The Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway is a very humbling experience. It is a memorial to all of those brave men that fought for our freedom in WW2, specifically along the Kokoda Track. The track meanders along the water's edge between Rhodes and Concord and has the Parramatta River as its backdrop. You can start the walk at Brays Bay Reserve which is such a scenic picnic spot with an awesome playground. The walk is very pram friendly and also easy for little legs, and along the way you will find the Kokoda Cafe.
The walk is both educational and what I would call spiritual. Along the way an old gentleman's voice will start speaking to you through the shrubbery. There are sensors in the walkway that start the recording of an episode of the war - it's fascinating to stand and listen to it and you can also read further information on the storyboard located where the speaker is. Obviously young children may find this quite boring so make sure you keep an eye on them and don't let them wander off as there are water courses around. The vegetation that is planted along the walkway resembles the vegetation that is typically found in Papua New Guinea.
Halfway into the walk you will come across the beautiful Memorial Centrepiece. You walk across a little bridge into the Memorial and here you will see images from the war that have been sand blasted into large granite walls. Water features add a tranquillity to the space, something which little kids will have difficulty understanding as they just see water to play with. However if you have older children hopefully they will appreciate the significance of this very spiritual part of the walk. If you can, sit for a while and let the peace of the space wash over you - although this is much easier said than done with little kids in tow.
Continuing on the walk you will find the Kokoda Cafe. This modest cafe is the perfect pit stop for a cool drink or ice cream. You can also have breakfast or lunch as well as coffee and cake. There is both seating inside and out, and I suggest if you are walking with kids you choose an outside possie as there is room for them to wander around in the lovely garden setting.
The menu at the Kokoda Cafe is simple but covers most dietary requirements. Kidlets have their own menu which includes a juice popper and if your babes have been really well behaved during the walk and deserve a special treat, I can recommend "K's Special Treat." This is a very yummy ice cream sundae that kept my little mate completely occupied whilst I enjoyed a coffee and gossip with a good friend.
The coffee at the Kokoda Cafe is ok, a little bit too milky for my liking. I think next time I might try out one of their iced coffees or a yummy sounding fruity shake to cool down with after the walk. If you need a snack, the Kokoda Cafe has a small selection biscuits and sweet treats, such as a decadent piece of caramel slice - the slice we sampled had been warmed up which I found a tad odd.
The cafe has plenty of room for prams so you can always get your Mums group together and go for a stroll and then have lunch. Next to the cafe there is also a small and fully enclosed playground that is right outside of the toilet block (which contains a baby change table). So if you don't fancy sitting down in the cafe, you can always just grab a takeaway and head here.
As you continue along the walk you will find the Memorial Rose Garden, another lovely spot to stop and take in the beauty of this walk. Have a look at all of the plaques that have the names of fallen diggers who fought in the war. Whenever you feel like it, turn around and walk the same way back. At the end of your walk the kids can have a play in the playground at Brays Bay Reserve and you can sit back and enjoy the view. If walking isn't your thing you can always park near the cafe (access via Killoola St, Concord West).
The Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway is open every day. There is plenty of parking available. If you choose to take public transport alight at Rhodes Train Station and walk across the road to start the walk. The cafe along the walk is open from Tuesday - Sunday from 9.30am. They may be closed in periods of extreme weather such as heavy rain. Call ahead if you would like to make a booking on 02 87651797.
Brays Point Reserve Rhodes NSW
(02) 8765 1797
Tue - Sun: 9.30 -3.00