Cycling in Sydney: Ryde Bridge to Parramatta Park

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.

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.

Parramatta River

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?


  1. The river has receded after the April 2015 flooding. Work will commence soon on a new section of boardwalk which will pass under the Gasworks Bridge (MacArthur St). The area from Parramatta Wharf to the Lennox Bridge is a very high traffic area around lunchtime, afternoons and weekends and will become busier as high rise developments continue in Parramatta. It is still a great ride, just remember to slow down on the section between the wharf and Lennox Bridge.

  2. The path now goes under Church St through a portal in the Lennox Bridge alleviating that detour on road.

    1. Thank you for your comments. The portal in the Lennox Bridge (Church St) is very welcome. David and I used to carry our bikes up the steps next to where the portal is now. Well, David used to carry both bikes while I felt guilty about it - lol. Given that it has only just opened we were relieved to see that it was undamaged in the floods.

      I don't suppose you know how long the new section of boardwalk passing under the Gasworks Bridge at MacArthur St will take. It looks like a significant undertaking which will take many months at the least.

      You are quite right about slowing down on the section just after Parramatta wharf but it is so pretty along there slowing down is easy.

  3. Found your blog while checking this ride out. It has everything I need to know right here, thank you.
    We live in Campsie and are lucky to have the Cooks River CW at our doorstep so use it to venture out from. We rode to Ryde via Bicenntenial Park the other week and found that we could make it to Parramatta, so this is on our too do list, hence researching.
    Now to go check out more of your blog.

    1. Hi Jo. Thank you for the kind words. I'm glad you are finding my blog useful. Ironically I have just found a really useful site myself which describes cycling in Australia - I'm going to put in a link on my blog - just haven't got around to it yet.

      We love the Cooks River Ride. We don't do it as often as we would like because we live on the northside and usually get caught in traffic on the way home. Last time we did the ride we saw flocks of black cockatoos at Brighton-le-sands. They were magnificent.

  4. Not too far from this one, is the Lower Prospect Canal Reserve and Cycleway. It starts at Prospect Reservoir and follows the old open canal (now largely covered in to form the cycleway). Lots of historical signage on the way. About 16 km return, but you can even further - check out Lower Prospect Canal on Google.

    1. We have cycled the Prospect Canal path many times. It is one of Sydney's best. I should write it up one day - just haven't got around to it yet. Thanks for the reminder. The historical signs are fascinating for anyone with the slightest interest in local history.