Eltham to Lilydale

Cycle Melbourne,Road Ride, Eltham to Lilydale

The ride from Eltham to Lilydale is a fairly straightforward ride, but on reasonably busy roads, through the outer north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. It includes several good climbs and a short flat section along the Yarra River. The last section into Lilydale offers some expansive views to the Dandenong Ranges and the opportunity to detour to several wineries and restaurants if that takes your fancy.

Alternatively, you could continue on to Lilydale and pick up the Warburton Trail. The other option for a longer ride would be to do Ride 8 (Main Yarra Trail) from the city, which finishes on the other side of Lilydale station, then pick up this ride. It is very much suited to touring or road bikes and could be enjoyed as a training style there and back ride or as a ramble through the foothills.

From the start, you ride through the suburbs of Eltham and Research before reaching the Yarra River at Warrandyte. You’ll enjoy the views across the valley as you rush downhill from Research, but take care on this fast descent. Just after crossing the river, there’s a great opportunity to stop by the river in Warrandyte River Reserve and watch canoeists launch their craft. The river winds through the Warrandyte State Park in a number of different areas but if you continue on the ride towards Lilydale, you’ll soon cross Jumping Creek. Shortly after there’s an access road to your left which will take you into the park where there are toilets, barbecues and another popular canoe launching area. It’s also the start of some popular bushwalks, including a short nature trail.

Warrandyte itself is worth a small detour to explore if you have the time. Surrounded as it is by the State Park, the suburb retains a definite rural feel. European settlement began in 1839 and is attributed to pastoralist James Anderson and was then known as Andersons Creek. The area developed further after gold was discovered in 1851. After leaving Warrandyte, the ride follows Jumping Creek Road through some gentle hills to Wonga Park before the ride flattens out through the pastures around Chirnside Park.

You’ll also see signs to a few of the wineries which are close by, or you might consider planning a further trip north to find some more through Coldstream and Yering. At the finish in Lilydale you could hop on the train or head for the main shopping centre to the left of the station for a re-fuel.


The ride starts from Eltham station on the Hurstbridge line and finishes at Lilydale station on the Lilydale line. If you’re driving, there is parking in the back streets or at both stations. Station car parks are generally very busy on week days.

Food and Drink

Along Main Road in Eltham there are a variety of cafés and shops if you need anything for the ride and after crossing the Yarra River at 11km, there are several cafés in Warrandyte with views across the river.

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26.754 km / 16.624 mi

Total Distance

714 m / 2,343 ft

Total Ascent

630 m / 2,067 ft

Total Descent

180 m / 591 ft

Highest Point

Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Kid friendly
Rail Trail
Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
Ride Duration: 1-2 hrs
Fitness Level: Medium
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Mobile Coverage: Excellent
Estimated Distance: 26.8
Elevation Gain: 560
First Aid
Bike hire
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle / uber
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