Whether you have your own bike, pick up one from Melbourne’s fantastic Bike Share programme or hire one from Rentabike by the river below Federation Square, you are in for a treat cycling in Melbourne.
Melbourne has some great rides which I am going to try out over the next few days. Rentabike have a great map you can take with you, and also do tours if you want to have a guide. They also have electric bikes (always my first choice).
Day 1 – To St Kilda
A lovely ride through Albert Park is a great feature of this ride. Then down to St Kilda for coffee and cake from one of the amazing cake shops on Akland St. If you like comfortable shoes – then you must stop at His and Hers. We bought 3 pairs between us!
Down to the beach – I suspect there were hundreds of people here in the hot weather we had yesterday. Not today – though lots of cyclists and the cafes were full. The pathway follows the beach for 3 or 4 kms to Port Melbourne. Not far to ride, but we simply had to stop at the Sand Bar for a lovely light lunch before continuing on. At Port Melbourne you turn right and follow the cycleway along the tram tracks all the way into the city, or in our case to stop 127 where we are staying.
A short detour on the way home and you will find South Melbourne Market (closed Monday, Tuesday and Thursday). The Market is bursting with amazing food – forget the supermarket, this is Real Food. I could have spent all day there, but went home with some fresh linguine, shaved parmesan, fresh baramundi and vegetables. I did not get time to explore, but there were some great clothes boutiques too.
Day 2 – Williamstown Historic Port and Altona Beach and Wetlands
First hop on one of the Ferries going to Williamstown – today they are leaving on the half hour from Southgate. I am there just in time to board. The captain did look twice at my electric bike, but smiled and picked it up to put downstairs.
The trip on Yarra River takes a little over an hour, past impressive housing with boats at the door, past the container port and industry, eventually out of the Yarra and into the Bay and the small historic settlement of Williamstown. A short ride takes me down to Fort Gellibrand, and then the start of a fabulous coastal bike ride.
It is Good Friday and it looks like half of Melbourne has come down to the river, beach and cycleways near Williamstown, and as I cycle along the bike paths, I can see why.
There are rocks with birds and wildlife, and there are children down there exploring, and some divers heading out to get seafood. There are two golden sand beaches and in between is a spectacular ride through a regenerating coastal saltmarsh. There are pelicans, white and blue herons, I spot an ibis, too many ducks to count. Some lovely homes have been built where people can enjoy the wildlife. There are signs that there are snakes here. I don’t see any, but I do spy a young blue tongue lizard.
If on arrival at Altona beach you can not decide between breakfast and and icecream, then I recommend you stop at Norfolk and have a Pink Lady. A little over the top, but a yummy sweet treat – waffles with strawberries, pomegranates and a strawberry icecream in a cone.
It is a lovely trip back to Williamstown along the waterfront, but if a 20kms ride is enough for you, I suggest you catch the Ferry back to town. I decide to ride back all the way, and when I get home I am done – into a hot bath for me.
Easy riding and great views along the way – all off road cycling, highly recommended. I look forward to more Melbourne bike rides.