The most scenic connection from Melbourne City to the western suburbs is undoubtedly the punt that plies back and forth across the Yarra under Westgate Bridge. The punt runs in peak period on working days, and from 9am to 5pm on weekends and public holidays. There is a charge for the crossing. See http://westgatepunt.com for details. This ride goes from Jeff’s Shed (Melbourne Exhibition Centre) near Southern Cross Station to Seaholme Station via the punt.
Initially you straight down the light rail line to Station Pier where you may see one of the many cruise ships that call into Melbourne. As you ride to Westgate Park enjoy the beautifully groomed Sandridge Beach, and views across the bay. Laugh at the almost stationary bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Westgate Bridge as you cruise through Westgate Park to find the punt.
After crossing the river on the punt the ride follows the coast around to Seaholme. You pass through historic Williamstown, a great place to stop for a break, with its excellent views of the city. Jawbone and Altona wetlands have lots of birdlife, well worth checking out. In summer, marvel at the numbers of dogs at the Altona Dog Beach.
At the end of the ride there is a possible side trip to Cherry Lake.
Cafes and Toilets
There are cafes and toilets near Jeff’s Shed, Station Pier, Sandridge Beach, Williamstown and Williamstown Beach.
This ride is flat on sealed bike paths.
Southern Cross Station to Station Pier (3.6km)
- Start at Southern Cross Station and walk one block south and cross the river to get to Clarendon Street/South Wharf outside the Melbourne Exhibition Centre (Jeff’s shed).
- Walk south along the footpath on the west side of Clarendon Street and cross Normanby Road to find the bike path that heads west next to the light rail line.
- Follow the light rail trail until its end on Waterfront Place across the road from Station Pier.
Station Pier to Westgate Park (2.4km)
- Turn right and ride around a roundabout to pick up Bay Trail heading west.
- Follow Bay Trail around the coast until the trail sharply turns to the right to reach The Boulevard.
- Turn left onto the shared footpath. Do NOT go onto the road.
- Ride along the footpath keeping The Boulevard to the right.
- The footpath morphs into Bay Trail as it turns right.
- Follow Bay Trail next to a high fence on your left, parallel to Todd Road. After the trail goes under Westgate Freeway it crosses Cook Street.
- Cross Cook Street and turn left onto the footpath and immediately right into Westgate Park.
Westgate Park to Spotswood Jetty (2.3km)
- Follow the sealed trail through Westgate Park passing under the Westgate Bridge twice until you turn to follow the Yarra River.
- Follow the Yarra River to find a jetty on your left. This is where you catch the punt.
- Cross the Yarra River on the punt.
- Wheel your bike up to Bay Trail West and turn left.
Spotswood Jetty to Williamstown Beach (7.3km)
- Follow Bay Trail West along the river until you pass the power chimney stack.
- Turn right on the footpath on the left of the loop car park and ride on this until you see the HMAS Yarra National Memorial on your left. Turn left on the path just after this. This path is the continuation of Bay Trail West.
- Follow Bay Trail West as it passes Sandy Point to reach Nelson Place. Along Nelson Place and Battery Road Bay Trail West is along the footpath.
- Just before the Williamstown Timeball Tower, Bay Trail West turns right. Keep Battery Road to your right as you ride along here. Where Battery Road bends right, turn left to stay on the trail.
- Continue to follow Bay Trail West as it hugs the coast all the way to Williamstown Beach. At this point the trail is next to The Esplanade.
Williamstown Beach to Seaholme Station (7.6km)
- At the end of The Esplanade the path turns right briefly alongside Bayview Street and then immediately left into Jawbone Reserve.
- Ride through Jawbone Reserve, crossing two islands and turn left on the trail at Maddox Road.
- Follow the trail up Kororoit Creek, cross on the ford and immediately turn left. Continue along Bay Trail West crossing Cherry Creek and passing Altona Yacht Club.
- Soon after the Yacht Club you will see a jetty. Turn right to exit Bay Trail West onto Beach Street just after the jetty.
- Turn right onto Beach Street, left onto Gordon Grove and left onto Station Street. Seaholme Station will be on your right.
Shorten the ride
- by finishing at either Williamstown or Williamstown Beach stations.
Extend the ride by either
- combining with Capital City Trail West, or
- adding a loop around Cherry Lake (distance 6km). This loop is shown in dark pink on the map below.
Add the following steps:
25. Continue along Station Street to Millers Road.
26. Use the dedicated bike lane to ride along Millers Road to Cherry Lake.
27. After crossing Chifley Avenue and Sussex Street, turn left onto the bike path that circumnavigates Cherry Lake.
27. Ride around the lake.
28. Retrace your steps to Seaholme Station along Millers Road and Station Street.
- Melway or Melway Online: Starts at map 43 F11
- 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.
Note that there are two discontinuities where Google does not recognise the bike path. These are marked on the map below with a star.
The dark pink route is the extension around Cherry Lake.