Warburton MTB Destination2024-06-27T16:43:49+00:00

Warburton Mountain Bike Destination

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About the project

We’re planning a world-class mountain biking destination in the heart of the Yarra Ranges.

A network of trails nestled among the surrounding mountains will bring visitors from across the world to experience Warburton’s natural beauty and relaxing village atmosphere, creating more jobs and growing the local economy.

The project is designed to appeal to riders of all skill levels from beginner to advanced, across a range of differing terrains, outlooks and environments.

Project Timeline

Project updates

Have a look at what’s been happening with the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination project.

Project overview

Emergency Management2024-05-30T13:54:13+00:00
Project background2020-11-11T17:00:00+00:00

The project has been in development since it was first raised in 2010 by local riders as part of Parks Victoria’s Healthy Parks Healthy People program.

Since then, Council has undertaken a feasibility study, detailed planning work, extensive impact investigations, community consultation and sought expert advice to develop the project’s Master Plan.

The project is being developed in partnership with Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and with input from the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung, Melbourne Water and the Upper Yarra Community Enterprise.

A number of changes have been made to the project’s design to address the findings of impact assessments and incorporate community feedback, including removing, redesigning and realigning trails to help further reduce impacts and protect important local features.

The project is funded for delivery of Stage 1. Specialist mountain bike trail design and construction firm World Trail has been appointed to finalise the trail network and construct the trails.

Tourism and economic benefits2020-11-12T15:03:26+00:00

The Warburton Mountain Bike Destination has the potential to revitalise Warburton, encourage new business, attract visitors and tourism activity.

The project will draw new visitors to Warburton, as well as increasing the length of visitors’ stay, by offering new activity.

It is anticipated that the trails will be used by:

  • Local residents and
  • Residents from surrounding townships
  • Visitors to the region seeking nature-based and adventure tourism opportunities
  • National and international mountain bike riders

The project would enhance tourism in the area, offering family-friendly experiences that put Warburton and surrounds on the map as an international destination.

When fully developed in 2031 the project is expected to bring about 128,000 new visitors to the Yarra Ranges who will participate in 222,000 rides per year,  and generate 77,000 overnight stays in the region annually.

Township planning will be conducted alongside this project to maximise opportunities and ensure supporting services and infrastructure are in place.

The project would have a direct and positive impact on the local economy. It is expected to create 159 new local jobs and generate about $31.2 million in economic spend within the region each year. This presents a significant opportunity for businesses to grow their customer base and profits.

Mountain biking also has the ability to provide physical and mental health benefits for the broader Yarra Ranges and Victorian community, enabling a stronger community connection with the environment, promoting increased volunteer and educational opportunities.

The project would create new recreational opportunities for residents and visitors of all ages and riding abilities, allowing youth in the community to learn new skills.

 

Environmental considerations2020-11-12T15:04:31+00:00

The Warburton Mountain Bike Destination is being developed in a significant natural and cultural environment. Council is working with Parks Victoria, Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP), Melbourne Water and Zoos Victoria to deliver the best possible result for the project and the environment.

Protecting plants and animals in the area is critical for this project. Council has established an expert panel to make sure that impacts to threatened species and vulnerable and sensitive environmental areas are minimised.

To protect the important environmental and cultural values of the region, Council will use sensitive design, effective risk management and leading-edge construction techniques to deliver the trail network.

This includes a 20-metre leeway for the trail alignment, so it can be constructed around trees and sensitive areas to preserve the environment.

The trails would give the community more access to the Yarra Ranges’ natural environment. Educational signage would be placed along the trails, giving visitors an insight to local history and culture.

As a result of the project, illegal and informal trails on public land will be reviewed or closed, leading to rehabilitation of these areas.

Trail features and zones2023-08-03T15:27:39+00:00

The Warburton Mountain Bike Destination project would be a world-class mountain biking destination centred around Warburton, about 70km north of Melbourne.

When complete, the Destination would feature 66 trails spanning across three zones on Mt Donna Buang, Mt Little Joe and Mt Tugwell.

Trails would connect with the popular Lilydale- Warburton Rail Trail and O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail.

Three “trail heads” would provide facilities for riders, including car parking, picnic areas, toilets and wash stations.

The main trail head would be located at Warburton Golf Course, at the base of Mt Donna Buang.

Shuttle buses would deliver riders to the trails on Mount Donna Buang and Mt Tugwell.

$11.3m in funding has been provided for Stage One of the project, which includes approximately 110km of trails and two head facilities.

Once complete, we will seek International Mountain Bike Association designation as a Gold-Level Ride Centre – which would make Warburton the only Gold-Level centre in Australia and one of only three outside the USA.

Timeline2023-08-03T15:32:16+00:00

The project is currently in a planning approvals phase.

Yarra Ranges Council’s aim is to deliver a range of positive opportunities for the region through the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination. Protecting the area’s significant natural and cultural environment and minimising potential impacts continue to be central to the project’s development.

In May 2020, the Minister for Planning determined an EES would be required for the project. In June 2020, the Commonwealth Government determined that approval would be required under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and accredited the EES process for the related assessment.

Council has commenced preparation of the EES which will involve a range of specialist studies into the project’s potential impacts on the environment.

Community consultation from November 2020 and March/April 2021 will inform the EES preparation.

The EES will be publicly exhibited in late 2021.

In mid-2020, the Victorian Minister for Planning determined the project is to be assessed through the preparation of an Environment Effects Statement (EES) under the Environment Effects Act 1978.

The project went through the Environment Effects Statement (EES) process between 2020 to 2022 with the Ministers decision received in October 2022. Following the Environment Effects Statement (EES) process and the subsequent approval from the Minister, there are several State and Federal approval processes that need to be completed to the approval of the Minister for Planning before we can commence trail construction.

Council is fully committed to securing these approvals as quickly as possible to ensure the project can move forward, in the meantime though we’ve been making progress in other areas of the project since the announcement. We understand that the community is eagerly anticipating a start date for the trails, and we are working diligently to finalise the necessary approvals. We thank everyone for your continued support and patience throughout this process.

Council is confident that the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination Project will secure the required approvals and that we’ll be able to schedule a commencement date for trail construction soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Project Archive

Documents were accurate at time of publication.  Many have been updated as a result of the EES and its findings.

Get in touch

Want to know more about the project, or want to leave some feedback? We’d love to hear from you!

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Contact one of our project partners

Yarra Ranges Council logo

Yarra Ranges Shire Council
P.O. Box 105, Anderson Street
Lilydale, VIC 3140

T : 1300 368 333