At only 75km from Melbourne, the Yarra at Warburton represents the closest Grade 2-3 paddling to Melbourne. While being dependent on rainfall and snow melt for river levels to reach the 1.5-2m sweet spot, paddling can be undertaken any time of the year.
EASY, 5km: With the walk being right in the middle of Warburton village, experiencing the Yarra couldn’t be easier. You can start at any of the four bridges that cross the river behind the township.
MODERATE, 51.2 km: This is a fascinating journey on foot along well-preserved timber industry tramways, past old bush mills and relics of yesteryear hidden amongst the forest, reminders of when gangs of foresters called this wilderness their office.
MODERATE, 11.3 km: Richards Tramline is a pleasant walk of around 11km that passes through some pretty bushland that brings to mind the rich logging history of the area.
DIFFICULT, 12km: For walkers who want to tick off a summit, here’s a trek that will get the heart rate up, Mt Little Joe – the 469m mini-mountain that stands proudly to the south-west of town, between Warburton and Millgrove.
EASY, 3.2KM: The track follows beside the gurgling Four Mile Creek, snaking its way under a thick, lush forest canopy over a vibrant understory of ferns, musk daisy bush, blanket-leaf and bootlace bush.
MODERATE, 8KM: From the idyllic river and the feeling of peace you get on the valley floor to the historic Aqueduct and its impressive fern walls between which you snatch wide vistas over the Upper Yarra Valley and plenty of native bushland, this is a great walk.
MODERATE TO DIFFICULT, 9KM: Donna Buang boasts enough natural beauty in its own right to guarantee it is a bushwalking gem that can be done at a leisurely pace. However, shooting up 1170-vertical metres in 9km, the Track comes into its own as a hill training venue.
DIFFICULT, 51.2km: This is a fascinating journey on foot as you run well-preserved timber industry tramlines, past old bush mills and historical relics hidden amongst the forest, reminders of when gangs of foresters called this wilderness their office.
EASY, 5km: The Warburton River Walk offers a gentle 5km loop running route that has the mighty Yarra River at its centre, guaranteeing ever-changing watercourse views.
MODERATE, 11.3 km: Richards Tramline is a solid run of around 11km that passes through some pretty forest that – similar to the Walk Into History that starts/finishes nearby – is anchored in the area’s logging history.
DIFFICULT, 12km: Here’s a quick(ish) leg burner: a dash up Mt Little Joe, the 469m mini-mountain that stands proudly to the south-west of town, between Warburton and Millgrove.
EASY, 3.2km: The run to La La Falls may not be very long but the consistent up hill gradient offers some vertical gain without being overwhelming and the forest is absolutely stunning.
MODERATE, 8km: Here’s a good mid-range ‘taster’ run that treats you to all the major delights of the Warburton township: riverbank settings, the historic Aqueduct perched high above and its impressive fern walls, views over Warburton Valley, and plenty of native bushland.
DIFFICULT, 9km: Beginning on the banks of the Yarra River, the Donna Buang Walking Track stretches 9km and rises an impressive, if lung and leg busting, 1170-vertical metres. Perfect fodder for mountain goats.
The Shop Ride is a social ride first plotted by Doug from Cog Bike Café. It takes riders on an 18.5km loop around Warburton and it offers a little something for everyone, whether you are pushing for fast splits and high cadence or out for a few hours of moderate activity with enough vertical gain to raise your pulse.
Victoria's most accessible and well-used rail trail follows the historic broad-gauge railway line (closed in 1965) from Lilydale as it winds its way through the gorgeous Yarra Valley passing native bushland, rich farmland, world-class wineries, trail-side cafes and verdant forests to Warburton.
This single track mountain bike loop packs a punch for experienced riders looking for up and down action. The trail started life as a clandestine local’s secret but it has since been certified by DELWP and you can still feel its under-the-radar birth as it has a bit of a grassroots, rough-and-ready vibe.
Carved into the mountainside above the Upper Yarra Valley, the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail makes for a wonderful ride and heading east from Warburton has some real hidden and not-so-hidden gems. The out-and-back ride is within the abilities of an intermediate cyclist, with the majority being on a mixture of flat, open trail and sealed road though, whilst for the most part the Aqueduct Trail has only a gentle gradient, this eastern section is slightly more challenging than the western section.
Carved into the mountainside above the Upper Yarra Valley, the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail makes for a wonderful ride, especially if you combine it with a section of the Lilydale to Warbuton Rail Trail to make a loop that starts and ends in the middle of the Warburton village. Whilst it can be ridden fast, the environment rewards a slower, more contemplative pace so that you can take in the flora and fauna, you don’t want to miss a lyrebird because you’re racing.