To improve the score to 6.25/10, see what would improve the star rating.
Star Rating For Difficulty (out of 5):
4 star because of both the distance and the elevation gain.
Alterations to this ride to lower the star rating to a 3&1/2 star:
- We won’t turn right again off Boothtown Aqueduct. While Pemulwuy is a nice suburb to ride through with some nice bike paths and lakes, the hill (and apparent through road) over Butu Wargun Dr (past Pemulwuy lookout) is super steep (we all walked) and then the ride through the industrial area to the top of Prospect Reservoir wasn’t that pleasant.
- We should have continued along Lower Prospect Canal Reserve / Boothtown Aqueduct, which is a very flat and pleasant bike path. It would have also saved us 8km as well as a lot of hill climbing.
Notable Sites, Cafés, and Playgrounds Along the Way:
This is a long ride through the geographical centre of Sydney. Apart from the section through Parramatta, it is almost exclusively on bike paths and bike paths that aren’t very busy, so it makes it much easier to ride side-by-side as a family and chat.
Starting and finishing at Parramatta Park was a great plan. Parramatta Park has two good playgrounds. One is on the Western side (towards Westmead Hospital – Domain Creek Playground) and the other on the Southeast side (Paperbark Playground). Both are quality playgrounds and give the kids a good half hour of quality play time at the start and end of the ride.
Making our way through Parramatta CBD was a little logistically challenging, but once out, it’s bike paths. We took a detour via Holroyd Gardens which has a large and good playground and then a detour around Granville Park which has a small, but reasonable playground. This detour wasn’t entirely necessary, however, the day we did this ride was the first really hot day of Spring, so seeing Hungry Jacks on the other side of Granville was a welcome relief to get a cold drink and top up our water bottles.
Then it’s bike path, bike path, bike path. At first next to the railway line, then next to the Prospect pipelines. There was a small playground at Guildford West, but it was really just for a break in the pedalling, rather than a destination. The section along Lower Prospect Canal Reserve / Boothtown Aqueduct, is a very flat and pleasant bike path. As mentioned above, we should have continued directly West to the Southern tip of Prospect Reservoir for a much flatter and easier ride. However, the bike paths and lakes in Pemulwuy were nice and Nelson’s Ridge Playground Pemulwuy was a welcome break.
The bike path then follows the water channel from Prospect Reservoir going South. This actually links in with our ride from Western Sydney Regional Park around Prospect Reservoir. In our experience, this is one of the least populated cycle paths in Sydney, so it frees up the opportunity to chat as a family without constantly weaving around people. We continue down to Lizard Log Nature Playground. Lizard Log Nature Playground has plenty of natural shade under the eucalypts and is definitely a place to stop for a packed sandwich or other substantive snacks. As a playground, it’s a little different to other playgrounds (less modern climbing equipment), but still good fun and my kids can’t get enough of the water pump. This is perhaps a Winter ride, as this whole route can get rather hot, so we top up our water bottles to full capacity here.
The bike path continues to Calmsley Hill City Farm, through some quiet back streets and then to the playground on the Western side of Stockdale Crescent Reserve. The bike path then gently goes down hill for about 11km to Canley Vale following Prospect Creek. There are a few small playgrounds on the way to stop at, but none to choose as destinations in themselves. Then it’s a matter of following the bike path next to the railway line for about 10km into Parramatta CBD and then on to Parramatta Park to play at the playground that wasn’t played at the start of the day.
When nearly back at Parramatta Park, according to Concrete Playground our route takes us near apparently one of the best gelato shops in Sydney, Rivareno Gelato Parramatta. So although we haven’t stopped here for a gelato yet, we may take the small detour, pick up a take home pack and spoons, and enjoy it as a family in Paramatta Park. 😊
This is a long day out, compared with many of the other rides, apart from Parramatta Park, Holroyd, and Lizard Log playgrounds, there aren’t really any other “wow” playgrounds on this route and minimal substantive views, like most of the other rides. However, it is majority on bike paths, and bike paths that are not crowded.
Parking & Toilets
Parramatta Park (or nearby). We find a spot that is not timed parking.
Good quality toilets are a bit harder to find on this ride and stops should be pre-planned.
- Parramatta Park
- Lizard Log Nature Playground