The Parramatta River, which rises in the hills northwest of Parramatta and flows to Sydney Harbour has for over 200 years been Sydney’s central waterway.
Many of Sydney’s suburbs are nestled along its banks, its tributaries and bays.From the former working class, but now gentrified, suburbs of Balmain, Birchgrove, Rozelle with a myriad of restaurants and on to Sydney Olympic Park (P32), Ryde(P30) and Parramatta (P36), one of Australia’s founding cities and, today, Sydney’s second largest CBD.
Canada Bay, on the foreshores of Parramatta River, is named after Canadian rebels, deported to Australia following the Canadian Revolution of 1837-8. The 7km Bay Run around Iron Cove is family, bike, wheelchair and stroller friendly.
The picturesque Lane Cover River is a tributary of the Parramatta River, winding through a peaceful bushland valley. The river is the focus of most activities in Lane Cove National Park where you can stroll along the bank, hire a rowboat, picnic or stay overnight in the nearby Tourist Park. Tel: (02) 8448 0400
Ryde is the link between the Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers. There are an amazing number of bays, picnic or fishing spots from Putney through to Henley on the Parramatta River, which serves as Ryde’s southern boundary. Take the time to wander through picturesque Hunters Hill peninsular and Woolwich. But don’t miss the Granny Smith festival held in Eastwood in October of each year.
Cross Parramatta River on the Putney/Mortlake Punt and on to Homebush Bay. Chosen as the site for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games because of its centrality and access by road and public transport, Sydney Olympic Park (Pages 32-33) now provides visitors with a wide range of attractions and a choice of activities, including tours of venues that hosted the world’s athletes. Just to the north is the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway in Brays Park at Rhodes honouring a significant battle in the Papua-New Guinea campaign of 1942-1943. Not far south is the beautiful and uniquely Asian themed Auburn Botanic Gardens. The Nearby Rookwood Necropolis is an outstanding example of Victorian burial traditions. Visit Paddy’s Markets at Flemington, Sydney’s “Biggest & Best” traditional markets.
By far the best and most relaxing way to see Parramatta River is from the Parramatta Rivercat from Circular Quay.
Tel: 131500 www.131500.com.au
Parramatta Tel: 8839 3311 www.disoverparramata.gov.au
Ryde Library Tel: 9952 8222 www.ryde.nsw.gov.au
Sydney Olympic Park Tel: (02) 9714 7888