Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike Ride, Peninsula Wines
So many experiences packed into one ride! Road side singletrack predominates on this tour through the heart of the Peninsula wine district. You pass by many of the area’s premier wineries and rural properties and at times it is like being in rural France. There are fine views to Westernport Bay and the navigation is easy. You could also share this ride with a partner with limited technical skills who could ride alongside on the road in sections. If you plan to do this, your partner would need a hybrid or mountain bike.
There is a fine café half way through the ride that also happens to be next door to an outstanding winery. The rest of the ride is very pleasant after this stop! In a couple of spots along McIlroys Road the singletrack ends and you need to dive onto the dirt road for short sections. As you head down alongside Stanleys Road there are fine views of Westernport before you enter some nice singletrack through thick vegetation that makes it easy to miss the Jenkins Road turn.
If you want to shorten the ride and forego the Merricks store café, turn right at the end of Jenkins Road through the first gateway on the Red Hill trail (at the 10.4km log direction). Red Hill trail is fairly wide but has some nice sections of wheel-width track. Just be aware of horses on this section. Shands Road has singletrack in sections, on the right-hand side, but you need to use the road on the climb after the bridge. Keep left as you can encounter a little traffic here.
There are more great wineries along Tucks Road and another two a short distance behind you when you enter the final run home along Mornington-Flinders Road. They have interesting names, ‘Ten Minutes by Tractor’ and ‘T’ Gallant’; fine food and great views.
Red Hill is on the Mornington Peninsula, about an hour and a half south east of Melbourne; Melway 190 E3. Start of ride is at intersection of Arthurs Seat Road and Mornington-Flinders Road (same start as Red Hill Singletrack, Ride 73). If you are planning to ride close to school start or finish times, please do not park near the school.
Food and Drink
Café at the start/finish and at 13.8km.
Arthurs Seat lookout is close by and wineries are passed on the ride. Local cheese, self-pick strawberries, glass blowing and Red Hill market are nearby.
0.0 From the intersection of Arthurs Seat Rd and Mornington-Flinders Rd, cross Arthurs Seat Rd and turn right on the road side singletrack.
0.9 Turn left on Sheehans Rd. This is a pleasant dirt road with some fine rural properties and distant views.
2.0 Turn left at White Hill Rd and pick up the singletrack on the right-hand side just past Foxeys hangout.
3.1 Follow the singletrack to the right as it continues beside McIlroys Rd. This can get a bit boggy in places but it is a fun piece of track. You will need to use a short section on the road further on when you approach a creek.
6.4 Turn right on Red Hill Rd then pick up the singletrack on the left. The impressive Port Phillip Estate winery is opposite – well worth a visit later, but it is far too refined for lycra! The vineyard here is very beautiful and the winery itself is housed in a most imposing building. From the outside you struggle to see an entrance, once inside there are beautiful views over vineyards.
7.5 Turn left at Stanleys Rd. Singletrack is on the left. Nice views of Westernport Bay in the distance before you head through some thick vegetation. Take care as it is easy to enjoy the flow of singletrack and miss the next turn as you will be travelling downhill through the bush.
9.3 Turn right and head along Tonkins Rd.
10.4 Veer right at the end and take the second entrance to the Red Hill trail and head uphill. If you want to shorten the ride take the first entrance to the trail and head towards Red Hill rather then Merricks.
12.9 Veer left beside the pony club. This short section can be muddy and you may meet horses. The alternative is to use the pedestrian path which takes you directly to your coffee spot.
13.2 Continue along right-hand side of road then turn right beside Frankston-Flinders Rd.
13.8 Merricks General Store café. Enjoy a coffee or lunch and check out Stoniers Winery next door, before returning the way you came. Stoniers are well known in the district for their high quality sparkling white wine varieties.
17.8 Pass through the gate then turn left onto the next section of Red Hill trail.
20.5 Trail ends near the intersection of Callanans and Point Leo roads. Cross Point Leo Rd and continue along Baynes Rd. Take care crossing the road as the intersection can be busy. Baynes is a very quiet, pleasant dirt road.
21.2 Turn left at Shoreham Rd and use the singletrack and service road on the left.
23.2 Turn right at Shands Rd with singletrack on the right. Take care towards the bottom, as the track tends to grab your wheel. At the bridge cross onto the road for the climb and keep left as you can meet traffic coming towards you.
24.7 Turn right at Tucks Rd, which has sections of singletrack on the left. You pass close by the back of ‘T’ Gallant’ winery. The winery is ideal to visit later; fine wines, great food and a very pleasant atmosphere.
27.0 Cross Mornington-Flinders Rd and use the singletrack and service road on the left-hand side.