Yellowbellies be jumpin: Yellowbelly Track is open

There is now a rideable version of the Yellowbelly Track that includes substantial sections of river track in National Parks.

Yesterday (Friday 17/03/23) ParksVic re-opened a substantial section of Lower Goulburn National Park (LGNP) after it had been closed for flood damage. Luckily this included the prime stretch of Yellowbelly Track, 17km along the Goulburn River from McCoys Bridge to Yambuna Bridge.

As far as I am aware the map below is the current situation for the Yellowbelly Track routes between Shepparton and Echuca. The three yellow highlighted areas are the only parts of the Yellowbelly Track river tracks through Parks that are still closed.

Scale guide: riding from Echuca to Shepparton along the red line is 88 km

Until the small northern section of LNGP is reopened, the best access point for riders at the north end is a 1.3 km section of Yambuna Bridge Road (marked purple on the map above).

Shepparton Regional Park (map to the left) is all open. This Park also includes river and bush track where the route goes close to the Goulburn River.

Access to this Park is important because it allows Yellowbelly Track riders to avoid the built-up urban areas of Shepparton and Mooroopna.

As a guide to the scale of the map – the ride distance from Shepparton to Toolamba along the red line is 21 km.

The only other closure anywhere is Kirwans Bridge, but there is a viable detour via Chinamans Bridge (see red line on the map to the right). As a guide to the map scale, the red line is 4.2 km long.

There is local community pressure to reopen Kirwans Bridge for car traffic, so this may open soon also.


Final Situation Report – updated 18 March 2023

See – Flood and Storm Effected Parks.

The Good News:

  • A lot of ParksVic areas that were closed have suddenly re-opened in March. Perhaps there is pressure from commercial groups to have parks reopened by Easter, a peak camping time in Victoria. Recently opened areas include parts of Lower Goulburn National Park, the park areas east of Echuca along the Murray, the streamside reserves along the Campaspe such as Englishs Bridge reserve, Shepparton Regional Park, and Major Creek Camping Area.
  • In North Central Victoria the Campaspe, Goulburn and Murray Rivers have all receded back to within their banks. River levels are actually lower than usual.
  • Rainfall levels are back to normal levels and hot dry weather has assisted in drying soggy gravel and clay roads and tracks.
  • Gravel routes to the west and south-west of the GABCY Network, including Rushworth Heathcote ironbark forest, are mostly back to normal. But please make your own enquiries before riding, particularly if intending to camp in public reserves.
  • The roads on the most southern section of Yellowbelly Track from Tallarook to Murchison are all open as normal, although Kirwans Bridge is closed. The nearest alternate Goulburn River crossing is Chinamans Bridge on Vickers Road to the south of Nagambie town.
  • Northwood Road Reserve camping area is open near Seymour.

The Bad News:

  • The sections of Lower Goulburn National Park around Coomboona, and north of Yambuna Bridge Road are still closed.
  • Even in bush areas that were flooded, but are now open, there is some ongoing risk of treefalls and branches dropping onto tracks.
  • Advice from ParksVic is that they have concentrated on the main tracks and popular areas. Even in Park areas that are open, large sections of bush away from the tracks have not been assessed.


That’s all I’ve got. Please make your own enquiries and let me know if you discover anything else.

Reminder – there are other places to ride in the GABCY Network that are still in good condition.

See All The Rivers Flood – for more detail on recent floods.


Review: Red Ridge Ride – Darryl, Marion and a friend

In February 2023, Darryl, Marion and a friend rode 80km in a version of the Red Ridge Ride – Heathcote Wineries Tour. This is how Marion described it on Facebook.

With the lure of good food and wine, we started our gravel ride on Sunday around Heathcote… after coffee @fodder, we unanimously decided to go for the bigger loop.

Darryl was on the e-bike and made us work for our adventure!

We ended up stopping at Tellurian Wines … a showcase of great wine, friendly staff and yummy food!

The desent down chinaman’s hill was awesome!

Very quiet back roads and gravel tracks made for a sublime day out.

The South Westerly on the way home wasn’t our friend, but my jelly legs got us back to Heathcote where we were treated with a nice meal under a big oak tree in the courtyard… yes, I slept well that night.


More Ride Reports

Click on this link to see more Ride Reports from the GABCY Network


Review: GABCY Bakery Tour – Phil

In January 2023 most of the River parks and reserves were still closed in the aftermath of the floods. Undeterred, Phil rode a 2-day, 240km U-shaped tour of the GABCY Network linking up many small towns with a particular focus on their bakeries. This is his account.

This was my first trip to the northern country in decades, and never with a bike. With it came the normal trepidations- how far can I expect to get per hour; do I have enough water capacity; will I have phone reception if something goes wrong?

Day 1 – Murchison to Echuca, 116km.

I caught the 5:55 am train from Southern Cross Melbourne to Murchison East. I had a plan to utilise the prevailing wind.

A week earlier I had rolled out from Seymour train station assisted by a ripping southerly that blew me along. A mechanical meant I had to pull the pin and go home. But I learnt a few things. The second time around I changed the route to bring my first re-supply stop (water) closer, and the wind now favoured an arc-shaped parcour. Just on the wind… I highly recommend targeting the best wind for your route. If time doesn’t allow that, then plan your route around the wind.

Changing my route was easy. I was already well versed with the GABCY network and playing on rwgps has become a hobby. 

At 8:10am I arrived at Murchison East station and excitedly clipped-in. Away we go! You pass an impressive two-storey old hotel before crossing a fortified bridge over the Goulburn River and into Murchison central.

The bakery has automatic doors like a bank! By now the trip was taking shape in my head. It’d be a bakery tour of the Northern Country. You can town-hop easily enough here. It’s 30k from town to town on gravel backroads. Less than 10 cars passed me in 2 days (250k).

I love custard scrolls and figured I’d eat 4 each day and rate them. Sadly, custard scrolls don’t exist in this part of the state. I know, crazy. I settled on a custard tart. Then I asked the friendly staff for their most popular item under $5. She gave me a vanilla slice. This would be the new game plan. That idea lasted 2 bakeries; I was offered a vanilla slice every time and there is a limit to how many vanilla slices I can eat in a day!

Breakfast done. Off we go. I ride with a Garmin etrex mounted on the stem as my navigation device and utilise rwgps to configure the pre-trip gpx file. Two years ago I would have had no idea what that meant.


To read the full report and access a Strava link for the route, click on this link – Review: GABCY Bakery Tour – Phil