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 where the old lookout tower used to be, 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.
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.
Click here to see the Strava segment for the Arthurs Seat climb.
48 Replies to “Arthurs Seat”
I made my first attempt on Arthur’s Seat this weekend, as part of a long ride from the city. It was a lovely morning and I recommend taking the Esplanade that runs right along the waterfront, as opposed to the slightly quicker Nepean Hwy. Great views from the rode, as well as some gentle rollers.
It was a pretty hot day, but the climb wasn’t too bad. Traffic was pretty quiet and the climb was over almost before I knew it. I clocked around 15 minutes, but I reckon I could shave some seconds off that.
Biked up on the weekend. Yes, very tough for ageing amateurs but great sense of achievement. Took “not stopping” breaks circling in two of the layoffs. Lovely quick descent.
First attempt today.
Couldn’t do it in one go.
Took 3 legs to complete.
But I think I can do it after a few more goes.
Wow, I did this today for the first time. I felt like passing out and vomiting, it took my physical and mental stamina their absolute limits. much worth it though the view at the end had me close to tears.
Climbed Arthurs Seat for the 4,316th, 17th and 18th time earlier today. Why, because I still can. Its beauty never ceases.
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Did this on a BMX yesterday just for fun.
Might try a unicycle next…:-)
Did this today as part of a 190km day out.
While tough, I was expecting it to be worse.
The views are worth it!
I have done this climb at least 15 times over the last 3 years.
It never gets easy, it is very painful every time, but it is rewarding when you get to the top.
Have you done any rides on Caldwell st? As you head towarrds Arthurs Seat from the beach you’ll see Calwell St dead straight in front of you. Just looking at it is enough to give you chills.
I ran up Caldwell st from boundary rd intersection .. with a jog back recovery .. I could only do four .. set out to do 10 .. too difficult
Jeez, even one sounds hard enough!
My First Climb! I was a little worried about attempting it but decided that I would give it a go. Now I can’t stop thinking about Donna! I’ll probably do the same thing and go alone tell no one and just see how far I can get.
Chris Froome just beat the record in the 2016 Hearldsun Tour. He did 7.35 min. Even though they finished 100 meters sooner than 2 years ago due to the chair-lift being constructed. Safe to say you could add another 10 seconds and he’d still easily have the record.
I’m doing it just a tad over 14 mins at the moment but by feet not wheels
That’s fantastic I don’t know how you do it . I’ve ridden up many times over the summer with different bikes. Road bike 16min up and 5min down. Mint bike 20 min up and 4 down, but I am 70.
First time up Arthurs Seat today in perfect conditions. The climb is steep and view is spectacular. In the words of Arnie, “I’ll be back”
did it last week first time ever back again this week love it give it a go
Did it today for my first time!! OMG!!!! It damned near killed me, have been riding 15 months, nothing prepared for this :).. I got up it, rode painfully slow at times, and at corners dropped well under 10kph.. My legs were dead from previous ride day before, and a super heavy cheapie alloy road bike, also didn’t help…
Next time I do this, will be on fresh legs with a lighter bike..
I would recommend this ride to anyone who has never ridden this hill (although it’s only about 20m from being categorised as a mountain!!).. Great feeling having done that, and the views are awesome, although I was in too much pain to fully appreciate the spectacular view.
Want to have a crack at this one, usually ride the Yarra Valley ( chum creek and myers creek roads are regular climbs). But want to have a go a Donna (I like the Donna Done Dirty article and will have a crack at that, but starting in Healesville) and Lake Mt first.
Not being a climber and new to road riding (I’ve lost 20kg but still weigh in at just under 100kg) I find climbing a challenge but am always up for a challenge :DD
Next year I’m up for the 7 peak series.
Marco, I did this climb last week – set out from Moorabbin, so it formed part of a 120Km ride. It is STEEP and hard for us larger blokes (I’m 100+) and 39/27, but the feeling when you’ve achieved the climb (like any good climb) is great. Give it a crack!
Had my first go yesterday, was certainly tough but very pleased to have done it in 16mins. Have only been riding on the road for a few months but I live in Mt Eliza where there a few testing little slopes to get a taste of it.
Want me to pace you through it so you can shave off 2 mins from that ride .. the only thing Is I won’t be on the bike .. my wheels are my legs
Training for 3peaks. Just did 5 repeats of Arthurs. Great way to get the legs burning!
I’m new to Road, have ridden MTB (Hard-tail) for few years…
Great Climb!!! never attempted any CAT 3 climbs before, I did it with my Cyclo-cross bike ( 700 x 25C)
I loved it…. took it very slow, my avg speed was about 10k/h for entire 3km, Great feeling to reach the top.
Now I know I can do it!!! What a great feeling….
Great work Millinda!
Awesome little climb used to do this 4 nights a week after school for training back in the day, i could cane it then now my fast twitch muscles just say ‘damb’ thats hard!
Great blog just found it after just doing GOORC at Torquay and looking for more training climbs
for more events
Great climb. Did it for the first time on Saturday. Rode down from Melbourne to do it. Spent a lot of time out of the saddle trying to maintain momentum. Found it hard to keep my 39×25 turning while seated.
It’s a tuff climb the first time, it took me, a couple of attempts before i cracked it, but once you do it you just want to do it again.
@Serge. the segment is called ‘wonga gate – tower’.
Thank you for a great write-up. I rode it last Saturday in the rain. I’d say this is a very faithful description of the ride.
For anyone thinking of trying this… This is a great challenge. But make sure you do some easier ride such as 1 in 20, Kings Lake, Montrose to Olinda etc before attempting this one.
I kind of expected to find Cycle2Max segment for this in Strava but kind find it so far, does anyone know what the segment is called on Strava ?
Did it today on my R1 in about 5 secs, what a great view from the top!
new record is 7.57 from that Russian pro from Team Katusha who won the stage in the 2011 Suntour. incredibly fast considering the times the VIS guys did were generally 8.40-8.50m. for a general amateur to get under 10.00m is doing very well. normally a 39×19,21 for the first section and possibly the big ring for the last 400 meters is possible depending on your form….
I climbed this on Saturday.
Stings after 80kms in your legs, but the return leg to the city becomes easy after climbing this.
The headwinds the whole way back were nasty though.
Highly recommend it.
Great climb, gets super steep if you hug the corners.
I used to do repeats on it back in the day, but the last time i rode it (tailing my wife) it nearly killed me.
If you are doing this climb for the first time make sure you have a base, maybe put Twobays rd under your belt half a dozen times first. Enjoy
Repeats of this climb would be nasty. It’s not long, but it packs a punch. Particularly if you hug the corners, as you mentioned.
Great little climb, very steep but nice and short.
I don’t know if you have ever climbed Mt Baw Baw but i am interested in climbing it soon and was hoping you had an article on it? I heard it is amongst the toughest in the country.
Hi Andrew. Thanks for stopping by and for your question . I’ve sent you an email in response 🙂