Perhaps the Single Speed world champs will be the start of an Antipodean mountain bike adventure or just a glimpse into what single speeding is. Maybe you’re better half wants it to be a festival of Australian Food and Culture…but most likely you want to head down to Woodend because you want to catch up with mates….or to meet some dazzling new ones and drink beer with them. Trust us we know we’re a long way from anywhere, so if you planning a trip and want to get in as much riding as you can head over to the where to ride page, and get details and advice on new adventures.
Woodend is the classic Aussie small country town with a wide main street and broad verandas to sit under and watch the world go by. It has supermarkets, an eclectic range of shops selling old and new wares, chemists, cosmopolitan cafe’s, bottle shops, restaurants, pubs and a bike shop. You can find most everything you need here. If you require something that you don’t think you can get in a small town, you better set aside some time to drive 10km to Kyneton, travel into Melbourne or bring it with you.
As a small town, Woodend has limited accommodation and eateries, so think ahead and make a booking before you rock into town. There will be extra demand for accommodation during SSWC 2016 as the 50th Kyneton air show is being held on the same weekend. Kyneton is only 10km to the north and they are expecting 10,000 visitors for the air show on Sunday 23rd October. Head to our accommodation page and book your bed now!
While the Macedon ranges are only 580m above sea level, they still receive mountain style weather, that can change relatively quickly. In October, the weather in Woodend could be comfortable, in the mid to high 20’s or get as cold as 5 (degrees centigrade). There’s a reasonable expectation that we will get some rain over the weekend.
The days will just be starting to get longer with sunset around 7 pm, so you will need lights to ride around at night. The boys in blue don’t take kindly to idiots on bikes, so keep left, wear your helmet, act normal and be cool.
You can catch a train out to Woodend from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station via the Vline train system that connects regional areas. They seem to go about every hour or so. Head over to the Public Transport Victoria website, http://ptv.vic.gov.au/route/view/1760
In a modern twist to rail technology, trains also run in the reverse direction back to Melbourne. That website should allow you to check timetables in both directions. Worth noting that like other goods and services you will be required to buy a ticket. But more than a ticket you can get a card, called MyKi (close, but never as good as a Mai Tai). Costs here: http://ptv.vic.gov.au/tickets/regional-fares-2016/ Buy your MyKi at the station or here: http://ptv.vic.gov.au/tickets/myki
If you’re flying in or out and only plan on getting to Woodend via the airport (Tullamarine) there is an airport shuttle that travels to and from Woodend. Bendigo Airport shuttle will set you back about $44.00 including your bike. But you must book, especially given the number of others likely traveling with their bikes as well. http://bendigoairportservice.com.au
The airport will have all the hire cars, taxis, busses, donkeys and wagons that will get you get you around greater Melbourne or further.
The town was literally named “wood end” because it is located where the Black Forest ends. At Woodend, prospectors en route to the goldfields in the 1850-60s could finally feel safe from bushrangers who used to hide in ambush in the black woods.
The Woodend Bridge was built in 1862 and is a single span bluestone bridge that is on the route to the goldfields, it crosses Five Mile Creek. In 1854 Woodend got a post office sand the railway arrived in 1862 from Bendigo.
In the nineteenth century it was once famous for it’s gracious private homes and elegant guest houses that were used as an escape from the summer heat of Melbourne.
The infamous bushranger, Mad Dan Morgan was about 6ft tall and had a big bushy black beard. He was born in Sydney in 1833 to Irish parents. In 1854 he was sentenced to 12 years hard labour for armed robbery. After only serving 6 years he developed his career as a bushranger during 1862-63 by holding up travellers around Wagga, and terrorising the Riverina district of New South Wales. He was an excellent bushman who was probably also insane as he was given to murderous rages.
Morgan became one of the countries most feared and hated outlaws. A man who usually worked alone, he attracted a massive 1000 pound reward for his capture after shooting and killing a hostage and a policeman. In 1865 the Victorian Police boasted that if Morgan crossed the border on the Murray River they would capture him within 48 hours. He crossed the border anyway and within two days he had held up and robbed three properties, burned down haystacks and out buildings, and held up coaches on the Benalla Road.
From his reputed lookout at Walla Walla (part of Hanging Rock) he had a 180 degree view of the surrounding country. You can check it out for yourself as it is now a tourist look out. Morgan met his match the day he took over a homestead in northern Victoria and held the people hostage. One of the maids slapped him in the face and he let her go as her bravery impressed him. She found a station hand and told him to ride for help.
When the police arrived they surrounded the farmhouse and just after sunrise Morgan appeared holding three hostages. He was shot in the back and died. He was then beheaded, had his head shaved and the skin was removed from his face to make a death mask. Morgan was known in his own time as ‘the most bloodthirsty of all highway robbers.’