This ride begins at the Maritime Discovery and Tourist Information Centre right next to the heart of the Portland harbor. The ride hugs the foreshore and takes you on a coastal journey with views across the ocean. If you look hard enough, and use your imagination, you just might see some of the many shipwrecks hiding beneath the water.
The ride is on the sealed road all the way. In town, there are bicycle paths on the side of the road. There is a gentle climb in the middle of the ride, although it is steeper on the return.
The traffic is generally light in town and lessens as you leave the built-up area.
Portland is 100 kilometres west of Warrnambool on the Princes Highway. The Maritime Discovery Centre is accessed off Bentinck Street the main esplanade along the Portland harbor. VicRoads Map: 503:Q3.
Food and Drink
Many cafes and restaurants are to be found throughout the township of Portland. Midway along the route, there are two caravan parks where food and drink can be obtained.
The ride out to Cape Bridgewater along the Bridgewater Road is longer, hillier and has more traffic, but the beach there is glorious.
You begin the ride by heading up to Bentinck Street, the main Esplanade in historic Portland. To navigate the traffic you will need to head around the roundabout and return through the small shopping area with many cafes, hotels, and restaurants. The ride continues along the town waterfront with views back to the busy and bustling port and harbour. There are views across the sea to Lady Julia Percy Island on the horizon and all along the famous Shipwreck Coast towards Port Fairy and Warrnambool.
This ride follows the same route as the 250 kilometre Great South West Walk which traverses the coastline and hinterland of south west Victoria. The walk is accessible at various points along the way. Watch out along the ride for the historic Portland Cable Tram that runs for part of the way along the same route. As the ride gently climbs up along the cliff line the Cyprus trees frame fantastic views across the ocean.
You will notice plenty of tourist facilities along the first half of the ride as you are leaving the town centre. The best view the ride has on offer can be obtained from the World War II Memorial Water Tower Lookout, which is marked on the Ride Log. Eventually the road sweeps down the hill to the flatter coast road. You will notice from here on the extended rock wall that was put in place in 1995 to protect the vulnerable, low lying adjacent land. This area is full of quaint holiday cottages reminiscent of unpretentious holidays before coastal property became expensive.
There are a couple of caravan parks along the way, where you can stop to sock up on provisions if needed. Although the rock wall does affect the view of the ocean, take the time to stop and take in the views, hop down onto the beach and make sandcastles or even take a dip if the weather is on your side. The ride ends where the Old Coach Road peters out into farmland. There are views back to Portland and across the bay.
- 0.0 Leave the Maritime Discovery Centre car park turning left.
- 0.3 Turn right and then left up the ramp onto Bentinck St, where you are required to turn left. Proceed to the roundabout and do a U-turn to return back along the other side of the street.
- 1.3 Go through the roundabout. You can now ride on the bike lane.
- 2.5 On your right is the War Memorial Water Tower where there is a lookout. It is also the starting point of the tourist tram way.
- 3.3 Go through the roundabout following the road along the cliff top.
- 6.1 You are passing Dutton Way Caravan Park where you will find a public phone and amenities.
- 7.3 On the right is the Henty Bay Caravan Park and an opening to the Great South West Walk.
- 9.3 Continue ahead at Keillers Beach Rd and follow the road as it dog legs around two corners.
- 11.1 Continue on past Uniting Church Camp Rd.
- 11.5 The ride ends where the road is closed at the Old Coach Rd.
11.488 km / 7.138 mi
38 m / 124 ft
39 m / 127 ft
34 m / 111 ft