The Cooks river cycleway....
This is absolute classic Sydney ride, from the river to the bay,  it takes you through many microcosms of Sydney, from used car yards to market gardens, mangroves to ice creams.
Cooks river cycleway
To do the complete cooks river ride, river to the bay, you need to start at Rhodes.
From Rhodes train station cross to the western side (elevators) and head down Mary St to the foreshore. Head left and follow the canal up to Pomeroy st. This is a very enjoyable ride through mangroves, but there are many junctions so follow the signs carefully.
The canal near pomeroy st has been landscaped so it is not just a concrete ditch any more. This is a great improvement. 
Once on Pomeroy st head south through the traffic lights, up and over the M4, then dogleg left then right to Parramatta rd.
This section is the least pleasant but stick with it.
Cross Parramatta rd and head up bridge St  either on the road or footpath, cross the railway line, (homebush station is 300m east of here) then turn right/west onto The Crescent and down to Bates St and the park.
The left turn into the park comes just when you are flying happily down the hill, so watch out for it. If you overshoot you can head in through the playground to rejoin it.
From here the path is fairly well signposted and follows mostly parks with a few quiet suburban st.
The one major hill is not far away, it isnt steep but a slow grind up a quiet street for about 500m.
Once you top out, it is a long long pleasant cruise.
cooks river cycleway
There are a few major roads to cross, but bicycle crossing points have been built to make it safer. They really only fit one bicycle so watch out for riders coming the other way!
As always allow plenty of time to stop and look around. One of my favourites is the Concordia club near Tempe station, 20km or so from the start. German beer, sausages and Oompa bands. You may never leave!
There are also markets some weekends on Holbeach ave at Tempe.
A short ride up Beamish st will take you to Campsie for a feast of Dumplings.

 

From Tempe it is still 5km or so to the bay, so this is the best spot to escape if little legs are flagging.
Just past the Tempe train station the path passes underneath the railway line, this section can go under water at high tide, no sharks have been reported to date, but keep an eye out.
As you cross the Princess Hwy turn right over the new bridge and follow the widened path around the marsh st. Another short section of noisy footpath takes you to an underpass turning left away from the m5 tunnel portal winding away toward the bay.
The last section cruises past market gardens and the Cooks river estuary before passing under general holmes drive and out to the bay.
Brighton le Sand and ice creams are only a short distance away!
The public toilets I know of are
Bicentennial park- about 2km from Rhodes- also Bubblers
South Strathfield Parks near Homebush rd- 7kmish
Bubblers are near the road crossings further on
Sporting fields after crossing Brighton Ave near Campsie
Sporting fiels after crossing Wardell rd
Steel Park Marrickville- also bubblers
There is public toilets and fish and chips about 150m south along the path in Botany bay and the ice cream shops in Brighton Le Sands are another 2km further.
To catch a train out, I would probably ride back to Tempe, although mostly I just ride back to Rhodes. It makes for a 55km or so day. The climb back up to South Strathfield is never strenuous or steep and the roll down on the Northern side is great.
If you haven't done this ride you should, check out what's happening and make a day of it.
Cooks river cycleway

11 Comments

  • No reason not to start from Meadowbank Station instead of Rhodes. Google maps shows the dedicated bike path from just south of Meadowbank Station, across the harbour on the old superseded rail bridge then left down some stairs to the end of Blaxland Road and back on bike path around the Homebush Bay foreshore to link up with the route described.

  • Absolutely Alan, it all depends on how far you want to ride.
    I avoid those stairs you mention and continue to Blaxland Rd before looping back, it adds a traffic light but you can stay on the bike.?

  • Branching off the Parramatta Valley cycleway at Waterview Street, Ryde, the cycleway starts at Settlers Park and crosses the Parramatta River via the path on the eastern side of the Ryde Bridge and then cuts back under the southern end of the bridge at Llewellyn Street, Rhodes. Emerging on the western side of the bridge, a laneway leads to Leeds Street, which can be followed either on or off road under the railway bridge to Walker Street and then south, past the Rhodes railway station and onto the path along the western side of the railway line to Alfred Street and turn right into Oulton Avenue, past its exit ramp access to Homebush Bay Drive and turn left into the Bicentennial Park .

    • True Buslik, but I would always recommend the waterfront route around Rhodes as it is separated bike path. There are always lots of pedestrians, but the scenery is better. Rideon!

  • I would like to know if I can access this by bike from Matraville… ? I see a path that is opposite Port Botany?

    • Hi Lisa, there is no dedicated cycleway from the Matraville area across to the Cooks that I know of.
      (Anyone with better local knowledge please correct me me)
      The golf courses and Southern cross drive mean there are only a few routes across that area.
      If you can get along Wentworth avenue to where the Flower power nursery is, you can turn right into Sutherland street or some of the quieter parallel streets.
      Follow this north until you reach Coward st. Follow Coward st west until it ends at the cement works and you can join the path that runs along the side of Airport drive.
      Cross the canal at the pedestrian only bridge opposite the international terminal. Head around until you reach the Princess Hwy. Left is longer, but both ways will get you there. This is where the Cooks path crosses the Hwy. Head across and enjoy.

  • Hi guys! Is the path accessible by foot the whole way? I usually get to Tempe station on a run, but turn around! It seems like there a lot of main roads. Is there a walking/running path you can take the whole way?

    • Hi James, Im guessing you are coming from the upper river direction- there are a few road crossings from Tempe. After the railway station there is the Princess Hwy, which can take a while to get across. Then if you follow the Cooks path you have to cross Marsh st. After that it is a long uninterrupted run to Brighton le Sands and beyond.
      Alternatively, cross the Princess Hwy and go straight ahead into Tempe reserve, you can do laps or follow Airport drive across to Mascot without any more major roads.

  • This route could be so much better if they put in the missing link between bicentennial park and freshwater park, providing many more continuous kilometres of cycle paths, opening up all sorts of possibilities like Tempe to Parramatta. Any known plans for this?

    • Hi James, I agree, the section through Homebush is not perfect. I dont know of any plans for that. Perhaps Bicycle NSW might know.
      Alternatively send an email to Strathfield council and ask them.

  • Thanks, I might do that, I think the time is right for Sydney to become a lot more cycle friendly and get more of these missing links installed.

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