Cycle or walk alongside the Yarrowee River between the Gong Gong Reservoir Park and the hamlet of Magpie. Pass by forests and wetlands, paddocks and native plantings and into the city streets of Ballarat.
The Yarrowee River Trail forms part of the Goldfields Track and links several bushland reserves with other areas of ecological significance. The trail is divided into two sections – the northern and southern sections – each starting from Ballarat Railway Station. To ride the whole trail in one go, stay on Peel Street as you come through the CBD.
The northern section of the trail takes in the bushland of the Black Hill Reserve and Monte Christro Bushland Reserve and the abundant birdlife of the Nerrina Wetlands. The route takes you deep into the forest and into Patrick O'Day Flora Reserve, where it can be muddy and challenging in places, and ends at the Gong Gong Reservoir Park, a great bushland escape.
The southern section takes you along the bush-lined pathway of the Yarrowee Flora Reserve, and by the swamplands and creek at Redan Wetlands. Further along at Yuille Station Reserve, you'll see native bush, planet pines, and tiny rapis in the river. This route ends at the hamlet of Magpie, a popular settlement during the gold rush.
Distance: 16 kilometres (one way from Gong Gong Reserve to Magpie)
Start/finish: Ballarat Railway Station
Track: Mostly unsealed (except CBD). Mountain bikes recommended, especially for northern section.
Grade: Moderate with several short sharp ascents and descents and several road crossings.
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