Meadowbank to Cabarita
Explore | ferry | Parramatta River | urban walking | Sydney North West | New South Wales

Meadowbank to Cabarita

Late afternoon walk and ferry ride

by Susie Baber  |  20 May 2022

Parramatta River | 7km | easy

Having rediscovered the joy of riding on Sydney Ferries I have been looking for walks that give me an excuse to hop on board and go for a cruise. Starting from my favourite Parramatta River wharf, Meadowbank, this time I am heading downstream to Cabarita. Today’s walk will reward me with two ferry rides. The first on the Putney Punt, or Mortlake Ferry – a car ferry linking the two sides of the river.

Heading east from Meadowbank Wharf there is a path that runs along the rivers edge. I hadn’t got far though before I am stopped by a metal fence at the end of Hedgeland Close. Repair work being done to the road and walkway (storm damage??) forced me to retrace my steps back to Bowden Street and look for an alternative path between the apartments. A detour sign soon had me back on track, following the walkway along Rothesay Avenue and into Ryde Wharf Reserve. There are works of art dotted along the river side path, both here and further down stream, large sculptures on old timber poles, sailing boats and flying fish.

Continue around the point and up the concrete stairs to head under Ryde Bridge. Follow the sign to Putney and the City, turning right into Waterview Street. Waterview Street lives up to its name with nice views of the river over Settlers Park. After passing the Concord and Ryde Sailing club turn right into Bennalong Park. Along this stretch I start to notice posts with numbers in large red type and am wondering what their purpose is. I thought maybe they were marking the distance from the city but the spacing was a bit random, maybe dates? I have done a bit of googling since then but to no avail – if anyone can tell me what they are I would love to know.

The walking track will take you along the water’s edge, into Kissing Point Park and past Kissing Point Ferry Wharf where there is a little sandy beach. Soon after this access along the foreshore is blocked, so divert up Dyson Street and along Pellisier Road until you see the walking path ducking back down between the trees to the water again.

This Is Putney Park which has the most fabulous playground with lots of stuff to climb, a giant slide and pools for the littlies to splash in. There are also BBQs, toilets and steps down onto the sandy beach. At the other end of the park there is another, all be it slightly smaller, playground just before you get to the Putney Punt.

The Putney Punt has been operating since 1928 and is the only remaining vehicle ferry in Sydney Harbour. You can travel on the ferry by car or foot and either way it’s free so ride as many times as you like! If you are in your car, you can’t get out to enjoy the view though. The ferry doesn’t run all the time – during the week it is only for a few hours in peak times morning and afternoon. On the weekends it runs on demand from 10.30am- 5.30pm. More info here

I just missed the ferry as I got to the ramp and had to wait about 15 minutes for it do the return trip back to pick me up. Not a bad place to sit for a few minutes and watch the sun sink over the water. There is a shelter, just like a bus shelter, with a bench to sit on. When the cars are unloaded and the next round of commuters safely aboard you will be directed to walk up to the pedestrian area. The ride is only about 5 mins and again, when the cars are all done, you walk off and continue on your way.

The first street on the left is Palace Lane and at the end of the lane is the beginning of a path along the waterfront. This is Breakfast Point, home to some very nice houses with what I can imagine are very nice views. The path meanders through manicured lawns, past regal palm trees and well-kept gardens. It is getting a bit late by now and I am relieved to see that it is also quite well lit. Past the end of the point I can see Cabarita Ferry Wharf on the other side of the bay and the city skyline in the background.

My timing is good for the ferry, only having to wait 3 minutes for my ride back to Meadowbank, just as it starts to rain. A lovely, mostly flat walk with plenty to look at along the way and two ferrys to ride on!

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