Average Gradient: 6.4%
Total Ascent: 1084m
Climb Category: 1/HC
Start: Corner Warburton Highway and Donna Buang Road - Warburton
Finish: Lookout Tower, Mt Donna Buang Summit Road - Warburton
Nearby: Warburton, Marysville
Strava Segment Link
The township of Warburton is fast becoming a regular with cyclists, owed to the fact it is the home of the famous Mount Donna Buang climb, the closest true alpine ascent to Melbourne. Best of all it is virtually traffic free.
Some cyclists ride out from Melbourne, while others start in Launching Place or Warburton.
Mount Donna Buang like all alpine environents features some spectaular scenery but can also be unpredictable where the weather is concerned. It can be sunny at the base in Warburton, while the top of climb is hidden in cloud, or vice versa. The climb offers riders a sheleterd but consistent ascent amongst the Mountain Ash and Tree Ferns with regular creeks and streams crossing under the road, which attract bird life from the area, including the Superb Lyrebird. You may even spot some wild Deer as well as other native animals
The climbing starts the minute you head up Donna Buang Road from the Warburton township. Most riders mentally break this ride into two halves. The first half is from Warburton to Cement Creek. With regular gradients of 7%, with a couple of steeper sections getting to 9-10%. At about the 2km mark you go past the O'Shannassy Aqueduct trail crossing. This is a good option if you have family wanting a ride while you are tackling the Alpine ascent of Mt Donna.
At about the 7.4km mark you will rach Cement Creek, you will need to take the left hairpin hear for the second half of the climb or you will end up on the dirt road of Acheron Way to Marysville. The road flattens out ever so briefly before heading up again.
As you climb your way steadily up the mountain, you can get a some great views of the Yarra Valley floor with lookout points at about the 10km and 12km marks of the climb. At the 14km point you will see the old entrance gate and office from when visitors where charged to enter the Mountain during snow season (it's now free). From here the next noticable junction that signifies you are almost at the summit is where Donna Buang road heads left and changes to dirt towards Healesville. Keep on the sealed road, which becomes Mt Donna Buang Summit Rd, for the final 1.2kms of climbing, in true Alpine style the road kicks up again before the finish requiring one last effort.
Once you have finished the ascent you can take five at the top, there is a viewing platform and toilet, no drinking availble though, before enjoying the fruits of your labour with the descent back down to Warburton.
Please be courteous to local drivers and climb single file when cars approach.