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I'm headed to Victoria soon to tour for a week or so in Nth/E Vic. with my lovely wife and as part of that ride we are thinking about an anti clockwise trip from Mansfield around lake Eildon over 2 or 3 days/nights.
We have already cycled the rail trail from Yea, Alexandra to Mansfield, so know that area but would like some tips about the Eildon to Jamieson, Mansfield route. Any suggestions about road conditions, places to see and camp sites would be very welcome!
I haven't ridden that particular section, but have ridden the bit from Bonnie Doon to the turnoff to Alexandra (described a bit here). The road around the lake itself was very pleasant with little traffic and a good surface. The dirt section we did was a significant climb, but well worth it as far as I am concerned. My wife didn't love it as much though. The Candlebark Creek campground was great.
There did seem to be a bit of bogan representation around, although none really bothered us. Searching for this road on Google brought up a video of a guy driving it quickly in his Suburu; if this is a known racing road, it might not be all that great on a bicycle, but maybe it'll be fine too.
Eildon to Jamieson is a very nice, mostly forested ride on winding roads. I rode it heading west on the GVBR 1993. An age ago but the roads don't change too rapidly up there. It has two longish climbs, firstly to Torbreck Station then you drop down to Big River (all on tarmac). After this there is a 6km climb that is still gravel road I believe, to the Alps-view lookout. Near here the tarmac resumes for a long descent to Jamieson. Wet forest around Torbreck and Big River, a lot dryer on the descent to Jamieson.
There'd be plenty of bush camping options along the way if you wanted to do a camp-out. There is also the road up Big River to the remote old mining settlement of Enoch Point (no camping really). There is also an abandoned tramway line along the valley that you may be able to find - we rode sections of it back in 1997 when we did an infamously wet Easter tour here.
The road is generally pretty quiet, with traffic mostly comprising people who'll be touring through the area. People who want to get to Jamieson quickly will be driving the long, flat, straighter drive on the Maroondah Hwy through Merton and Mansfield. Enjoy the forest.
The road from Jamieson to Mansfield is a slightly busier sealed road, through open bush and farm country around Lake Eildon. Howqua is a very pretty settlement along the way. Eventually the road climbs over a range of hills to get to Mansfield.
Last edited by il padrone on Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
Eildon Jamieson road is now 100% sealed. Lovely quiet road pretty much as described by ilpadrone. Watch for the boy racers (motos and cars) and the distracted 4wd brigade looking for the next dirt track turnoff.
Great info, thanks guys!
We did it clockwise including using the Rail trail.
We stayed at Mansfield ,Jamieson + Eildon very nice.
As stated previously the Eildon Jamieson is sealed + excellent ,quiet during the week not too steep ,hilly .
Weather wise anytime from now on is good.
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