Riding the Cooks River Cycleway from Strathfield South to Sydney Airport
The Cooks River Cycleway is essentially the main spine of a cycle network that services the inner west and western suburbs of Sydney.
The ‘spine’ of this cycleway stretches 14km from South Strathfield to Sydney Airport with a the network of cycleways branching off to Sydney’s CBD, Botany Bay, Sydney Olympic Park, Rhodes, Meadowbank, Ryde, Parramatta, Lidcombe, Granville, Merrylands, Guildford and all the way to the M7 via the Lower Prospect Canal Reserve cycleway.
At the western end, the Cooks River Cycleway starts along Ada Avenue near Freshwater Park at Strathfield South.
The cycleway is a shared route with pedestrians and follows the banks of the Cooks River — and one of the benefits of this river route is that there are no major hill climbs.
The trip is reasonably gentle.
The Cooks River Cycleway is very popular. It’s an excellent cycleway for families. Only at one point does the cycleway travel along a very quiet road, Walsh Avenue near Whiddon Reserve in Croydon Park.
Along the route, you’ll come across plenty of parks and recreation areas where you can stop and take a break — they include Flockhart Park, Picken Oval, Croydon Park, Less Park, Canterbury Park Racecourse, Ewen Park, Hurlstone Park, Wills Ground, Beaman Park, Earlwood, Undercliffe, Wanstead Reserve, Gough Whitlam Park, Tempe’s Kendrick Park and the Tempe Recreation Reserve.
At Canterbury, the Cooks River Cycleway travels past the historic Canterbury Sugarworks — also known as the Canterbury Sugar Mill — which was opened in 1842. At this location, imported raw sugar was processed. The gold rush resulted in the facility closing in 1854 due to a labour shortage. The river was dammed at the time to provide fresh water for the boilers.
The ride takes about an hour — or, 90 minutes if you ride really slow.
Tip: On a few occasions, we’ve accessed this cycleway at the western end from Rookwood Cemetery and Flemington train station — the track is easy to find. There are plenty of signs. At the eastern end of the cycleway, we made our way to Sydney Airport from Gough Whitlam Park via the the cycleway located at the eastern end of the Tempe railway station carpark and the Tempe Recreation Reserve.