Posted by Elvira Griffith
19. Feb, 2011
The Capital City Trail runs in a lovely 30km loop encompassing the CBD, the inner east, north and west. Taking in gritty cityscapes, hip suburbs and some seriously gorgeous views, this trail is paved, mostly flat and connects up with numerous other paths on the way.
Starting with a big brekky at Southbank, ride west along the promenade, taking in the glories of 90’s architecture that are the Casino, the Exhibition Centre and Docklands. Followed sharply by mega-stadiums and a major trucking route, you’ll have no doubt you are in a capital-C City. The first signs of nature are dominated by the urban landscape, with the Maribyrnong River humbly flowing under a soaring freeway.
Sticking with the track and more signs of life appear – some reeds, a few ducks then the calming expanse of Royal Park, with grasslands, centuries old eucalypts and the Melbourne Zoo. Rolling onwards through the hipster-belt of Brunswick, Carlton and North Fitzroy, where you’ll be spoiled for a single-origin coffee served by someone with immaculate hair. Note the old railway stations along the way – this section used to be a train line, with iron tracks still visible in some sections.
At Rushall Station, take a plunge into an area of vigorous re-vegetation and let the cool Merri Creek air refresh you. Follow the Merri to it’s confluence with the Yarra, and on another kilometre to the welcoming Abbotsford Convent and Collingwood Children’s Farm. Snacks, artisan bread, craft markets, baby goats and exotic chickens await.
Following the Yarra onwards through Richmond, Hawthorn and Burnley, culture vultures would do well to take the punt to Herring Island, a sculpture park on an island in the Yarra. And from here, it’s a civilized meander back into Southbank, gently approaching the bustling city with an ancient river by your side. Whether it be a eucalypt leaf or a glint in your eye, keep something of your ride with you, and remember Melbourne’s secret wild spaces.
For more information visit Bicycle Victoria at www.bv.com.au/general/bikes-&-riding/43791/