So here the eBike Butler will share with you some of the many popular cycle routes we have available in Melbourne. We will delve into each of Melbourne’s major cycle paths in detail in future articles, but for this time, we will cover the main cycle path networks to help you navigate your way around Melbourne.
When visiting a new city, one of the biggest challenges can be navigating unfamiliar streets or knowing the best way to get from one experience to the next. Traffic, landscape and public transport systems can become an additional obstacle to overcome, and at times put a dampener on your trip when delays or cancelations occur. Fortunately, these experiences very rarely happen when riding a bicycle. Traffic congestion is not an issue when you get onto one of our many cycle paths. You also don’t have to worry about your public transport ticket running out of credit, or how to tap on and tap off after each journey. Even better, you can immerse yourself in Melbourne’s world class café and restaurant scene without guilt, knowing you will be burning calories when you leave by bicycle!
Bay City Trail:
The Bay city trail commences in Port Melbourne, and follows the Port Phillip Bay, heading South as far as Mordialloc. This trail is a great way to take in Melbourne’s Beach side suburbs, the eclectic St. Kilda precinct and some of the great views of Port Phillip Bay. The route is nearly entirely made up of dedicated bike trails. The section between Catani Gardens and St. Kilda Marina can be bustling with activity during the summer months, so best to keep the speed down on this section of path. Total distance from Port Melbourne to Mordialloc one way is 28km’s. Allow up to 3 Hours return to complete. Shorter popular turn around points are the Black Rock Clock Tower, 19Kms (1 hour) or Brighton Bathing Boxes 11Kms (35 minutes). The Bay trail is suitable for cyclists of all levels and provides the option to turn early if required.
Capital City Trail:
This trail is basically a 29Km outer loop of Melbourne that can be broken down into two sections. It starts at Southbank and follows the meandering Yarra River taking in Flinders Street Station, Victorian Arts Centre, Botanical Gardens, the MCG, Melbourne Park (home of the Australian Tennis Open) and continues into Yarra Bend Park. The second half of the trail follows the inner circle rail through North Fitzroy, past the Melbourne Zoo, Moonee Ponds creek, Docklands precinct and finally links back to Southbank. The trail has a number of fork intersections, particularly around Yarra Bend Park, so keep an eye out for the Capital City Trail signs to stay on track. This is a great loop to take in many of the major sights of Melbourne without having to spend time on the roads with other traffic. The eBike Butler recommends avoiding the steep stairs at Gipps Street Bridge. Instead, follow Gipps street to Nicholson Street, turn right and head north to Yarra Street. Turn Right onto Yarra Street and at the end of Yarra street and follow signs to the Abbortsford Convent. Allow up to 4 hours to complete this loop with stops. The loop is suitable for cyclists with intermediate experience and a moderate level of fitness.
Sandridge Trail is a favourite link for many as it links the CDB and Southbank with the Port Phillip Bay. Starting at Normanby Road behind the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, the trail quickly turns to run parallel with the Tram Line to Beacon Cove. It is just 3km in total and can take you from Southbank to the beach in under 20 minutes. Once you reach the beach at Beacon Cove, a left turn can take you along the earlier mentioned Bay Trail. Turning Right at Beacon Cove provides you with a clockwise loop that passes Todd Road, Westgate Park and Lorimer Street before taking in Docklands then returning to Southbank. Ideal for cyclists of all levels.
Commencing in Southbank, the Yarra Trail follows the Yarra river all the way to Westerfolds Park in Templestowe. It is an out and back trail so you can travel one way for up to 33Kms. It shares the same route as the early section of the Capital City trail, however it stays on the south side of the Merri Creek trail and proceeds onto Fairfield Park. The trail takes in a significant amount of park and bushland and can be a great option for nature lovers looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The inner city section of this trail is sealed, however, unsealed sections commence as you get closer towards Westerfolds Park. The trail is suitable for beginner to intermediate level riders.
Maribyrnong River Trail:
The Maribyrnong River branches off from the mouth of the Yarra and heads in a North West direction. This river trail takes in sights such as Flemington racecourse, Newells Paddock Wetlands and Pipemakers park, before concluding at Brimbank Park in the north west suburb of Keilor. The path runs along both sides of the river closer to the city on sealed paths. Further inland, riding surface turns to gravel but is well signed and easy to follow. Some steeper sections are found along the river banks in Essendon and Avondale heights. The trail is suitable for riders of all levels up to Aberfeldie. Those wishing to continue further might want a little more experience due to steep inclines and gravel riding surfaces.
Bay Trail West:
Otherwise know as the Hobson’s Bay Coastal Trail, this trail follows the coastline of Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne’s West. This trail can be accessed from the CBD or Southbank using the Sandridge and Bay city trail. A Punt Service runs on a schedule and can take you to the West side of the Yarra river. From here, the trail runs south towards popular Williamstown, which can make for a great café or lunch stop. The trail continues further south via parklands to Altona and concludes at the Cheetham Wetlands. This trail is suitable for cyclists of all levels, is flat and on a sealed surface.
Cycling with Google Maps:
So you have just arrived in Melbourne, and you have a bucket list of sites and experiences to tick off, but you don’t know the best way to get around. Our first tip is to turn on Google Maps. Enter your current location or allow Google Maps to auto-detect where you are located. Enter where you would like to go in the Search field. Press Directions, then you will be able to change the mode of transport on the top of your screen, just below your current destination and location. You will see icons for car, public transport, hiking, uber and then cycling. When you choose cycling, Google Maps will provide a route that is ‘cycling friendly’, meaning it will take you along cycle paths if available, or roads with designated cycle lanes to keep you safe and away from traffic as much as possible.
Using the Google maps option for navigating is highly recommended for point to point travel when you know your exact destination. You can turn your audio on and receive turn by turn navigation with your volume up, which removes the need to look at the screen as you ride. If you do need to review your phone to ensure you are still on route, it is recommended to pull over, as technically, you are not allowed to operate a phone when riding a bicycle in Victoria. If you travel frequently, and cycling is your preferred method of transport when exploring new cities, it might be a worthy investment to purchase a phone mount for the handlebar. Quad Locks are a popular option that are made for most i-phone and android model phones. So there you have it. If you are looking for a relaxing way to explore Melbourne on your upcoming trip, or would like to know more about the many cycle paths in Melbourne, get in touch with us at the eBike Butler. We offer eBike Hire and Bike Tours that are suitable for riders of all levels. The best part is, we deliver to you. Safe riding.