Cycle Eastern Victoria, Sightseeing Ride, Wangaratta to Wahgunyah
This ride links the attractive regional centre of Wangaratta with the historic small towns of Chiltern, Rutherglen and Wahgunyah and takes you through an enjoyable mix of farm land and forest with great views. Each of the towns is worth an explore by bike or on foot. The combination of good quality sealed trail and quiet country roads allow you to have a relaxed and enjoyable travel experience. The wineries in the Rutherglen area may add to your contentment.
You leave Wangaratta on the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, avoiding the need to get mixed up in traffic. Signage is generally good but pay attention to the ride log to ensure smooth progress. There is limited water en route and no food available until Chiltern so stock up before you leave. After the rail trail you ride a grid of flat, straight, country roads. They are very quiet but watch for any trucks or farm machinery on narrow sections.
Views over the farmlands and on your right the Australian Alps in the distance make this section enjoyable. You ride alongside the Hume Freeway as you head towards Chiltern, but this isn’t overly intrusive. Once again pay attention to the ride log to ensure you cross the freeway at the right point, which is at the site of the old Chiltern cemetery. This is just over the freeway, resulting in a disturbed rest for the interred. Chiltern’s gold mining past has left many interesting buildings which you may want to explore. There are food and drink choices in the town centre and accommodation options including motel, B&Bs and caravan park.
The visitor information centre is in Main Street. Ride out of Chiltern through the box ironbark forest of Chiltern Mt Pilot National Park over rolling hills. This section makes for particularly pleasant riding. The park itself has a network of unsealed roads suitable for mountain bike touring if you want to see more. Towards Rutherglen the terrain reverts to farmland and becomes flatter. Rutherglen is another interesting, historic town with the added attraction of nearby wineries and local produce outlets. There are numerous choices for food, drink and accommodation. The Rutherglen Wine Experience includes a visitor information centre where you can get maps and local information and study them over a good coffee. They also hire bikes. This town is the pick of places to stay or spend time in on this ride.
The remaining section of the ride is over flat, sealed trail to Wahgunyah, a small town with less facilities than Rutherglen. It is located right on the Murray River, with the larger town of Corowa just over the bridge if you can’t find what you need in Wahgunyah. For a peaceful look at the mighty Murray take the River Trail.
Wangaratta can be reached from the Hume Freeway at RACV VicRoads State Directory map reference 34 G7. Information and maps are available at the tourist information office in the main street (Murphy Street). Start at the footbridge on Bickerton Street near Faithfull Street or park at Apex Park across the Ovens River bridge . V/Line trains stop at Wangaratta Station. From the station ride along Docker Street towards town, turn left at Baker Street, right into Templeton Street the left into Bickerton Street.
Food and Drink
Plenty of choice in Wangaratta, then Chiltern, Rutherglen and Wahgunyah. Rutherglen Wine Experience is welcoming to cyclists for coffee and food and has local information. For a real fill up, try Parker’s Pies in Rutherglen main street.
Ride in Wangaratta, the river trail at Wahgunyah or ask about road rides in the area at Rutherglen Wine Experience.
72.008 km / 44.743 mi
363 m / 1,191 ft
366 m / 1,202 ft
265 m / 869 ft