Approximately 400 people gathered on the banks of the Kiewa River at Bandiana, just outside Wodonga to watch the opening of the three bridges. It was performed at the main Kiewa River bridge by Robert Mitchell, Victorian State Member for Central Highlands, and Lisa Mahood, Major of the City of Wodonga.

The High Country Rail Trail now extends from Bandiana, near Wodonga in northeast Victoria, to Old Tallangatta around the shores of Lake Hume. The City of Wodonga has constructed a gravel path beside the Murray Valley highway into Wodonga.

Click here for more details of the rail trail including map.

More details and photos will be in the Winter issue of the Railtrails Australia newsletter.

Background from March News Item

There has been a gap between the start of the rail trail and Bandiana due to a lack of bridge across the Kiewa River flood plains. The railways removed most of the original bridge and a military base has taken possession of some the right of way near the old bridge so another solution had to be found. The creative rail trail groups, who are unfortunately used to running on the smell of any oily rag, have managed to construct three smaller bridges to get across the Kiewa and two if its branches from donated materials and labour.

With financial support from the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment and the City of Wodonga the bridges have been installed and a track created to join them back to Whytes road (where the railway line is still in use). Wodonga council have constructed a gravel track besides the busy Murray Valley highway back to Wodonga.

To celebrate this achievement, which has taken several years to complete, a Kiewa River Cooee is being held on Sunday 23rd April 2006 (Anzac Day loong weekend). Seven bike rides are being run that will all converge on the bridge site for the official opening at 12 noon. A festival atmosphere is being planned with entertainment and displays.

A summary of the bike rides is

More information and Online Registration on the High Country Rail Trail website

Please show your support to encourage the further development of this great trail.

The committees are already well advanced on their next plan to reinstate the 660m long Sandy Creek inlet bridge in some form and perhaps seal the trail from Bandiana to Tallangatta, both of which will boost the trail’s popularity even further.