Mount Donna Buang (via Don Valley)

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Distance: 27.1 km
Average Gradient: 4.2%
Elevation gain: 1,146 metres
Traffic: Light
Terrain: Gravel/Paved

Here is a link to the segment here

Mount Donna Buang is one of the most popular Mountain climbs in Victoria.  It is located approximately 74 km East of Melbourne.  If you enjoy riding the roads less travelled.  There are three lesser known gravel ascents you can  do to ascend to the top of Mount Donna Buang.  These are via Don Valley, Panton Gap or through Acheron Way.  The climb to Mount Donna Buang (via Don Valley) is quite the adventure, offering some spectacular views along the way.

Don Valley

Mount Donna Buang (via Don Valley) climb

From Launching Place turn onto Don Road. There is no definite start to the climb as it starts on a false flat.  You will find the climbing starts in earnest after you pass Dairy Road.  The road eventually turns to dirt, but the dirt section is usually a good surface to ride a road bike on.

When you reach the bridge (pictured above), please use caution when crossing as it can be quite slippery.  From here, you will find the gradient fairly consistent.  Its easy to get lost in rhythm.  You will eventually come to a big “T” intersection where you need to turn right onto Donna Buang Road.

Here’s where the fun begins.

This road will be sealed over the next few km’s.  During the winter months 13 km of this road is closed to motorists.  You will find debris all over the road, as this section is not maintained over the winter months.  This offers its challenges but makes quite the adventure to climb during winter.  This should definitely make any adventurers bucket list.

There is a flattened out section of road.  Shortly after you will come upon a sign alerting you that the road will turn to gravel again (see image above).  This section is 13 km long.

Stop for a drink at the waterfall


The scenery through this section is amazing.  This is easily one of the greatest sections of dirt roads that you can ride in Victoria.  There are some steep pinches throughout this section but overall the gradient is fairly consistent.  This road is single lane.  You won’t be likely to see much traffic, but please keep an ear out for traffic

Photo by Brad Thexton

There is a lookout which if you’re fortunate you will get a clear day and can see the valley below.

You will encounter long sections which don’t see much sunlight.  The closer you get to the peak you will be guaranteed the temperature will drop.

When you come to the last “T” intersection turn left onto Mount Donna Tourist Road.  The last 1.5 km is sealed and quite steep.  After you turn left you have 1 km of climbing to go until you reach the top.  The end of the climb is at the base of the lookout tower.

At a glance

  • Narrow road which can experience a bit of tourist traffic
  • During the summer months this is a popular motor bike route
  • Use caution when crossing historic bridge
  • Very impressive hairpin
  • Toilets at top
  • Viewing platform at top (not cleat friendly)
  • Picnic shelter which is good to shelter from the cold
  • Temperatures at top will always be colder than at the base. Bring adequate clothes to keep you warm on the descent
  • Please use extreme caution on the descent

If you enjoy this climb you should try the other three ascents up to the summit of Mount Donna Buang:

Donna Buang Road

Panton Gap

Acheron Way




Mount Donna Buang (via Don Valley)



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