As well as exposing the rider to the newest and some of the oldest railway projects in Melbourne, this trail provides an excellent introduction to Melbourne’s green south east, passing as it does through many parks and the Urban Forest Reserve.
It begins along the route of the now largely defunct Outer Circle railway line, on the construction of which the young, and still unqualified, John Monash worked as an engineer.
The last section of the route lies alongside the Skyrail redevelopment of the present-day Packenham/Cranbourne line. The ride ends in the cafe/restaurant heaven of Oakleigh near Oakleigh Station.
Cafes and Toilets
There are a couple of cafes on Fordham Avenue, across Hartwell Station Reserve from Hartwell station. There are cafes in the shopping strips where the Anniversary Trail crosses major roads. In Oakleigh you are spoiled for choice when it comes to cafes.
The only reliably open toilets along the way are at the staffed stations, Ashburton and East Malvern. In Oakleigh, as well as at the station, there are public toilets in Chester Street and in the Oakleigh Central shopping centre.
This ride is on sealed bike paths/roads throughout and, except for about 500 metres, is all off-road. Uphill gradients are not severe, and a climb is usually rewarded with an exhilarating descent on the other side.
Warning: At the time of writing (August 2018) the Rosstown Rail Trail adjacent to Hughesdale station was blocked by Skyrail construction. The ride description provided for that section of the ride covers a short alternative route.
East Camberwell Station to Spencer Street (900m)
- Start on the north side of East Camberwell Station.
- Head east for about 200 metres, ignoring the pedestrian subway until you reach the Anniversary Trail.
- Turn sharp right onto the trail and follow it under the railway line.
- Turn right onto the trail.
- Follow the trail to Prospect Hill Road, crossing Matlock Street on the way.
- Turn right on Prospect Hill Road and ride up the hill about 100 metres to Spencer Street.
Spencer Street to Toorak Road (2.4km)
- Turn left into Spencer Street and ride to where the Anniversary Trail off-road resumes, through Riversdale Park, on your left, a few metres before Spencer Street meets Riversdale Road.
- Take the trail through the park to Riversdale Road and cross at the pedestrian lights.
- Turn left and follow the footpath to Fordham Avenue.
- Turn right into Fordham Avenue, and follow the trail along the south side of Fordham Avenue. The Alamein railway line soon appears on your right.
- Eventually, you cross to the western side of the railway line, using a pedestrian rail crossing, and drop down a short, steep incline to Toorak Road.
Toorak Road to Alamein Station (2.4km)
- Cross Toorak Road at the pedestrian light which you will see a few metres to your right, at the corner of Summerhill Road.
- Ride a few metres along Summerhill Road, before turning left through a car park, to rejoin the Anniversary Trail at the foot of the railway embankment..
- Turn right and follow the Anniversary Trail along the western side of the Alamein railway line.
- When the trail reaches High Street Road in Ashburton, cross High Street Road at the pedestrian light you see to your right.
- Walk along the footpath on the south side of High Street Road to rejoin the Anniversary Trail.
- Continue to Alamein station.
Alamein Station to East Malvern Station (1.6km)
- At Alamein station, bear right and follow the Anniversary Trail along the old railway embankment to where the Anniversary Trail meets the Gardiners Creek Trail at Ryburne Avenue.
- Turn right onto the Gardiners Creek Trail and follow it for a few hundred metres to where it meets the Scotchman’s Creek Trail and the high protective fence beside the fairway of Malvern Valley public golf course.
- Turn left onto the Scotchmans Creek Trail and follow it up and over East Malvern station.
East Malvern Station to Hughesdale Station (2.2km)
- At the bottom of the ramp on the south side of the station, leave the bike path and ride through the station car park to the Waverley Road exit at the south-eastern corner of the car park.
- Cross Waverley Road at the pedestrian light and ride through the Urban Forest Reserve to Dandenong Road.
- There is a pedestrian light 160 metres to your right from the point where the Anniversary Trail meets Dandenong Road. Use this light to cross Dandenong Road.
- Go 160 metres downhill along the south side of Dandenong Road to reach the continuation of the Anniversary Trail through Boyd Park.
- Cross Neerim Road and follow the trail as it bears left to join the lower end of William Street near Hughesdale Station.
Hughesdale Station to Oakleigh (1.7km)
- Ride up William Street, turn right into Poath Road and proceed under Skyrail to Arthur Street.
- Turn left into Arthur Street and follow it around to where it meets the Rosstown Rail Trail to Oakleigh.
- Turn left onto the Rosstown Trail and continue to where it ends at Richardson Street.
- Turn right into Richardson Street, then left into Carlisle Cescent.
- Follow the Crescent under the Warrigal Road overpass, and take the pedestrian subway under Oakleigh station.
- This brings you to a roundabout at the foot of Portman Street.
- Go 100 metres up Portman Street to its intersection with Eaton Mall.
- The famous Nikos Cakes is on the corner, and there are dozens of other cafes and restaurants in the Mall and in surrounding streets.
The trail passes many railway stations, allowing the weary rider to opt out and take a train home. For example, you may finish at East Malvern Station.
Extend the ride by combining with other rides as follows:
- You may begin the ride from Oakleigh and continue along the Anniversary Trail West to go all the way to Clifton Hill.
- Just before crossing High St Road you may turn off the Anniversary Trail onto the Ferndale Path and do the reverse direction of the start of Ashburton Circuit.
- When you reach the Malvern Valley public golf course you may either
- turn right onto the Gardiners Creek Trail and head towards the city, or
- turn left and head out to Blackburn.
- Do Urban Forest ride and then follow steps 1 to 19 above in reverse.
- Go to Oakleigh CBD:
- When you come down the ramp on the south side of East Malvern station continue straight ahead.
- After several kilometres, turn right onto Atkinson Street to reach Oakleigh CBD.
- Melway or Melway Online: Starts at map reference 46 A11
- Please click on box with arrow at top left corner to see the map legend.
- Please click on box at top right corner to see the map in Google Maps. You must be logged into Google Maps to do this.