A pleasing ride past some beautiful Dandenongs scenery plus many opportunities to see Puffing Billy go by.
The April 2019 Ride
Another ride in April 2019, this time with Kyle’s friend Kai who was most impressed with the route. At Gembrook we tried to race the train, I only lasted 200m until the first hill but the younger riders did much better actually leading the train into Gembrook.
Second Ride, January 2019
After enjoying the ride last October this time in January 2019 we decided to do the whole length from Belgrave to Gembrook.
We had trouble getting a suitable car park at Belgrave so we started from Menzies Creek and we were just in time to watch a double headed train arrive. The train then split with half going back to Belgrave and the other continuing on.
Distance: 25 km (one way)
Lowest Elevation: 189 m
Highest Elevation: 349 m
Elevation Gain: 645 m
The extra length only adds 6 km to the ride. It’s all on roads, but mostly they are quiet and some like the Selby-Aura Road are very pretty. There are also some great positions along the way to photograph the train.
Ride Directions — Belgrave to Menzies Creek
The ride from Belgrave to Menzies Creek uses roads which are mostly quiet.
- Start from the corner of Bayview and Stoney Roads. Descend down Stoney Road where for bikes it goes through to Belgrave-Gembrook Road.
- Turn LEFT onto Belgrave-Gembrook Road.
- Turn RIGHT onto Colombo Rd
- Turn LEFT into Byrne Street
- Turn LEFT into Long Pockitt Rd
- Turn RIGHT onto Belgrave-Gembrook Rd
- Turn RIGHT onto Selby-Aura Rd. At a “T” intersection this road changes name to Old Menzies Creek Road. Turn LEFT to stay on Selby-Aura Road
- Turn LEFT into Ash Grove
- Turn RIGHT onto School Road
School Rd goes past the station and then onto the trail as described in the Menzies Creek to Gembrook leg described below.
Max elevation: 357 m
Min elevation: 203 m
Total climbing: 955 m
The gradient is steep in some places and neither of us could get enough traction to climb so it’s time for a walk.
On the gradient graph below, Belgrave is on the left, Gembrook on the right. The lowest point is Cockatoo.
Menzies Creek to Gembrook, October 2018
Our first attempt to ride from Belgrave to Gembrook started from Menzies Creek as we weren’t sure how well we would cope with the hills.
Distance: 19 km (one way)
Lowest Elevation: 190 m
Highest Elevation: 349 m
Elevation Gain: 503 m
Once you get out of Menzies Creek using School Road and then Menzies Road, crossing Belgrave-Gembrook Road takes you to the start of the off road trail that uses the maintenance path that follows the Puffing Billy Railway.
Getting through Emerald Lake is confusing as there are many paths you can take. If you like trains follow the railway using the Nobelius Track which is well signposted.
Another place where the wrong way can be taken is Cockatoo. At the end of Boundary Track you reach a “T” intersection. Take the right hand branch which goes over a bridge and veers towards the main road, finally reaching McBride Street.
Upon reaching McBride Street continue over the main road, up the hill through the shops. At the top of the grade is Belgrave-Gembrook Road. Use the path on the southern side of this busy and dangerous road. Follow the path onto Felder Road, or use the road itself as it’s not busy.
Next the path merges with Belgrave-Gembrook Road for a short distance when it goes off the meet the railway again; and it’s along here where some of the best scenery is.
This map was stitched together from a series of screenshots from Samsung Health, showing the exact route we took.