Meadowbank to Rydalmere - the mangroves of the Ermington boardwalk
As soon as the rivercat goes under John Whitton rail bridge at Meadowbank, mangroves start appearing on the river banks. Once thought of as needing to be cleared away for development, today their role as fish nurseries is recognised, so they are protected, and are slowly re-colonising the river banks. The mangroves are the reason why the rivercats have to slow down west of Rydalmere, to avoid the ferry's wash undercutting their roots.
There has been a signposted shared bicycle and foot route from Meadowbank to Parramatta for twenty-odd years. At first, most of the route was through suburban back streets. Over time, as funding became available, the route has been moved down to the river's edge on new constructed walkways.
With the opening of the Ermington Boardwalk in 2011, almost all of the route between Meadowbank Wharf and Rydalmere Wharf is now away from road traffic, and much of it keeps away from houses too. This walkway is serious engineering, with sidetracks to seats at the river's edge. There is an interesting YouTube video made by Parramatta Council when they built it - with helmet cam.
There's no need for a map because you just follow the cycleway signs. The whole route is pedestrian shared, but you do need to keep to one side so that the cyclists can overtake you - they move fast on this almost flat route, which is one of Sydney's most popular cycleways. There are lots of them on weekends and weekday peak hours.
It should take you about 2 hours 15 minutes between Meadowbank and Rydalmere wharves, according to the Ryde Bridge to Parramatta map on the Walking Coastal Sydney website.
This walk can be done in either direction, but since the last timetable change, ferries are now more frequent at Meadowbank than at Rydalmere, which makes it more sense to plan starting at Rydalmere. Finishing at Meadowbank also means that you have more options, such as continuing downstream to Kissing Point, following the Meadowbank bridges circuit, or catching the train from Meadowbank.
This page was last modified on Fri Jul 1, 2016
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