DM's Sydney Walks: 12. Greenwich Baths

21 April, 2020

Vista Street

We start today on Vista Street, which we visited on walk number 3. Berry Island. We're in the Sydney suburb of Greenwich, and will remain in Greenwich for this whole walk.

Vista Street view

Here's that view again from the end of Vista Street. In walk number 3. Berry Island we walked down the hill on the left and around the bay to Berry Island - the forested lump in the middle of this photo. Today we're going to backtrack a little from here and walk around to the right, behind the old oil storage depot.

Chisholm Street

We go up Edwin Street to the corner of Chisholm Street. Here we look south down Chisholm Street.

Origami cranes house

Someone on this street has been folding origami cranes, and hanging them on a stick outside their house.

Chisholm Street view

At the bottom of Chisholm Street we see the first corner of the oil depot. But we can't walk any further in this direction, and have to cut across to Greenwich Road. The centre of Sydney is in the background, with the arch of the Harbour Bridge at left.

Grey butcherbird

A grey butcherbird!

Greenwich Road path

Greenwich Road runs adjacent to the oil depot. There's a concrete footpath on the other side of the road, where there are houses and flats, but I chose to walk along this shady path next to the depot fence.

Gore Cove oil depot

There are views here over the oil depot. The storage tanks are no longer in use, and three have been partly demolished, but this depot is still used as a docking port for refined fuel tankers. The fuel is unloaded here and pumped through underground pipes 19 kilometres up the Parramatta River to the former Clyde oil refinery for storage and distribution.

Gore Cove oil depot

There are still 20 storage tanks in an undemolished state. The depot is protected as an historical heritage site.

Tank number 7

A close up of tank number 7.

Greenwich Road and Manns Avenue

Continuing, we reach the intersection of Greenwich Road and Manns Avenue. We turn left into Manns Avenue to continue following the boundary of the oil depot. The yellow sign with number 265 on the street sign indicates the route of bus route 265 (so drivers know where to turn).

Gore Cove oil depot

Across the depot, towards the office towers of North Sydney.

Manns Avenue

Manns Avenue.

Gother Avenue

We reach Gother Avenue, which continues adjacent to the depot fence. This is not a through road, and only gives access to the rear of several properties, where some home owners park their boats.

Gore Cove oil depot walkway

Although cars can't continue this way, there is a walkway for pedestrians.

Reliance and Allegiance

This elevated walkway gives the best views over the oil depot. There are two ships in port today, the ICS Reliance and ICS Allegiance, both registered in Nassau, Bahamas. These are both small oil tankers.

Old oil tank

The walkway continues, past this old tank, showing signs of decay.

Gore Cove oil depot and Berry Island

Over this tank we can see Berry Island, the ultimate destination of walk number 3. Berry Island. And North Sydney in the background.

Back yard path

The walkway passes the back yards of some houses.

Path to Manns Point

And spills out onto this path.

Manns Point Park

Which leads to Manns Point Park. This park has some great views. Let's take a look!

Manns Point, view north-east

Looking north-east, we see Berry Island at centre. The white buildings on the shore right are the Royal Australian Navy base HMAS Waterhen.

Manns Point, view south-east

South-east is the city centre, across the harbour.

Manns Point, view south-west

South-west the water continues inland as Parramatta River.

Manns Point Park panorama

A panorama: south-east to south-west.

Manns Point Park track

At the end of Manns Point Park is this trail marker, pointing down that gap. Let's follow it!

Manns Point track

Suddenly we're on a bush track, leading down towards the water.

Manns Point stairs

It's a bit like the Stairs of Cirith Ungol from walk 5. Gore Creek again.

Across to Birchgrove

Close to the water we can look across the harbour to the southern shore, which is quite close here. Across there is the suburb of Birchgrove. And some fancy expensive houses on the water.

Manns Point bush view

A view through the trees towards the city.

Scully at Manns Point

Oh! Did I mention Scully is walking with us today?

This spot down by the water has some old rusty rails embedded in concrete. There must have been an unloading dock here in the past.

Manns Point car park

The bush track opens out into grass, and a car parking area.

Manns Point boat ramp

There's a boat launching ramp. And across the water is someone's expensive boat.

Fish cleaning

Some guys are fishing here. The one on the left caught a fairly big fish, and is cleaning it in the water.

This is a popular fishing spot, and although officially people are advised not to eat fish caught in Sydney Harbour west of the Bridge (as this place is), I know that many people do. The pollution levels have improved a lot over the past few decades, but there is still some concern over heavy metal contamination.

Manns Point fishers

Two more fishers.

The bridge in the background left if centre is Iron Cove Bridge. The rock cliffs right of centre are Cockatoo Island, and actual island surrounded by the waters of Sydney Harbour, formerly an industrial and naval dock and shipyard, but now public parkland, and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

City from Manns Point boat ramps

Looking back towards the city again.

Manns Point grassy area

We continue west along the shore. There's another boat launching ramp just beyond this grass.

Rock shelves and kayakers

We walk up the hill to the street above. We can see rock shelves and kayakers.

Track to Greenwich Baths

A worn foot track leads along the water below the street level.

Mystery boat

I don't know what sort of boat this is.

Greenwich Baths

We reach Greenwich Baths.

Greenwich Baths

This is an enclosed swimming facility, with a shark net fence running across the mouth of the small cove, forming a protected swimming space. The water is still tidal and brackish this far up the harbour. The baths are normally open in summer, probably up to around Easter or so, but they've closed early this year because of COVID-19. The baths opened in 1916 and are heritage listed.


Next to the baths is this sandstone sculpture of a fallen chess king. It's titled Resignation.

Resignation plaque

This plaque explains why it is there. A nice memorial.

Scully at Greenwich

Scully is checking out the tiny beach adjacent to the baths, behind the chess sculpture. There's a small boathouse here, and a collection of people's dinghies. Yacht owners use the dinghies to paddle out to their yachts, moored in the cove. The boat sheds and slips are heritage listed.

Greenwich Baths

A view of Greenwich Baths through the fence.

Scully at Greenwich Baths boat sheds

Scully is still interested in the beach area.

O'Connell Street

From the baths it's a steep walk up a grassy path back to the nearest street, O'Connell (ahead), near the corner with Albert (left).

Scully leading up the hill

Albert Street is a steep uphill walk. Scully leads the way.


At the top of Albert Street is this lovely house with purple trim. And a terracotta dragon on top. This is "Eswick", a Federation Queen Anne style brick residence. The house is heritage listed.


We return via Manns Avenue, which undulates up and down so much that the footpath has stairs. Scully leads the way home from here.

Map of Greenwich Baths walk

This walk's route. Beginning at the top, heading south and around the loop clockwise.

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