Cycle Victoria, Road Ride, Wangaratta Eldorado Loop
This ride takes you from the busy rural city of Wangaratta to the tiny village of Eldorado, through a mix of farmland and open forest using part of the excellent Murray to Mountains Trail and also along quiet, secondary, country roads. There is a bit of history to be seen and some pleasant scenery. The ride is not challenging with the climbing, such as there is, done in the first half and then the gradual downhill back to Wangaratta to make you feel good.
Wangaratta has all the services you could need before setting out, including bike shops. It also has a network of cycle trails and bike lanes and it is pleasing to see a variety of riders using them. If you are staying for a time you would enjoy a wander around some of these trails. Leaving Wangaratta is not a problem as you use the excellent Murray to Mountains Trail. In the first 5km the trail does make use of some country lanes so follow the ride log carefully to ensure you don’t make a wrong turn. Signage is generally good.
The trail is sealed and smooth, presenting no problems for narrow tyred road bikes. In fact the whole ride has the feel of a hassle free road ride. The facilities at Bowser railway station site (toilets, tank water and covered rest area) give a further indicator of the quality of this trail. After leaving Bowser you get on to the trail proper and can enjoy really being in the countryside remote from any road traffic. When you turn on to the road to ride up to Eldorado the stress level remains fairly low as this is a quiet road with good visibility. On the way you will pass Carraragarmungee School where just being able to spell the school name would seem to be a good start for the kids. Further towards Eldorado you will see the signpost to Cocks Eldorado Dredge, now under the care of Parks Victoria, which gives an insight into the alluvial gold and tin mining carried out in the area in the middle of last century. When you get to Eldorado it is hard to believe it had a population of around 4000 in the late 1800s. There isn’t much left, but if you are looking for a diversion the museum at the old school is worth a look.
There is no more food and drink or facilities after you leave here except for the water at Tarrawingee and Bowser station sites. The ride downhill back to the trail is enjoyable with views to the Australian Alps ahead of you. The return along the trail to Wangaratta provides more of the enjoyable riding you experienced on the way out with the added advantage that the general trend is downhill.
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). 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 at Wangaratta and a tavern/sandwich bar in Eldorado. Carry your own supplies to make use of the peaceful rest stops along the trail.
Combine with the Everton Loop or before leaving do the Wangaratta Town. Follow the signs at about 20km to Cocks Eldorado Dredge, for a glimpse of the alluvial gold and tin mining once carried
50.188 km / 31.185 mi
215 m / 704 ft
216 m / 708 ft