The Serpentine

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The Serpentine
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Start location: Tecoma
Length: 0.70.7 km
700 metres
0.435 miles
km (0.4 mi)
Average gradient: 1313 %%
Elevation gain: 9191 m
298.556 ft
m (298 ft)
Maximum elevation: 370370 m
1,213.911 ft
m (1214 ft)
Category: 4
Road surface: Sealed
Strava segment: Link

The Serpentine is a short but very challenging climb on the lower slopes of the Dandenong Ranges, in Melbourne's outer eastern suburbs. The road gets its name from the way it winds its way up the hill in a series of switchbacks.

Climb location[edit]

The Serpentine is located in the suburb of Tecoma in Melbourne's outer east.

Start of the climb[edit]

Start of The Serpentine climb.

The climb begins at The Serpentine's intersection with Sandells Road.

End of the climb[edit]

The climb ends at The Serpentine's intersection with Terrys Avenue.

At a glance[edit]

  • A short but very steep climb on a narrow, suburban street.
  • This climb is steepest through the hairpin bends and gentler in the sections between.
  • The second left-hand hairpin (the third of five hairpins in just 700m) is the steepest section of the climb, with gradients approaching 30%.

Description of the climb[edit]

End of The Serpentine climb.

This climb might only be short but it will still have you working very hard, particularly through the corners. The gradient is far from consistent, ranging from gentle and manageable on the straight sections between switchbacks, to extremely steep through the switchbacks. The second left-hand switchback, 300m into the climb, is particularly brutal with gradients well in excess of 20% and, occasionally, some gravel on the surface to make things even more challenging.

Be aware that The Serpentine is a very narrow suburban street and that the numerous switchbacks make visibility tricky. Be on the lookout for cars coming the other way, particularly on the corners.

History of the climb[edit]

The Serpentine has featured in all three editions of the Melbourne Dirty Dozen, from 2012 to 2014.

The Serpentine is set to feature as the second climb in the 2014 Melbourne Dirty Dozen as well.


Profile of the The Serpentine climb.
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Adjoining climbs/nearby climbs[edit]

Alternate start or finish points[edit]

Some people like to take the start of the climb as being on Sandells Road, just as the road ramps up before The Serpentine turn-off, if you're coming from the Burwood Highway side. Doing so makes the climb 900m at 12%, with an extra switchback as you turn right on to The Serpentine.

The descent[edit]

It's probably best to avoid descending The Serpentine. In addition to it being very steep with tight corners, the road is very narrow and often lined with local residents' cars. Your better bet is to turn left at the top of the climb, following Terrys Avenue downhill to Sandells Road, turn left and follow that back to the start of The Serpentine.

External Links[edit]

Facts about "The Serpentine"RDF feed
Average gradient13 % +
Cat4 +
Elevation gain91 m (298.556 ft) +
Length0.7 km (700 metres, 0.435 miles) +
Maximum elevation370 m (1,213.911 ft) +
Start coordinates-37° 53' 57.9336", 145° 20' 49.38"Latitude: -37.899426
Longitude: 145.34705
Start locationTecoma +
SurfaceSealed +