The Old Pipeline

Thomastown to Rushall, Distance: 15km
Region: Northern Melbourne
Written up by: U3A Yarra City OYB
Last ridden: 7 June 2019

Cafes  |  Terrain  |  Ride Details  |  Variations  |  Maps

Pipeline infrastructure.

Pipeline infrastructure.


This ride takes you through some of Melbourne’s northern suburbs. The ride is downhill all the way.

From the Ring Road to Merri Parade you follow the underground route of the main pipe supplying water to the city (originally built in 1857). The three reservoirs at Reservoir date back to 1864 and are also part of the Melbourne water supply system. See Yan Yean Water Supply System for more information. 

Back to top

Cafes and Toilets

There are cafes opposite Thomastown station, in Edwardes Street, Reservoir and Preston market. There are a number of cafes along St Georges Road south of Bell Street.

Toilets are at Thomastown Station and Preston Market.  


Most of this ride is on shared paths and downhill.

There are quite a few street crossings on this ride, especially down St Georges Road, so just be patient.

Back to top

The city buildings in the distance from Regent Station.

The city buildings in the distance from Regent Station.

Ride Details

On St Georges Road.

On St Georges Road.

Thomastown Station to Dalton Road (2.5)

  1. Exit Thomastown Station on the west side and turn left (south) down High Street. There’s an Italian cake shop opposite the station if you need sustenance. High Street doesn't have a bicycle lane, so stay on the footpath. It may not be quite legal but it's much safer.

  2. Cross High Street to the west side, at either of the next two traffic lights.

  3. Continue south down High Street.

  4. Immediately before the M80 Trail (aka the Metropolitan Ring Road Path) turn right on the M80 Trail, go up a short rise, and then almost immediately turn hard-left at the top. Continue on the trail in an easterly direction.

  5. Continue east on the M80 Trail until you get to Dalton Road. Do not cross Dalton Road.

    Dalton Road to Reservoir Station (4.0)

  6. At Dalton Road turn right at the lights to cross the exit ramps from the Ring road and then continue on the shared path next to Dalton Road to go under the Ring Road.

  7. Continue to travel south on the west side of Dalton Road on the shared path, until you get to Keon Parade.

  8. Cross Keon Parade and then turn left to cross Cheddar Road at the traffic lights. Ride east on the footpath about 50m, up Tunaley Parade, where you find the start of the Pipeline Bike Path.

  9. Turn right onto the path, to travel south. (You will now be riding above the main Melbourne water pipe line. You follow this all the way to the Merri Creek.)

  10. Follow the Pipeline Bike Path as it runs parallel to Cheddar Road. Once you get to Hickford Street, Cheddar Road divides. Cross the roundabout and follow the bike path though the Cheddar Road East Linear Reserve.

  11. The bike path and Cheddar Road finish at the intersection with High Street, with the Reservoir Station ahead. Negotiate the traffic lights to the west side of High Street, passing the front of the Station on the way. (If you are looking for refreshments when you get to Reservoir, cross over the railway line to find a cafe in Edwardes Street.)

    Reservoir Station to Murray Road (2.7km)

  12. Once you have passed the Station and carpark, you will be on the west side of High Street.

  13. Ride along the footpath(legally) past the water reservoirs on both sides of the road, until you get to Garden Street and Robinson Park. Follow the bike path diagonally through the park.

  14. The bike path runs into Robinson Road. Ride south along Robinson Road.

  15. At the end of Robinson Road, cross Regent Street, and continue south, following Railway Reserve Bike Path alongside the railway line to Murray Road.

    Murray Road to Rushall Station (5.3km)

  16. At Murray Road you have reached the northern end of St Georges Road. Cross at the lights to get to the bike path that travels down the centre of St Georges Road. (As a side trip, you can turn left at Murray Road, cross the railway gates to reach Preston Market, on your right. This is a good place to stop for coffee, cake and some real northern suburbs atmosphere.)

  17. Travel south down the St Georges Road bike path. There are plenty of coffee shops and places to eat along the way. Just after you have passed Northcote High School on your right, look for the Melbourne Anarchist Club squeezed between two multi storey apartment blocks. They refused to sell to the developers.

  18. At the end of the bike path, take the pedestrian crossing across St Georges Road, turn right and follow the shared path across Charles Street and Merri Parade at the roundabout.

  19. Once across Merri Parade, turn left and follow the Merri Creek Trail for about 100m. At the fork veer right towards Capital City Trail, crossing the bridge.

  20. Once you cross the creek and ride up a small rise you reach the Capital City Trail. Turn left and Rushall Station is 200m further on.

Back to top


Shorten the ride

  • by starting or finishing at Reservoir Station, Regent Station or Preston Station.

Extend the ride

  • by combining with another ride in one of the following ways.


  • Melway or Melway Online: Starts at map reference 8 J7

  • Google:

    • 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.

Print Friendly and PDF