The Cooks River is located in the inner south west of Sydney. It runs through some of the most heavily urbanised and industrialised areas in Australia. The Cooks River begins as a small watercourse near Graf Park in Bankstown and flows 23km in a generally easterly direction to enter Botany Bay just south of Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport.  The Cooks River is located in the south of Strathfield Council and runs through Belfield, Strathfield South and Strathfield.  A large portion of the River has parkland as its foreshore and a walking/cycling path known as the 'Bay to Bay' path.

53% of Strathfield Local Government Area is located in the Cooks River catchment.

The river’s catchment area covers about 100km2 across 13 local council areas.  Care and control of the river is a complicated issue, where responsibility is shared between local Councils, the community and the State Government through agencies such as:

  • Sydney Water Corporation
  • Local Land Services (former Sydney Catchment Authority)
  • Environment Protection Authority, and
  • Land & Water Conservation.

Over recent years, the condition of the river and its foreshores has seen some improvement, due in large part to the efforts of these stakeholders and our local community, however it remains a heavily polluted river with much more to be done.

Strathfield Council works with state agencies, other councils and the community to improve the condition of the river system.   

Council partnerships

Strathfield Council is a member of the Cooks River Alliance, an eight council partnership focused on addressing river issues.  The Alliance was formed in May 2011.

The Alliance evolved from the Cooks River Foreshore Working Group (1998-2011) and the Cooks River Sustainability Initiative (2007-2011). 

Cooks Foreshores and Recreation

Significant parks and open space in Strathfield Local Government Area is located along the Cooks River such as Dean Reserve, Elliott Reserve, Begnell Field, Bark Huts Reserve, Freshwater Park, Chain of Ponds Reserve, Southend Tennis Centre, Maria Reserve and Ford Park. 

The Bay to Bay Cycle and Walkway is a 23 kilometre track running from Settlers Park in Ryde to Botany Bay. Much of the track runs aside the historic Cooks River.   Click here for further information.

Established in 2010, the Cooks River Fun Run is a major event on the Strathfield Council calendar and is held in June each year.  The Fun Run course runs adjacent to the Cooks River and takes in part of one of Sydney's best cycle and walking tracks, 'The Bay to Bay Cycle and Walkway'.

The 5km return course for the Cooks River Fun Run course has been officially certified by Running Australia and commences and finishes at Freshwater Park Strathfield.

The Cooks River Fun Run is an annual event organised by Strathfield Council.