Average gradient: 3.5%
Elevation gain: 295m
The road from Chum Creek to Toolangi isn’t the longest nor the most challenging climb going around, but it’s certainly among the most picturesque. Winding gently through native gums and fern-filled gullies, this is one of the most visually impressive climbs Victoria has to offer.
The Chum Creek Road climb begins at the corner of Heath Road and Healesville-Kinglake Road (C724), approximately 8km north of Healesville.
The Chum Creek Road climb concludes at the intersection of Healesville-Kinglake Road (C724) and Myers Creek Road, right next to the Toolangi Tavern.
At a glance
- A stunningly picturesque climb with a very modest gradient.
- The road emerges from fern-filled forest after 7.2km and passes through farmland to the top.
The climbing starts soon after you pass Heath Road but this is by no means a difficult climb. The gradient settles in at around 3% and, apart for a few short sections, this gradient is more or less maintained throughout.
Within a few hundred metres of the start of this climb, you’ll find yourself surrounded by native gums with the road winding its way gently from side to side. After 1.1km you’ll pass Elliott Lodge on the left-hand side of the road, after which the road begins to wind more tightly.
After 1.8km the road becomes marginally steeper — around 5% — as you wind through native gums and a lush covering of ferns. At the 2.3km mark you’ll bend sharply around to the left and 300m later the road has flattened out again to resume a gradient of around 3%.
The gradient fluctuates marginally for the next few kilometres, with a couple of short flat sections thrown in for good measure. After 4.2km the road opens out considerably and 100m later you’ll reach another false flat.
By the 4.6km mark you’ll realise just how gorgeous a climb this is, as the road continues winding its way through native ferns and gums. Look to the left of the road 300m later and you’ll catch your first glimpses of a brilliant gorge, replete with the best native flora that the Yarra Ranges have to offer. After 5.2km of climbing you’ll bend into a long, left-hand hairpin after which you’ll enjoy even more amazing views into the gorge on your left.
At the 5.4km mark, the road kicks out of the hairpin into the steepest part of the climb at around 6%. At this point you’ll have a virtually unobstructed view into the gorge below, and it’s a view worth savouring. 300m later the road has flattened out again and after another 100m you’ll bend sharply around to the left.
Over the next few kilometres the road continues to wind its way from side to side, the gradient fluctuating between nearly-flat and around 5%. Even the steepest parts of this climb are unlikely to have you in too much difficulty, and as a result, it’s a great climb to push out on in search of a best time.
After 6.7km the road has begun to wind quite sharply from side to side and 500m later you’ll emerge from the forest into open farmland. At this point the road has a gradient of around 4% but by the 7.8km mark, the road has flattened off and you’re within site of the end of the climb.
The climb comes to a close with a tiny kick just before the intersection with Myers Creek Road.
The Chum Creek Road climb begins 8km north of Healesville, a township located 65km east of Melbourne. If you’re riding from Melbourne, the most direct option is to take Maroondah Highway (B360) through Melbourne’s eastern suburbs before turning onto Healesville-Yarra Glen Road (c724) a kilometre or so before the Healesville township.
If you are cycling from Melbourne’s north east, it’s worth taking Eltham-Yarra Glen Road (C726) and then Healesville-Yarra Glen Road, despite the occasional patch of heavy traffic.
If you feel like challenging yourself on this wonderfully picturesque climb, you could always time your ascent. If you want to see how your time compares with other cyclists’, head over the Strava segment for this climb.