Cycle Melbourne, Road Ride, Dandenong Creek Trail to Carrum
One of Melbourne’s better known rides, the Dandenong Creek Trail has experienced a renaissance with the construction of the EastLink Expressway which incorporates the EastLink Trail. As you ride along the trail there are overlaps with the EastLink Trail and a corresponding improvement in trail quality in parts. Unfortunately, this does lead to some confusion since the newer trail often continues, and the branches to the Dandenong Trail are not always apparent.
From the Bayswater railway station it’s a short ride along a shared path to the intersection with the Dandenong Creek Trail. There are no signs when you reach the creek at 0.8km, but if you turn right and head up stream, the path takes you to the Liverpool Road retarding basin, which is about as far as you can ride along the trail. From there, you need to turn around and head back the way you came. Instead, if you turn left when you first meet Dandenong Creek, as detailed in the ride log, you can enjoy a long downhill ride to Carrum through a succession of parks and bushland reserves.
At 127ha Jells Park is the largest and most popular. It is about one third distance into the ride so its café, picnic areas, great views and large lawn areas make for an ideal stop for morning tea or even lunch for late starters. The trip downstream reveals the creek in all its variety, from a meandering stream in bushland setting, through a progression of wetlands, to the concrete drain in the suburbs and finally, through the floodplains before it reaches Mordialloc Creek and Patterson River. The ride itself is a gentle one with nothing resembling a climb but if you wanted to make a big day of it, you could always skip the train at Carrum and ride back uphill to the start. Soon after leaving the suburb of Dandenong near the end of the ride, the topography flattens out noticeably in the floodplains. At this point several creeks flow to Patterson River, a man made river created in 1876 to provide drainage to the Dandenong Valley.
If the prevailing wind is from the south east, you won’t need to check your map to know you’ve almost reached Melbourne Water’s Eastern Treatment Plant which is on your left as you ride along the elevated banks of the Patterson River. As the Patterson River widens out at 39km, you continue on the embankment past the National Water Sports Centre where you may encounter rowing sculls to race alongside or speed boats to shatter the calm. At Carrum you have the beautiful beach to relax on before considering your next move.
Catch the train to Bayswater station on the Belgrave line, and finish at Carrum station. Car parks at both stations are busy during the week.
Food and Drink
Across the road from Bayswater station there are several places to have a coffee before you start or grab a few provisions for the ride. At Jells Park, there is a café just off the trail at the visitor centre but otherwise there’s nothing on the trail until you finish at Carrum. There you’ll find an assortment of shops and cafés on each side of the railway station.
43.154 km / 26.815 mi
351 m / 1,152 ft
457 m / 1,499 ft
106 m / 347 ft