Darebin Bridge (Darebin Yarra Trail link)

The Darebin Creek Trail now links to the to the Main Yarra Trail via six bridges.


The problem

The Darebin Yarra Trail link is one of the most controversial, protracted and hard-fought campaigns in the history of Melbourne’s bike community.

Previously, the southern end of the 17km-long Darebin Creek Trail stopped before connecting to the Main Yarra Trail and its 35 kilometres of off-road riding and extensive path-network connections.

Now that the Darebin Bridge is built and open, the Darebin Yarra Trail link connects six of our most popular trails: the Darebin Trail, the Metropolitan Ring Road Trail, the Main Yarra trail, the Outer Circle or Anniversary Trail, the Koonung Creek Trail and the Capital City Trail

It’s great for students at a dozen schools riding every day, from both sides of the river. It opens a new, convenient car free route to La Trobe University. It will be perfect for CBD workers who want to commute by bike.

The bridge opens up 600km of bike paths all over the metropolitan area. 

If you live in Yarra or south of the river in Boroondara, Whitehorse and Manningham you will be able to get across to the Darebin parklands, Latrobe Uni and the Western Ring Road.

A BREIF history

Bicycle Network, our members, local BUGs, residents and the wider bike riding community have campaigned for 24 years for this connection against local opposition and long-time opponent, Boroondara council.  

Since 2004, our website has recorded every bump in the road, set back and most importantly win and funding announcement on the road to getting the bridge built. 

campaign history

1989 – User survey showed strong support for bridge

1993 – Lower Darebin Creek concept plan adopted.

1993 – Golf club agrees to allow the trail through.

1995 – BVNews article calls for the bridge to be built

1997 – BVNews reports state funds are solid.

1997 – Boroondara approves plan and funding

1997- Locals object to Tribunal claiming it is a ‘pristine area’. Objection thrown out and permit awarded

1998 – LaTrobe Golf Club refuses to sell land to the trail.

1999 – Boroondara planning approval lapses and is extended

2000 – Minister Thwaites commits to Public Open Space zoning for the trail and bridge

2001 – Boroondara refuses to extend planning approval

2002 – Boroondara endorses Willsmere Park Management Plan and bridge

2002 – Golf Club to “fight tooth and nail” against trail

2004 – Concept design completed by Parks Victoria

Since 2004, our website has recorded every bump in the road, set back and most importantly win and funding announcement on the road to getting the bridge built. 

For the full history of events right up until 2017, please check out this link

Community support

In addition to state government bodies, many community groups and local residents have invested years of effort to bring about this vital part of Melbourne’s infrastructure. Following is a list of the bridge’s champions and defenders over the years:

  • Banyule Bicycle User group

  • Boroondara Bicycle User Group

  • Darebin Bicycle User Group

  • Yarra Bicycle User Group

  • Community Coalition for Darebin – Yarra Bridge Trail:

  • Alphington Primary Safe Route Committee

  • Darebin Bicycle User Group

  • Darebin Creek Management Committee

  • Darebin Parklands Association

  • Friends of Darebin Parklands

  • South Alphington and Fairfield Civic Association

Where are we at?

Current status: At last! Darebin Bridge opens

On Sunday 25 March, veterans of the campaign converged on Alphington to be among the first to ride the magnificent new structure over the Yarra.

Approximately 1,000 locals, BUGs and people riding bikes of all ages came to Sparks Reserve in Ivanhoe to celebrate the opening of the long-awaited link.

For the first time, the Darebin Creek Trail now links through to the Main Yarra Trail, connecting up two vital bike routes, which in turn connect to other popular trails.

The new bridge over the Yarra, and other new bridges and shared trail along the Darebin Creek, opens up recreational riding and commuting to vastly more people.

In the news: 

Opening of the Darebin Yarra Trail link


What's next?

Darebin Bridge link to Main Yarra Trail to be built

With the link now open, Bicycle Network and VicRoads turn their attention to the Farm Road link. 

VicRoads have stated that community consultation for the section will begin in mid-2018. 

The link is complicated by the acquisition of privately-owned land from the golf club.