Overview – Plenty Gorge


Update 15/5/2024: Smiths Gully in the Yarra Valley is now BACK as Race 1 of the 2024 Trail Running Series, replacing the previously advertised Plenty Gorge venue.

Unfortunately we received a last minute (and very unforeseen!) permit cancellation by Parks Victoria to host Race 1 at Plenty Gorge, so what better place to go than the deliciously beautiful trails of Smiths Gully! Plus we know you’re keen to tackle the Rob Roy again!


*please disregard information below, and follow the link about to Smiths Gully.

Escape to the beautiful Plenty Gorge for a magnificent trail run with the kangaroos.

Race 1 of the Trail Running Series begins at one of the Series’ favorite venues, the beautiful Yellow Gum Park which encompasses the Plenty River in North Eastern Melbourne.

This often forgotten corner of Melbourne is located just past Bundoora and sits only 30km from the Melbourne CBD – but step out of the car and you will feel a world away with a beautiful natural setting all around you.

WHERE: Yellow Gum Park, Plenty Gorge (at the end of Goldsworthy Rd, Plenty)
START TIMES: For the full race day schedule including start times, click HERE.

  • Long Course: 24km
  • Medium Course: 13km
  • Short Course: 7km

NOTE: The exact distances may change slightly as courses are confirmed

Plenty Gorge offers three course distances that allows runners complete a scenic loop deep within local bushland made friendly with plenty of kangaroos, echidnas, galahs and other friendly Aussie wildlife to keep you company.

Each course allows competitors to enjoy the views from the valley top, with Medium and Long course crossing the Plenty River in ankle deep water at the valley bottom – this added adventure component is an often talked about feature and adds to the sense of escape… after-all #BitumenIsBoring.

The start and finish are located in the Yellow Gum Park picnic area at the end of Goldsworthy Lane beside Blue Lake. The nearby lookout provides panoramic views of Plenty Gorge and the surrounding parkland and should keep families and friends busy whilst runners are off enjoying the trails.


Previous years’ photo albums:

Competitors comments from previous years:

 “It’s the first time I’ve done river crossings and it was really invigorating. Everyone was really supportive out on course and it was a good atmosphere,” said Rebecca Rosel, (Medium Course)

“It was my first trail run so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was a hard course, lots of ups and downs and river crossings but I made it! And it was great fun,” said Dennis van Helmond, (Short Course)

About Plenty Gorge

The Plenty River originates near Kinglake and the Great Dividing Range near Wallan, then flows across the flatter areas near Whittlesea but carves a deep channel as it approaches the city outskirts at Plenty. The Plenty Gorge cuts a twisting path through the earth with a steep sided valley walls, lush eucalypt forest and natural rock formations to create a serene Australian landscape.

The start and finish at Yellow Gum park is located immediately adjacent the remarkable Blue Lake, named so because of the beautiful colours of the water owing to the mineral contents. The lake is also a popular swimming spot on hot days so if the temperatures are up then bring your swimmers for a terrific post-race cool off. Or if you’d rather keep your feet dry then you can throw a line in to the lake for a spot of fishing – another popular activity in the Reserve.

The parkland is a home to all your most popular Australian fauna with kangaroos being the most prevalent, almost always seen nibbling on the grass in the clearings dotted throughout the park. Add to that plenty of echidnas, koalas, frogs, possums, skinks and a whole range of birds like ranging from cockies, galahs, wood ducks, grebes, swans to the huge Wedge-tailed Eagles and you’ll enjoy seeing the wild life almost as much as they will enjoy seeing you.

So bring a picnic or a BBQ pack with you and spend the afternoon enjoying a local regional park you’ve probably never been to before that’s on your very own doorstep

Video on Plenty Gorge Park

Visit the Parks Victoria Yellow Gum Park