Cycle Melbourne, Sightseeing Ride, Australian Garden
The bicycle track winds its way through bushland, grassland and wetland areas surrounding the Australian Garden. Watch out for local wildlife including koalas, wallabies, echidnas and bandicoots. This is an easy ride making it perfect for cyclists of all ages and fitness levels. If any riders are not road savvy the ride can be made an out and back along the trail to the Stringybark picnic area rather than following the road loop back to the start point.
The trail ride is through open woodland and grassland with views across surrounding country. There are also a number of short walking tracks off the trail. You can walk to Trig Point Lookout for a 360-degree view across south-eastern Victoria including Western Port and Port Philip Bay, Mount Macedon and the Melbourne CBD, or in to the wetlands to enjoy this peaceful area and look for birdlife. The Stringybark and Woodland picnic areas are great places to enjoy a picnic lunch or barbecue as you watch for bandicoots, or birdlife such as superb fairy wrens scampering and flitting amongst the vegetation.
If you are doing the ride as part of a family outing you might enjoy combining it with one or more of the walks and carry some provisions for a picnic break in this peaceful area. If this is what you plan the ride out to Stringybark picnic area along the trail and then back the way you came will be more enjoyable than doing the loop ride. The ride is quite pleasurable, but the main attraction in coming here is to visit the Australian Garden. This offshoot of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne provides a fabulous contrast to the European style, formal gardens we normally expect in botanical gardens. The red sand garden which spreads out in front of you at the entrance immediately lets you know this is something different. The display areas show a wide variety of Australian plants in a great setting and are enjoyable to walk through, as well as providing many ideas for keen gardeners.
One area shows how Australian plants have been and could be used in home gardens. There is also a play area for kids and a number of family friendly guided walks and activities. Just ask at the information centre at the entrance. A note of warning to finish. Like all bush areas there are snakes, active in season, as well as all the nice cuddly creatures. Also the bushland which the bicycle trail is in will be closed on total fire ban days.
The Australian Garden is on Ballarto Road, off South Gippsland Highway on the southern outskirts of Cranbourne. Look for the Australian Garden signs. Cranbourne station is about 4km away along South Gippsland Highway which has a wide apron, but is busy with high speed traffic.
Food and Drink
The café at the garden’s entrance serves tasty meals as well as drinks and light snacks. Alternatively, bring your own food and take advantage of the two picnic areas, which have gas barbecues, or the seats along the track.
6.087 km / 3.782 mi
81 m / 266 ft
92 m / 303 ft