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Bass Coast Rail Trail - Trail Description

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Trail

Bass Coast Rail Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: 130km south-east of Melbourne, near Phillip Island
Start/end: Wonthaggi - The old railway station, located by the nearby mine tower head to Anderson - The carpark opposite the roundabout turn-off for Phillip Island
Status: Open
Length open: 23km
Surface: Fine gravel
Terrain: Flat from Wonthaggi to Kilcunda, then easy climb to Anderson
Best seasons: All
Public transport: Coach
Features: tourist
Contact Region: Gippsland, Victoria
Trestle Bridge at Kilcunda (Feb 2007)
Trestle Bridge at Kilcunda (Feb 2007)
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes Suitable for cycling touring hybrid bikes Suitable for wheelchairs Suitable for horse riding Suitable for prams
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Details

Features

  • This is a spectacular coastal railtrail which can easily be ridden in both directions in a few short hours
  • An original timber trestle bridge at Kilcunda right on the beach
  • Phillip Island only a few kms away
  • Spectacular Coastal and rural views
  • Plenty of places to eat and stay at Wonthaggi and Kilcunda
  • Historical mining sites
  • Wonderful mining museum in Wonthaggi at old State Coal Mine site
  • Museum, arts and craft shop at Wonthaggi station site.

Extra Options

  • The George Bass Coastal Walk begins at Kilcunda, and is a pleasant walk along the beach and cliff tops with views of Cape Woolamai & Phillip Isalnd
  • Visit the historic State Coal Mine at Wonthaggi
  • Cycle on the east area trail from Wonthaggi to Cape Patterson approx 9km

Description

Access

  • Wonthaggi railway station site, Bent Street (or carparking at the shopping centre on the western side of the Bass Highway)
  • Kilcunda township - on Bass Highway
  • Anderson - V-Line carpark opposite roundabout to Phillip Island on Bass Highway
  • Woolamai Recreation Reserve on Trew Road.

Wonthaggi to Kilcunda (13km)

This is a very pleasant and easy to ride section of the trail where the scenery is a mix of farmland and coastal heath and paperbark

  • Cross the long bridge over the Powlett River and then Mouth of Powlett River Rd
  • The trail climbs up into a cutting before emerging to give one of the many magnificent coastal views
  • The trail now runs right on the ocean to Kilcunda with beaches and rock pools
  • Cross the iconic Bourne Ck trestle bridge to arrive at Kilcunda village.

Kilcunda to Anderson (4km)

The trail from Kilcunda is a steady climb to Anderson, giving views of the large tailings heap at the old Mitchell Mine

  • The trail diverges from the original railway alignment at Kilcunda due to safety reasons crossing the Bass Highway.
  • Follow the path to the road crossing adjacent to old rail timber viaduct
  • A short steep climb up to the original rail alignment
  • Proceed through rolling hills towards Anderson
  • Access at Anderson is the large carpark on the east exit of the roundabout.

Anderson to Woolamai Recreation Reserve (6km)

The trail from Anderson is a steady decline and then flat, giving views of the surrounding areas and farming land

  • The trail continues with a fall in elevation to Woolamai Road
  • Follow the path from Woolamai Road to the Turnbull-Woolamai Road
  • The trail then proceeds adjacent to Turnbull-Wollamai Road to McGrath Road
  • The trail from McGrath Road to Woolamai Recreation Reserve will be completed when weather permits.

For more information on this trail see the book Rail Trails of Victoria.

Background Information

This trail is part of a former branch line from Nyora to Wonthaggi.  The line was opened in 1910 to service the coal mines, passengers and farm produce in the Wonthaggi area.  The line was closed in 1978 due to the decline in passengers and mining.

The first commercial coal mine was opened in Kilcunda in 1865.

The Bass Coast Shire is the committee of management for this rail trail, and is committed to eventually extending the trail the full distance of 48km to Nyora.

Links

Please report any issues (or compliments) to the rail trail managers:

  • Bass Coast Shire Ph: 03 5671 2211

For further information

Support Services and Attractions

Cross Over Cycles Wonthaggi

Bicycle Hire, Service and Sales

July 2014

 

To advertise your rail trail support business on this page, please click here.

Contact Us About This Trail

Email or click here: gippsland@railtrails.org.au.

Photos
Comments

Comments

7 comments
December 10, 2014 by jberkelm

I rode this trail 10/12/14 , previous time was 3 years ago. Probably because of the recent weather the trail has become quite rough in particular the stretch from Anderson to Woolamai. The main damage has come from horses. The track is also getting dangerous at the road crossing points, the surface falls away quickly and there are deep ruts in the crossing styles. The camber of track is fairly severe in places and could be difficult even for a hybrid with smoother tyres. The names at the roads crossings are not displayed. This ride could be a real attraction for trails riders if it was properly maintained and promoted. The motorbike ruts don't help either.

November 21, 2014 by cascho

I rode this trail on the 19th November 2014. Perfect day for it – sunny without any wind. The ride between Wonthaggi and Kilcunda is the best part – along the coastal dunes – though the views from Anderson are just as good. The trail surface is good – though it’s a shame the trail just ends in the middle of nowhere outside of Woolamai. Beware there was a swooping Grey Butcherbird right near the top of Anderson hill (as you cross the gravel road) which was pretty fearless in attacking me.

March 17, 2014 by stanford67

Rode this trail early March 2014. Trail surface good all the way. There was some sand on the trail near the Kilcunda trestle bridge, and a few 'ruts' in other places, but otherwise my bike (a portable / foldup with MTB rim on the back and standard road / hybrid rim on the front) had no problems travelling it. Well worth effort to ride this trail as it is fairly flat except for the section between Kilcunda and Anderson which has some grades. Watch for crosswinds near Kilcunda, and roos between Kilcunda and Powlett River!

June 11, 2012 by Jon

I rode the trail a couple of days ago on a touring bike with a 25mm front tyre and 28 mm on the back. No problems at all so a hybrid should be OK.

May 29, 2012 by rickp

Hi Nancy, I haven't ridden this trail myself but according to the Trail tab of this description page, the blue indicators on the right show that the trail is suitable for touring/hybrid and mountain bikes, among other things. Enjoy! And feel free to comment again with your experience of the ride. Cheers!

May 19, 2012 by Nancy

Does anybody know if hybrid bikes are suitable for riding on this trail? Much appreciated. Nancy.

April 26, 2012 by lynnb

I ride this rail trail frequently. It's a gravel surface, recently upgraded near the Powlett River. Much of the trail is quite sheltered, there are great views from the Powlett River Bridge across farmland to the Desal Plant and then fabulous ocean and beach views as you get close to Kilcunda. It's a fairly easy ride from Wonthaggi and there's a lovely cafe at Kilcunda.

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