Cycle Melbourne, Road Ride, Werribee & Point Cook
The Werribee River flows through the western plains of Melbourne and sets the scene for the start and finish of this ride. While this stretch of river is quite attractive, the scene that unfolds just beyond the Werribee Park Tourism Precinct is stunning, where steep red cliffs dramatically border the river below.
After that you pass by market gardens, a little known part of our coastline, an air base, a historic homestead and the ever present suburban sprawl add further interest to this ride. The route takes you out of bustling Werribee along the Werribee River, then doubles back along the Federation Trail, before crossing the freeway in to market garden country. The going is flat, but the assault on your olfactory senses can be high. These farms were first established in the early 1900s by Italian immigrants. In the middle of the farms is the Werribee Tourism Precinct which is built around Werribee mansion and includes Werribee Open Range Zoo, Werribee Park and the National Equestrian Centre. Werribee, originally named Wyndham, started as a rural township in the early 1850s.
The Chirnside brothers, Thomas and Andrew were prominent landowners and controlled 280 square kilometres of land in and around the town. They built the 60 room Italianate style mansion in 1874-1877. The mansion and surrounding gardens is now open as a museum. Further south, there is a stunning view across the Werribee River as it makes its way to the sea at Werribee South. This is a popular launching place for fishing enthusiasts. The landscape gives way to grazing land as you approach Point Cook. The ride passes the RAAF Williams Point Cook Base, considered to be the birthplace of the Royal Australian Air Force and home to the RAAF Museum, open to the public.
From Point Cook Coastal Park, you can watch training flights taking off and landing over the RAAF Lake. Further east, the Point Cook Homestead and Café is a worthwhile visit. Built in 1857 by Thomas Chirnside, the homestead was a successful bloodstock breeding property, producing a few Melbourne Cup winners. Further north is the burgeoning suburb of Point Cook. The trail through this suburb is bound to change over the next few years as development proceeds.
From Sanctuary Lakes, the trail reaches Skeleton Creek and heads inland along wetlands. In the not too distant future, you’ll be able to follow the creek directly to Hoppers Crossing but for the present, you detour inland along suburban roads. From there you link up to the Federation Trail again before linking to another shared path along a dry watercourse through Hoppers Crossing to the Werribee River. The ride downstream along the river is a great way to end a ride which offers amazing variety.
The ride starts and finishes at Werribee railway station. Werribee is the last stop on the Werribee line and the trip from the city takes under an hour. If you’re driving, take the Werribee exit from the Princes Freeway. Parking is available in Chirnside Park.
Food and Drink
At the start and end of the ride, there are restaurants and cafés all along Watton Street close to the station. At almost the half way point, the Point Cook Homestead and Café is a welcome stop for drinks and meals.
63.603 km / 39.521 mi
423 m / 1,388 ft
426 m / 1,398 ft
38 m / 125 ft