Timboon

Start point: Timboon Station, Bailey Street Timboon, Victoria – Directions

Distance: 20km (40km return) to Lake Elingamite or 9km to end of bush. Open farm land after that to Camperdown. Track currently ends 5km south of Camperdown and you need to ride on roads after that.

Track: Compacted gravel with rough patches. Generally flat until Curdies River, then a steep climb out of river valley back to level terrain.

Birds: Grey Shrike-thrush, White-throated Treecreeper, Rufous and Golden Whistlers, Sacred Kingfisher, Crimson Rosella, Brown and Striated Thornbills, Spotted and Striated Pardalotes, Superb Fairy Wren, Red-browed Finch, White-browed Scrubwren

Notes: Hidden away off the main roads is the Camperdown to Timboon trail. Best started at the Timboon end as it actually ends 5km from Camperdown at present. The last 5km to Camperdown are not fun with traffic. Besides, the best birding is to be had at the Timboon end. Track degenerates after the new bridge at the Curdies River – very rough, steep and slippery as it climbs out of creek valley. Then a section past a minerals mine before more bushland. Best section for birds is from Timboon to the Curdies River bridge. Wet forest habitats and creek lines provide good bird habitat and you should get a good list with patience. Tiger snakes are also a possibility in warmer weather – I have had a few close encounters as they do not seem to hear an approaching bike, so beware. I should mention that the trail runs parallel to Snake Track Road at one stage which says it all!

Track is a little uneven and can be slippery when wet. Lovely river views along the Curdies River. An easy ride or walk from Timboon, but track becomes difficult past the new bridge (about 5.5km from Timboon). You may need to walk your bike in some of the steep and narrow sections, but forest is beautiful. I would advise avoiding it in winter or after heavy rain. There are information signs and seats along the way.

If you want to continue north towards Camperdown, there is an interesting diversion to Lake Elingamite. Turn left into Oates Road and you will see the lake after about 1.6km. Camping possible here and quite a variety of birds can be seen along the water’s edge and in the reeds. Australasian Bittern is always a possibility. Before Oates Road the trail crosses and runs parallel with the Cobden-Warrnambool Road which can be a bit busy and noisy for cyclists.

Creek along the trail near Timboon