Strzelecki Ranges, South Gippsland, Victoria, 160km from Melbourne
Mirboo North to Boolarra
Compacted earth, Fine gravel
One of two new bridge, this one over Bairs Creek near Boolarra. (2012)
Typical scenery near Mirboo North
Cruising the rail trail near Boolarra. (2012)
A very pleasant forest trail in the heart of Gippsland that traverses beautiful mountain countryside with a gentle trail grade between Boolarra and Mirboo North.
Several floral reserves
Close to the Darlimurla station site is "The Big Tree", a giant mountain grey gum
Boutique brewery and colourful murals at Mirboo North
Good bakery and other shops in both MIrboo North and Boolarra
Boolarra - Railway Park, near "Old Pub" (1884) cafe/bar is the start of the trail
Darlimurla - Old station visible from the Darlimurla Rd.
MIrboo North - the trail currently begins just behind the Grand Ridge Brewery/Restaurant
Boolarra to Mirboo North (13km)
From Boolarra, the trail begins its gentle ascent. Look for the interesting and historically significant brick drainage culverts under the trail.
The two new arch bridges are the highlight of this section. They are on the on the original gradient and replace difficult to access low level bridges burnt out in the 2009 bushfires.
Midway between Boolarra and Mirboo North is the Darlimurla station site. This has a shelter and trail map. Follow the nearby road with signpost directions to "The Big Tree", a giant mountain grey gum that has survived fires and logging.
Return to the trail to continue the climb to MIrboo North. For those wanting to do only half the trail this may be the better half at the moment as the lower half still recovers from the bushfires.
The trail finishes behind the Grand Ridge Brewery. after passing over some massive embankments.
The township of MIrboo North, with numerous cafes and shops available, is a few hundred metres along the road.
The Mirboo North railway station is now a community & chidcare centre. Close by is great playground for the younger trail users to entertain themselves on.
This trail follows the former branch line from Morwell to Mirboo North which opened in 1885.
South of Boolarra, the hilly country required many large cuttings, embankments and bridges. All were constructed by hand and apparently sent the initial contractor into financial hardship.
The railway carried timber, dairy produce and passengers. In its latter years, the railway was used mainly for passengers. A rail motor service commenced after WWII and continued until the line was closed in 1974.
The rail trail opened in the late 1990s. It was effectively closed for several years following the Grand Ridge bushfires of February 2009. Following its reopening it is hoped an underpass will be put under the busy highway at Mirboo North so that the trail can continue to the former railway station and better connect with the town centre.
The Grand Ridge Rail Trail is managed by the volunteer committee of management in association with the Victorian Department of Sustainablity and Environment (DSE).