Microadventures: Donna Buang

I believe there is no better way to see a country than on a bike. Your fast enough to get somewhere but you still have the chance to see everything while you’re moving. It’s also an achievement and wherever you go, you know how you got there and that you deserve it.
Melbourne is a great place to cycle. The weather is better than Glasgow and the potholes are less frequent. Melbourne also features a whole bunch of beautiful bike paths. The Merri Creek Trail, though just two suburbs removed from the CBD is a lovely stretch of bike path, following the river through the vegetation, you will already have the blissful feeling of having left the big city.

Or follow the Yarra Bike Path into the southern suburbs, the CBD slowly fading in your back. Yarra Bend Park features a whole bunch of great cyclocross and mtb trails and the possibility to see some ‘Roos or find the bat colony move out at dusk.

If you want to go a little further, the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges in the east are probably one of the most worthwhile day trips, with beautiful scenery and plenty of good breweries and vineyards en route.

A two day ride from Melbourne to Warburton, stopping at breweries in Coldstream, Yarra Glen and Healesville, was one of my first cycling adventures in Australia. Two friends and I followed the bike paths through the eastern suburbs and stopped in every country town with a brewery. At one of the typical hotels we treated ourselves to a chicken parma in the evening. The next day we were joined by a fourth rider and tackled Mount Donna Buang, also known as dirty don, a long steep and partially unsealed climb with a rewarding viewpoint at the top, overlooking a fair bit of the valley and ranges. This was my first real experience of the victorian bush with its gigantic ferns and tall, slender trees.

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Warburton on the other side is a quiet little country town with its fair share of hippies and artisans. From Warburton you can also drive to the lookout of Donna Buang, if the velo isn’t your thing.

Google maps doesn’t seem to believe that it’s possible to even walk up the dirty don. You’re wrong, google maps

And here a link to a video of people riding Donna and beyond, all credits to cycleatlas.com


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