Sixteen years ago, the world watched Sydney host the momentous Olympic Games. The main Olympic venues of the Sydney 2000 games are located near the western Sydney suburb of Homebush. Now, this area has become a thriving recreational oasis for all Sydneysiders and visitors, with several parks, bike trails, and cafes overlooking picturesque Parramatta River.
With trains and buses on its door step and ample parking, Olympic Park is an easy destination to get to. However, the most relaxing mode of transport has to be the ferry. Board the River Ferry at Circular Quay and enjoy the spectacular view of Sydney Harbour foreshore as you meander along with a sea breeze in your hair. When you disembark at Sydney Olympic Park Wharf, start your morning by taking a stroll along the glistening river. You keep your eye out for the white-bellied sea eagle, which is known for roosting on the mangroves of the Parramatta River.
Armory Wharf Cafe
You come across the Armory Wharf Cafe on the water at Blaxland Riverside Park, and can’t resist grabbing a takeaway coffee. Your kids spot the exciting playground nearby, so armed with your caffeine hit, you wander up the hill. The children run wild on the equipment, scaling the climbing wall and crawling through the various tunnels, while you find a seat in the shade and sip your steaming coffee.
You start to feel peckish, and remember the tempting plates you saw earlier at the cafe. You choose an al fresco table with a view of the passing ferries, and peruse the array of appealing choices on the menu. The kids are sold on the fish and chips, and after deliberating, you choose the salt and pepper squid with roquette, caramelised red onion, and grilled halloumi, served with lime aioli. It’s crispy and fresh—the perfect light meal for a sunny day near the water.
Explore the Grounds
Bike riding is a favourite pastime around these parts, and with 35 kilometres of scenic cycleways, it’s easy to see why. Hire a bike right next door to the cafe and discover lookouts, local bird and animal wildlife, and outdoor art. You cycle past the massive stadium where the main Olympic Games events were located, and where several sporting events and concerts are still held throughout the year.
After all that cycling, you won’t be able to resist an afternoon swim in the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, where the water sports were held at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. You feel like a child again as you plummet down the water slide, landing with a refreshing splash at the bottom. Your kids love the water and you agree it’s an ideal location to cool off.
After cycling back to return the bikes, your children have one more play at their new favourite playground before you board the ferry back to the city. This fun-filled location has so much to offer for the entire family, you start planning your next trip back before you’ve even arrived home!