Recently I’ve been wanting to rekindle the memories that I had as a kid. I remember watching the 2000 Sydney Olympics on TV (unfortunately my family just happened to not be in Australia at the time. Perfect timing, right?), and ever since then, my family loved going their on a Sunday arvo (Aussie slang for afternoon) to go bike riding. Well…. It’s actually an activity I haven’t done for about 8 years, so I decided to rekindle this childhood memory, and even asked my parents to come with me- a 20-something adult!
We’d arrived in the park through Bicentennial Dr, and had a picnic overlooking Lake Belvedere. Because it was a Tuesday afternoon, there weren’t that many people around, which meant we could hear all the ducks and birds going about their normal lives, rather than simply begging crowds of people for food.
We then cycled through a lot of the sports centres before arriving at Badu Mangroves. As we kept cycling, we all had a clear destination in mind- the birdwatching station. Unfortunately, I am not professional enough at riding my bike, so I couldn’t take lots of photos along the way, but I can assure you that it is an experience to be in touch with nature. It was also close to dark already (be aware of the lack of sunlight hours during Sydney winter), so I didn’t want to be that one person who stops intermittently and forces others to overtake. Having said that, we still somehow stayed at the bird watching station for a long time. It’s the sight of watching biodiversity that just freezes time, for some reason.
We then rode further to see Parramatta River– the main tributary of Sydney Harbour that is about 30km long from Sydney Heads- and admired the tranquility of the water at this end of the river. I should also note that a lot of the area adjacent to the river is reserved as an armoury. Geez, what a view they’d get if they work here? Unfortunately, time was already running out, and we’d forgotten to bring our head torches, so we had to quickly return.
For someone who’s as bad at bike riding as me, I honestly believe Sydney Olympic Park is one of the safest bike riding places in the world. Every path is very well installed and are constantly maintained. In every corner of the Olympic Park, you are also surely guaranteed to have enough room to take over someone else’s bike. Speaking as someone who’s been bike riding here as a 4-year-old girl, and have seen countless families do so, do yourself and favour and explore this hidden gem in Sydney that’s easily accessed by train.