Southern Cross Station circuit, Distance: 14km
Region: Western Melbourne
Written up by: U3A Yarra City OYB
Last ridden: 24 August 2018
As well as the Yarra River and great views across the bay, this route offers the rider a fascinating glimpse of one of the most spectacular pieces of infrastructure in Melbourne – the Westgate Bridge. The route is a circuit from Melbourne Exhibition Centre just across the Yarra from Southern Cross Station.
The ride heads west along the Yarra to reach Westgate Park. Usually one drives across the Westgate Bridge, getting a quick glimpse of Westgate Park below. On a bike one can truly appreciate this park. As you pass under the bridge it is worth stopping for a few moments and looking up. Feel yourself shrink as you stare up at the towering structure, an engineering triumph. There are two kinds of lakes in the park, freshwater and salt water. If the weather is right, the salt water lake is pink (coloured by algae).
The route continues along the Bay Trail to Station Pier via Sandridge Beach. When you reach the beach you are greeted by a great expanse of sand. On a hot day this would be a great swimming spot.
The route is an excellent option for those over 50s who want to get back into cycling.
There are cafes near the Webb Bridge, and alongside the beach. Toilets are in Westgate Park and near the beach.
Apart from a short segment at the start, the ride is along bike paths. It is mainly flat.
Southern Cross Station to Westgate Park (5.7km)
- Start at Southern Cross Station and walk one block south and cross the river to find Melbourne Exhibition Centre (Jeff’s Shed) at the entrance off Clarendon Street. Crown Casino is on the opposite side of Clarendon Street.
- Head west, alongside the Exhibition Centre, following the river closely. Avoid crossing the river at Jim Stynes Bridge, and instead continue to follow the path towards South Wharf Promenade.
- Continue to follow the river through Yarra Edge and along River Esplanade, past Point Park and South Wharf Drive, until you can go no further.
- Turn left, away from the river and out to Lorimer Street.
- Turn right on the shared path next to Lorimer Street, ride to the traffic lights, cross Lorimer Street, then turn right and ride on the shared footpath for approximately 1.8 kms, being careful as you cross driveways.
- When Lorimer Street bends to the left, it intersects with Todd Road. The major road continues as Todd Road, while Lorimer Street turns right. You will see a signpost saying “Westgate Punt”. Carefully cross the road in the direction indicated by the sign, continuing on the shared path along the right side of Lorimer Street to reach a right turn into Westgate Park.
Westgate Park to Sandridge Beach (3.6km)
- Turn right into the Park and continue to follow the river downstream to the jetty used by the Westgate Punt. (The punt leaves from this point to cross the river to Spotswood). Then follow the Bay Trail through Westgate Park. You will pass under the Westgate Bridge twice.
- The Bay Trail eventually meets Webb Dock Drive. Turn left to ride a few metres to Todd Road and then turn right into Todd Road to cross Webb Dock Drive at the lights. Cross under the Westgate Freeway ramp and continue across the next set of traffic lights.
- Just after this the trail divides into two. Turn very sharp right, away from the road, to go up to the path parallel to the high, weathered steel wall.
- Follow this path parallel Todd Road until you reach the beach. The path turns left and follows The Boulevard past Sandridge Life Saving Club.
Sandridge Beach to Station Pier (1.4km)
- Turn away from The Boulevard and left along the Bay Trail and follow it to Station Pier.
Station Pier to Southern Cross Station (3.4km)
- Turn left onto the path alongside the light rail and follow this to Clarendon Street.
- Turn left, cross Clarendon Street and walk along the footpath back to Jeff’s Shed and hence to Southern Cross Station.
- When you reach Sandridge Beach at the end of Todd Road, it is possible to turn right to follow the beach along boardwalks and a gravel road to Sandridge Lookout.
Extend the ride by either
- combining with Bay Explorer: Just continue along the beach from Station Pier.
- doing Capital City Trail West first. The rides meet at Webb Bridge.
- Melway or Melway Online: Starts at map reference 43 E9
- 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 a few discontinuities in this map marked by purple stars. It starts at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.