Cycle Melbourne, Sightseeing Ride, Brimbank Park
Brimbank Park is tucked away in the north western suburbs, just off the Western Ring Road. The Maribyrnong River snakes through the park and creates a stunning natural amphitheatre in an otherwise unimpressive landscape. Surrounding the park are a number of extremely busy freeways and arterial roads but despite this, Brimbank Park is an excellent location for budding cyclists to hone their skills without having to deal with much traffic and without having to venture too far from the start.
Prior to European settlement this area was occupied by the Wurundjeri with evidence of Aboriginal occupation dating back over 30,000 years. From the 1830s the area was used for agriculture. From 1860 to 1974, the Dodd family farmed the area with dairy and beef cattle, market gardens and orchards. You can see the original homestead, built in the 1800s, a short distance from the visitor centre. The government purchased the land in 1974 and created the park in 1976 which has become a popular weekend picnic spot. On any Sunday afternoon, you have to arrive early to stake your claim at one of the barbecue or picnic areas but there’s plenty of space on the lawns and kilometres of varied walking and cycling trails. This would be an ideal location for a day’s outing with family or friends. You could establish base camp at one of the picnic shelters and explore the park on foot or by bicycle.
This ride circles the boundary of the park and is a mixture of sealed, shared paths and unsealed, and at times loose, trails. The park is an ideal setting for beginners to get acquainted with trail riding on a variety of surfaces without having to cover any large distances. Care is needed crossing the bridge on the narrow footpath at 3.2km. Walk across if you are unsure or take the detour across the historic bridge. The section from 4.2 to 5.5km is narrow and steep on loose gravel and really only suits mountain bikes. To avoid this continue down the sealed road at 4.2km, over the ford then turn right on to the perimeter track which rejoins the route at 5.8km. Ride 6 (Maribyrnong River to Brimbank Park Loop) is a bigger ride from the city with a loop around the sealed paths in Brimbank Park as a turnaround point.
The two rides could easily be merged for a big day out. Parks Victoria has a visitor centre adjacent to the café with comprehensive information on boards and leaflets illustrating the trails. Many of the trails in the park are for walkers only, so ensure you familiarise yourself with the routes before embarking on your ride.
There’s no convenient railway station. By car the entrance is on Keilor Park Drive, Keilor East, close to the intersection of Calder Freeway and Western Ring Road. If you’re riding to the park, the Maribyrnong River Trail and the Western Ring Road Trail both meet Brimbank Park at various locations.
Food and Drink
In the park, the Leaping Lizard café is open 10am to 4pm every day. There are drinking fountains and picnic/barbecue areas throughout the park.
12.053 km / 7.489 mi
234 m / 768 ft
75 m / 245 ft