Cardinia Aqueduct Trail

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Cardinia Aqueduct Trail
Location:   Upper Beaconsfield – Pakenham
Distance:   5km one way
Surface:     Generally smooth dirt or gravel track
Access:       Parking access from Officer Road or Thewlis Road
Dogs Allowed

Thewlis Road entrance

The Cardinia Aqueduct Trail is set in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges.  It is an excellent recreational trail suitable for bike riders, walkers, horse riders and joggers. Feel the serenity and tranquility as you make your way through grassy woodlands.  Wet gully forests and tall Eucalyptus trees. The trail begins in Pakenham, and follows a disused section of the Bunyip main race Aqueduct and maintenance track.  This is a trail which is steeped with history.  Playing a major role in the rural and urban development of providing water to the Mornington Peninsula.

The trail ends near Dickie Road in Officer.

The Cardinia Aqueduct Trail

The Aqueduct trail is 5 kilometers in length.  You will find the surface is generally smooth dirt with some gravel.  Overall the trail is fairly flat throughout with one steep section to the west of Officer Road.  The trail has a pretty good surface and is suitable to ride a road bike on.  And is a popular trail for walkers, horse riders, bike riders and joggers and even suitable to push a pram along.  If you’re travelling by car you can’t access the start or end points of this trail.  You will need to backtrack to complete a full lap of the trail.  Many people will just come along to do a small section of the trail instead.

At a glance

  • Easy walking on level trail
  • Suitable for prams
  • Dogs allowed (on leash)
  • No toileting facilities
  • Parking available on Officer Road & Thewlis Road
  • Located 57km south east of Melbourne (easy access from the M1)
  • Road crossings at Officer & Thewlis Road (take care when crossing the road)
Map courtesy of Cardinia government website


The trail is quite isolated, so make sure that you bring adequate supplies as there are no shops along the trail. The trail is a 10km return trip, and if you are doing the Aqueduct trail by bike.  I can offer some additional climbs around the area which are great to bike/hike.  Click on the links below to read about some of the great local gravel roads:

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can find some steep hiking trails to the north of the Aqueduct Trail.


Cardinia Aqueduct Trail
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11 thoughts on “Cardinia Aqueduct Trail

    Eran said:
    July 4, 2016 at 9:07 am

    O my god I had a double take when I came across this wen page… because I have actually been on this exact trail maybe 7 years ago!
    Really nice, friendly and beautiful lit trail. I agree with your comment that it is quite isolated (really isolated!!!!…. we saw no people, let alone shops or houses), so you really need to bring adequate supplies. Not sure if that’s changed now but I doubt it.
    Seriously recommend it! 😉

      admin responded:
      July 5, 2016 at 10:53 am

      Hi Erin, starting to see a few people out and about on the trail, and slowly growing in popularity. Hopefully you can get back to visit it at some stage 🙂

    Barbara Carr said:
    July 4, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    I have lived in Pakenham for 11 years and never even knew this trail was here until two days ago. It is now my favourite birding spot. I didn’t have to walk ten minutes before finding my first half a dozen birds.

      admin responded:
      July 5, 2016 at 10:50 am

      Hi Barbara, this site’s a hobby of mine, and hearing you’ve found such a special place has really made my day 🙂

    Jenna said:
    August 31, 2016 at 6:23 am

    Hi, I wonder – are dogs allowed on this trail?

    Anna Greer responded:
    January 16, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    Walked this trail for the first time on the weekend. Absolutely loved it. Thanks for posting this 🙂

    Adrian said:
    March 17, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Was wondering if this trail would be any good young kids to begin there bike rideing on ?

      Barbara Carr said:
      March 17, 2017 at 11:33 pm

      Ideal for young kids on bikes.

      Brendan Edwards responded:
      March 18, 2017 at 2:52 am

      Great for kids. Not many out on the trail & quite flat. Probably suggest to park on Thewlis Road. The tracks quite flat all around that side of the trail. 👍

        Adrian said:
        March 22, 2017 at 5:00 pm

        Thank you very much

    Alan Spellman said:
    January 8, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Visitor from Scotland, had the most enjoyable time watching birds on the trail in Oct 2017-Jan 2018. Rufus fantail, Satin flycatcher, Red browed finch, Honeyeaters. and many more. Good easy walking on the flat. Recommended by this visitor.

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