Most people first see the Grampians as they drive towards them from Ararat or Stawell. It’s a great view of these thrusting rocky ranges stretching across the horizon, with eucalypt dotted farmland filling the foreground. This ride provides that view from a bike, which is just so much better. With the added beauty of the little known Lake Fyans with its old dead trees standing in the water as an added scenic element, this is a very picturesque bike ride.
The ride is mainly on surfaced roads with some sections around Lake Fyans that are sandy gravel. These sections are firm and smooth. There are some hills on the way out to the lake, but they are not daunting.
You will find the most traffic coming in and out of Halls Gap on the Grampians Road, but there are speed restrictions. The traffic on the Lake Fyans Road (Halls Gap-Pomona Road) can be fairly busy with traffic coming from Ararat. Around the lake is very quiet. There are prominent signs indicating that cyclists use the roads along most of the route.
Halls Gap is 250 kilometers from Melbourne on the Western Highway via Ballarat and Ararat. From Ararat, you can choose to get there via Moyston and Pomonal on the Ararat Pomonal Road (C222) or go via Stawell on the highway. The ride commences in the car park opposite the shops in Grampians Road. VicRoads Map: 552 E4. There are V/ Line trains to Ararat, which is 50 kilometers from the town.
Food and Drink
There are cafes and restaurants in Halls Gap, a general store at Pomonal and a store at the caravan park at Lake Fyans.
After circumnavigating the lake you could ride part way around again and return to Halls Gap on the Mokepilly Lake Fyans Road and then turning left on the Grampians Road
This ride commences in the car park opposite the Halls Gap shops. There is no shortage of activities here, starting with fantastic walks, some of which start right here. There is also horse riding, bird watching and lots to be learned at the Brambuck National Park and Aboriginal Cultural Centre that has great displays about the local aboriginal communities. The ride leaves town passing through the ‘gap’ in the ranges.
Just after you cross the bridge there is a track off to the right that climbs up along the Mt William Range ridgeline. Come back later with a packed lunch and water for a good leg stretch and some great views. Turning off the Grampians Road onto the Ararat Pomonal Road you will pass the blackened trunked eucalypts with verdant green regrowth recovering from the 2006 bushfires.
There is a commercial zoo, vineyard, and spa along this stretch of road. After turning along the Lake Fyans Road you will ride through farmland studded with large red gums with the Grampians on your back and the Ararat Hills over in the distance on the right. Riding along Kellys Bank Beach Road you pass by the lakeside caravan park, but there is a retaining embankment that means you cannot see Lake Fyans. However, there are many access points where you can climb up. When you can see, it is clear that Lake Fyans is a man-made lake with dead trunks of gum trees standing mournfully in the waters.
Apart from storing water for irrigation, it is popular with fishing people for trout and redfin. As the road heads north it leaves the lake for a short time heading through a pine plantation before it banks around to the left with the Grampians again filling the horizon. There are views of Mt William from the western side of the lake, which at 1167 meters is the highest peak in the Grampians.
There are lots of places to go down to the ‘beach’ along this end of the lake. Leaving the lake behind takes you along a quiet dirt road back toward Halls Gap with Mt William in the background. Turning back onto the Ararat Pomonal Road you retrace your route back to Halls Gap.
- 0.0 The ride leaves the car park turning left. Over the bridge, there is a bike path that will take you as far as the next bridge crossing.
- 1.1 When you cross the bridge you will need to rejoin the road, although there is a rough path on the left-hand side of the road which goes as far as the hotel.
- 2.8 Turn right onto the Ararat Pomonal Rd. There is a store on the corner.
- 5.2 Turn right to the Gap Vineyard where there are wine tastings.
- 5.7 You are passing the zoo, which is a commercial operation exhibiting native fauna. It also has an art gallery.
- 12.0 You are entering Pomonal which has a school, a hall and general store where you will turn left onto the Lake Fyans Rd. There is also a wildflower nursery up to the right.
- 17.6 Turn left to Lake Fyans and then immediately right again toward Kellys Bank Beach.
- 18.5 You are passing the entrance to the caravan park which has good facilities for family holidays. You might wish to use their shop.
- 19.0 There is a small car park with ramp-up to the reservoir wall. The views across the lake to the Grampians are very scenic.
- 21.4 The main road continues on the enchantingly named Mokepilly Lake Fyans Rd, but the route turns left onto the unmade Kellys Beach Rd, signed to the Lake Fyans Outlet and Inlet.
- 22.1 The road bends round to the left beside farmland.
- 22.6 From this point on there are a number of access points to the reservoir if you wish to stop and take a look. You can see Mt William toward the southern end of the ranges in front of you.
- 24.1 The ride crosses over a small bridge over the inlet channel.
- 24.2 The route comes to a T-intersection, take the path to the left. This road takes you to where the inlet channel comes into the lake; there is a large area of open bank where you can look out over the water.
- 24.9 Head back on the same track and rejoin the Kellys Beach Rd turning left.
- 25.3 Turn left where the road divides.
- 25.5 Turn left onto the road that heads toward the lake, here you will find a toilet block and the Stawell Angling Club camping ground.
- 25.6 Head out back to the road and turn left. There are more turnoffs to the lake if you wish to explore them, but otherwise continue along the main road.
- 26.1 This road merges with a road coming in on the right. Continue ahead.
- 27.7 The main road continues around to the left, but turn right onto Tunnel Rd which is unmade. If you continue to the left you will rejoin where you came in and you could return along that route if you wish. Tunnel Rd is almost a straight line back to the Ararat Pomonal Rd.
- 31.4 Tunnel Rd comes to a T-intersection with the Ararat Pomonal Rd. Turn right and retrace you ride to Halls Gap.
- 41.8 The ride ends back in the car park opposite the Halls Gap shops.
41.894 km / 26.032 mi
136 m / 446 ft
137 m / 448 ft
249 m / 816 ft