A great way to explore Victoria’s bustling, cosmopolitan capital is on wheels. Melbourne has been voted one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities; its scenic cycle trails take in the city’s sights and sounds, perfect for getting to grips with the layout and experiencing all the charms and flavours on offer. What’s more, there are no time restrictions on a bike ride so urban adventures can be enjoyed at any pace. The Capital City Trail in its entirety is a 30km loop which, for die-hard cyclists, can be completed in one go. Alternatively, shorter sections can be enjoyed more thoroughly. Cycling each part of the trail is the most comprehensive way to cover the city including its inner suburbs and classic landmarks, all on car-free, dedicated and signposted cycle paths. It is mostly flat but there are a couple of flights of steps including the infamous Abbotsford steps on Gipps Street. Follow these trails to discover another side of Melbourne:
Riverside trail (13km)
Start at Federation Square, where bike hire is available under The Vaults. Head downhill to the Yarra River and turn left to ride along the riverbank. Cross the river at Swan Street to visit Melbourne Cricket Ground, in the Olympic Park. Follow the river past Herring Island and its sculpture park until it reaches Studley and Yarra Bend Parks and Collingwood Children’s Farm; all are great for taking a break and refuelling.
Zoo ride (9km)
From the Collingwood Farm, heading north past Dight Falls, with its historic flour mill, follow the Merri Creek. The route goes past a number of playgrounds as well as Nicholson Street – a great spot for coffee and cake – and then heads west to finish at Melbourne Zoo and Royal Park.
Docklands trail (9km)
From Royal Park Station the trail winds through the park to Flemington Station and then south down to Docklands, which is packed with shops and cafes and home to Melbourne Aquarium.