Various Ride Options
There are many options for a top ride involving Sydney Olympic Park and stretching out along the Parramatta River to Parramatta Park. There are very many good playgrounds along this route, clean and good quality public toilets, great scenery, and many places to stop for a tasty snack.
Star Rating For Difficulty (out of 5):
There are very few hills and only a handful of places where you need to cross roads on this route.
Of note, perhaps the worst road to cross with kids on this route is Bennelong Parkway between the spiral lookout on Wentworth Common and the Waterbird refuge. There are no lights and there is no pedestrian crossing nearby (this is similar for Marjorie Jackson Parkway on the way to the Brickpit, but it is a less busy road).
There is a curve on the road which makes visibility sub-optimal, and the cars perhaps push the speed limit boundaries. What I choose to do, is wait for a gap, go into the middle of the road as the responsible adult, and block it while quickly ushering the children across.
Notable Sites, Cafés, and Playgrounds Along the Way:
If doing the roughly 40km loop which includes Parramatta Park, perhaps ride this anti-clockwise, so as the back end (when little legs could be more tired) is loaded with more frequent playground stops.
Halvorsen Park is a good stop after about 8-9km of riding. The playground is good and there is a café if you want an early coffee stop.
The bike path into Parramatta is lovely and has cute little bridges along the way, and is a relaxing ride along the river. Although there are fewer playgrounds and cafés along this part of the ride, the view is pretty and it’s a good opportunity to chat as a family while you ride.
When nearly 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. 😊
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 offer a good opportunity to have a more substantial bite to eat.
Our favourite park is Blaxland Riverside Park, which is large and has plenty of equipment to climb and swing on and also water play. When we do this ride I bring swimmers to change into, because the kids inevitably get saturated with the spurting water. There are toilets to change in. The only drawback I could note about this large and comprehensive playground is that it is really hot on a hot Summer’s day. It’s covered in soft fall and artificial grass which soak up the heat, with very few trees for shade.
Just next to Blaxland Riverside Park is Armory Wharf Café which has a lovely position next to the river and good food.
From there we like to take the shady bike paths, through Millennium Parklands and Newington and then up past Sydney Olympic Stadium. It may not seem like much, but when we get to Sydney Olympic Stadium the kids love weaving around the planted gum trees, the pylons and all the little plaques with the names of the Olympic athletes. If you zoom in on the route, it gets wriggly around there.
We then like to go through Sydney Showground (which always brings back great memories of the Easter Show) and over to the Brickpit Ring Walk. It’s really interesting and not many people venture out there, so peaceful too.
The 40km route misses Wentworth Common, but follow one of the other rides we’ve done to go to the playgrounds in Wentworth Common, use the toilets if you need, and spiral your way up to Bike Hill View.
Hornswaggle Observation Tower is a nice little climb and good spot for a last snack before getting back to the car.
Throughout Sydney Olympic Park there are many water refill stations. More than on most bike rides in Sydney.
Parking & Toilets
We always park at Bicentennial Park near Café Waterview. If you’re riding with friends, the café here is a good spot to wind down at the end of the ride.Note, some sections are 2 hours and others 4 hours for parking. There is plenty of parking at least 4 hours.
There are plenty of good, clean public toilets along this route. The Public Toilets outside Café Waterview are perfectly located for the beginning and end of the ride. Also, there are toilets at Parramatta Park, Blaxland Riverside Park, and good toilets in Wentworth Common (not busy).