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Participant Stories: “Cycling Yarra Ranges”

By Kevin Neild

In early November a group of participants had the opportunity for another great trip, this time bike riding in the Yarra Ranges. We did day rides on some of the most popular cycle trails in the area. The Yarra Ranges National Park is part of an Aboriginal cultural landscape in the traditional Country of the Wurundjeri People. The accommodation was in pleasant surroundings with plenty of native birds and farm animals and virtually no mosquitoes – but, at certain times, plenty of flying termites. We each had our own room.

Day 1. Although described as a Rail Trail between Emerald and Cockatoo, it was more hilly than expected but nonetheless a good way to start a cycling trip.

Day 2. This was more what we were expecting and we did a total of 30kms. We certainly earned our meal and rest at the end of the day. The meal was a special hot pot of Malaysian origins prepared by Pei Ting and topped off by an evening visit to the summit of Mount Donna Buang to view the eclipse of the moon, the red moon.

Day 3. We decided on a rest day following our 30kms the day before, visiting Warburton town and again visiting the summit of Mount Donna Buang to scale the viewing tower and take in the sights. The walk through the forest was both rewarding and relaxing.

Day 4. O’Shannesy Aquaduct Trail was another good ride of approximately 15 km, followed by riding back to the accommodation in Millgrove which was very pleasant. We then visited the Upper Yarra Reservoir and its surrounds. The force of the water coming out at the base of the dam wall was something to behold.

Day 5. Another day and another reservoir, this time Maroondah. As usual these days, the overflow was spectacular and the surroundings were impressive. Some of us ate leftover pizza from the previous night’s dinner for lunch. From there we went to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery where 2 scoops were enormous and equally enjoyable. A fine way to finish off the program.

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