Cycle trail towns
Roll through the regions on two wheels to discover some of Victoria's best towns and villages. Follow historic rail trails, from multi-day rides to short day hops suitable for families.
There are welcoming places dotted along every route, where you can refresh with a cold brew or a top drop of vino, find the perfect artisan pastry or classic pie, and sit down to a seriously good pub meal or fine dining made with seasonal local produce.
Get started with these highlights along Victoria's cycle trails.
Take your feet off the pedals at Beechworth along the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail. A cut above your average pit stop, this picturesque gold-rush town is renowned for food and wine. Quench your thirst at historic Billson's Brewery and try small-batch wines at Eldorado Road Cellar Door Cantina. Revitalise at the Beechworth Spa, and book ahead for chef's-hatted dining at Provenance. Take a tour of local wineries before returning to the trail.
Beautiful Bright is a top stop for two-wheelers along the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail. The town is surrounded by mountain-bike trails and family-friendly sections of the rail trail. Out of the saddle, gastronomy rules at boutique wineries and fine eateries making the most of local produce. Pull in to Bright Brewery, Reed & Co Distillery, Sixpence Coffee and Billy Button Cellar Door.
There's no overlooking wee Rutherglen – Victoria's fortified wine capital – along the Murray to Mountains. Cycle between historic cellar doors, stopping in at Jones Winery, Scion, Campbells, and Stanton & Killeen. Dine in at the restaurant at Jones's or spread out with a picnic, and stay in the onsite tiny house overnight. Look for Rutherglen's giant wine bottle on Campbell St.
Go gourmet along the Murray to Mountains at Milawa. Local produce is abundant here: fill up at Milawa Cheese Company, Milawa Mustards, Milawa Bakery, Milawa Provedore and the Olive Shop. The town is set within the King Valley, historic home of Italian winemaking. Pop the cork on prosecco at Brown Brothers, Redbank or Wood Park Wines, or venture further for more award-winning valley drops.
Yarra Valley & the Dandenong Ranges
Wend through the Yarra Valley from Warburton to Lilydale along a 40-kilometre rail trail. Start or finish at the Cog Bike Cafe – hire bikes and helmets here if you haven't brought your own – and refuel at the Carriage Cafe at Seville along the way. Warburton's a foodie's delight – sample baked goods at Yarra Valley Artisan Baker, local cheeses at Taste Yarra Valley and small-batch coffee at Silva.
Daylesford & the Macedon Ranges
Rest up in gold-rush-era Creswick along the 210-kilometre Goldfields Track, an epic cross-country ride from Mt Buninyong to Bendigo. Pick up pastries and bread at Le Péché Gourmand boulangerie, and detour to Creswick Regional Park to picnic. Browse collectibles at 84 on Albert while your pizza or fish and chips arrive, or indulge with cocktails and Thai at Odessa.
Welcome to spa country, your perfect stop for rejuvenation along the Goldfields Track. Soak those hardworking legs at Samadhi or The Spa at Lake House. Walk the lake, browse Vincent Street's boutiques and peruse the Convent Gallery. Dine at award-winning Lake House, and meet the locals over coffee and brunch at retro-tastic Cliffys Emporium, Koukla or the Boathouse.
Roll over the historic trestle bridge at Kilcunda along the Bass Coast Rail Trail and take a pit stop at the Kilcunda General Store. Grab coffee, brunch or something sweet to enjoy on the deck facing the ocean. Dine with water views at the Killy pub at night and retire to a cosy cabin on the foreshore.
Don't miss Fish Creek along the Great Southern Rail Trail. The small town is a mini arts hub, with several art galleries, including a gallery-bookshop dedicated to beloved children's book author and illustrator Alison Lester. Fill up on pub grub at the lovely art deco Fish Creek Hotel, and score a coffee and treat from Gibsons Cafe and Larder.
Vibrant Meeniyan is full of gourmet options for a stop along the Great Southern Rail Trail. Find the region's top vino and local produce at Meeniyan Pantry & Cellar, coffee and organic produce at The Meeniyan Store, wood-fired pizza at Trulli, nourishing brunches at Moo's, and handmade artisan breads at Pandesal Bakery. Rest overnight at rural-luxe Ross Farm.
Great Ocean Road
Mountain bikers flock to Forrest, where rugged trails fan out through the lush Otways. Find your spot among the lycra legged to refresh at Forrest General Store, Forrest Brewing and Otways Distillery. You can also ride part of the Tiger Rail Trail, which will eventually link Forrest to Birregurra – famed for hatted restaurants Brae and Yield.
Historic Port Fairy connects to Warrnambool along a 38-kilometre rail trail through scenic farmland. Renowned for its folk and jazz music festivals each year, the village is home to numerous artists. Walk the 19th-century bluestone streets, revive with artisan gelato, say hi at Blarney Books, sip a vino at Conlan's, and dine on French-inspired dishes at Merrijig Kitchen.
Following the Port Fairy to Warrnambool rail trail leads you through the township of Koroit, which ticks all the boxes for a great trail stop. Take a break at craft brewery Noodledoof, pick up supplies at the bakery, and meet the locals at the pub – try Mickey Bourke's and the Commercial.
Tackle the 40-kilometre Camperdown to Timboon Rail Trail past volcanic lakes, over trestle brides, through farmland and forest, and reward yourself with tiny Timboon's array of artisanal gastronomic stops. There's a provedore, corner store, ice creamery, distillery, old-school lolly shop, and creamery and cafe – and that's just to start.