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4
Introductory to Moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • 4 days self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • 3 nights hotel/inn accommodation

Price

4 daysfrom

$1290AUD

Trip Code: GVR

Great Victorian Rail Trail Trip highlights


  • Enjoy the independence of self-guided cycling with all logistics taken care of for you
  • Hassle-free cycling on the dedicated cycle path on the Great Victorian Rail Trail
  • Appreciate the views of mountains, lakes and rivers
  • Sample the excellent local foods and wines of North Victoria
  • Visit historic towns and villages
  • Cycle through Victoria's longest rail trail tunnel, the historic Cheviot Tunnel
  • Cycle through classic Australian farming communities

The Great Victoria Rail Trail is Australia’s longest rail trail passing through charming towns and diverse countryside. The dedicated cycle way meanders next to the heritage classified Goulburn River, crossing Lake Eildon before entering the pretty Trawool Valley. Between 1883 and 1970 the Mansfield Line passed through the Cheviot Tunnel, a historic structure constructed with over a million hand made clay bricks. With the rail line decommissioned in 1978 the now cycle trail affords inspiring views of the Victorian High country foothills,and come evening, you'll settle into la ocal atmospheric hotel to enjoy the regions exceptional food and wine set in iconic country towns. With the ease of our luggage transfer service, an app to guide you each day and your accommodation all taken care of, this cycle journey opens up a whole new way to appreciate the natural beauty of this special corner of regional Victoria.

Itinerary

This morning you will need to make your own way to Mansfield. The easiest way to do this is to take the bus from Melbourne. Mansfield is nestled in the foothills of the Victorian Alps and surrounded by grazing land and mountain forests. The city has a number of interesting historical buildings dating back to its time as a stock route camp and gold mining town. Once in Mansfield you will meet with our bike provider who will conduct a specialised bike fitting and provide you with your bike, helmet and pannier. They will also collect your luggage and transfer it to your next hotel. Your journey starts with a nice easy ride into Bonnie Doon today. You will pass through the small town of Maindample where you may wish to stop at the Maindample Whistle Stop, a resting place in a local couple's garden that offers cold drinks and shelter out of the sun. Heading into Bonnie Doon you cross the impressive 385 metre bridge over Lake Eildon. Bonnie Doon was immortalised in the hilarious Australian classic movie "The Castle" This afternoon you can explore and feel the serenity for yourself! Overnight in Bonnie Doon. Cycling distance: 21km, ascent: 105m, descent: 141m *We can book a pre-night of accommodation in Mansfield if you would like to arrive the day before the trip starts. Ask our staff for details.

Meals:  Nil

Today you set off through farming country, cycling past rock outcrops, livestock and open farmlands. You will pass by the Merton service-station, where you may wish to get a cold drink or ice-cream before the gentle ascent to Merton Gap. This is the highest point on the trail, and the spectacular views from the top are well worth the climb. From here it's a nice, long gentle descent all the way to Yarck, where you can stop for a lunch break. Continuing the ride there is one more gentle climb before you head into the scenic country town of Alexandra which recently celebrated it's 150 year anniversary. We recommend visiting Grant Street Grocer (100 Grant Street) if you're after a well deserved treat, or there are a number of pubs worth a visit. Overnight in Alexandra. Cycling distance: 58km, ascent: 348m, descent: 429m

Meals:  Nil

Today you head to the historic and thriving town of Yea. This area is rich pastoral and dairying area with the Yea River flowing around the town. There are a couple of small climbs this morning out of Alexandra for which you are rewarded at Eglington Gap, which has outstanding views back over Alexandra and the hinterland. From here you have a nice long gentle descent to Molesworth. Further along you will come to the 201 metre long Cheviote Tunnel, the longest trail tunnel in Victoria. It was made from 675,000 bricks which were handcrafted on site with local clay in 1889. We stay at the quaint and beautiful Peppercorn Hotel in Yea. The town has many historical buildings from the 19th century in good condition and worth a visit. Dinner is recommended in the hotel (Wednesday-Sunday only). Overnight in Yea. Cycling distance: 37km, ascent: 279m, descent: 320m

Meals:  Nil

For your final day of cycling you may wish to fuel up at Marmalades Café, which serves great breakfasts and coffees. Today you will ride next to the heritage-classified Goulburn River, passing through the Trawool valley. This is a region which was painted by many of the famous Australian painters in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in particular Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Frederick McCubbin. Towards the end of the route there are particularly fine views, and it is worthy of a stop to enjoy the beautiful Goulburn River. You will ride into the quiet town of Tallarok, nestled at the foot of the magnificent Tallarook Ranges. A great place to get a celebratory coffee for your last day is Hock the Ruby (currently closed), or you may prefer a cold drink at the Tallarook Hotel. The trip ends on your arrival in Tallarook. Here you can leave your bike for collection, pick up your luggage and catch the train back to Melbourne. Alternatively we can organise a return transfer to Mansfield (complimentary except when using own bike) Cycling distance: 39km, ascent: 285m, descent: 282m

Meals:  Nil


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 3 nights accommodation in hotels and guesthouses on a twin share basis with private facilities on most nights
  • Hybrid Bicycle hire including a helmet, pannier and a specialized bike fitting service (electric bikes and tag-along bikes can be hired for an additional supplement)
  • Luggage transfers
  • Route notes & maps available to download and use on your phone
  • GPS information
  • transfer back to Mansfield (except when using own bikes)

  • Travel to Mansfield and from Tallarook
  • Accommodation before or after the trip
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals
  • Phone handlebar mount

Bike information


Accommodation


Grading

Introductory to Moderate  
4

This self guided trip involves 4 days of mostly flat, well maintained cycling trails. Daily cycling distance varies from 21km to 55km, with the average being 37km per day. The Rail Trail is mostly gentle, with a few longer ascents that on completion you are rewarded with stunning views. The Rail Trail path is shared between walkers and horse riders, but is free from road traffic. The rail trail occasionally crosses the highway or quiet roads. You will drive on roads in and out of the towns where we stay, but this is only for short distances each day. The trail surface is made up of either compacted gravel (chert) or granitic sand. The trail is best suited to mountain, hybrid or touring bikes - we provide hybrid bikes.


Departure dates

Daily departures

Notes

DN2
Please note, when we book your accommodation some hotels may request a deposit/full payment to secure your booking. This amount will be payable, in addition to the Australian Cycle Tours deposit. Any extra payments, along with the $400 deposit, are non-refundable.

Want to organise a customised tour?

School groups, friends, family trips, corporate events or just tailoring a trip to suit your own needs - learn how you can tailor your own Customised Tour.

Total Priceper person from

$1290AUD

Options & Supplements*
  • Discount to remove bike hireAUD$-150
  • Discount for shared bathroom at Corner Hotel in AlexandraAUD$-18
  • Electric Bike SupplementAUD$140
  • Single SupplementAUD$480
  • Child Price - based on 2 or 3 children sharing with 2 adultsAUD$590
  • Single Traveller SurchargeAUD$1140
*Prices listed are per person and also from

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Great Victorian Rail Trail Self Guided Cycle trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Frequently Asked Questions

Mansfield is approximately 192 kilometres from Melbourne at the eastern end of the trail. The drive will take approximately 2.5 to 3 hours.

There are buses that run several times a day between Melbourne Southern Cross Coach terminal and Mansfield. The journey is around 3 hours. See the V/Line website for timetables: https://www.vline.com.au/

We're unable to arrange a transfer between Tallarook and Mansfield, so taking public transport to Mansfield and back from Tallarook is the easiest way to get to/from the trip.

At the end of the trip you can take a bus or a train back to Melbourne from Tallarook.

If you need to return to Mansfield, we can arrange a transfer between Tallarook and Mansfield. Or take a taxi (30mins) to Yea, then a V-Line bus to Mansfield (1 hour). If bringing your own bike the V-Line requires that the bikes are boxed.

Yes, you need to be a capable cyclist. You will cover up to 55km in a day. Most of the cycling is along the dedicated cycle path, and you will only need to cycle on the road while you are in town for meals or getting to your accommodation.

Yes, you can use your own bike if you prefer. Let us know at the time of booking and a small discount will be applied.


Great Victorian Rail Trail Trip reviews


Why cycle with us

SELF GUIDED EXPERTS

As the pioneers of self guided active travel in Australia you can expect a seamless experience. Our quality tour notes and logistical expertise sets us apart and ensures a quality experience for you.

TRUSTED LOCAL ADVICE

Our team is passionate about cycling and their extensive knowledge and experience means you get the very best advice - every time. We will help you tailor the right cycling itinerary for you.

Quality services

Expect first-class and flexible support both on and off the trail. We've sourced the highest quality bikes and most authentic accommodations so you can enjoy a stress free cycling trip.


Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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