The best bike trails in Melbourne
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13.11.2015

The best bike trails in Melbourne

Bike trails Melbourne
Words BY JAMES DI FABRIZIO 

We also highly recommend listening to Client Liasion when biking. 

Capital City Trail

Every now and again, we’ve all got to leave our respective hoods and head to the city. But let’s be real – public transport isn’t exactly great. Crammed in amongst someone’s armpit on a rickety tram is something I could probably do without. The Capital City Trail acts as a quick and easy artery into the CBD and beyond that follows alongside the Yarra. Not only picturesque, but it’s also a hell of a lot more relaxing than dodging a ticket inspector for the third time this week because you ‘forgot’ to touch on.

St Kilda to Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay is already rated as one Melbourne’s hidden gems, capped off with the gloriously rusted remains of an abandoned shipwreck off the coastline. I can’t really imagine a more enjoyable Sunday than heading down to the beach, bicycle bound. That’s the type of shit that would happen in an aspirational lifestyle spread, and sure, the reality will probably never match up – but you’ll get at least one quality photo for Instagram out of it.

Bay Trail

While we’re down the coast, it’s impossible not to mention the Bay Trail. It’s a route that has become somewhat of an institution for lycra clad legends and weekend warriors alike. Following the beautiful coastline of Port Phillip bay, it’s a longer but leisurely trek clocking in at roughly 50kms with minimal inclines. Along the way, make sure to look out for Rickett’s Point and the Paterson River.

Yarra Boulevard

Tracks like these really give you a better appreciation for the Yarra’s swampy, quintessentially Australian beauty. Sure, it gets a bad rap most of the time. But if you follow it a little further out, it can capture the imagination to a point where you begin to visualise what Melbourne may have looked like hundreds of years ago. Best of all, a stop along Kanes Bridge is the perfect place to do just that.

Gardiners Creek Trail

Seeing as this track joins up alongside Yarra Boulevard, the two can be easily combined for further exploration. Otherwise, it’s kind of like taking the tourist route towards the eastern suburbs. Along the way, there are a few handy trees offering shade for a picnic lunch. And if you’re not stopping for a picnic lunch while riding, it’s probably time to reconsider the wicker basket attached to the front of your bike.

Federation Trail

The Federation Trail essentially follows alongside a sewer. I know that may sound ridiculous and gross, but it’s actually the heritage-listed Main Outfall Sewer that was first built in the 1890s. Ah, Melbourne. A town where we’ll throw a sewer onto the heritage list, but the Palace Theatre can be knocked to smithereens to make way for new development. I’m digressing. The Federation Trail is treelined and beautiful, filled with wildlife. A hotspot for birdwatching, it’s not to far from the Werribee Zoo if you’re up to make a day of it.

Australian Garden

Tucked away in suburban Cranbourne is a hidden oasis: the award-winning Australian Garden, home to a myriad of native flora, landscapes, art and architecture. Roll in through winding, dusty bike paths and weave through pockets of dry red soil reminiscent of the Northern Territory. Elsewhere, you’ll find slow-moving rivers and coastal-style landscapes – all in one sprawling location. Lock the bikes up and take a break atop of Gibson Hill for a stunning panoramic view.

Warburton Rail Trail

If riding alongside an abandoned railway track sounds like something you’d be interested in, look no further than the Warburton Rail Trail. You might encounter the odd chap mounted atop of a horse going for a Sunday gallop, but just channel your inner grade six by popping a wheelie and riding on by. You can start out from the Lilydale train station, or rent a bike from one of the local cafes.

Peninsula Link Trail

One of the peninsula’s newer paths, making your way through the Peninsula Link will take around half a day. Along the way, there are countless grassy spots to stop for a reading break. If you push through the whole track, you’ll find interesting detours into the Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve and the Seaford Wetlands.