3 Mountain Biking Day Trip Locations near Melbourne which will Blow Your Mind (and not just because of the trails)
MOUNTAIN BIKING NEAR MELBOURNE – AN ADVENTURE SEEKERS DREAM
It’s safe to say there are some phenomenal mountain biking trails out in regional Victoria. Places like Forrest near the Great Ocean Road, and The High Country all have superb mountain bike trails. But if you are looking to try out some awesome trails without having to travel hours from Melbourne, here are 3 of WAM!’s favourite locations within an hours drive of Melbourne that we love to hit on our mountain biking adventures, especially as they also have some surprising sights which make the experience all the more special.
1. RIDE TRAILS WITH A VIEW – ARTHURS SEAT, MORNINGTON PENINSULA
Distance from Melbourne CBD = 85km (1 hour)
Arthurs Seat is the highest point of the idyllic Mornington Peninsula which means the views from here are absolutely breathtaking from everywhere you look. Known as Wonga to the Boon Wurrung people, Arthurs Seat rises 1000ft up from Port Phillip Bay (Nerm).
Arthur’s Seat State Park offers excellent mixed mountain bike trails and the bulk of these can be found from the Red Hill MTB Park North or South Entrances. The officially sanctioned mountain bike trail network within the park offers everything from gentle green grade trails, right up to black diamond high skill for the adrenaline junkies.
For the best views park up at Seawinds Gardens, offering wide angled views in places out over the Bay where on a clear day you can see the Melbourne Skyline, Dandenong Ranges, You Yangs, and even as far as The Otways on the Great Ocean Road. Near Seawinds Gardens there are blue and black runs to enjoy.
Another sensational experience to do is to take your Mountain Bike on Arthurs Seat Eagle Uplift which now allows you to take your bikes on the gondola offering not just spectacular views but eliminates the need to ride up the hill!
What we love most about riding the trails of Arthurs Seat (Wonga) is that you can use the roadside trails to directly visit some of the Peninsulas best cafes, breweries, distilleries and wineries meaning you can take your time and make a real day of it.
For this exact reason WAM! now offers a fully supported adventure Wonga Biking Trails to Craft Ales. This awesome day out starts by the beautiful beaches of Port Phillip Bay cruising alongside colourful bathing boxes and pristine waters as you ride the Bay Trail before taking the Arthurs Seat Eagle Uplift with your bike to the summit of the Peninsula before riding the trails down directly to Dromana’s sensational hub of craft breweries, distilleries, wineries and more for tasting paddles and lunch. This all year round adventure is all-inclusive with mountain bike hire, tickets on Arthurs Seat Eagle and tasting paddles all included, find out more here to book.
You can find trail maps to download and more information about mountain biking in Arthurs Seat on the Red Hill Riders website.
2. GO BACK IN TIME ON THE YARRA RIVER – CANDLEBARK PARK
Distance from Melbourne CBD = 20km (30 mins)
If you follow the Yarra River north east from the centre of Melbourne, you will reach Westerfolds Park and Candlebark Park in the suburb of Templestowe.
This stretch of the upper Yarra River is brimming with wildlife and lush riverside bushland as well as of course fantastic mountain bike trails.
Our favourite time to go here is first thing in the morning, the park opens at 6am and not only is there hardly anyone around at this time, and the trails are quiet, but the wildlife is abundant. It’s easy to let the mind wonder whilst looking out over the river listening to the birdlife and get a glimpse of what Melbourne would have looked like before Europeans came here in the 1800’s.
The mountain bike trails are in Candlebark Park (adjacent to Westerfolds Park) and range from picturesque riverside tracks to blue trails meandering through the native forests. If you do go early in the morning, take the trails slowly as there are often kangaroos and other animals eating their breakfast in the middle of the tracks!
A real urban wilderness and it blows our mind that just 20 km’s from Melbourne’s CBD you can see in the wild not only kangaroos and wallabies but wombats, echidnas, and if you are lucky platypus also call this stretch of the river home.
For good chunks of the warmer months, this section of the Yarra River is safe to swim in. It’s best to check the EPA (Environment Protection Authority) Victoria website who monitor the water quality on a daily basis.
Check out WAM!’s Wild Melbourne Sunrise Adventure which takes you on a dawn journey of discovery to majestic wildlife spots and mountain bike trails on Melbourne’s nature filled doorstep. The morning also includes stand up paddleboarding along some of these amazing inland waterways.
You can find trail maps to download and more information about mountain biking in Candlebark Park & Westerfolds Park here.
3. WILDLIFE WONDERLAND – LYSTERFIELD PARK
Distance from Melbourne CBD = 43km (45 mins)
Less than 45km’s from Melbourne’s CBD, Lysterfield Park is one of the best places to mountain bike close to Melbourne. Undulating trails flow up and down steep hills and through dense plantations. Outcroppings of large boulders add to the scenic attraction and to the challenge of the trails.
Home to 24km of purpose-built mountain bike trails suitable for all skill levels, the park played host to the mountain biking at the 2006 Commonwealth Games so you can enjoy a skills park where riders can practice their technique and easy family trails for all to enjoy around the lake and parkland.
Glistening in the middle of the park, Lysterfield Lake is ideal to have a swim or try your hand at stand up paddleboarding, which also rewards those who are looking for a gentler ride. Slow down and there’s a good chance you’ll see some kangaroos or wallabies. Cycle the gentle Lake Circuit trail and soak up the sights and sounds of the reservoir. Experienced riders might wish to take a short diversion from the top of the State Mountain Bike Course up to Trig Point Lookout and enjoy the view across to Melbourne’s CBD.
Surprisingly, this is also a location where you can get that classic Aussie setting of a kangaroo on the beach, come to Lysterfield Lake early in the morning or evening and you’ll see mobs of roos enjoying the lake beaches.
We recommend heading to Lysterfield Park in the morning when the wildlife is the most active and there are less people around so you get most of it to yourself.
WAM! often visits Lysterfield Park on our Wild Melbourne Sunrise Adventure which takes you on a dawn journey of discovery to majestic wildlife spots and mountain bike trails on Melbourne’s nature filled doorstep. The morning also includes stand up paddleboarding along some of these amazing inland waterways.
You can find trail maps to download and more information about mountain biking in Lysterfield Park here.
Check out our homepage to book on one of our multi activity adventures.
Wild Adventures Melbourne provides mountain bikes on our adventure tours from Melbourne based bike company, Reid Cycles who also plant a tree for every bike sold.