Cycle Victoria, Road Ride, Wangaratta Glenrowan Loop Ride
This is a road ride with a good mix of terrain. The majority is over flat or rolling roads through farmland with the climb and descent on the winding road through the Warby Ranges adding variety of scenery and road type. Mix in the destination of Glenrowan which exploits its links with Ned Kelly to the hilt and you can make this ride as hard or easy as you like, zooming through on a fitness ride or act the tourist with stops along the way.
The start of the ride through Wangaratta’s outskirts is like all suburban rides but it does give you a chance to warm up before the hills through Warby Ranges State Park. As the road winds and tilts upwards the scenery changes to bushland which comes alive in Spring with wildflowers including grevilleas and orchids. If you can lift your nose off the handlebars there are good views across to the Australian Alps behind you. A good excuse to take a breather! You will see why Ned Kelly used these ranges to hide out in and keep an eye on activity on the plains below.
The descent down the other side happens quickly and you are soon back out in rolling farmland. You get good views of the Warby Ranges to your left as you loop around to Glenrowan. The quiet roads give you time to prepare for the experience of
Glenrowan. It owes its current existence almost entirely to being the scene of Ned Kelly’s last stand. Kelly was Australia’s most notorious bushranger. Young Ned had a series of brushes with the law, with some convictions being seen then and now as dubious with claims of persecution, but he hit the big time in 1878 when he and his gang killed three policeman in a confrontation. They were declared outlaws and in 1880 they were cornered at the Glenrowan Inn by 34 police. After a gunfight in which his compatriots were killed and he sustained 28 wounds, despite his suit of home made armour, he was captured. He was tried then hanged on November 11, supposedly uttering the last words “Such is life.” His legend divides Australians between those who see him as a heartless murderer opposed by those who see his life as a fight against persecution.
He continues to tower over Glenrowan today in the form of a six metre statue. You can visit Kellyland’s multi-million dollar cinematic and theatrical depiction of the Kelly gang’s last stand or just buy a Ned Kelly tea towel, but you won’t escape his presence. The ride back to Wangaratta is straightforward. Watch for the increase in traffic as you pass the freeway off ramp and make use of the sealed road verge.
Reach Wangaratta 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). V/Line trains stop at Wangaratta Station. From the station ride along Docker Street towards town, turn left at the main street and ride to the start. For car parking try the free parking down by the river off Bickerton Street.
Food and Drink
There is plenty of variety in Wangaratta. Glenrowan has a number of tourist style eateries and a pub.
Take time out to do the tourist thing in Glenrowan, the site of bushranger Ned Kelly’s last stand, enjoy the lookouts and bush in the Warby Ranges (you will need a mountain bike for the unsealed roads) or ride around Wangaratta.
60.06 km / 37.32 mi
466 m / 1,528 ft
380 m / 1,247 ft