Average gradient: 8.1%
Elevation gain: 208m
Rising sharply from the seaside town of Dromana, Arthurs Seat is the highest point on the relatively flat Mornington Peninsula. The road to Arthurs Seat winds painfully upward at a touch under 10% but, like all the great climbs, the amazing views make it all worthwhile.
The climb begins at the entrance to Arthurs Seat Park as designated by the brick signpost on the left-hand side of the road.
The climb to Arthurs Seat ends at the highest point of the road, in line with the old lookout tower on the right-hand side of the road.
At a glance
- Apart from a couple of short, flatter sections, this is a consistently steep climb.
- The steepest section is a tight left-hand bend 1.5km into the climb.
- The easiest part is the final 600m, a long sweeping left-hander that straightens into the finish.
Much like Inverness Road in the Dandenong Ranges National Park, the climb to Arthurs Seat is short but painfully steep. The first corner at the 250m mark bends the road around to the right at a rather painful gradient that is maintained for most of the climb’s 3km length. A couple hundred metres later the road bends back around to the left all the while climbing at around 10%.
At Bowens Point, 1km from the start of the climb, the road heads left again, seemingly steeper than any of the previous corners, but 500m up the road at Franklin Point the climb reaches it steepest and sharpest bend, turning left to begin the second half of the climb. While the temptation is to swing toward the centre of the road here, avoiding the inside of the turn (which is inclined at about 20%), this corner is extremely narrow and you put yourself at risk from vehicles in both directions if you do so.
Predictably, the right-hand bend 1.9km into the climb is also very steep, and it continues this way until Murrays Lookout 200m later. A further 200m into the climb the road flattens off for 100m or so, before continuing at a comparatively moderate gradient for the last 600m to the summit.
The descent from Arthurs Seat should be taken quite carefully as the many sharp corners have a habit of coming up quite quickly when descending at 50km/h. Recommended speed signs of 15km/h should not be ignored around these corners and while the temptation is to take advantage of the road’s steepness, you are better off enjoying the amazing views while descending conservatively.
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Arthurs Seat is located on the Mornington Peninsula, some 80km south of Melbourne. If you are looking for a long day in the saddle, the 160km return trip from Melbourne via Beach Road and Nepean Highway is a picturesque and enjoyable one — assuming there isn’t a headwind on the way back.
The climb begins just out of the seaside township of Dromana and can be accessed by turning onto McCulloch St off Point Nepean Road (B110). After heading under the Mornington Peninsula Freeway overpass and turning right just before the scarily-steep road ahead, you’ll reach the entrance to Arthurs Seat Park and the start of the climb.
Like most of the great Victorian cycling climbs, Arthurs Seat has a dedicated following over at Cycle2Max. Head over there to post your time or to read the comments of those legendary enough to have broken the 10 minute mark up this challenging climb. Click here to see the Strava segment for the Arthurs Seat climb.