Sydney by ferry

Newington and Armory Wharf

Beyond Olympic Park wharf, the Parramatta River narrows and you will see far fewer boats using it.  Ferries no longer stop at Armory Wharf, but you can get there by leaving the rivercat at Olympic Park and walking upstream.  After about 15 minutes you emerge at the beginning of Blaxland Riverside Park, a vast kid-friendly parkland that is remarkably busy on weekends.

The first thing that you will see are two old cranes on the river's edge.  These were part of Newington Armory, where the Navy manufactured their munitions for most of the 20th century.  The site was handed over to the public as a contribution to the Sydney Olympics.  It's open on weekends, from the entrance behind the cranes.  There is an art gallery, various activities and tours, and on Sundays from 10:30am to 1pm, you can tour the site on their own train.

Just past the cranes and the gate is Armory Wharf Cafe, open daily until 4pm.  It's one of the few eating places where you can sit and watch the rivercats cruise past and not stop.  The original building here was burnt down (apparently by vandals) in 2008; it was decided to not let the bad guys win, and the cafe was re-built.  The replacement cafe opened in 2009, built from metal and glass.  It won an Urban Design Award.  Generally you're welcome to stay around after your lunch on weekdays, when they aren't busy.  You can get morning and afternoon tea from the cafe on weekdays, or from a small building behind the cranes on weekends when the cafe itself is busier.  With luck, you'll have free entertainment from little kids playing with the water spouts outside the cafe.

After leaving Armory Wharf, you have several choices - back to the ferry, or walk further on and cross the river at the nearby Silverwater Bridge.  From its northern side, you can either follow the riverside walk upstream to Rydalmere Wharf (hourly ferries) or the longer walk downstream via the Ermington Boardwalk to Meadowbank Wharf (half-hourly ferries).  Use the Ryde Bridge to Parramatta map to find your way.

This page was last modified on Sun Aug 7, 2016
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