The Botany Bay – Captain Cooks Bridge is an arbitrary starting spot for this 56km tour that takes an easy-paced 3 and a half hours.
You could begin at several points but the Brighton-le-Sands beach stretch is a favourite of mine: 10kms of endless sand and open bay views.
At the end of the bay beaches you can stop and watch planes departing and arriving at Sydney Airport. Some people spend hours doing just that.
The path runs along one of Sydney’s last remaining market gardens close to a tranquil river marina.
You pass the wide-open Wolli Creek and cross over to the Tempe section of the cycleway. There are only a handful of road crossings, all safely controlled by lights.
The Cooks River starts wide and is scenic for most of the way. You’ll pass several playing fields and parks, but cafes are scarce.
This ride includes an obligatory coffee stop at the adorable Adora Café in Earlwood. The family-run business has a huge range of hand-made chocolates and they offer one free with every coffee. The dark choc with coffee cream filling was a hit with me.
The autumn colours are beautiful as they reflect off the water. There are several very old bridges that I use to criss-cross the river for variety. You cannot get lost as the river is your compass.
You’ll pass this interesting building and wonder. It’s the old Canterbury Sugar Works, a refinery that was built in 1841.
As the river narrows to a small canal you’ll know the Strathfield Golf Course is not far away. That’s the regular turnaround point unless you feel like another 5kms to Flemington to check out Paddy’s Market.
This is a five-star bike tour for safety and varied sightseeing that has its own dedicated bike path the entire way.