Cycle Victoria, Road Ride, Swan Hill Lake Woorinen Loop Ride
This ride takes you out to the stone fruit, vegetable and vine plantations around Woorinen, established as part of the soldier settlement scheme after the First World War. The environment can change dramatically in this district, particularly in early spring when the thousands of fruit trees come into blossom. In summer and early autumn the place is a buzz with harvesting activity and the chance of some fresh fruit for a roadside picnic. However, it’s interesting at any time of year and certainly much warmer and sunnier than any ride you’ll do down ‘south’.
Made roads with bike lanes within Swan Hill. Narrow shoulders on the less frequented country roads.
The centre of Swan Hill can be pretty busy, but as you leave the township the traffic becomes very thin. At some times during the year such as harvest, there may be more trucks on those country roads.
Swan Hill is 339 kilometres from Melbourne on the Calder Highway and 218 kilometres from Mildura on the Murray Valley Highway. The tourist information office is located on the corner of Curlewis and McCrae streets. VicRoads Map 586:H5.
Food and Drink
There are numerous shops, cafes and hotels in Swan Hill close by the tourist information office. Once you have left the town you are in farming country, so apart from getting some road side fruit you will need to stock up before you leave. Sonre Farm at Woorinen South that sells almonds, olives and pistachio nuts may be open.
You could take a right detour at North South Road off the Chillingollah Road to look at the Woorinen Drainage Lake which acts to remove salt from the rising water table. It’s about four kilometres up the road.
The ride starts at the Swan Hill Tourist Information Centre close by the Murray River where there is a fine garden and picnic area. Just up the road is the Giant Murray Cod that was built in 1991 as a movie prop. Murray Cod are renown amongst fishing people and whilst their numbers are depleted, ‘big’ fish are still caught in the river. The ride leaves Swan Hill via McCallum Street the main street that will take you across the river on the fascinating ‘Lift’ bridge into NSW if you should turn the wrong way.
A bike path on the right offers an alternative route out of town. Over McCallum Street beside Curlewis Street you will see the ‘Burke and Wills’ tree, a Moreton Bay Fig planted 150 years ago to commemorate the visit to Swan Hill by the explorers. It is one of the largest of its species in the southern hemisphere. The road turns off to Worrinen along Tourist Route 52 and you leave the suburban area heading into scrubland and orchards.
Passing to the right of the silos at the Bulga Road turn off, you cross the railway line and turn right onto Lake Road, which is thickly lined by orchard trees. Coming to a T-intersection you turn left and will soon see Lake Woorinen, otherwise known as North Lake. This could be a good spot to stop for a rest and a bite to eat. Continuing on you turn right at Church Road passing through more orchards until you reach the exotically named Chillingollah Road where you turn left. As you leave the irrigated farms the terrain turns to open pasture as you come to the Woorinen-Vinifera Road where you turn right heading for Woorinen South.
This is a quaint little town with old houses adjacent to the silos and railway siding. It is at the other end of the town after the road banks around to the left following the rail line that you come to Sonre Farm where you may be able to get some refreshments. After a few kilometres you cross back over the railway lines and rejoin the road back to Swan Hill.
37.132 km / 23.073 mi
43 m / 142 ft
43 m / 142 ft
75 m / 248 ft