The Dirty Dandys

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Image by Ewan Hilsdon

Hidden within the Dandenong Ranges are a network of amazing Categorised dirt climbs.

The Dirty Dandys are an adventure.  A chance to visit the great outdoors.  The concept behind this ride is quite simple.  You get out and climb as many dirt climbs in the one ride as you can.

The choice of climbs is up to you and can be a “choose your own adventure”.  We have compiled a list of some of the toughest dirt climbs in the Dandenong’s.  All of these link up to main roads, and you are fortunate that if you pick a wise route you can do all of your descending on paved roads.

Whilst the aim is to get as dirty as possible, all of these climbs are suitable to ride a Road Bike on.

The Dirty Dandys

Basin Olinda Road (The Basin): 6km @ 6%

Basin Olinda Road is perhaps the Dandenong’s most well known and popular dirt climb.  Located several km from the Dandenong’s most iconic climb the “1:20”.  This spectacular road can be used to climb up to Sky High. Basin Olinda Road takes you through the Northern Part of the Dandenong’s and is one of the most scenic dirt climbs in the Dandenong’s.

Click to read climb preview:

Basin-Olinda Road

Silvan Road (Silvan): 4.7 km @ 6%

Silvan Road is a real pleasure to ride.  Heading from the Silvan Reservoir, this amazing gravel road joins onto the top of “the Wall”.  This climb is challenging.  There is a fair bit of loose gravel on the road and you may discover in sections that there is only a limited racing line.  Whilst adding to the difficulty, it also adds to the appeal of this climb.  The scenery through here is amazing, and this is a real pleasure to ride.

Click for climb preview:

Silvan Road

Old Coach Road (Montrose): 5.5 km @ 8%

Old Coach Road is for those that enjoy a challenge and love a sense of adventure. A fair part of this climb is unsealed & boasts the steepest average gradient for a Category 2 climb in the Dandenong’s.  We would go so far as to say this is one of the hardest climbs that you can do on a Road bike in the Dandenong’s.

Click for climb preview:

Old Coach Road

Sheffield Road (The Basin): 3 km @ 5%

Sheffield Road takes you through the Dongalla Reserve.  Which is located right next to Melbourne’s most iconic climb; the “1:20”.  There are some fantastic hikes through here, and this is a reserve which is popular with Downhill Mountain Bike riders.  Due to many of the steep descents throughout the area.  This is a dead end road, but one which is well worth exploring.  This climb takes you through some amazing temperate Rainforest, and incredible cycling.

Click for climb preview:

Sheffield Road

The Dirty Wall (Olinda): 5.2 km @ 4%

There is a little known dirt climb at the base of Perrins Creek Road (Coonara Road).  This climb winds its way around to the Wall.  You will have a chance to climb 2.8 km’s through dirt at an average gradient of 6%.  Before moving onto the last 2.4km’s of the Wall.  Coonara offers some spectacular views, and this climb offers more challenges than the average 4% gradient suggests.

Click for climb preview:

Coonara Road

William Road (The Patch): 2 km @ 6.3%

Treat yourself to a sense of adventure, and try this hidden gem.  Nestled in between Kallista-Emerald Road & Grantulla Road.  This is a climb which takes you through the beauty and serenity that the Dandenong Ranges has to offer.

Click for climb preview:

William Road

Falls Road (Olinda): 2.1 km @ 7%

Falls Road takes you through the heart of the Dandenong’s. This is a truly magnificent part of the Dandenong’s and a great place to ride. The surface of this climb is gravel, but it is highly suitable to do on a Road Bike. This is quite a challenging climb which takes you past the National Rhododendron Garden in Olinda. The climb comes out at the very top of the Wall.

Click for climb preview:

Falls Road

Bourkes Creek Road: 2.3 km @ 4%

Bourkes Creek Road is an absolutely stunning road to climb taking you through some impressive rain forest. With the climb finishing at the R.J Chambers Flora and Fauna Reserve.  This is a nature reserve which offers some very steep hiking.  The R.J Chambers Flora and Fauna Reserve in Pakenham Upper is a 121.4 hectare reserve.  It is home to 88 bird and 336 indigenous plant species.  Four creeks run through Chambers Reserve: Bourkes including the Shelton and Swampy Creek which all join Toomuc Creek.

Click for climb preview:

Bourkes Creek Road

Bessie Creek Road (Nar Nar Goon North): 5.3 km @ 3%

Bessie Creek Road takes you through some of the Dandenong’s best cool temperate rain forest.  It is a pleasure to ride as it has a very consistent gradient.  And is one of best dirt climbs in the Dandenong’s.

Click for climb preview:

Bessie Creek Road

Olinda Creek Road: 5.7 km @ 3.3%

One for the adventure seekers. This climb takes you right through the heart of the Dandenong’s and one of the most scenic parts of the Dandenong’s.

Olinda Creek Road

Barbers Road (Olinda): 1.7 km @ 11%

This is a really tough climb that has an amazing reward at the end.  5 Ways offers one of the most scenic views that you are likely to see in the Dandenong’s and well worth the pain.

Five Ways

Here is another great dirt climb that we would recommend:

Doughtys Road (Olinda): 1.9 km @ 10%

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One thought on “The Dirty Dandys

    peter said:
    April 5, 2017 at 4:23 am

    great information here. thanks for gathering all this.

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