Victoria is geographically the smallest state on the Austrlian mainland, yet it’s an extremely diverse location! With a climate that ranges from wet, temperate forests to semi-arid plains to snowy alpine mountains (topping out at 6,516 feet on Mount Bogong), you can access an incredible variety of mountain bike trails and ecosystems in a short amount of time. (Source)
As you might imagine, the city of Melbourne, home to 70% of Victoria’s population, has several great trails nearby, but this list covers trails throughout many of these varied ecosystems.
Mount Buller is a bonafide mountain biking hotspot, with lift-served, purpose-built downhill trails, epic backcountry singletrack, and everything in between. With trail estimates in the 100+km range, there’s plenty of singletrack here to keep you busy for the full length of your vacation! Popular trails include Copperhead and Stonefly.
Stonefly review: “The hard slog uphill was definitely worth it! The views were amazing and there are no words to describe the “Roller Coasta” section. We took the detour to the summit of Mt Stirling as well and I definitely recommend including it in your ride. Do it!” -Katie Gannaway
Lysterfield is one of the most popular trail systems located in the outskirts of the metropolis of Melbourne. With 4.5 million people residing in the greater metro area, this network of flowing singletrack sees significant traffic yet provides a great respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
“A fantastic set of trails for all to enjoy. Well maintained, good singletracks. . . .” -stoogle
Also located in Melbourne, Arthurs Seat is the yin to Lysterfield’s yang. Where Lysterfield is flowy and smooth, Arthurs Seat is technical and challenging, with some supposed “triple black diamond runs” available. I don’t know exactly what that means, but I do know one thing: I want to go check it out!
“A super fun network of trails traversing around the top of Arthurs Seat with mountain views of the ocean, vineyards, pine forests, eucalyptus forests, ferns, rock gardens, wildflowers, and a trail network for the beginner to the most advanced. A new park only opened this autumn (2015) in conjunction with Parks Victoria & the Red Hill Riders MTB Club, and (is) bound to be one of the country’s most sought riding experiences.” -ottodavies
Yet another network that offers great trails for riders both beginner and advanced, the Buxton Network is home to everything from challenging bridges to flowy singletrack. Best of all? This trail system is solely for mountain bikers!
“I’d recommend this place as just as good as Forrest, 5 out of 5. This place has almost everything. A network of some 20 km of singletrack for mountain bikers only! From beginner, intermediate to advanced, this place caters for all. The singletracks are narrow, well signposted & the terrain & scenery changes from trail to trail. Smooth, fast, flowing singletrack weaving its way through the Black Forest State Park through forests of eucalyptus trees, plush valleys, numerous creek crossings, bridges, very smooth berms, jumps all along the ways of varying degree. Switchbacks, some rollercoaster sections of singletrack flowing into more flowing singletrack. The climbs are not too bad at all, a moderate fitness level required. . . . For a trip a reasonably short drive from the city of Melbourne (1 1/2 hour drive), uncrowded flowing trails & through the breathtaking views of the Yarra Valley on the way there, I’m already planning my next trip there – thoroughly recommended.” -ottodavies
“Wombats are short-legged, muscular quadrupedal marsupials native to Australia and are about 1 m (40 in) in length, with small, stubby tails,” according to Wikipedia. Presumably someone’s seen Wombats on this trail, so if you’re traveling from outside of Australia be sure to keep your eyes open for these unique animals!
Aside from wombats themselves, the Wombat Track offers entertaining bridges, berms, jumps, and swooping singletrack–this trail is a local favorite.
“Tight, technical singletrack, with plenty of log jumps, short sharp hills, and flowing downhill sections. The track has a number of log rides with B line options. It would be approx. 95% singletrack, 5% fire road. Easy access from Melbourne, only 45min from inner city. Good facilities in Woodend (microbrewery, bakeries, cafes etc.), about 8 km from trailhead. . . .A great purpose built singletrack, close to Melbourne.” -mrussell