WALKING & CYCLING ROUTES IN MELBOURNE
Melbourne is a bike-friendly city. There are a number of walking and cycling routes in Melbourne, especially around the Central Business District (CBD). Bike lanes and paths are available across the greater metropolitan area. Ride or walk along the Yarra River, past bushland, landmarks, parks, gardens and more.
Walking and cycling routes in Melbourne have developed significantly since increased recognition from all levels of government of the benefit of cycling activities. Melbourne today has a comprehensive set of shared bicycle trails along its river and creek systems, next to its freeways, and along its train lines. The length of the trails in Melbourne totals over 2000 km. It is possible to cycle from Werribee in the south west to Ringwood in the east (more than 60 km). You can ride from Campbellfield in the north to Frankston in the south, and points in between, only occasionally having to use the road. The routes often pass through beautiful parks, and cycling on many of Melbourne’s bike paths can feel like you’re not in the city at all, despite remaining within metropolitan Melbourne. Melbourne’s bike paths are also often easily accessed from its Metro train system.
Many metropolitan councils, and some regional towns too, have produced detailed maps of the Principal Bicycle Network (PBN) as well as local cycle networks. Information also includes recommended short cuts and quiet back streets. These maps are a great aid for navigating Melbourne and regional towns by bicycle. Whether you are looking to walk or ride locally, to get to work, or for recreation or pleasure, find a suitable map to help you select your route.
Be aware that the most direct route to your destination may not necessarily be the best route. There are several things to consider, such as hills, or crossing or riding along main roads. Quiet back streets may be more preferable to main roads. Of course being on a bicycle allows you to make use of ‘short cuts’ not available when you are driving a car. Many people also alter their routes depending upon the time of day, the weather and even the direction of travel.
A number of Melbourne freeways have been constructed with dedicated separate bicycle paths built alongside. These include Eastlink, the Deer Park Bypass, and the Metropolitan Ring Road. A notable exception however is the CityLink tollway system which was built without including provision for cyclists along several sections. These include the Bolte Bridge. Cyclists are also not permitted on the West Gate Freeway over the West Gate Bridge. (The Westgate Punt Ferry Service provides an alternative to the bridge).
In 2006 VicRoads installed bicycle counters on the trails, at seventeen locations throughout inner Melbourne. These counters provide hard data on the usage of Melbourne’s trails. The Anniversary Outer Circle Trail at Cotham Road, Kew, has over 20 cyclists per hour throughout the day. The Yarra River Trail, north side of Morell Bridge, has a peak hour rate of over 250 cyclists per hour, and 50 per hour in non-peak periods.
Melbourne Cycling Routes
The tracks and paths for riding or walking are almost endless. Get out there to take in the sights, and enjoy the exercise and fresh air, either for simple recreational pleasure or on your way to your chosen destination. Melbourne’s cycling routes are for everyone to enjoy.