Cycle Melbourne, Sightseeing Ride, Albert Park Ride
Albert Park was proclaimed a public park in 1864 and is a year-round, recreational park offering an amazing range of activities and facilities. Pelicans, swans and many other wetland birds which breed in the park, share the lake with rowers and sailors and the path around the lake sees a constant parade of walkers, runners and leisure cyclists throughout the day. Parks Victoria estimates that five million people visit the park each year. They are drawn to the sporting fields and also to the parkland areas, which provide plenty of space to relax and take in the lake views with the city skyline rising in the background.
There is a barbecue and picnic area near Albert Road Drive. Once a year though, the Formula 1™ Australian Grand Prix comes to town and Albert Park is transformed into a world class racing circuit. Unfortunately, during the build-up and then the tear down of the facilities associated with this temporary race track, this ride, and much of the park, are pretty well off limits. It’s best to give the area a wide berth as the race infrastructure is transported in and then out of the park. The park has been the site of car racing in the past when infra-structure consisted of putting a few hay bales around to separate competitors from spectators, but the amount of stuff the modern race requires is mind boggling.
The public roads that circle Albert Park Lake offer a great opportunity for a flat, but interesting, circuit and this loop can be repeated as many times as needed to justify a coffee at the end of the ride. There are no cross roads, few side roads and only one traffic light to impede progress, a real plus for city riders. The road has sufficient turns and straights to provide some challenges if you’re riding at speed and it’s a perfect circuit if you want to build your training distance without travelling far from your start point. There are no hills to test your fragile fitness.
If you’re riding to the park, you can easily connect from the bike path which runs along the beach. Use the bike lane along Fitzroy Street or ride up Armstrong Street and under the light rail. If you’re driving, there is ample parking with parking meters within Albert Park or along Canterbury Road.
Food and Drink
Try Mart 130, a fabulous café in the old stationmaster’s building on the platform of the adjacent light rail. If that’s too busy and you can’t wait, head out of the park and cross Canterbury Road to Armstrong Street where there are a number of cafés and outdoor eateries.
5.918 km / 3.678 mi
39 m / 128 ft
14 m / 45 ft