Amazing East Warburton

By Adam Macbeth |

You ever go on a ride that leaves you thinking ‘OH MY GOD everybody needs to go ride that!!!’ This is one of those rides. If you’re based in Melbourne you’ve likely ridden the Lilydale to Warburton rail trail with it’s stunning views of the surrounding hills.

If you’re relatively new to exploring by bike and seeking a challenging ride through some stunning country, even more stunning views and the most primo gravel roads in Victoria – go ride this route! Stupid WordPress won’t let me embed the map here but click the link in the caption to view it properly.

You could train to Lilydale and roll out to Launching Place but we drove out and parked at the (still not reopen) Home Hotel and started there. The ride kicks off on a cute section of the rail trail before heading into quiet backroads and turning on to the dirt of Brittania Creek Rd. From there it’s a long but gradual climb through the lush forest with Brittania Creek babbling along on your left for much of the way.

As I said above, if you’re reasonably new to exploring by bike, this route is a great introduction to some more remote-feeling and challenging riding. Yes, it’s a long climb but it’s super stunning and the surface is smooth and not sketchy at all. Pack snacks, make sure you have enough water and take a bunch of breaks if you need to, so many nice spots to stop and look around.

Once you reach the high point of the route at Starling’s Gap Campground (this would be a great, short overnighter with this as the evening parkup) it’s all downhill from here. I’m trying not to talk it up too much, but this might be the best gravel descent in Victoria. Maybe the world! Perfect surfaces, unbelievably good views across to Mount Donna Buang and it just seems to keeeeeep oooooonnn gooooiiinng until you finally reach Big Pats Creek at the bottom. From there it’s a short roll in to Warburton and some lunch on the river.

From there you have the choice of taking the rail trail back to Launching Place. Do yourself a favour though and take the O’Shannassy Aqueduct trail, especially if you’ve never ridden it. It’s a short, very steep climb out of Warburton to access it but it’s more than worth it. If you’re still feeling fresh you can take the trail north east out and back and visit the incredible Redwoods forest, otherwise follow the route for the most well groomed section of the trail. Unfortunately it seems like they’re never going to repair the damaged bridge on the trail and while the hike-a-bike detour is pretty fun, just take care cause it’s a bit sketchy.

You’ll exit the aqueduct trail onto the easy descent of Don Rd and wind through cute farmsland back to the start!

We’d love to hear what you think of this route of you do head out and if you’d like any other ideas just shoot us a message at the shop.

2 thoughts on “Amazing East Warburton

  1. Looks speccy! I’ll have to add it to my list and make it a longer trip next time I’m down that way!!

  2. I did almost that exact ride up to Starlings Gap a few weeks back to test out my new bikepacking gear! It is indeed an absolutely beautiful part of the world but I was not prepared in the slightest for that climb with a fully loaded bike after cycling all the way from Lilydale first! Had to hike the last couple of kms because my legs just gave up.

    I literally took the exact same photo you did on the way down to Pat’s Creek from Starling Gap. Just absolutely picturesque!

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