Cycle Victoria, Road Ride, Healesville Loops - Ride 1
Healesville’s proximity to Melbourne and the beauty of its natural surroundings has meant that it has been a popular tourist destination for well over 100 years. The burgeoning wine industry in the Yarra Valley and the natural appeal of the Yarra Ranges has confirmed this popularity. These rides are through the scenic foothills surrounding the town on roads that are enjoyable to ride, providing a workout without being too demanding.
Ride 1 requires more pedal effort, being longer and having a bit more hill climbing than Ride 2, but is more rewarding for scenery. As you head towards Yarra Glen you will get views of the Dandenong Ranges in the distance to your left and the Yarra Ranges behind you. After a couple of short climbs out of Healesville the road levels a little allowing you to enjoy cranking over the kilometres. Fairly soon you see the first of the winery entrances along the route, offering the tempting possibility of tasting some good wines. This might best be left for after the ride.
On the way into Yarra Glen you ride a short length of a new town bypass road, which can carry a bit of truck traffic. So stay on the sealed shoulder and be alert. If you feel the need Yarra Glen has cafés and a bakery.
A couple of kilometres after Yarra Glen you pass Gulf Station. From the mid 1850s to the early 1950s, Gulf Station was a profitable and self-sufficient pastoral property supplying meat and other produce to gold miners and the general market. In 1976 it was acquired by the State Government, with responsibility for its running being vested in the National Trust. After authentic restoration it is presented today as a unique pioneer working farm, featuring the original farm buildings, domestic tools and artifacts. The ride back takes you over some more hills with a couple of exhilarating downhills being just reward for climbing up the other side.
Ride 2 is shorter and more gentle. It takes you into the mixed farm and bushland on the edge of Healesville. The first part around the sometimes busy Maroondah Highway is possible because of the marked bike lane all the way. Then it is a short loop down Woori Yallock Road and some back roads to pass near the entrance to Healesville Sanctuary. Founded in 1921 to study native fauna its main appeal today is the chance to get up close to Australian wildlife in natural surrounds. The platypus display has long been an attraction, but other features such as a daily ‘birds of prey show’ also draws crowds. There is a café and toilets in the grounds.
Healesville is about 60km north-east of Melbourne city on the Maroondah Highway at RACV VicRoads State Directory map reference 80 A4.
Food and Drink
Plenty of eateries in the main street of Healesville and there is Beechworth Bakery and the bistro and bakery in the Giant Steps Winery at the start of Ride 1. Yarra Glen has cafés and a bakery and Healesville Sanctuary has a café.
On Ride 1 drop into the pioneer working farm at National Trust property, Gulf Station. You may also be tempted by one of the wineries you ride past.
29.937 km / 18.602 mi
463 m / 1,520 ft
463 m / 1,519 ft
175 m / 575 ft