Located in Sydney’s Inner West about 15kms from Sydney’s CBD, Rhodes is a suburb that has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years. From its humble beginnings as a former industrial site, Rhodes NSW has become a thriving residential, retail and commercial destination for both locals and visitors.
- Beautiful waterfont views
- A peninsular surrounded by Parramatta River
- Modern walkable suburb close to popular cafes, restaurants and transport
Rhodes is a unique suburban area overlooking the parks and waters of Homebush Bay. Before the British colonization in 1788, the Rhodes peninsula was the ancestral land of the Wangal Clan, one of the 29 tribes of the Eora Indigenous nation. It is believed that the Wangal people have lived in this region for around 15,000 years.
Now, with a population of around 12,000 people and a mix of ethnic backgrounds, including Chinese, Korean, English and Australian, Rhodes is a modern, diverse and vibrant community. Rhodes is known for being a relaxed, walkable suburb, well connected to the city, with a 25-minute train ride or drive from the CBD.
Occupying a 40-hectare site in the heart of Homebush Bay, and just east of Wentworth Point and Parramatta, this suburb has undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving from a former industrial area into a sought-after residential, commercial, and recreational destination.
The suburb has undergone significant urban renewal, with the demolition of older buildings and the construction of new residential developments, including apartment buildings and townhouses. This renewal has helped transform Rhodes into the thriving suburb it is today, with a mix of residential and commercial areas and plenty of green spaces.
There’s also employment opportunities in the area – Rhodes Corporate Park is a business hub located in the heart of the suburb. The park features several buildings that house a variety of offices, retail spaces, and public amenities.
Rhodes NSW is also ideal for young professionals and university students, with a variety of housing options and excellent public transport links to the Sydney CBD. The suburb is also popular with small families, thanks to its friendly and welcoming community and easy access to abundant facilities.
Things to do in Rhodes
One of the standout features of Rhodes is its stunning waterfront parklands. The peninsula is bordered by the Parramatta River and has Brays Bay to the east and Homebush Bay to the west. The foreshore is a natural hub for walking, cycling, and family outings, as well as community events. The views from the foreshore are breathtaking, with its changing moods, colours, and reflections.
The newest addition to the suburb is Rhodes Beach – a man-made beach on the eastern edge of McIlwaine Park in Rhodes. Currently, swimming is not allowed at Mcllwaine Park, but future plans aim to make it a swim-friendly destination. Visitors, in the meantime, can relish wading in the natural rock pools and engaging in sand activities like building sandcastles on the beach.
The park has undergone a significant transformation, rejuvenating the riverside space with an $8.7 million investment from the NSW Government and the City of Canada Bay. Mcllwaine Park, known for its popularity due to its three playgrounds, barbeque areas, picnic tables, and ample grassy areas, has now been enhanced even further.
The transformation includes the creation of an accessible pathway along the foreshore, installation of pedestrian lighting for safety and ambiance, and the construction of an environmentally friendly seawall that incorporates natural rockpools to boost biodiversity.
Additionally, the park now features a newly constructed beach area and improved facilities catering to water activities such as kayaking, rowing, and stand-up paddleboarding. The park’s upgrade also includes new, accessible BBQ and picnic facilities and the planting of 22 new trees, enriching its native landscaping and adding to the park’s natural beauty.
Parramatta River at Rhodes offers various water activities such as rowing, sailing, and dragon boating. The river is considered safe for secondary contact sports (ie, you wouldn’t want to swim here) and is frequently used by rowing crews for training during early mornings, late afternoons, and weekends.
Sailing enthusiasts can witness the Concord and Ryde Sailing Club in action from McIlwaine and Brays Bay Parks at Rhodes during the sailing season, which lasts from September 1 to April 30.
Dragon boating is available near Yaralla Sea Scouts near the Ryde Bridge. There are boat ramps located at the northern end of Blaxland Road, Wharf Road, West Meadowbank, and on the eastern side of the bridge on the southern side of the river. However, it’s important to note that fishing is not allowed in Homebush Bay, including at Rhodes and Wentworth Point.
The Connection Rhodes
The suburb features modern public amenities such as The Connection Rhodes, a public events and learning space that is popular among students for studying. The area is also known for its innovative urban design elements, including modern-art sculptures scattered throughout the suburb, making it an interesting place to explore.
Located on Shoreline Drive along the scenic Rhodes foreshore and adjacent to Bennelong Bridge, The Connection Rhodes is an award-winning community precinct that offers the perfect gathering place for locals to connect, learn, and celebrate.
Versatile and sophisticated, The Connection offers event and meeting spaces that can be hired for conferences, weddings, private events, and gala dinners. These newly designed venues are equipped with modern AV technology, stunning water views, and dedicated outdoor areas.
In addition to its event spaces, The Connection features a Learning Space that provides access to digital resources, online library collections, and creative learning programs. The Digital Gallery is also located in the foyer of the Learning Space, offering an exhibition space for digital art, sound, and video.
For those looking for a bite to eat, Bare Witness café, located in the Rhodes Connection, offers a delicious menu with breathtaking water views.
The outdoor amphitheatre, situated on the Rhodes foreshore, is a public space on the water’s edge where people gather, relax, and enjoy the stunning views.
Recently enhanced with a custom-made fabric shade sail, the structure provides ample natural light while offering UV and rain protection all year round, making it an ideal space for the community to enjoy the amenities in this area.
Close Proximity to the Sydney Olympic Park
Rhodes Sydney has also played a significant role in Sydney’s Olympic history, as it is located near the Sydney Olympic Park, which hosted the 2000 Summer Olympics. The park continues to be a major recreational and cultural hub, attracting visitors from all over the world. With its beautiful waterfront parklands, thriving retail scene, and urban renewal projects, Rhodes is a destination that is not to be missed.
Where To Eat in Rhodes
Rhodes scores high marks for convenience, with a location that’s central to pretty much most of the essential areas of central Sydney and a host of amenities to boot. You won’t really need to hike great distances for all of your shopping needs, and train access provides a springboard elsewhere.
Oliveto Ristorante & Bar is a popular Italian restaurant located in a waterfront setting with views of the Parramatta River on the eastern side of Rhodes, that offers a range of traditional and contemporary Italian dishes, including pasta, pizza, seafood, and meat dishes, along with a selection of wines and cocktails.
Andiamo Trattoria (pictured above) is another Italian restaurant located on Rider Boulevard, close to the Rhodes train station, and is famous for it’s range of traditional Italian dishes, including pasta, pizza, as well as its relaxed atmosphere and friendly service.
The Rhodes Cafe Scene
The cafe scene in Rhodes is one of the draws to the area, with a variety of options available for coffee and food. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite, a leisurely brunch, or a fancy dinner, there are plenty of cafes and to choose from.
Here’s 6 of the best cafes in Rhodes NSW to get you started…
Bare Witness (pictured below) is a trendy cafe located on Shoreline Drive in Rhodes, in front of The Connection.
The restaurant features an alfresco dining area with water views, as well as an interior decor with a mural and trailing greenery that creates an inviting atmosphere. The menu at Bare Witness pays respect to the origin of the ingredients and presents them in a creative and tasty way.
Some of the standout dishes on the menu include the smoked Wagyu Reuben sandwich, grilled prawns with saffron tagliatelle and prawn bisque, and Korean Black Angus steak with chimichurri, duck fat potatoes, and peas.
1606 Luis de Torres
1606 Luis de Torres (pictured below) is a nautical-themed cafe located on Rider Blvd in Rhodes. The cafe’s interior features rustic wooden tables, shelves hanging from thick rope, and a menu draped from a mast complete with a folded sail.
The all-day menu offers classic favorites like French brioche toast and chicken Napoli spaghetti, as well as an indulgent afternoon high tea loaded with semifreddo, finger sandwiches, and sweets. 1606 Luis de Torres’ central location not far from the water in any direction is a plus for those who enjoy a scenic walk before or after their visit.
Left of Field
Left of Field (pictured below) is a popular cafe located on the corner of Gauthorpe St and Shoreline Drive in Rhodes. The cafe is known for its ever-changing menu of creative and contemporary brunch and lunch options, which change seasonally.
One standout item on the menu is the cafe’s famous hotcakes, which come in unique flavors like carrot cake, hummingbird, and pavlova. The Left of Field cafe offers a casual and inviting atmosphere for customers to enjoy a delicious meal.
Leaf Café & Co.
Leaf Café & Co. is located in Rhodes Central on Bamboo Lane and offers an innovative cafe menu with Australian fusion cuisine. The cafe is known for its award-winning coffee that uses custom-roasted blends, and the menu is available from breakfast through to dinner and drinks. Leaf Café & Co. prides itself on offering a vast menu that focuses on flavor and choice, making it a great spot for anyone looking for a wide variety of options. The atmosphere is comfortable and welcoming, making it a great place to enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee.
Lilly’s Espresso and Cucina
Lilly’s Espresso and Cucina is a popular cafe and Italian-inspired dining destination that’s been serving the locals of Rhodes for almost two decades. It is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between. During the day, the cafe is a bustling spot for coffee and fresh food. At night, Lilly’s transforms into an Italian-inspired dining destination, where guests can enjoy a range of dishes from classic Italian favorites to more contemporary creations. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, with a cozy and intimate dining area that makes it a great spot for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends.
Auvers Cafe in Rhodes Waterside is a popular cafe that offers a diverse menu with a mix of French, Italian, Japanese and Australian cuisine. The cafe takes its name from a French village that Vincent van Gogh once called home, but the menu is not limited to French cuisine. Some of the popular dishes on the menu include the Beef and Mushroom Gyoza, Saffron Risotto, Crab Omelette, Matcha Pancakes, and Corn Fritters, and there are also a range of burgers available. The cafe also offers a selection of coffee, hot chocolate, tea, juices, soft drinks, beer, and wine. In addition to the food and drinks, Auvers Cafe has a unique decor with shelves of framed artworks as well as pottery, phone cases, and unique jewelry. The plants arranged on ledges also add to the ambiance of the cafe.
One of the highlights of Rhodes is the Rhodes Waterside Shopping Center and dining precinct. With IKEA being one of the major attractions for visitors to the center, Rhodes Waterside also features a wide range of shops, including Coles, ALDI, Kmart, Bing Lee, and Reading Cinemas, Rhodes Post Office, banks, as well as over 110 specialty stores.
Rhodes Waterside also has indoor and outdoor dining offering a broad range of restaurants and cafes to choose from. Whether you’re looking for Asian cuisine or hearty burgers, there’s something to suit every taste bud.
For lovers of Asian cuisine, Mama’s Wok, Ayada Thai, and Kaiama all offer delicious and authentic dishes. Mama’s Wok serve up Chinese and Cantonese-inspired cuisine with a range of noodle and rice dishes, while Ayada Thai offers fragrant curries and spicy salads. Kaiama Rhodes serves up Japanese dishes including sushi, sashimi and tempura.
For those craving Korean food, Scissors and Tongs is a popular Korean BBQ, and Cupscups Korean Street Food Rhodes are the place to go for Korean fried chicken, rice bowls, and bubble tea.
Lok Lok Dumpling Bar offers handmade Chinese dumplings, plus stir-fries and rice dishes. Lastly, Rhodes Phoenix Chinese Restaurant is a local favourite for traditional Chinese dishes and yum cha.
For a more Western-style dining experience, there’s Ribs & Burgers Rhodes offering hearty burgers and ribs made with high-quality meat, while Three Beans Rhodes is a popular cafe known for its coffee and breakfast menu. There’s also Oliver Brown offering waffles, crepes, chocolate fondue, chocolates, coffee, drinks and shakes.
And if you’re after delicious pastry treats, check out Pasticceria Caruso in Rhodes Waterside serving old school classics like the continental cake and the ‘pesca’ mini cake, to modern classics including the Nutella cake, and ricotta cheesecake, to amaretti biscuits, and cannoli in traditional and limited edition flavours.
Overall, Rhodes Waterside offers an extensive range of dining options to satisfy any appetite, all while popping into IKEA or watching a movie at Reading Cinemas… there’s not a lot of places you can do all of those things under one roof!
Bamboo Lane at Rhodes Central
Bamboo Lane at Rhodes Central is the newest retail space in the area that offers a diverse range of Asian cuisines. Inspired by bustling markets in countries like China, Singapore, and Malaysia, Rhodes Central and Bamboo Lane feature numerous stalls serving regional specialties.
Bamboo Lane at Rhodes Central is a bustling dining precinct that is home to a range of eateries serving up a variety of cuisines, including Taipei-style crispy chicken from Two Peck. If you’re in the mood for spicy Sichuan cuisine, Spicy Joint Hot Pot (pictured below) is a great option with its extensive hot pot menu and flavorful dishes.
For lovers of Shanghainese cuisine, Lilong by Taste of Shanghai (pictured below) is a great option, offering classics such as xiao long bao, pan-fried pork buns, and scallion pancakes.
A Taste of Taiwan is a fantastic spot for Taiwanese street food, with must-tries including beef noodle soup, popcorn chicken, and taro milk tea. Biwon Rhodes is another great option for Korean cuisine, serving up classics such as bulgogi, bibimbap, and kimchi stew. Komatsu is a top spot for lovers of Japanese cuisine, with a focus on sushi, sashimi, and teppanyaki.
Another popular dining option is Hong Kong Street Food in Rhodes (pictured below). Hong Kong Street Food is a great spot for lovers of Cantonese food, serving up a range of dishes such as congee, dim sum, and barbecue pork.
Finally, for those in the mood for Korean barbecue, Kim Jinsa Korean BBQ is a fantastic option, serving up premium cuts of meat with a range of traditional Korean side dishes.
In addition to the hawker stalls, Bamboo Lane also features sit-down restaurants like Leaf Cafe and the Lab Bakery Cafe (pictured above), as well as convenient amenities such as Rhodes Woolworths grocery store, a chemist, a bottle shop, a Costi Seafood outlet, a gym and more.
Phoenix Park Dining
Tucked away in Phoenix Park on Walker Street Rhodes are several popular local restaurants offering a range of cuisines for diners to enjoy – these are some of Rhodes’ hidden gems.
One of the standout spots is Thai Kitchen Rhodes, which serves up authentic and delicious Thai dishes. From classic Pad Thai to spicy curries and flavourful stir-fries, all the classics. The restaurant has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, with indoor and outdoor seating options available.
Another popular option at Phoenix Park is the Hong Kong Cafe Rhodes, which specializes in Chinese cuisine. The menu features classic dishes like dumplings, noodles, and rice dishes, as well as more unique items like congee and hot pots. Diners can expect generous portions and reasonable prices at this casual and comfortable eatery.
Tea Plus Rhodes is also worth a visit, offering a range of tea-based drinks and snacks like bubble tea, milk tea, and egg waffles. Ger house offers genuine Ulaanbaatar street food that you can taste in Rhodes Australia without actually traveling to Mongolia. King Food Kitchen serves Chinese cuisine where the noodles are handmade and super bouncy and fresh!
Getting To Rhodes NSW
Rhodes feels geographically central to most of the essential areas of Sydney, so getting around is fairly easy and convenient. There are several transportation options available for getting from Sydney to Rhodes NSW.
Getting to Rhodes by Car
The most popular option is by car, as the suburb is located just off the M4 motorway for east/west travel. And Homebush Bay Drive makes it easy to head north/south.
Getting to Rhodes by Train
If you don’t have a car, public transportation is also an option, with several train and bus services running to and from the Rhodes Train Station and bus interchange. Trains are typically every 10 minutes during the weekday peak times, and every 15 minutes outside peak.
Additionally, Rhodes is a popular destination for cyclists and walkers, so depending how far you’re traveling, you can also consider traveling by bike or on foot.
- Food and Wine