VIC MTB trails between Melrose (SA) and Melbourne?

Alright, question for the big island folk of the southern variety:

“What MTB trails are there between Melrose (SA) and Melbourne?”

I’m road tripping back to Melbourne after the Australian Single Speed Nationals in Melrose this coming weekend. No real plan. No real idea of where to ride. I’ve ridden Wombat State Forest… …so wouldn’t mind trying something else. Bendigo? Horsham? …anything worth riding in the Grampians?

Half considering heading over to Hattah and riding the trails through the National Park that follow the river. More of a poke around than trail riding per-say.

So, help me out Victorians. Whatcha got?

On the Victorian side:

  • Grampians (hit up Will @ Commuter Cycles for Dirty Rat route/s)
  • Otways (one of my fav places to ride bikes - Wye River, Forrest, Aireys/Anglesea, Torquay, etc)
  • Ballarat -> Bendigo has the Goldfields track.

MikeD has done some riding around Hattah, which looked awesome!

Thanks Tom!

Grampians are high on the list. Will look into 'em tomorrow.
Otways would be sweet but probably a touch too far south for this mission.
Sussed out Bendigo tonight, have a mate who lives there. He suggested it wouldn’t be my bag. Something about clay and flat.

Hattah is probably leading the charge thus far. I did a bike packing trip through there in 2011 and have been keen to return.

Any other suggestions folk?

As Tom mentioned me and LP did a touring trip thru Hattah-kulkyne , Murray sunset and Wyperfeld last year.

Did it on SS MTBs no less.

Was pretty sweet. If you have a 4wd you could drive in to do some of the riding we did if your a bit pressed for time.

I can post some more details after the weekend.

Grampians are also awesome, but TBH you need to do day/half day walks to get to the most spectacular stuff I think after hiking there a few weekends ago

Thanks MikeD! Scooter and I are certainly leaning towards Hattah… …can I ask which tracks you rode? I have memories of deep sand along the trails the shadow the river in the southern end of the National Park. I didn’t check out the lakes last time, are they worth an eyeball?

Hi Bennyboy. As Mike mentioned above, he and I did a trip through the Vic desert parks last October. Was really great; amazing variety of scenery, landscapes, and riding…and pushing.
I’d say about 90% of the route was rideable, with some sections of pushing through heavy sand. The longest stretches of sand-pushing were along Mopoke Track to Mopoke Hut in Murray-Sunset (about 9kms from memory), most of the route through Annuello Reserve (this was quickly forgotten after I saw two Malleefowl, which I had hoped to see), the Freeway Track north through Wyperfeld (shorter, but still heavy going) and some smaller sections elsewhere. Most of them were manageable; you kinda just get into a rhythm of ride a bit, get off and push a bit, repeat.
The main tracks we went along in Hattah-Kulkyne were mostly rideable, though our original plan of doing a loop a north and coming back down the Murray River was part-thwarted because of the heavy flooding only weeks before. I think we did Mournpall Track, Eagles Nest Track, Bitterang Track from memory. The Hattah Lakes are absolutely beautiful and well worth your while to have a look around. Camping at Lake Mournpall is tops.
I can’t recommend the whole Mallee area enough; it is one of the true desolate and beautiful places in the state.
Here’s a link to the route we took, with some slight alterations - we didn’t come back down the Murray track, as I mentioned above, and didn’t head from Manangatang to Lake Tyrell, but instead went on a more south-easterly line to Chillingollah and then to Swan Hill.
If you need any other info, I’ll try to help you out where I can.

Thanks for posting details. I’ve been considering a ride out that way, so great to know how much HAB is involved!

How much water did you have to carry? As I’m guessing there wouldn’t be many places to replenish supplies?