The rich history of the Balmain Peninsula and the Inner West becomes obvious as you walk around the streets. The elegant period architecture gives one a glimpse into the area’s storied past. And if you love Balmain and the Inner West, why not take a tour of the area and immerse yourself in its proud heritage.

But did you know that the Inner West Council has resources you can access for self-guided walks?

Curious yet? Here’s some inside information about two of these heritage walks.

Balmain walking tour

The Balmain Walking Tour takes you through Balmain’s transformation from being a simple harbour village housing shipyards, soap factories and Working Men’s Institutes into the modern, busy suburb it is today.

To indulge in this self-guided walking tour, go to the website and access the free MP3 audio files accompanying the map. The audio files and walk are divided into the following :

  • Introduction and Working Men’s Institute
  • Unity Hall Hotel ‒ Loyalty Square War Memorial
  • Issy Wyner Reserve
  • Ship Painters and Dockers Hall
  • Morts Dock and Mort Bay Park
  • Ballast Point
  • Thames Street Wharf
  • The Balmain Watch House
  • The Colgate-Palmolive Factory
  • The Adelaide Steamship Co.
  • Iloura Reserve

So, if you’re ready to venture out on your own, slap on some sunscreen, wear your hat or bring an umbrella, and put on your comfy walking shoes to discover the side of Balmain you’ve never seen before.

Tom Uren Trail

One of the more Balmain-specific Sydney tours, the Tom Uren Trail honours a proud and distinguished Balmain native. Uren once served various key government positions, including Minister for Urban and Regional Development (1972 to 1975), Minister for Territories and Local Government (1983 to 1984) and Minister for Local Government and Administrative Services (1984 to 1987).

During his retirement, Uren continued to campaign passionately for different causes. One of his lasting legacies is the protection of Sydney Harbour and its foreshores.

The 2.3-kilometre-long Tom Uren Trail takes an average of 2.5 hours of leisurely walking, although it includes some steep ascents. The trail starts and ends at Thornton Park, located close to the Balmain East Ferry Walk.

The Balmain Watch House, 179 Darling Street

Back in 1854, the Balmain Watch House was built to function as a police lock-up. Designed by Edmund Blacket, a famous colonial architect, it is the oldest surviving lock-up in Sydney done in the traditional Georgian style.

After years as a lock-up, it was turned into a residence for Sergeant Ira Gray and his family, who lived in the building from 1930 to 1947. When the last tenants vacated it in 1965, the Balmain Watch House was left in a decrepit state and scheduled for demolition.

The swift action of the Balmain Association and support of the National Trust saved the building and led to its preservation as a heritage building. The thorough building restoration and conservation work ensures the Balmain Watch House will continue to stand as a testament to the Inner West’s colourful past.

Today, the Balmain Watch House is available for hire as an exhibition space.

For more information on Balmain Watch House events, you can check out the Balmain Association page.

Immerse yourself in the history of Balmain and the Inner West

Behind every building and community lies a story — or many stories at that.
Balmain and the Inner West are no different. And for those interested in their cultural heritage and history, there are plenty of places and stories waiting to be seen and heard.

Looking for help selling your home or renting your investment property? Our team at Belle Property Balmain support homeowners across Balmain, Balmain East, Birchgrove, Rozelle and Lilyfield. Feel free to get in touch for a no-obligation discussion or property appraisal.

Reach out for real estate advice

Specific to Balmain, Birchgrove, Rozelle, Lilyfield and surrounds.

  • Hidden

Subscribe for property news and insights for Balmain, Birchgrove, Rozelle, Lilyfield and surrounds.

You have Successfully Subscribed!