As Australia’s unofficial cultural capital, it’s no surprise that Melbourne has some of the best bike trails in the country. From breathtaking cityside rides to expansive rural trails, there’s plenty of beauty, history, and fun to be had.
These are our 12 best bike trails in Melbourne, with varying distances, difficulties, and locations throughout the city’s region.
1. Lilydale to Warburton rail trail
By User:Ozzmosis, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia
Distance: 40 km (one way)
Parking: Lilydale Railway Station
This gorgeous recreational trail in the Yarra Valley follows the path of an old railway line. It passes through some of the most beautiful spots in the valley, with mountain backdrops, gurgling creeks, and pretty vineyards where you can stop for a bite to eat. And only an hour away from the centre of Melbourne.
The ride starts at Lilydale Railway Station, and finishes in Warburton. Or you can do it in reverse if you like.
For a full breakdown of what’s on this ride, check out this excellent page from Yarra Ranges Council.
2. Foreshore Trail | Williamstown to Altona Beach
Distance: 16 km (loop)
Parking: Gloucester Reserve
Foreshore Trail is an iconic stretch of coastline in Hobsons Bay, and if you travel a little further west away from the busyness of St Kilda Pier, there’s a lovely 16 km bike trail that starts in Williamstown and ends in Altona Beach. It passes through the picturesque Jawbone Nature Conservation Reserve, with its mossy stones and endless ponds, then skirts the quaint Kororoit Creek into Altona Coastal Park, past the dog beach, and then onto the main beach at Altona.
3. Main Yarra Trail
Distance: 22 km (one way)
Parking: Park Crescent
This lovely bushland ride takes you from the Fairfield Boathouse all the way to Eltham. It’s a winding green corridor that follows the Yarra River, and passes sports grounds, perfectly manicured golf courses, and iconic Australian bushland. When you pass the Yarra suspension bridge, be sure to look down, because you might spot some platypus (if you’re lucky).
There aren’t any coffee shops on this trail, so it’s a good opportunity to take some lunch for a picnic.
4. Merri Creek Trail
Distance: 21km (one way)
Parking: Birchwood Street
This meandering trail follows the charming Merri Creek all the way down to the Yarra River. It’s technically in the inner city, but because it passes through valleys laden with trees and grassland, you might not believe it.
The trail starts at Mahoney’s Road just before it passes over the Western Ring Road, and tracks east and southeast through Moomba Park, Bababi Djinanang park, through the delightful Coburg Lake Reserve, and finally ends up at Dights Fall Reserve in Abbotsford.
5. Eastlink & Dandenong Creek Tail
CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia
Distance: 16 km (loop)
Parking: Jells Park
This 16 km loop runs through Melbourne’s eastern suburbs along the Eastlink and Dandenong Creek Trails. It passes through the gorgeous Jells Park, with its vast open areas, blue ponds, and Yabbit HIlls Playspace, onto Koomba Park, and through Bushy Park Wetlands. It can get pretty busy at times, especially Jells Park, so be cautious while you’re riding.
6. Capital City Trail
Distance: 29 km (loop)
Parking: Richmond Boulie Car Park
The Capital City Trail starts and ends at Melbourne’s iconic Southbank, and passes landmarks like the Victorian Arts Centre, the Royal Botanic Gardens, the MCG, Melbourne Park, Como House, Burnley Gardens, Dights Falls, and Yarra Bend Park. It’s a cornucopia of local history and culture, and one of Melbourne’s most popular bike trails.
As you might expect, this trail is also one of Melbourne’s busiest, so be sure to take your time, and watch out for other pedestrians and cyclists along the way.
7. Brighton to Port Melbourne Bay Trail
Distance: 26 km (loop)
Parking: Brighton Life Saving Club
This coastal trail runs for about 25 kilometres alongside Melbourne’s southern suburbs, starting at Brighton and ending in Port Melbourne. You’ll see the colourful beach huts at Brighton, pass lolloping dogs along the beach, take in the spectacular city views at Point Ormond Lookout, ride through bustling St Kilda, before finally reaching Port Melbourne. Then you can turn back and do it all again.
There’s a bike path the entire way, so it’s nice and safe, and it’s pretty much flat for the entirety.
8. Gardiners Creek Trail
By Glen Pringle – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia
Distance: 17 km (one way)
Parking: Glenburn Bend park
This shared path runs through the eastern suburbs of Melbourne alongside Gardiners Creek. It runs through plenty of pristine parkland, past sports grounds, and through wetlands brimming with birds and frogs. You’ll also find some awesome works from local artists.
The path does cross a couple of roads, so you’ll need to be careful, but it’s extremely well maintained and an all-round lovely ride.
9. Maribyrnong River Trail
Distance: 21 km (one way)
Parking: Bonfield Street
This trail runs alongside the Maribyrnong River in Melbourne’s northwest. Starting at the north end of Brimbank Park, it curves around the park’s meandering trails, before heading south along the river. It’s an absolutely gorgeous natural trail that is beset by cliffs, wetlands, and open grasslands, with bonus views of the Melbourne Skyline and Flemington Racetrack.
The track is a mix of paved and unpaved, so it can get a little bumpy along the way. But the views are worth it.
10. St Kilda Beach to Half Moon Bay
Distance: 13 km (one way)
Parking: St Kilda Beach
This ride is a portion of the Brighton to Port Melbourne Bay Trail, but with a little extra added on. It starts at St Kilda Beach, and tracks south along the coastline until reaching Half Moon Bay. You’ll see plenty of ocean along the way, and ride alongside Elwood Beach, Brighton Beach, Hampton Beach, and Sandringham Beach, where there’s plenty of opportunities to relax with a coffee.
11. Craigieburn to Pascoe Vale
Image from Hume City Council
Distance: 22 km (one way)
Parking: Craigieburn Station
This lovely northside ride starts at Craigieburn Station and winds south towards Pascoe Vale. It runs through beautiful green pastures, shady woodlands, and wetland reserves filled with animals. There’s a couple of rides on roads, but apart from that the trail is exclusively a bike path. There’s a cafe at Broadmeadows Parklands too.
12. Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail
Distance: 23 km (one way)
Parking: Scienceworks Car Park
This trail is an extension of the Foreshore Trail mentioned above, starting close to the West Gate Bridge, and ending in Skeleton Creek. You’ll pass the historical precinct of Williamstown, ride through botanic gardens, past sandy beaches, and plenty of public works from local artists.