Cycle Melbourne, Road Ride, Craigieburn to Greensborough
The extension of the suburban train service to the booming suburb of Craigieburn means it’s now an easy trip from the centre of Melbourne. This ride is a gentle downhill almost all the way from Craigieburn to Greensborough. It takes you parallel with the road past impressive, sculptural noise walls, the distinctive Barry Road bridge and, if you happen to be riding the trail in the evening, you can witness ‘The Northern Lights’ light display on the transparent acrylic walls which line part of the freeway.
The scenery along this trail is more subtle then stunning, but the path is generally wide and smooth with few road intersections, making it quite an enjoyable ride. Like other rides through open, flat country your level of enjoyment may be influenced by the strength and direction of the wind. There are few amenities along the way, with no toilets or water taps on the trail. The truck stop at Cooper Street (13.3 kilometres) and the recreation area, with toilets, opposite the Barry Road bridge (15.9 kilometres) provide contrasting opportunities for a rest break.
From the busy growth centre of Craigieburn you head out on the path through the flat plains north of Melbourne with the noise of the freeway a constant companion. When you reach Barry Road bridge it’s worth walking across this impressive footbridge to enjoy the framed views of the city in the distance and wonder at the wobbly rusty panels which cover it. On the other side of the freeway across the bridge is a view of Galada Tamboore, a vast floodplain also known as Merri Gorge. The significance of this area goes largely unnoticed but is acknowledged as being of archaeological and natural significance. Looking at the flat plains now it is hard to believe the landscape was formed by volcanic eruptions over millions of years. The path follows the Hume Freeway (also known as the Craigieburn Bypass) from Craigieburn to its start at the ring road in Thomastown. You know when you’re getting close to the ring road because the impressive landscaped, sculptural features on either side of the highway appear and dwarf cyclists.
From here the path merges with the Western Ring Road Trail and heads east to Greensborough. There are several major intersections to cross along this next section, but they are all controlled with pedestrian lights and it’s easy to find the continuation of the trail on the other side. After crossing Dalton Road, the trail intersects with the Darebin Creek. From there it is a short ride to the finish with the final kilometres being alongside the Plenty River, which passes close by Greensborough station. There are toilets and a water tap in the park near the finish.
The train to Craigieburn is the easiest way to get to the start. If you’re driving, there is parking in the streets around Craigieburn station. The ride could easily be done in reverse (gradually uphill) from Greensborough station.
Food and Drink
At 0.8 kilometres from the start there is a shopping centre where you can buy food. There is one service station along the trail but otherwise nothing until you reach Greensborough.
30.318 km / 18.839 mi
285 m / 935 ft
210 m / 689 ft