Cycling from Parramatta to Sydney’s CBD via the M4 and the Cooks River Cycleway

Brenden Wood
4 min readApr 21, 2021

The safest route to ride from Parramatta to Sydney’s CBD is via the M4 and Cooks River cycleways.

These two cycleways offer cyclists a mostly off road route that connects Parramatta with Sydney. A map of the Parramatta to Sydney cycle route is below.

Map showing the safe cycle route from Parramatta to Sydney

The total ride is about 38km. The cycleways don’t directly connect with each other – you’ll need to navigate some roads between Sydney Olympic Park and South Strathfield.

After you leave Parramatta, the M4 cycleway can be joined at Harris Park. The cycleway runs alongside and under the M4.

Exit the M4 cycleway at the Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre and begin heading south to join the Cooks River Cycleway.

I rode past the DFO at Homebush and through quiet Homebush Village to join the Cooks River Cycleway at South Strathfield.

The Cooks River Cycleway was built in 1977.

It follows the Cooks River from South Strathfield to Tempe.

And like most cycleways that follow rivers or creeks, there are no hills to ride climb.

A new pedestrian/cycle bridge, the Lang Road Bridge, crosses the Cooks River near Ewan Park at Hurlstone Park was opened in November 2020.

At Tempe, the cycleway travels past the runway at Sydney Airport and into Mascot.

The cycle north from Mascot is on the cycleway that follows the main road.

Once you hit Alexandria, you’ll start to experience Sydney’s extensive CBD cycleway.

There are plenty of cycleway options located through Sydney’s southern suburbs.

Follow the signs directing you to ‘Sydney City’, and you’ll be directed along the cycleway through Redfern.

The cycleway takes you through Prince Alfred Park in Surry Hills and past Central Railway Station.

I found the ride pleasant. It took me about 2.5 hours to complete. For faster riders it might take them 2 hours, for slower riders more than 3 hours.

The quickest route from Parramatta to Sydney is via the M4 cycleway or the Parramatta River cycleway to Olympic Park, and then along busy Parramatta Road to join the Bay Run and ANZAC Bridge to the city – this route requires either on road or footpath riding along Parramatta Road – it’s approximately 25kms and takes about 1.5 hours to ride.

I hope you enjoy your ride. If you’re looking for a more localised cycle around Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park and alongside the Parramatta River, click here for the map.

Update: The M4 cycleway is now connected to Parramatta via a pop-up cycleway on Wigram Street Harris Park. Cyclists can now safely ride off the road from Parramatta to Harris Park and M4 cycleway.

Pop up cycleway created in mid-2021 on Wigram Street Harris Park

I’m interested in hearing about your experience riding this route – Drop me a message on social media you’ll find me at @BrendenWood.

#Parramatta #Sydney #Cycling