Thursday, 26 December 2013

Melbourne Williamstown Running Route

Click here for route map
Length 11.7 km (7.3 miles), terrain: flat

Melbourne Running Routes:
Best Melbourne Running Routes Overview 
Fitzroy Gardens
Yarra River at CBD
Tan Track
Carlton/Fitzroy 
Yarra Bend Trail
Albert Park Lake / St. Kilda Beach
Williamstown 
For more running routes, see Route List.

NOTE: If you want a shorter run, I'd recommend shortening the loop to start at Nelson Place, run south and west along the water to the botanical garden, then run back along Giffard and Parker streets, for a total of 4 kilometers.
 
If you want to discover Melbourne's surroundings a bit, a trip across the harbor to Williamstown is a great way to start. Williamstown has a small-town feeling, with a lot of coastline and some historic buildings. And for those reasongs, the area has become popular with tourists to the area.
View towards Melbourne from Williamstown Harbour
You can get to Williamstown either by a scenic ferry from Southgate (in the heart of Melbourne, along the Yarra River), or take one of the frequent commuter trains from Flinders Street or Southern Cross Station, a cheap Zone-1 ride.

This route starts at Newport Station, at the north end of Williamstown. We'll basically do a loop along the waterside, and then back through some quieter neighborhood streets. So, if you're ready to go, let's hit the pavement!

Leave Newport Station, going through the tunnel under the tracks, then up the ramp to the left. Right near the station exit, you'll see Tait Street just to the left. Take Tait Street eastwards, a quiet street full of speed bumps. It ends in a few blocks, but then just continue eastwards on Collingwood Street, just a few meters to your right.
Heading east on Tait Street
You end up crossing Douglas Parade into Newport Park, with the huge smokestack of the Newport Power Station off to the left, on Hobsons Bay.

Run diagonally to the right through the park until you come to the Strand bayside street, at the 1.5-km mark. Now just follow the Strand towards the right (south), where a narrow park and trail borders the shore.
Running along the Strand towards Williamstown Harbour
You'll pass the Anchorage Marina, then approach the much bigger harbor, with lots of boats moored out off shore. There are dockyards with some big ships just past the main harbor.

At the 3.4-km mark the trail will come to a green square, Nelson Place, next to the water and some nice old businesses lining the street. NOTE: The ferries from Melbourne land here. If you took the ferry, here's where your route will start.
Nelson Place
Now follow Nelson Place as it turns eastwards past the shipyards and the Titanic pub. You'll see the gray stone lighthouse up ahead, with the mast on the roof where they used to lower a ball every day to let the ships set their navigational clocks.
At the lighthouse
When you reach the lighthouse, the shore turns to the right and you'll run southwest along this rocky shoreline. You can either run on the paved track next to the street, Battery Road, or -- much harder -- in the sand down by the rocks. You now have a great, 3.5-km waterside run.
Along Battery Road: paved track or sand
It's hard to notice, but the dirt hills in the field to the right are the ramparts of an old fort, and there are a few cannon up on top still. You'll see them if you look closely.

Keep along the water as you pass the new cricket stadium, and the shoreline turns towards the northwest. There is nice parkland along the water here, a park called Hatt Reserve, full of rocks and succulent plants, and lots of people walking their dogs.
Hatt Reserve
When you see the big cypress trees coming up on the right side of Esplanade street, make a little detour into Williamstown's little botanical gardens. It's only about a square-block in size, but is charming, fitting this charming little town. Loop through it and return to the water, continuing to the west.
In the Botanical Garden
You'll now go by the "Main Beach", with its nice sand beach. After the beach, there is a boring park (just an empty lawn) next to the water.

One block before the end of this vague attempt at a park, turn right and run north along Hannan Street.
Main Beach
This street is quieter and nicer than the ones to either side. It is lined with wooden cottages with beautiful landscaping. The only sounds you'll hear are coming from the loud parrots and myna birds squawking away in the flowering trees above your head.
Quiet living on Hannan Street
Hannan ends at Collins street, where you turn right, then left at the next street, Victoria Street. Straight ahead is an ugly intersection where a busy street crosses the train tracks. After idyllic Hannan Street, this is a rude reminder that loud traffic, gas stations, 7-11s and trains all do exist.

Cross the tracks and then take the street to the left of the Bristol Hotel at the big roundabout, Station Road.

In two blocks, you'll cross Williamstown's main business street, Melbourne Road. You could take this busy street straight back to Newport Station, but it's pretty noisy. So, to avoid that, run straight along Stevadore Street for two blocks and then turn left on Rennie Street. It then turns into Queen Street and then Alma Terrace. They're all nice, quiet residential streets.
Front yard rosegarden along Alma Terrace
Alma ends at Wilkins, where you turn left and run west one block to the park, where you turn right on Effingham and run north until it ends at Collingwood (the street you first ran down when you started).
Now just turn left on Collingwood and continue on Tait to get back to the station.

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