Added by Theodore Kate
Only 90 minutes from Melbourne, cycle 46km through Victoria's diverse rural areas. With ocean, river and farmland views as well as a historic component, and an insight into the desalination plant, this is the perfect day trip from Melbourne.
Many people complete the trail by beginning and ending in Wonthaggi. We decided to do the opposite and start in Woolamai, just a 90 minutes drive from Melbourne.
Park the car on the side of Woolamai Road, unload the bikes and jump straight on the trail heading south-east. You'll begin by passing dew-speckled farmland dotted with cows mooing their morning ritual. The first five kilometres or so are a gradual ascent to Anderson where you’ll pass the V-Line Bus Station.
From there, the trail heads downhill and towards the coast. You cross the Bass Highway and will find yourself in the coastal town of Kilcunda. Follow the bay west and breath in the salt air and spectacular beaches before crossing an original trestle bridge. The trail then moves inland again behind the scraggly dunes where you’ll cross Dalyston bridge over Powlett River.
After crossing Lower Powlett Road it’s not far to the Wonthaggi Railway station site then into the township of Wonthaggi itself. If you time your ride accordingly, your arrival in Wonthaggi will be greeted by the Rotary Market (2nd Sunday of the month) selling hot doughnuts and coffee to reward you for your efforts. Wonthaggi also boasts an old coal mine you can check out.
On your return, check out the sights you missed on the first leg in your enthusiasm to get to those doughnuts. About a kilometre out of Wonthaggi is a historic mine tunnel. Just past the 3km marker, and not far beyond the stock crossing, is an old, rusted barn in a paddock to your right which is worthy of a drink break/photo opportunity.
After only a short stint back on the bike is Lower Powlett Road. Turn left onto it for an extended detour which later joins back up with the main trail, just outside of Kilcunda. Follow Lower Powlett Road and you'll soon spot the Victorian Desalination Plant on your right, which is mostly hidden under its grass roof. To your left are wind turbines turning majestically on the horizon. Continuing to follow this road will take you to Williamson’s Beach which is worth a look but is not bike-friendly. Before the beach you'll see a gravel road to your right with a gate across it which leads onto the plant’s Ecological Reserve. Follow the path that leads around the front of the desal plant. At the intersection of paths, take the trail that continues straight (rather than the path to the left which becomes sandy and narrow) to join up with Mouth of Powlett Road. Stop off at the mouth of the river before continuing down the road until you spot the intersecting Bass Coast Rail Trail which, by this stage, you’ll be quite familiar with. Turn left onto the rail trail and before long you'll be back in Kilcunda, across the Bass Highway, heading up the hill and then coasting on the slight downhill back to the car, full of adrenaline and refreshed thoughts.
For more information on the Bass Coast Rail Trail and other rail trails visit: https://www.railtrails.org.au/trail?view=trail&id=203
Cycling, Fitness, Mountain Biking, Photography
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