SELF RIDE BIKE TOURS
Track 1 - Banyule State Forest River Ride
Location: Banyule / River Village Forest
Distance from Visitor Information Centre: 8 km / 15.5 km / 30 km
Depart from behind the Echuca-Moama Visitor Information Centre and head upstream under the historic Echuca-Moama bridge, one of the first bridge crossings constructed over the Murray River. A maze of tracks will lead you in to the Banyule State Forest … take your pick of well defined paths as you wind your way east towards the Southern Cross Channel.
A narrow footbridge crossing takes you across the channel along the Murray River, to where the Southern Cross Channel merges with the Murray River as it swings further east behind the abattoirs to the East Boat Ramp.
From the channel and footbridge, two routes can be taken. A more adventurous, sharp and winding track follows close to the river bank, past the small weir, for the more experienced rider looking for some jumps and testing manoeuvring to head up the action. An alternative route leads more directly to the Echuca East Boat Ramp. Speed boats, canoe trips, fishing launches and houseboat holiday makers gather at this point, if you want to kick back and admire the scene.
For those keen to limit their mountain biking enthusiasm to a brief 8 km round trip, the boat ramp is a good turning point to return to town via the main road (Goulburn Rd which turns back into Pakenham St, the main artery for Echuca’s shopping centre, Hare St), or to head back to the VIC, turn right at the first roundabout and back towards the Echuca-Moama bridge.
For those who haven’t yet seen enough bird or wildlife, continue upsteam, east of the boat ramp towards Echuca Village.
A Crest down from the boat ramp carpark leads onto the floor of the forest back to river level, before a steady, brief climb offers a prime birds eye view of the river.
Ride alongside the narrow track, past the irrigation pumps, through the cattle gate grid and through to River Avenue, until you see the farm gate entry and sign posts to the Echuca Village State Forest. Tracks through this part of the forest, and for the next 5-10 kms are wide, well defined and clearly marked.
Keep the river to your left and enjoy the scenery.
Follow the tracks as close to the river as possible behind the Yarraby Caravan Park (a kiosk with light refreshments is available within the park boundaries) but remember it is private property so respect the rights of visitors and permanent residents onsite!
Further on, a massive sand bank, referred to by locals as Horseshoe Bend, makes for a timely rest stop, or a quiet whack of beach cricket if you came prepared.
From here, the river winds its way south and back to the east, while the track divides into three possible alternative routes.
Take the major road south and head towards Lady August Road. At the cross road, turn left and head along the bitumen road until you ride through a gateway onto public access reserve land or a long for a longer trip, or turn right back into River Avenue to head back towards the Visitor Information Centre for a 15.5 km return trip. Take the same path back through the bush track, or hit the main road for a more direct return trip.
If you choose to continue on, the track winds its way further past River Village Motel. Ride over a levy bank and onto the bitumen road until the Bangerang / Simmie Road intersections, where you should turn left and head back to the river.
Follow the path down a steep descent to enjoy the best views, and then return via the same path to the top of the riverbank.
On your return journey, take one of two routes, either via bushland on vehicle access tracks that run parallel to the first route defined, or, for those who insist on taking a different way back, the main road (Goulburn Rd) will lead you all the way back into Pakenham Street and the Visitor Information Centre.
Enjoy your time on one of the most picturesque bike tours Victoria has on offer.
Image courtesy NSW Office of Environment & Heritage: OEH/D.Finnegan
Track 2 - Historic Adventure
Location: Scenic Drive / Wharparilla Flora Reserve
Distance from Visitor Information Centre: 17 km
Head downstream from the Aquatic Reserve (lagoon at the rear of the Visitor Information Centre) and follow the path behind the Campaspe Shire headquarters towards the historic port precinct.
Take a step back in time and imagine riding high on your Penny farthing, dressed in top hat and tails, ambling through the Historic Port of Echuca’s Murray Esplanade. Follow the river downstream past the Riverboat Dock where the houseboats and riverboats moor, along the levy bank to the Echuca Holiday Park and to the start of the Scenic Drive and Victoria Park Boat Ramp, via the Echuca Boat and Canoe Hire depot.
Follow the well made dirt tracks, keeping the river in sight to your right, down to the Murray and Campaspe River junction, opposite Merool on the Murray, with its themed cabins, on the north river bank.
Follow the main road adjacent to the Campaspe River back to Crofton Street and past the Victoria Park Oval, home of the Mighty Murray Bombers.
Turn right at the Echuca Caravan Park gate and travel along Dickson Street. Take the second turn to the right to Warren Street and cross the Campaspe River, turn right into Campaspe Esplanade and travel past the old sand quarry along the vehicle access track to the west bank of the Campaspe and Murray River junction.
Follow the river downstream to Wharparilla Drive, then make the return journey along the same path, or travel along the main road back to the Warren Street turn off.
Warren Street will lead you back into the Historic Port precinct where a feast of attractions and world class quality restaurants, bars and cafes await you.
This trip is one of the most enjoyable bike tours in Victoria.
Track 3 - Campaspe River Ride
Location: Campaspe Esplanade
Distance from Visitor Information Centre: 7 km
Travel via Murray Esplanade, through the Historic Port precinct as described in track 2, and turn left past the Bridge Hotel at the 0.8 km mark.
Cross High Street and turn left into Warren Street. Turn left almost immediately after the Campaspe River Bridge, into Campaspe Esplanade.
If you have any leftovers from lunch, there is a natural wildlife sanctuary for hundreds of species of ducks and other bird life in their natural habitat.
Wind your way along the distinctly defined road, following the Campaspe River all the way to the Ogilvie Avenue Bridge. Cross the bridge and take the first turn to your left, leaving the river behind, and weave your way through the quiet residential roads of historic Echuca, towards the YMCA Back Nine Golf Curse.
Some of the original homestead and mansions built last century, which have been carefully preserved, and many of which have since been classified on Victorian Heritage lists, can be enjoyed in this part of town.
Follow Landsborough Street to the back of McDonalds and carefully proceed through the High Street roundabout into Heygarth Street, and back to the Visitor Information Centre.
Track 4 - Moama Meander
Location: Moama Bush Riverside
Distance from Visitor Information Centre: Approx. 10 km
There are 2 options for starting out on this track. You could cross the bridge from the Visitor Information Centre, where you get a fantastic view of the river and the Port of Echuca. Alternatively drive across the bridge and park your car behind the Moama Riverside Caravan Park on the right. Enjoy a humorous history lesson, as plaques along the Moama Wharf Redgum boardwalk detail numerous monumental milestones in the lives of local legends.
Take the first ramp to exit and follow the track south of the brook towards the eastern lagoon and wetlands. A faint path trails the perimeter of the lagoon before a more defined path winds its way towards a vehicle access track.
Head left along this main track until you see a private boundary fence and sign, and follow the track to the right, back towards the river.
Follow the dips in the path as it winds its way down stream back to the Moama Wharf.
You can follow the path under the wharf and back to the start of the historic plaques walk, or take the ramp to return via the wharf walkway. If, once back to the car park, you want to explore further a field, cruise under the Moama bridge crossing towards the Moama Skate Park and explore the myriad of tracks. All paths eventually lead west towards the river bank and the Moama slipway, where more often than not you’ll find one of the paddlesteamer fleet or commercial houseboats being repaired by local riverboat captains or deckhands.
Stop and admire the rare sight of the wharf from the NSW side of the border, an experience which most visitors to town miss out on, only managing to admire the port’s historic grandeur from the middle of the river onboard a paddleboat, or from above while actually standing on the structure.
Ride/walk past the private residence tucked in behind a vacant block, and follow the vehicle access road (choice of three routes) back towards the river to the popular and beautiful Moama Beach sandbank where you will be dwarfed by the huge pylons which support the Echuca-Moama Bridge.