Location - Sydney, Australia
Distance - 24 km approx round trip
Terrain - Shared pedestrian path and cycleway with a couple of hundred metres on road.
Difficulty - Flat and easy.
Highlights - Having lunch in the sunshine sitting on the grass next to the Parramatta River.
Map and Info - click here - described as a 'walk' in the brochure this is a shared cycling/pedestrian path.
This is one of our favourite regular rides. Park on the northern bank of the Parramatta River at Ryde Bridge, unload the bikes and it's an easy, flat, scenic cycle all the way to Parramatta Park. There are a couple of short on road sections which can be a bit tricky during the week, especially around the 4pm factory knock-off time, but on weekends there isn't a car in sight. Cross the river at Macarthur St, not long before you reach Parramatta and you avoid a lot of winding about on roads, then cross the river again at the weir just past Parramatta ferry wharf. There is a new tunnel underpass, under Church street, avoiding the need to carry your bike up the Church St steps.
|Just past Parramatta Wharf|
Extending the ride - Continue on when you get to Parramatta wharf and do a loop around Parramatta Park before you return, or extend the ride even further by crossing Ryde Bridge at the beginning on the ride. Loop around under the bridge heading west and join the cycle path which goes past Rhodes Shopping centre and Bicentennial park. Cross back across the river at Silverwater Rd.
Cafes and lunch - A picnic lunch on the grass at the University of Western Sydney Campus is a perfect way to while away half an hour or so in the Sydney sunshine. If you've forgotten the sandwichesforgotten the sandwiches, Parramatta Park has a lovely little cafe and Church St is packed with them.
|Seen in Parramatta Park in 2014|
This is a great ride for people watching. The entire spectrum of wonderfully ethnically diverse Sydney can be found out and about on a warm winter's weekend afternoon, but do yourself a favour and slow down. There really isn't any fun in knocking over little old ladies and kids on tricycles in the quest to be Queen of the Mountain. This is not a ride for 'personal bests' or setting new records. This is a Sunday afternoon 'living life in the slow lane' kind of ride. Stop and enjoy the scenery; trust me on this one, it's worth it.
Note: I have done the best I can to represent the cycle path on google maps but google does have a mind of its own sometimes so the map may not be 100% accurate. The cycle path is represented by the blue line.
|The weir at Parramatta Ferry Wharf after the storm|
Update on the weir: The crossing via the weir has now been re-opened.
Have you cycled this path? Did you enjoy it? Do you have any current information on the state of the weir?