Up Stanley is a fun ride that takes you from Beechworth to the picturesque village of Stanley and back again. The ride is packed full of awesome nature, spectacular views, beautiful farmland and historic dwellings.
The highlights include one of the best views of the region at Murmungee Lookout. We have deliberately taken this ride into the centre of Stanley where the classic Stanley Pub is worth a visit, maybe even a meal, a beer or glass of wine (opens 11am, lunch from 12pm. COVID-19 may be affecting these hours – check opening hours with venue).
Time: You will complete this loop in around 3 hours (including stops).
Gradient: It doesn’t matter – you will be on an e-bike, but Lady Newton Drive is steep. This is a local favourite for the hardcore cyclists but you will scoot up here no worries.
The Up Stanley ride starts at the Old Beechworth Gaol and heads towards the Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail, which you will follow for around 4km before heading onto the gravel backroads in the Fighting Gully area – an old mining settlement where they surely had a few disagreements back in the day.
You will then cross the Beechworth-Myrtleford Road and begin the ascent up Lady Newton Drive. This is one of the steepest rideable gravel segments in the area. It is time to ramp up the power on the electric bike and power up the four pinches to the lookout (make sure you leave some power in the battery to get yourself back home!).
Murmungee Lookout at the top of Lady Newton Drive is a stunning spot that not many bike riders can reach due to the steepness of the road to the top, but your e-MTB will make it seem easy.
It is then on to Stanley, a pretty little village renowned for its fruit and nut production. The Stanley Pub is a great little country pub. If you are thinking about a mid-ride meal (highly recommended) it is worth contacting the pub beforehand to make sure they have a spare table. Hillsborough Nuts Cafe on Hillsborough Road is almost always open on weekends – check their opening hours online.
Return via Lake Kerferd (Beechworth’s water supply) and Pipeline Track before a little detour up to Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum. It’s a fascinating building with a troubled history.
Ask us for a paper map of this route, or download the route above to your phone or GPS device.
If you would be more comfortable with a local guide on this backroad adventure you can request one when you book.
Points of interest
The Old Beechworth Gaol
The Old Beechworth Gaol is one of Australia’s most significant post European cultural sites. Its role in the chain of events that led to the execution of Ned Kelly is significant as it housed Ned’s mother, Ellen Kelly, many of the Kelly sympathisers and Ned himself, alongside his brother Dan and the rest of the Kelly gang.
The Old Beechworth Gaol is more than just the Ned Kelly story with many other characters spending time behind bars, and more than a few characters who helped keep them there.
The Rogues, Ratbags and Mongrel Dogs tour is the perfect way to get behind the walls of the Old Beechworth Gaol and see what life would have been like behind bars. Book a guided tour at www.oldbeechworthgaol.com.au
Located in the Stanley State Forest 8km south of Beechworth, the Murmungee Lookout is one of the region’s most spectacular spots for a picnic.
With panoramic views of the flood plains of the Ovens and King Rivers and the breathtaking sight of Mount Buffalo, it’s well worth the trip.
Stanley and The Stanley Pub
Sitting at 750m above sea level, this picture perfect village and tight knit farming community is famed for its produce, with cool climate and fertile soils providing the perfect conditions for growing apples, stone fruit, berries and nuts. Autumn is truly stunning.
Put simply, The Stanley Pub is a great country pub. Cold local beers, a good selection of regional wines and a lovely ambience, both in the main bar as well as the beer garden. Oh, and the meals are hearty and delicious. stanleypub.com.au
Lake Kerferd was created in 1862 to retain the waters of the Hurdle Swamp for gold mining activities. Today it is Beechworth’s main water supply.
Once the scene of annual rowing regattas, the lake and surrounding bushland is a treat for nature lovers, offering habitat to a rich diversity of animal and birdlife.
Pack yourself a picnic and take in the beautiful sites and sounds around the lake. For more details check with the Beechworth Visitor Information Centre. Boating and swimming is prohibited.