Yarra Ranges Get Away – Off the Beaten Trail

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By Chris Schliefert and Sarika Rooney


The scenic town of Warburton is full of beautiful natural attractions, picturesque vantage points and an array of charming wineries and vineyards, but it is most popular for its scenic trails and walks, and the Warburton Trail is the most popular of all. It is one of the highly admired tourist attractions of the area, and, in addition, you can also explore the town’s most popular and charming wineries that are nestled on the verdant and stunning native landscape.

The Warburton Trail is not really a journey to be done on foot (if you want to travel the entire length). At approximately 80km in length, those who are planning to traverse it in its entirety are best cycling or riding on horseback. If you’re looking for a walk of a decent length though, the Lilydale to Mt Evelyn stretch is a 7.5km journey with the convenience of being able to finish at the COG bike cafe that is located right on the track itself. The COG is a popular starting and stopping point for many bike enthusiasts due to its location, large car park and access to bike supplies for most of your bike repair needs – the cafe also has bikes for hire for those that want to take in as much of the trail in as short a time as possible.

The popular Lilydale to Warburton rail trail is also an option at just 38km long, starting from Lilydale’s city centre. Known as one of Australia’s best trails, this is a must-do activity for all guests, it will take you through the bushy pathways of the stunning landscape of outer Melbourne.

The popular Warburton Trail has a cycling, walking and a horseback riding track; so you can either hike, bike or choose an equestrian trail to explore this picturesque walkway in Warburton.

The scenic pathway of the Warburton Trail runs along the former railway line of this township, and also passes the Centenary Trail; located between Corduroy Road and Warburton, which allows you to see the town’s most spectacular sights.

Another stop well worth visiting along the trail is the Carriage Cafe, located in Seville. While most people access it from the trail itself, it is perfectly viable to come visit by car if you know where to go (there is a small car park located within walking distance of the cafe). More than just a name, the cafe itself is actually an old train carriage converted into a charming little eatery. With places to park your bike, your dog and your rump in relative comfort, it’s well worth a visit if you’re in the area or taking the trail.

If it takes your fancy, you can take a detour off the trail once you reach Warburton and follow the O’Shannassay Aqueduct Trail instead. While (in places) this is tougher going than the majority of the Warburton Trail, it grants many more opportunities to see the native wildlife of the area, such as wallabies, kangaroos, lyrebirds and many others. For those not interested in taking the Warburton Trail up to this point though, there are many access points to the Aqueduct Trail, with the easiest section to enter being located between Millgrove and Warburton.

While more of an activity for those of us with a lot of energy and good fitness levels, you can still do this as a family trip. The drive alone is more than worth it and you only need to take a short walk to get a good amount of exercise. Not for everyone, but for those that it appeals to it is sure to be an enjoyable trip.

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