At around 8km to go all the way along and back again, the Opanuku Stream Path is a great option is you’re looking for a ride that’s a bit longer than just around a park.
There are a couple of road crossings. Nothing with heavy traffic, and school-age kids will be fine with them.
If you’d like to take the train, the Henderson and Sturges Road stations on the Western Line are close to the start of the path at the northern end (at the Corban Estate Arts Centre). There is some road biking to get from the stations to the path.
There are three good options for parking:
- The Corban Estate Arts Centre (2 Mount Lebanon Lane, Henderson) – This is the northern end of the path. There is lots of parking here, and if you time it right, you can check out an exhibition, get a coffee and bite to eat at the cafe, and check out the gallery shop.
- Henderson Park (41A Wilsher Crescent, Henderson) – This is partway along the path. Great option if you want plenty of looping paths to keep the littler kids happy, and has a toilet block.
- Henderson Valley Road (around 315 Henderson Valley Road, Henderson Valley) – This is the southern end of the path. If you think you might not manage the entire length (and won’t need a toilet), this may be the place to start as its arguably the prettier part – and you’ve got a good chance of seeing a few horses, and the path goes past vineyards as well.
I started at the Corban Estate Arts Centre end, and entered at the Mount Lebanon Lane entrance.
The path is 3-metres wide, concrete or boardwalk all the way, which makes for easy biking. It is a popular spot and shared with walkers as well as other cyclists, so you do need to keep left and use your bell when coming up behind walkers or slower cyclists.
Henderson Park has sports grounds, a toilet block and watch out – it also has a disc-golf course!
The path south from Henderson Park has some art to check out as you pass along the back of some industrial units.
At Keeling Road (which is effectively a cul-de-sac in primarily light industrial area) you leave the shared path very briefly to go on the road to rejoin the path. The odd truck does come down that way, but it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to get back onto the shared path.
This is Keeling Road when you’re approaching it from the south (on the way back).
More easy riding, and then a slight rise to get up to the traffic-light controlled bike / pedestrian crossing over Border Road.
This is the prettiest part of the ride – you’ll want to keep an eye out for ponies in the adjacent paddocks, there is an artistic spot to stop and sit, and vineyards as you go past as well.
An alternative spot to park is on Misty Valley Drive, which is a quiet residential cul-de-sac with its own entrance to the path.
Before you know it, you’ll have made it to Henderson Valley Road, the southern end of the path, so it’s time to turn around and head back.
If you parked at this end, you’re just up the road from Kiwi Valley Farm Park. There is loads to see there, so if you’re adding this to your itinerary, make sure you allow plenty of time to get in all your farm activities with the friendly farm animals.
Once you’re back at the northern end of the path, there is the option of hopping in the car (or biking if you’re all okay with road biking) and checking out Whoa! Studios, at 8 Henderson Valley Road. If the kids still have plenty of energy, you can pay the $10 per child entrance fee and let them play at the amazing playground (playground does not really do it justice!) or you could get a meal at The Grounds, their modern family eatery – it does pay to ring and book a table, they can get very busy.
If you’d prefer some more biking, again you can either bike on the road, or get in the car for the short hop north to the next stream-side shared path. You could even try heading all the way to the Northwestern Motorway and take the shared path that goes alongside the motorway, either heading further west or east towards the city.