With Victoria’s ‘ring of steel‘ hopefully a thing of the past, we’ve listed some great places to ride with family and friends away from the city.
Ride On Melbourne
We’ve done a great job staying close to home in the last few months, sticking to our local roads and trails and not heading out into regional Victoria. But now we can get out of town, it’s time to celebrate!
To help you rediscover some of the best riding roads and trails in regional Victoria, we’re putting together a list with some of our favourite places to visit.
Keep an eye on this page for inspiration, tell us where you’re planning to go, and #RideOnMelbourne.
Please remember that when do you go for a ride in Victoria that you need to bring a mask and there are limits on how many people you can ride with.
Read more on that here.
Day trip from Melbourne
You Yangs and Brisbane Ranges
The You Yangs are less than an hour away from Melbourne, making it the perfect place for a day trip of dirty riding if you live in the city.
There are loads of off-road trails, including family-friendly options if you’re looking for an introduction to mountain biking, as well as more challenging and technical routes for those who wish to send it a bit harder.
If you want to go for a longer ride you can head across to the Brisbane Ranges and Steiglitz Historic Park where you’ll find some gritty tracks and steep sections of road. To plan a ride, check out Bicycle Network’s routes from its 2018 Gravel Grit You Yangs event.Ride map 32km ride GPX 91km ride GPX
O'Keefe Rail Trail
Use the O’Keefe Rail Trail as the centrepiece of a weekend away in central Victoria.
A 49 kilometre rail trail between Bendigo and Heathcote, this ride takes in some of the best of the goldfields on a mostly level track that crosses the pretty Campaspe River.
You can stop at the midway point at Axedale for a bite to eat and to discover some of the township’s historic buildings. At Heathcote you’ll find more than 30 cellar doors plus restaurants and breweries. You’ll find all that at Bendigo too, plus galleries and historic buildings from the gold rush era.
The O’Keefe Rail Trail is supported by local group Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail who are working to extend the trail to Kilmore. They also maintain sections of the track and recently installed this heritage wagon display.
North East Victoria
Ride (or climb) the High Country
#RollOnBack to Victoria’s High Country and enjoy some of the best riding in the state. After a devastating start to 2020 with bushfires and then the ongoing affects of COVID-19, Victoria’s High Country has missed out on loads of visitors and their bikes.
Now that people can leave Melbourne, the North East community is throwing open the doors to visitors. Come back and enjoy all the great riding they have to offer from awesome mountain bike parks and trails, epic road riding, rail trails and gravel routes!
If you’re looking at getting the legs pumping again after lockdown then look no further than the iconic back of Falls Creek (east side). This punchy 23km section feature 980 metres of elevation and reaches a 10% gradient at some points (that’s steep!). Check out more information from this climb and others as experienced at Peaks Challenge Falls Creek here.
Please note this route is recommended for experienced riders only. If you are looking for alternative rides in the High Country you can check out the ride Ride High Country website where you’ll find information about rail trails, MTB parks and (slightly) easier mountain climbs.Visit Ride High Country
East Gippsland Rail Trail
Gippsland has had a tougher year than some other parts of Australia, suffering a summer of bushfires before coronavirus kept us all at home. If you’d like to give some extra support a region, Gippsland should be on your list, and riding the East Gippsland Rail Trail is a great way to do that.
Starting at Bairnsdale, the trail travels snakes for almost 100km to Orbost via Bruthen, Nowa Nowa and Newmerella. It passes through a variety of forest and farmland, takes in historic timber bridges, railway cuttings and embankments and sneaks in a few looks at the Gippsland lakes.
You can tackle the whole trail in one day, or use it for a multi-day tour with nights at towns the trail visits. For a car free holiday, you can take a train from Melbourne to Bairnsdale and ride from there.East Gippsland Rail Trail
Grampians and Western Victoria
Boroka Lookout loop road ride
The Grampians and Western Victoria region is well known for its beautiful landscape and winding and open roads. There are plenty of places to ride for all people, including the Grampians Rail Trail, Silo Art Trail and the Boroka Lookout loop road ride.
The Boroka Lookout loop road ride is one of our favourites for its rewarding climb. The ride is a 50km loop starting just outside of Halls Gap with a climb up Mt Difficult Road to the beautiful lookout point at the top. This is followed with two more climbs up to Reed Lookout and towards Sundial Car Park for the final climb and lookout.
Once looping back to Halls Gap, you’ll have ridden more than 1,000 vertical metres! To reward yourself we recommend checking out some of the local cafes and breweries for a post ride treat. Harvest cafe and Paper Scissors Rock Brewery are two local favourites that are worth visiting whilst you’re in town.
If you are looking for more information or rides to take on, check out Visit Grampians for more information. If you want to explore the region with family and friends, have a look at the Great Vic Bike Ride 2021!Visit Grampians Little Vic 2022