Four day bikepacking Yarra Valley

I am plotting out a 4 day bikepacking trip for some friends and myself over the Grand Final long weekend.

I am running partly off routes from The will be dirt and Melb Gravel Grinders.

Current plan is:
Day 1 - Hurstbridge train station to Toolangi (camping at the reserve? Camping at Toolangi Recreation Reserve - VIC )
Day 2 - Toolangi to Warburton. Camp options of caravan park or somewhere nearby (some want a shower)
Day 3 - Warburton to Kurth Kiln - bailout option of Lilydale via the rail trail for those who can’t get Monday off.
Day 4 - Kurth Kil to a station - Pakenham? Nar Nar Goon?

I have done a very tentative mapping of day 1 - Feedback (especially of the “that road is unrideable” or “you will die trying” type) is appreciated.

Bikes will be a mix of MTBs and CX with a possible touring bike in there. Some bikepacking, but possibly some with panniers, and maybe backpacks.

After sounding out the group, a few are intending to go the fully self-sufficient route, with most wanting to have a town accessible for dinner each night. As above, there have been requests to have shower access at some point - hence Warburton caravan park as an option.

Looking to do around 60 - 80km per day. (does this seem reasonable when loaded?) I’m trying to keep it to dirt wherever possible. Nothing too technical, but smooth singletrack is fine. (similar to an MGG ride really).

I haven’t done this myself before, and certainly not planning for others, so a bit nervous.

Nice one nezumi!

Quick comment on your day 1 route : You’ll test your friendships if you take people up Bald Spur Road fully loaded. There’d probably be a lot of walking. Easier routes to consider are Bowden Spur Rd, Mt Everard Track.

Same goes for Andrews Hill Track - I’ve not ridden it but I’ve talked to people who have and they say it’s steeeep and not an awesome view from the top. Maybe Mountain Creek Track instead?

Dunno about the camping situation but I bet MikeD does!

I’ll check the route tonight and let you know

Thanks Angry, I know of Bald Spur mainly from the writeup of the Night Grinder, so wasn’t sure if it would be OK loaded. Will switch to Bowden Spur.

Cheers Mike!

For that Night Grinder we went up Bowden Spur, def not Bald Spur, fyi.

Bowden is better to climb than Bald ATMO. To get to Toolangi in an interesting way, I’d have a good look at MGG9. The 100km route goes there if you follow it directly and it’s beautiful, although there’s still a fair bit of climbing and there’s that little bit of singletrack. That dirt road up to the Toolangi rd bit is banger. You might be able to make a less steep hybrid from that route though, avoiding Kinglake altogether.

I’d agree with Pete, check out the MGG 9 map, you can take the main road down to Yarra Glen instead of the little bit of single track.

Have some food at the bakery in Yarra Glen, then keep following the course to Toolangi, that’d be ~60kms from Memory, climb up to toolangi is much easier and more sensible than climbing up past kinglake just to drop down in the Yarra Valley again.

I’d recommend going self sufficient for food the 1st night -even if its cold bakery stuff from Yarra Glen and hot cup of soup and heading into a campsite in Toolangi State park. I can’t recall the toolangi reserve being very nice.

Then more dirt roads to Narbethong for a snack, and along Acheron way to Warby for a pub dinner and shower/proper campground.

Warby to Kurth Kiln can be done on dirt if you go up Old Warbuton rd then if you like climbing over Mnt Bridie or more chill lower roads to get to Powell town/ Three bridges, then Mnt Beenak, Old Beenak and East Beenak roads will take you to Kurth Kiln.

Then Kuth Kiln to Gembrook for coffee/brekky and can follow MGG#11, 12, 13 as from memory they all go thru Gembrook and end either in Packenham, Boronia or the Basin.

Also, we’ve stayed in a big old room at the Alpine View Hotel in Warby for like $60. Certainly wasn’t fancy, but hot showers (eventually, once the water came through), pub meals and warm bed were all fine.

I figured out where my memory went awry! I was thinking of this one - There Will Be Dirt: Local List Ticker and conflating it with the night grinder.

I have looked at the MGG9 route - I’m just worried that either the overall distance will be a bit short or we won’t have anywhere for a lunch stop. I tried routing through Yarra Glen, but coming down from Skyline Rd looks steep. Def wouldn’t want to go down Tauns Track with loaded bikes.
I’m not looking for lots of climbing on the ride, but I am keen for good rolling dirt.

Ideally we would be able to stop in somewhere for lunch and dinner - I have considered whether or not we could make it in to Toolangi pub for lunch (would they be open on the public holiday Friday? and then ride on to The Gums campground - so that’s an option.

OK, getting close to the date now!

So far I have:
Day 1:
Day 2:
Day 3:

Does this seem OK? I don’t know these roads, and while I would like to check out the Ada Tree near Warburton, other than that I was basically following google’s suggestion to get through there to Kurth Kiln. :confused:

So we did two days out of four. Camping at Toolangi was OK, but there are no toilets at the reserve anymore, and no lights, power or water. We ended up filling water at the community centre on the main road.
Day 1: Follow Matt on Strava to see this activity. Join for free.

We had a decent amount of rain overnight, which saw us packing up in drizzle and struggling to get everything dry. We rode down myers creek road to Healesville, then on to Warburton via Pantons Gap and O’Shannassy aqueduct trail. We arrived in Warburton very muddy, and my companion decided to stay at the caravan park while I was heading home. Too much water in everything and first time out with a new tent made for not the best combination. I continued on to Lilydale station and then home.