Commute to the Cranbourne Gardens


My wife Lisa and I did the ‘seachange’ thing a few months ago, having moved from Ashwood in the SE ‘burbs of Melbourne to the Bayside suburb of Bonbeach.  The house we were looking for had to meet a number of key functional criteria including open plan, layout, proximity to the beach, number of rooms, scope to build a garden etc.

There were (of course) some additional key cycling related matters the place needed to fulfill…such as a shed for the bikes, (is 8 bikes too many?) a bit of room for a bench and a workshop, and for the local riding be generally bicycle friendly…in terms of distance to ride to work and the ride-ability of the commute.


I am delighted to say that we love our new house and it meets (and probably even exceeds) all our wants and needs! As for the cycling…my daily commute to work is a joy and i have the best garage that i could ever wish for to tinker in. Happy days!


This is my ‘stock’ route to and fro work…You’ll see from the map that there are more direct routes I could take, indeed they would be quite a few K’s shorter. They are however mostly narrow, busy, one lane, (each way) 80 kph roads, without a sealed shoulder. Not what i would call ‘rideable’ with any sense of safety or enjoyment.

Here’s an account of one days riding from Bonbeach to the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria – Cranbourne Gardens..

Setting Out: Early morning light across the bay and the Patterson River

I pick up the Eastlink Trail at the National Water Sports Centre. The Eastlink trail is 27K’s of off road shared path. There are some lovely sections of trail that i am fortunate to include on my commute to work

Crossing the “eel race” where the head of the Kannanook Creek used to merge with the Carrum Carrum Swamp. It was quite literally an eel race and a place of great bounty for hunting. Its since been turned into a man made drain, but without doubt the eels would still be here in numbers.

The trail passes the St Kilda Football Club Training Ground. We are great Saints fans and I enjoy getting the glimpses of the players from time to time when they are in training.

Through the Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve. A large conservation reserve with tracts of remnant vegetation.

On the road for a bit: Quarry Road and the Frankston – Cranbourne Road – Both have good sealed shoulders and gentle rolling hills.

The last 2 k’s to the Gardens is on Ballarto Road. A gravel track which is corrugated and dusty in summer and boggy and muddy in the winter.

The nice thing about Ballarto Road is the feeling of being out the in the bush. Whilst the road reserve vegetation is quite degraded, there are some interesting trees here including the rare Eucalyptus willisii.

Once on site it’s not uncommon to encounter the local wildlife. Wallabies, Bandicoots and Swamp Rats, alongside the numerous birds , lizards and the occasional snake are the most likely things to see. 

Heading home along the now busy Frankston – Cranbourne Road and yes passing by the ubiquitous Macca’s – (of which i have not stopped in at and don’t intent to!)


The gates to Cruden Farm and the famous Lemon Scented Gum Driveway. Cruden Farm was the estate of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch and is opened from time to time in the Open Gardens scheme.

A bit of roadside art…The chrome gnome and the meteorite

The Seaford Wetlands – a large tract of wetlands that links back to the eel race and the formally hugely extensive Carrum Carrum Swamp – Its not unusual to see all manner of wading birds visit these wetlands, often in the thousands.

Back to the Patterson River and home for another day. Its a great commute…upwards of 50k’s/day pending the route.


Eastlink ornate hoarding. I pass through quite a few of these place names on my daily commute.

Cheers Johnno

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6 thoughts on “Commute to the Cranbourne Gardens

  1. Fiona McGlade

    OMG! How do I not know Johnno? Not only are we both from Melbourne and proud owners of Bike Fridays (making us already a relatively rare breed), but we both frequent the trails around town and are fans of the mighty Sainters (aforementioned football club though sadly not a happy success story in this football obsessed city). Perhaps I might need to just pedal my beautiful Ruby Merlot out to the Cranbourne Botanical Gardens one day these holidays and introduce myself. Great to see the photos of familiar places scrubbing up so well which may possibly entice a few other Bike Friday owners down to this part of the world.
    Happy Cycling,

    1. John Arnott

      Thanks for your messages John, Jen, Darryl and Fiona…

      I am enjoying my commute to work along this route. Its so much better than any other commute i have had – Would love it if you did drop in at the Gardens Fiona…any time! Just drop me a quick email so i can make sure I’d be available to show you around


  2. John Fleckner

    Eight bikes is not too many, especially if one (or more) is a tandem. Lucky you to have a proper parking place for them. I’ve enjoyed a shorter and scenic commute in the past but I envy yours.


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