s West round, past the waters of Blackwattle Bay to Pyrmont close to the city.
It’s one of Sydney’s best walks and every day it teams with walkers, runners, cyclists and happy dogs.
But it’s also packed with a surprising number of quirky little finds. Here’s ten things you might not notice or know about, but that shouldn’t be missed.
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We’ll start the walk at Rozelle Bay light rail station and carry on round to the Fish Market – most of the time you just need to stick to the walkway that runs directly along the water and keep your eyes peeled, but there are a couple of deviations you can take if you want to.
If you want to do the walk the other way round that works too. We’re a not directionally biased here at Differentville.
10 Cool Things on the Glebe Foreshore Walk
1. The Annandale Troll
He’s big enough to sit on, green in colour and was actually a big television star in his day, but I’d never heard of the AnanndaleTroll until recently.
You’ll find him, as you would most trolls hiding under a bridge – specifically the bridge where Johnston Street and The Crescent intersect. Turn right once you come out of the station, head along past the mural-covered wall on The Crescent and you’ll get there.
As soon as you see him, there’s one question that comes to mind. Why on earth is he here? The answer is that in 2008 the TV show Guerilla Gardeners created a community garden under the bridge, and the troll was part of it. The garden didn’t survive and there were discussions about moving him, but in 2011, the council decided he’d become part of the community and he should stay put.
According to his Facebook page, he’s also just recently had a bit of a makeover and is all shiny and new!
Once you’ve cuddled the troll, it’s time to make your way onto the walk proper, just head towards the water and wander along (this is prime dog watching territory as they like to have a bit of a swim).
Take the small bridge that lets you over the inlet and keep walking along the foreshore, to find…
2. Earth Vs Sky
As you come past here you’ll see a wind turbine. This powers an art display that lights the walk at night – I haven’t managed to see this yet but coloured lights are projected onto two Moreton Bay Figs in the park as part of an artwork called Earth vs Sky.
Find the lighting up times here.
If you can’t make it down in the evening, you’ll find a time lapse of the footage here
3. The Tram Bar
You’ll find this in the foodie land of fun known as The Tramsheds just past the Jubilee Park light rail station. Opened in 2017 it has a selection of bars and restaurants to choose from and part of one of them, Butcher and Farmer, is an old restored tram carriage which is used as a bar.
Right, it’s time to get walking again – you can either head back the way you came and just make your way back down to the foreshore walk, or, walk along Victoria Road for about 300 metres until you reach Edward Street where you’ll find one of Sydney’s most amazing sights.
Amazing, because it’s like you’ve entered some kind of matter transporter. You will literally feel like you’ve stepped out of Sydney and into the backstreets of Asia the second you enter here. I’m talking about…
4. Sze Yup Temple
Sze Yup temple is a 19th Century Chinese temple, one of only two that old in New South Wales and it’s still used as a place of worship by the local community.
As soon as you walk toward the traditionally styled building you’ll be enveloped by the smoke and the heady scent of the incense it’s coming from immediately transports to Hong Kong, Vietnam or China.
I was lucky enough to visit just before Lunar New Year and the altar was groaning with offerings. There was even a whole suckling pig – although not for long as they carried it off to their car after it had sat there for about 10 minutes.
It’s a lovely place to visit but remember, it’s a working temple, so even though I list it as a quirky sight here, be respectful.
Right, time to head back to the foreshore proper, that’s the last of our detours – all the other cool stuff is on the walkway itself
5. Fish Flowerpots
Just past the junction of Glebe Point Road and the foreshore walk, you’ll come to some houses close to the foreshore path – this is your cue to start looking over the edge down into the water where you’ll spot these little D shaped bowls stuck on the side of the seawall.
They are known as fish flowerpots and their job is to provide a home, rather like a rockpool, for algae, crabs, small fish and other tiny marine life.
Okay, so they don’t exactly make for award-winning photographs, but they’re super important! Since the pots were first put in place in 2015, 28 new species of marine life have been spotted in and around Blackwattle Bay – the idea was so successful there are now 60 fish flowerpots all over the Sydney seafront.
In other proof that the harbour is cleaning up, did you know that there’s sometimes a seal who appears on the steps behind the Opera House. See more about him in our post on Benny, the Opera House seal.
It’s nature a go-go around these parts as, just slightly past the fish flowerpots off a small path to the right you’ll find an artificial beehive.
According to the handy sign nearby, there are around 1500 types of native bees in Australia and about 200 different types in Sydney – one of which is called the Teddy Bear Bee and if that wasn’t fantastic enough, most of them don’t sting (although they might bite occasionally!).
You can buy honey from stingless bees in the Royal Botanic Gardens. See more about it in our guide to fun things to do in Circular Quay.
7. The Stick Thing
I have no idea what this is or why it’s there. It might be something nautical, it might be monitoring marine life, it might even be a piece of art, but it’s four sticks with what looks like stones stuck onto it in the middle of the water. If anyone knows what it is, please let me know in the comments.
8. The Crane (and Winch)
Apparently, these are a nod to the area’s shipbuilding past. They’re pretty self-explanatory, I don’t need to tell you heaps about these. In between them though is something very exciting…
This area of Glebe foreshore is lined with some gorgeous old houses and the one nestled high on the cliffs between the metal coil and the crane has chickens in the garden, which isn’t something you see that often in innercity Sydney.
The local dogs are fascinated by them and it seems people in the past have been feeding them as there’s now a list of their likes and dislikes on the fence. Bread, pasta and rice are okay, onions, garlic, eggs, rhubarb and other fruits are not!
10. The Incinerator
While it sounds, erm, municipal, The Incinerator is actually an important architectural building.
It was designed by architect Walter Burley Griffin who took a lot of his inspiration from ancient Mayan Temples.
Admittedly the sky in this picture does look like I’ve incurred the wrath of some god or another
Past this, there’s not a lot of quirky things to report – although keep your eye out for pelicans that float about in the water’s behind Sydney Fish Market.
While you can end your wander down the Glebe Foreshore Walk here by going straight up the road behind the incinerator and making your way to Glebe Light Rail station, I’d suggest, you keep going and head off to said Fish Market where you’ll find one more fun thing…
11. Sushi Donuts
Yes, these are the last quirky thing to find on the Glebe Foreshore Walk.
A sushi donut is basically a round circle of sushi rice filled with a mix of avocado, mayonnaise and fish then topped with more fish, avocado and other pretty toppings.
They’re lovely to look at, very filling to eat and I’m worryingly fond of them.
One costs AU$8 or you can buy two for $15 and you’ll find them at the far end of the fish market from where you (probably) came in.
The stall is called Doshi and it’s next to probably the busiest food stall in the whole place, the Fish Market Cafe.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to join the huge queue there to get served, just slip down the side past it and someone will come and serve you the doughnut of your choice.
And if sushi is not your thing, then you can’t go wrong with any of the offerings from the Fish Market Cafe. Just watch the seagulls if you decide to take them outside – they like chips and bits of fish even more than you do.
What to Read Next
If you liked this walk, you might like some of our guides to other areas of Sydney.
It’s an easy walk from the fish market to Sydney’s Chinatown where you’ll find all sorts of fun things to do – including robot chefs, Sydney’s rudest restaurant and even a capsule hotel. See more in our Chinatown guide.
The Fish Market was also the starting spot to the amazing Mystery Picnic we did in Sydney. It’s a really fun idea where you solve clues to pick up food for your lunch. See our review here.
Who Writes Differentville?
My name is Helen Foster and I’m a journalist and author living in Sydney.
My travel articles have been published in titles include The Australian, Body & Soul at the Sunday Telegraph, RAC Horizons, Jetstar magazine and more.
I like the weird, the wonderful and anything that makes me jump and down with glee like I’m about three. That’s what you’ll find here.
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So, there you have it 11 quirky things you can spot along the Foreshore Walk in Glebe. But have I missed anything? What’s your favourite quirky sight along the Glebe Foreshore Walk? Or what’s your favourite scenic walk in Sydney? Let me know in the comments, and if you like this post, why not share it on social media.