Cycle Melbourne, SightSeeing Ride, Mullum Mullum Creek Loop
The majority of this ride is in the green zones along the Yarra River, Mullum Mullum and Ruffey Creeks in the midst of Melbourne’s ever expanding eastern suburbs At around 120 hectares Westerfolds Park on the Yarra is the largest. It is the start and end point for this ride with picnic and barbecue facilities, and some very popular walking and jogging trails as well as the shared cycle paths.
The linking sections through suburban streets also generally provide for pleasant riding. Within Westerfolds Park The Manor, which houses the Mia Mia Gallery and Café, looks somewhat incongruous in the bushland setting. The gallery offers visitors the opportunity to see aboriginal art and learn about aboriginal culture of the area which was, for a long time, the home land of the Wurundjeri people. There is evidence of trees being cut for canoes over 1400 years ago. The house was built in 1936 when the area was worked by farmers and orchardists. Most were driven out by the creeping growth of Melbourne’s suburbs, but no development took place on what is now parkland because of the threat of flooding. In 1977 it was saved finally from the residential sprawl when it was declared part of the Yarra Valley parklands.
In the early part of the ride you pass Pettys Orchard which covers 44 hectares near the confluence of the Yarra River and Mullum Mullum Creek and includes a commercial orchard as well as the largest collection of antique apple varieties in Australia. Established in 1911, this apple and pear orchard is one of the few remaining of the many that once covered the area around Doncaster and Templestowe.
Despite riding around the boundary of the orchard there is no access from the trail. The orchard has a shop and café in Homestead Road which could be visited after the ride. This section of the Yarra River and Mullum Mullum Creek has some beautiful river views and it’s easy to forget how close to suburbia you really are until you pop out of the bush adjacent to a council recycling depot. Fortunately, the ride through the suburban streets is more pleasant than this first glimpse. The street sections are broken up by the ride through Ruffey Lake Park, which is an attractive green area complete with lake. It has a great adventure playground, heritage signs along the trail and can get busy. The downside is that it is an off leash area for dogs, so keep an eye out for errant canines. Back at Westerfolds Park, the Mia Mia Gallery & Café is a good place to finish the ride, relax with a cup of coffee and enjoy the view.
The ride base is in Westerfolds Park, Templestowe with the start and finish at the car park off Porter Street, just west of Williamsons Road.
Food and Drink
The Mia Mia Café (open Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm) is about 300m east along the trail from the start. There isn’t much on the ride apart from water taps, so carry some food and enjoy one of the good picnic spots en route or save your appetite for a barbecue at the finish.
21.564 km / 13.399 mi
511 m / 1,677 ft
132 m / 434 ft