Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • A rail trial steeped in Colonial and Maritime history
  • The trail connects with the Coast Park, a 28km shared use trail along a continuous sandy beach coast line
  • The trail links with several side trails that explore the Port Dock precinct and the coastal beach area of Semaphore
  • A flat 23.5km ride on quiet roads and paths, adjacent to an existing railway line
  • Suitable for all the family

Attractions

  • Three quality Museums in one street – National Railway Museum, SA Aviation Museum and SA Maritime Museum
  • Port Dock historic precinct
  • Access to the Coast Park and beach facilities
  • Anna Rennie (Inner Harbour) Loop Trail

Trail Guide

The trail is divided into three sections commencing from the Adelaide Parklands and following the existing rail corridor to the Port Dock precinct and then on to the Outer Harbour.  The Outer Harbour Railway Line was constructed in 1856 to transport passengers and freight between Adelaide and the Outer Harbour / Port Dock sea ports.

Section Guides

Adelaide Parklands to Woodville Railway Station (8 km)

The trail commences on the cycle track near the Morphett Street Bridge and follows the River Torrens and the rail line westward past the Torrens Weir and then under the railway line into Bonython Park. Follow the river to the first bridge and cross it and continue to the edge of the Park Lands where the path turns right and crosses the railway line again and follows the line under the roadway. From this point onward the trail is clearly marked and progresses through the new Bowden / Brompton housing development and utilises bridges to cross main roads.

The trail follows the quiet suburban streets adjacent to the railway line through to the Woodville Railway Station. If you need a rest, stop at the MJ McInerney Reserve.

 

Woodville Railway Station to Port Dock Precinct (6 km)

At the Woodville Railway Station continue straight on. There is a path on the opposite side of the railway line that follows the branch line toward the suburb of Grange. This path is still in development but will soon form a rail side trail.

The trail continues on either quiet streets or shared use paths however there are several points where the trail crosses main roads. Fortunately, the crossing points are controlled by traffic lights.

The path passes under Grand Junction Road, winds through suburban streets until it enters the old Port Dock rail yards. At this point you will see the Aviation Museum, then, in Lipson Street, you will pass the Railway Museum and once you cross St Vincent Street you will see the Maritime Museum on the right. All the Museums are excellent for children and can take some time to visit.

Please note that Lipson Street is one way so the return trip uses Timpson Street – please check the Rail Trails Map.

You are now in the Port Dock Precinct and you will come to the Port River at the end of Lipson Street. You may notice some interesting paving along the wharf area which indicates where some of the old railway lines were located. This area had numerous train, tram and trolly bus tracks, along wharfs, down streets and over bridges. There is an interesting shared use 3.5km trail (the Anna Rennie Loop Trail) that circles the Port Dock area. Further details are available in the Side Trails section below.

 

Port Dock Precinct to Outer Harbour (9.5 km)

The trail uses the Birkenhead Bridge to cross the Port River and then crosses Semaphore Road and follows the existing rail line along Mead Street and then weaves its way through suburbia until finally crossing the rail line into Lady Ruthven Drive. The trail crosses Lady Ruthven Drive and then continues on a short distance to a large roundabout. Follow the shared use path to the left until you get to Lady Ruthven Reserve and the Outer Harbour Lookout. This is the end of the rail trail however there is a great option for the return trip by following the Coast Park shared use trail south along the coast to Semaphore and then returning to Port Dock via the Semaphore Rail Trail.

 

Side Routes

Anna Rennie Loop Path – previously known as the Inner Harbour Loop rail trail (3.5km loop)

Please note that the Anna Rennie Loop Trail overlaps the Outer Harbour Rail Trail where it crosses the Port River (Birkenhead Bridge) and follows Jenkins Street and a small section of Semaphore Road.

The Loop trail circles the Port Dock precinct, also known as the New Port which replaced the Old Port dock which was further upstream in the Port River and was basically a mosquito infested, smelly swamp. It was so despised by the colonists that it was called Port Misery. The New Port on the other hand was well constructed on reclaimed land with modern timber wharfs and bridges. The loop circles the Port River and provides cyclists and walkers with convenient and safe path. The trail has many interactive maps that allow the viewer to superimpose historical photographs from a century ago over todays view of the Port. Also of interest, is Hart’s Mill Playground, a convenient place to rest while the kids burn-off some energy. Further details and maps can be found in the Information and Links section below

 

Coast Park Trail

A 28km trail which follows the coast from Outer Harbour to Seacliff, south of Adelaide. Please note that a 5km section of the trail currently follows Military Road from Third Avenue Semaphore Park to the Grange Jetty. This 5km section is expected to be converted into a shared use path along the coast over the next few years. The Coast Park also connects with the Mike Turtur Rail Trail and the River Torrens Linear Park. Further information is available from the TrailsSA – see the link below.

Background Information

Traditional owners

We acknowledge the Kaurna people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built.

 

Development and future of the rail trail

The Rosewater Loop is a potential Rail trail of 5km in length that would connect the Outer Harbour Rail Trail with the Port River Bikeway via Eastern Parade. The loop was constructed in 1915 to alleviate congestion in the Port Dock rail yards and is no longer in use.

 

Rail line history

The Railway between Adelaide and the Port Dock Railway Station was opened in 1856 and was the second railway in South Australia and is believed to be the first Government owned railway in the British Empire. The rail line was later extended to Outer Harbour when a deeper sea port was required.

The Port Dock area was incredibly busy, bringing immigrants and produce in from abroad and exporting copper and farm produce to the world. All of this movement needed an efficient transport system. Port Road which runs parallel to the existing rail way line has an extraordinary width of more that 60m and is relatively flat and it was proposed by Colonel William Light in 1836 that a canal should be constructed between Adelaide and the Port Dock precinct. The proposal was romantic but did not measure up against the cost effective and efficient new rail technology that was emerging.

The Port Dock area became a maze of small rail lines, mostly privately owned and connected to the Wharf area and smelters. There were horse drawn trams, trains and trolly buses, steam trains and electric trams. Confusion reigned as no one knew who had right of way and no one cared because the private transport operators had to make money to survive. Eventually the port activity declined, the small private transport operators closed down and the State Government railway and bus services were all that remained.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • Pleasant path along a linear park on the old rail reserve It has easy grades, ideal for children and novice riders
  • Davidson Reserve features a large duck pond, picnic facilities and toilets
  • Historic copper mines nearby

Attractions

  •   Mining history
  •   Rural scenery
  •   Access to Mawson, Heysen and Kidman Trails

Trail Guide

The Kapunda Rail Trail features a smooth hot-mix surface of good width. It is SA’s  second shortest rail trail but is well used by cyclists, walkers and runners, especially before and after school. All three of SA’s major long distance trails, Mawson (cycling), Heysen (hiking) and Kidman (horse riding/multi-use) pass along or cross this trail. 

There are coffee shops, bakery and restaurants in the nearby main street, and toilets and picnic facilities at Davidson Reserve.

Section Guides

Coghill Street to High Street (0.8 km)

The trail starts on the western side of the Davidson Reserve duck pond  on Coghill Street. Some rail remnants are visible adjacent to the path, and the level crossing on Coghill St is intact. An old pumphouse building alongside the trail was used to pump water from the dam for use by steam trains. 

Head north along the linear park, taking care at the two road crossings.

A short diversion to Hill St reveals the Lions Playground Park, complete with an old Rx Class steam locomotive. Adjacent Kapunda swimming pool is nearby in Beck St.

 

Side Trails

Old Station

To the south of the duck pond, an unsealed road leads to the old station, which is quite grand by country standards and has been kept in good condition and used as a B&B in recent years. Much of the rail and yard infrastructure is still in place.

 

Rattler and Riesling Rail Trails

The southern end of the Rattler and Riesling Rail Trails can be reached at Riverton, about 30 km northwest of Kapunda, by road or via the Mawson Trail.

 

Barossa Rail Trail

The Barossa Rail Trail can be reached at Nuriootpa, 22 km southeast of Kapunda, by road or via the Mawson Trail.

Background Information

Traditional Owners

We acknowledge the Kaurna people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built.

Development and Future of the Rail Trail 

While informal trails have existed within the railway reserve for decades, it is only since the line closure and removal of the tracks that attractive linear path and sealed rail trail has been established.

The Swann Path Kapunda Rail Trail opened in 2015. There are plans to extend the trail south 1.5 km to Bethel Rd and it is hoped the Kapunda Trail will eventually form part of a future Wine Capital Trail which will run from the Clare Valley to McLaren Vale via the Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills wine regions.

Rail Line History 

Kapunda became the first mining town in South Australia soon after copper was discovered in 1842. Mining began in 1844 and continued until 1879, when world copper prices fell. Although copper was mined for only a brief period, revenue from its sales saved South Australia from bankruptcy.

When the railway opened in 1860, Kapunda became the rural centre for the Mid-North of the State. The first section of the line from Gawler to Kapunda was built to serve the mines and opened in August 1860. It was extended to Morgan in 1878 to provide a more efficient freight and passenger connection between the Murray paddle steamers and both the city of Adelaide and Port Adelaide for ocean transport. 

The Eudunda to Morgan section closed in 1969, and the line was removed not long after. The Kapunda to Eudunda section was closed in 1994, with the deterioration of the River Light bridge at Hansborough cited as a reason for closure. This section was pulled up the following year. The remaining Gawler to Kapunda section was leased by the SA Government to Australian Southern Railroad in 1997 as part of AN’s SA freight asset sale to Genesee and Wyoming. While it theoretically remains open, it has not been used for many years. 

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • Scenic ride or walk along the old rail reserve between Renmark and Paringa, avoiding the busy Sturt Highway
  • Easy grades, ideal for children and novice riders 
  • Access points for many MTB trails, water sports and other highlights
  • Watch the lifting span of the historic Paringa Bridge in operation to allow large vessels to pass
  • Side trips to Lock 5 or Murtho or follow the scenic Renmark riverfront path

Attractions

  •   Wine and fruit-growing area
  •   River towns
  •   Historic Paringa Bridge
  •   MTB trail access
  •   Water sports
  •   Irrigation history
  •   Historic paddle steamer

Trail Guide

The Renmark-Paringa Rail Trail features a smooth hot-mix surface of adequate width. It is a popular trail, particularly at holiday times, as it provides safe access to two main caravan parks and both towns. 

The Paringa Bridge lifting span operates daily at 9:30 am and 2:30 pm and is best viewed from Bert Dix Memorial Park. Make sure you are positioned on the side you want to be before the span lifts; it can be a long wait.

  • Coffee shops, bakeries and restaurants in Renmark and Paringa
  • Toilets and picnic facilities at Bert Dix Memorial Park

Section Guides

Nineteenth St to Patey Drive (2.0 km)

The trail starts off Nineteenth St opposite the Renmark Plaza shopping centre. Parking is available on-street or in the shopping centre car park. There is a BMX track, playground, picnic facilities and toilets close to the trail start.

 

The first section to Para St is paved; the remainder is hot mix. After crossing Para St the trail turns left and then parallels Eighteenth St/Sturt Highway. This area was once the railway station and freight yards; now it is a housing estate and Council offices. Just past the Council offices an old railway crane sits alone, the sole remnant of the station precinct.

 

Great care is required crossing the Sturt Highway as this is a major interstate freight route. The trail then passes behind houses on the edge of town with the highway to the right. At 1.8 km a ramp to the left allows access to the riverfront trail. Immediately following are the first two of four railway bridges over swampy waterways. Another ramp just after the second bridge accesses a trail that passes beneath the bridge, leading to Paringa Paddock and its many MTB and walking trails.

 

Patey Drive crosses the trail and is the highway access point for the Renmark Riverfront Caravan Park. Near the caravan park entrance are public toilets, BBQ and picnic facilities, river access and a boat ramp, and a boardwalk across shallow water to a small island for birdwatching. The caravan park café/kiosk is accessible from Patey Dr.

 

Patey Drive to Paringa (1.9 km)

A signposted gravel road 250 m beyond Patey Dr leads to the Paringa Paddock trails. Take care crossing the highway.

 

There are two more railway bridges to cross before the Paringa Bridge comes into view. Approaching the western end of the bridge, cross the entrance road to the Riverbend Caravan Park and the eastbound carriageway of the highway to reach the bridge’s central cycle path. 

 

Paringa Bridge was built in 1927 as a multi-use bridge over the Murray, with vehicles sharing the central passage with the railway. Later, outrigger vehicle decks were added to either side, leaving just the railway in the centre corridor. This is now the cycle path, necessitating crossing the eastbound lane of the highway at both ends of the bridge. The lifting span is close to the Paringa end of the bridge

Leaving the bridge on the eastern side, cross the highway again to reach the remaining trail into Paringa. On the left you will see a museum and also some silo art. The trail finishes on a service road close to the Paringa store and post office. Paringa also has a bakery café, the Black Stump Gallery and a hotel.

 

Side Trails

Renmark Riverfront Trail (3.3 km)

The Renmark Riverfront Trail follows the western bank of the river from the Riverfront Caravan Park. It diverges through a housing estate briefly before returning to the river.

The Visitor Information Centre is opposite the Renmark Hotel. Bike hire is available through the Information Centre, best booked in advance by phone or online. The paddle steamer Industry is moored behind the Information Centre and has regular passenger steaming days.

Continuing north, the trail drops to river level as it passes in front of the Renmark Club before climbing back to street level before the old wharf area. The central shopping area is to the left and has bakeries, cafes and other shops.

The trail continues through shady parks to the main irrigation pumping station.

 

Paringa Paddock MTB Trails

Paringa Paddock is easily reached from the rail trail and has a number of walking and MTB trails. Maps can be obtained online or from the Visitor Information Centre in Renmark. Trails are a mix of single track and unsealed roads. 

 

Lock 5 (1.7 km)

Lock 5 Rd can be reached from the eastern end of Paringa Bridge. Bert Dix Park has BBQs, toilets and picnic facilities. Continue on the lightly trafficked road past moored houseboats. Lock 5 and weir has well kept, shady grounds with a picnic area, BBQs and toilets. The historic barge Bunyip is displayed in the grounds and displays historical information and photographs about the barge and the locks.

 

Old Customs House (31 km)

Leave Paringa on Murtho Rd, uphill initially passing the scenic lookout on the left. Murtho Rd is sealed and lightly trafficked, though it does have a 100km/h speed limit. The terrain is mostly flat and passes irrigated orchards and open farmland. 

Headings Cliffs Lookout 12.5 km from Paringa has great views. It is 1 km off to the left on a sealed road.

Turn left 15 km from Paringa on to Wilkinson Rd to visit Wilkadine-Woolshed Brewery overlooking a bend in the Murray River. It is less than 1 km from Murtho Rd.

Approximately 26.5 km from Paringa, just past the intersection with Millewa Road and cattle grid, the route of the old Chowilla Dam railway crosses Murtho Rd. Little evidence remains of the old line.

Old Customs House was established in the late 1800s to levy excise on goods shipped into SA by Murray River steamers. Today it is a base for houseboats and has a general store, and is the stepping-off point for the Border Cliffs Wetlands Walk.

Background Information

Traditional owners

We acknowledge the Meru people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built.

Development and future of the rail trail 

The Renmark–Paringa Rail Trail was built following closure and removal of the railway.

There are no plans to extend the trail through to Berri or Barmera at this stage.

Rail line history 

The Barmera line branched east at Tailem Bend from the main Adelaide to Melbourne line. It was opened to Paringa in 1913. World War I delayed construction of the Paringa Bridge and the railway to Renmark did not open until 1927. The line was extended to Barmera in 1928.  

The line closed west of Paringa in 1984 and tracks were removed by 1986.

In the 1960s, a branch line was built which joined the main line southeast of Paringa, near the Wonuarra siding. Built to support construction of the proposed Chowilla Dam, it was 27.3 km long and went northeast to Murtho to the south bank of the Murray. . Construction of the dam was cancelled in 1967; the rail line was removed without ever being used (though there are reports that one test train did run on the line). The route of the line is still visible using Google Earth.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • Connects the inland town of Kadina with the coastal town of Wallaroo
  • Provides contrasting scenery from dryland interior to beaches
  • The proposed extension Moonta will add mining heritage and additional coastal scenery 

Attractions

  • Moonta Bay, Port Hughes and Wallaroo townships have extensive sandy beaches
  • Jetties and boat-launching facilities provide access to fishing
  • The area is rich in mining and agricultural history, with many museums
  • Moonta Mine Museum is a great family attraction and will connect with the proposed trail extension
  • The wealth generated by copper mining is reflected in the many late 1800s buildings
  • The biennial Kernewek Lowender festival celebrates the area’s strong Cornish heritage

Trail Guide

The Copper Coast Rail Trail connects the copper mines in Kadina (mine was called the Wallaroo Mine even though it is today within the township of Kadina) to the deep-sea jetty in the township of Wallaroo. The trail is within the original rail corridor and vegetation is confined to low dryland shrubs with the occasional taller tree. The path is in good condition and there are several shelters along the trail and facilities at each end.

Section Guides

Kadina to Wallaroo (8 km)

The rail trail begins in at Powell Terrace, not far from the main roundabout on the Copper Coast Highway. There is a shade shelter at this point; there are shops on the opposite side of the roundabout, and over the Copper Coast Highway.

When the trail crosses Lipsom St there are remnants of the Wallaroo mines on the left.

The trail continues through open country to the outskirts of Wallaroo to Wallaroo jetty.

 

Wallaroo to Moonta (proposed trail of around 18 km)

Construction on this section of the trail is expected to begin in 2021-22.

Background Information

Traditional owners

We acknowledge the Narangga people, the traditional custodians of the lands and waterways on which the rail trail is built.

Town naming

Wallaroo is derived from the Aboriginal term dharug walaru –a macropod, or medium-sized member of the marsupial family that includes kangaroos and wallabies.

Kadina is derived from the Aboriginal term kaddy-yeena – lizard plain.’

Moonta is derived from the Aboriginal term moonta-moonterra –‘impenetrable scrub.’

Development and future of the rail trail 

A rail trail connecting Wallaroo with Moonta is expected to begin construction in 2021-22.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • Ongoing construction of high quality cycling/walking paths to link up existing pathways.
  • All new sections are suitable for all types of cycles and people using mobility aids.
  • Beautiful riverside and coastal scenery along the edge of Bass Strait
  • Crossing eight rivers including historic railway swing bridge over the Forth River
  • Numerous accommodation, eating and coffee options in the small towns and larger centres of Devonport and Burnie – many of these immediately adjacent to the pathway.
  • Numerous easily cyclable side trips available to other attractions and scenic parts of the north west coast including new mountain bike trails at Latrobe and Penguin

Attractions

  • Platypuses in the wild at the Warrawee reserve on the Mersey River at Latrobe and Fernglade reserve on the Emu River in Burnie
  • The Bass Strait Maritime Museum and the Tiagarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Devonport
  • Fairy Penguins come ashore on summer nights at the viewing centres at Lillico and Burnie main beach
  • Ride a real steam train at the Don River Railway
  • Safe swimming at patrolled beaches at Mersey Bluff, Ulverstone, Preservation Bay, Burnie Main Beach and Somerset.
  • Pick your own berries in summer at Turners Beach Berry Patch.
  • Visit the “Makers Workshop” in Burnie that celebrates the papermaking and manufacturing history of Burnie.

Trail Guide

The complete trail is a mixture of cycle paths, roads and rail trails.

Please read each section carefully so you are fully aware of the route.

Please take care on the roadways.

Access Points

  • Latrobe
  • Devonport
  • Don
  • Turners Beach
  • Ulverstone
  • Penguin
  • Burnie
  • Wynyard

Section Guides

Latrobe to Devonport (10km)

  • Mostly dedicated separate cycle/walking path. Short on-road section (vehicle speed limit 60 km/hr) with marked cycle way.
  • There are public toilets at the beginning and end of this section as well as at Bells Parade park.
  • From Station Square in Latrobe (site of the old Railway Station), cross Gilbert St and follow the Sheean Walk on the formation of the old rail line heading west towards Bells Parade and the Mersey River. This walk commemorates the bravery of local lad Ordinary Seaman “Teddy” Sheean who died defending his mates on the sinking HMAS Armidale when under attack by Japanese aircraft in 1942. 68 years later he was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

Side trip: From Latrobe, follow the eastern side of the Mersey River 3 km upstream on Shale Rd to the newly opened Wild Mersey Mountain Bike park and to see platypuses in the wild at Warrawee reserve.

  • From the Sheean walk, follow the path through Bells Parade park to the start of the beautiful new path that runs along the eastern side of the Mersey River and adjacent to River Rd all the way to Devonport. The last kilometre through the suburb of Ambleside is on a marked cycle lane on the edge of River Rd. Beware of parked cars obstructing the bike lane. It may be safer to ride on the footpath (legal in Tasmania unless signed otherwise).
  • When you get to the highway bridge over the river turn left up the slip path onto the bridge and cross the river via the pedestrian footpath which then joins the Devonport – Don cycleway into the CBD on the western side of the river.

Side trip: After crossing the Mersey river, turn left on to the link path to Spreyton. This path follows the west bank of the Mersey River a further 3 km adjacent to the working freight railway to a lovely picnic spot at the Horsehead Creek park.

Alternate route to Devonport CBD: Instead of crossing the Mersey River on the highway pedestrian footpath, ignore the slip path and continue under the highway overpass and through parkland and an on-road bike lane to the cross river ferry terminal near the East Devonport shopping centre. Cross the river on the cute little ferry “Spirit of Devonport” – the tiny relative to the large Bass Strait ferry “Spirit of Tasmania”. You can take your bike on the little ferry at no cost. Re-join the Devonport – Don cycleway at the Harbourmasters café.

Devonport to Don (8 km)

  • Separate dedicated cycle/walking path.
  • Public toilets at the beginning and end of this section as well as at Coles Beach.
  • Follow the Devonport to Don cycleway along the parklands on the Mersey River bank and Bass Strait coast then through the Don reserve as far as the Devonport Aquatic centre. (See elsewhere in this publication for a full description of this section).

Don to Turners Beach (11 km)

The route of the Coastal Pathway on this section is yet to be confirmed. The following description describes the most direct route on existing roads. Highway speed limit 110/km/hr. Other roads 60 – 80 km/hr.

  • There are public toilets at the beginning and end of this section and in the park at Forth Village.
  • Turn right off the Devonport – Don cycleway just past the Devonport Aquatic Centre and descend steeply on the track marked to the Sawdust Bridge. Cross the railway line (look out for trains – this line is used regularly by rail motor and steam trains of the heritage Don River Railway) and then cross the Don River on the new “Sawdust Bridge”
  • Turn right after crossing the Sawdust bridge on to the old tramway formation which continues as Waverly Rd up the Don Hill to where it meets the busy Bass Highway.
  • Take extreme care crossing this busy four lane highway and continue your ride on the reasonably wide shoulder of the highway with Bass Strait on your right all the way to the Turners Beach turn off.
  • On the way you will pass the Penguin viewing area on your right at the start of the Lillico straight. This is a good place to come on a summer evening and watch the fairy penguins come ashore.
  • Shortly before the turn off to Turners Beach you will cross the Forth River. On your right you will see the old rail bridge over the Forth River which is a rare swing bridge that could rotate to allow small ships to travel up the river. The bridge has been preserved and will carry the new cycleway over the river as part of the Coastal Pathway development connecting Turners Beach and Leith.
  • Take the slip road off to the left at the Turners Beach turn off, then cross the highway overpass and the level crossing of the working freight railway line. There are good coffee options in Turners beach and the Berry Patch is a great place to go for an ice cream and pick your own strawberries in summer.

Alternative route from Don to Turners Beach: This is a slightly longer but much quieter route on Forth Rd (B19). Ignore the turn off to the Sawdust Bridge at the Devonport Aquatic centre and instead continue on to the Don River Railway complex. Cross the Don River at this point and continue under the highway along Forth Rd. This goes through rolling farmlands with lovely views to the coast. At about the 6 km mark, you can turn right onto Braddons Lookout Rd for an even better view of the northwest coast. At about 8 km from Don, the route descends to the small village of Forth and crosses the river at this point. There is a general store, coffee shop and a great pub here. A further 3 km along B19 takes you to Turners Beach crossing the highway via an overpass and re-join the Coastal pathway.

Turners Beach to Ulverstone (6 km)

  • Mostly separate dedicated cycle/walking paths.
  • There are public toilets at the beginning and end of this section as well as at the Ulverstone Surf Club
  • Bike hire is available at the Beach Shack café.
  • From the rail crossing on the road into Turners Beach, turn west onto the new concrete path that runs parallel with the working freight railway line.
  • At the 3.5 km mark, cross the rail line and onto Beach Rd which continues to parallel the railway line. This is a “No through Road” to vehicles and has numerous speed bumps. The few vehicles you might encounter will be traveling very slowly.
  • At the Beach Shack cafe, leave Beach Rd and continue along the path through Bicentennial Park. This is an older rather narrow bitumen path and very popular with dog walkers, young children and people with mobility aids. Please take care.
  • This path turns into a new wide concrete path for the last part of the ride, finishing at the Wharf Precinct on the Leven River. There is a Farmers Market here on Sundays.
  • Ulverstone is a large town with a range of accommodation, food and coffee options. There is a cycle shop at the southern end of King Edward St and helpful folk at the Information Centre in Alexandra Rd next to the railway line.

Ulverstone to Penguin (12 km)

  • Partly separate dedicated cycle/walking path. Partly on-road section with speed limit 60-70 km/hr.
  • There are public toilets at the beginning and end of this section
  • Continue from the Ulverstone Wharf Precinct on the new wide concrete path over the Leven River. Take care here as there is no barrier between the raised Pedestrian/Cycle path and the roadway.
  • Turn right after coming off the bridge and follow the concrete path along the west bank of the Leven River towards the river mouth.
  • Near the Tennis Club, the path changes to an old and somewhat uneven cobbled pathway then crosses the railway line at a very tight chicane. It is better to dismount and walk through this crossing.
  • After crossing the railway line, turn right onto Queen St that then becomes Penguin Rd. You and the railway line will hug the coast all the way to Penguin.
  • At about the 5km mark, there is a short, winding hill section around the Three Sisters – Goat Island reserve. The road and railway are squeezed into a tight space between the hillside and the coast line. Take care especially on weekends as this very scenic route is very popular with tourists and serious road cyclists.
  • Finish at the “Big Penguin” overlooking the beach in the charming little town of Penguin. There are six cafes here and some seriously good coffee. A very popular place with the local cyclists. Opposite the Big Penguin is a small Information Centre staffed by friendly volunteers.

Side trip: Follow Ironcliffe Rd for a short distance south out of Penguin, over the highway overpass and just past the school to the awesome Penguin Mountain Bike park. There are numerous trails in and around the Dial Range reserve that cater for all levels of MTB riders.

Penguin to Burnie (16 km)

  • Partly on-road section with speed limit of 70 km/hr, a short section of highway with speed limit 110 km/hr, and partly on separate dedicated cycle/walking path. Funding has been allocated and construction is due to start soon on a high quality cycle/walking path on the section from Penguin to Sulphur Creek.
  • There are public toilets at the beginning and end of this section and also at the Penguin Surf Club at Preservation Bay.
  • From the “Big Penguin”, head west and turn right at the traffic light onto Preservation Drive. This is a popular tourist and cycle route with a reasonable road shoulder for cyclists. Speed limit for cars is 70 km/hr. The working rail line and coast line will be on your right almost all the way to Burnie.
  • At the 6km mark at Sulphur Creek, turn left onto Zig Zag Rd, go under the highway overpass and immediately turn right onto the dedicated cycle/walking path which runs adjacent to the highway. This is an older bitumen path and a bit narrow.
  • Follow this path all the way to the Heybridge roundabout at the 9km mark.
  • The route from Heybridge around Round Hill to Wivenhoe on the outskirts of Burnie is yet to be confirmed. At the time of writing, the most direct route is to continue on the reasonably wide shoulder of the highway. Note: this section of highway is 4 lane with a speed limit of 100 km/hr.

Alternative route: A longer and somewhat hilly route through farmland will avoid the highway. Leave the highway just after crossing the Blythe River and head south on Minna Rd (C113) for 7km. Turn right on to Stowport Rd (C102) for about 6 km heading north rejoining the main road at Wivenhoe.

  • At Wivenhoe, cross the Emu River then cross the highway at the traffic lights and onto the wide concrete cycle/walking path which will take you into the Burnie CBD avoiding any further road traffic.
  • Finish this section at the Burnie Surf Life Saving Club on Main Beach. Burnie is a major regional centre with a large range of accommodation, eating and coffee options. There is a cycle shop on North Terrace very close to the Surf Club. The Information Centre is located in the Makers Workshop at the western end of Burnie Beach.

 Side trip: At the Wivenhoe traffic lights, turn left into Old Surrey Rd, then left again on a new dedicated cycle/walking path beside the Emu River for about 1 km to the beautiful Fernglade Reserve where platypuses can be seen in the wild.

Burnie to Wynyard (18 km)

  • Dedicated walking/cycle path as far as Cooee. On road cycle lanes as far as Somerset then on road sections with varying speed limits up to 100km/hr.
  • There are public toilets at the beginning and end of this section and also at the Cam River reserve at Somerset.
  • From the Surf Club, continue west on the Beach boardwalk adjacent to the (disused) rail line and around the headland past the Information Centre and Makers Workshop. There is a Penguin Viewing Centre next to the pathway and the little fairy penguins can be seen here in summer returning to their nests amongst the rocks.
  • The wide concrete pathway continues next to the rail line as far as Cooee and ends rather abruptly at the 2.5 km mark at the Brickport Rd intersection.
  • From this point to Wynyard, the only current option is to continue on the main road. There is a narrow on road cycle lane marked as far as Somerset.
  • Just past Doctors Rocks, turn right off the Bass highway on to the Old Highway (C240) which continues adjacent to the disused railway line. Join on to a wide walking/cycle track when you meet the seafront parkland.
  • Funding has recently been announced to lift the rails on the disused line which hugs the coast all the way to Wynyard and build the long-awaited high quality cycle/walking rail trail linking Burnie and Wynyard.
  • Wynyard is a sizable town with a good range of accommodation, eating and coffee options. It is the home of the annual Tulip Festival in October. The disused rail line actually passes through the regional airport grounds and crosses the actual aircraft runway for many years until the runway was realigned to avoid a possible train – plane collision!
  • Finish your trip in the lovely Gutteridge Gardens on the banks of the Inglis River.

Side trip: There is a lovely riverbank loop walk/ride starting in Gutteridge gardens and follows the Inglis river up stream to a new bridge crossing adjacent to the highway bridge. You then return to Wynyard on the opposite bank. About 12 km in total if you extend the walk/ride to the Fossil Cliffs.

Background Information

Traditional Owners

We acknowledge the Tommeginne people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built.

Development and future of the trail

There is potential to extend the rail trail on the abandoned rail corridor from Wynyard a further 50 km west to the quaint little town of Stanley under the famous “Nut”. This section of line veers away from the coast and passes through rich farming country and forest before meeting the coast again for the final 1 kilometre into Stanley. This final part of the old rail corridor has been developed by the local council into a popular walking track.

Rail line history

The railway line west from Burnie was developed in various stages ultimately linking Stanley (then an important port) to Burnie around 1920. The line was principally to support farming and forestry industries in the far north-west of Tasmania.

Dwindling freight on the line saw the progressive closure of sections in the late 1980s resulting in the closure of the entire line by 1996. In 1999, the line was briefly re-opened to support fertiliser and log transport from Wiltshire Junction to and from Burnie. This was not financially viable and was plagued with line maintenance issues particularly on the section between Burnie and Wynyard due to sand dune movement over the line and shoreline erosion from heavy storms. The line closed again in 2003 and despite intermittent interest in re-opening the line, the general consensus has been that the cost of bringing the line up to railway safety standards and maintaining the infrastructure would be prohibitive.

Ever since the closure of the line west from Burnie, there have been calls to “re-purpose” this rail corridor for commuter and recreational use. Over the last 10 years, this has developed into a broader concept of building a long Coastal Pathway across the entire north west coast of Tasmania that would incorporate the disused rail corridor as well as linking up a number of small sections of shared pathways that had been developed largely by local councils using funds from a variety of government programs at local, state and federal level.

Delays have arisen due to the complexities of engaging with and reaching consensus with six different local councils as well as changing state governments and the necessary legislation to gain access to the old rail corridor. Additionally, resolving the responsibility for ongoing maintenance particularly in areas prone to erosion and storm damage has been a significant barrier to overcome. These issues appear to have been largely resolved with construction now started on a number of the missing links, upgrading some older sections of pathway and commencement of the rail trail extending the Coastal pathway to Wynyard.

The rail line east from Burnie to Devonport remains in active use particularly in relation to container transport to and from the Port of Burnie. Safety regulations for narrow rail and road corridors in active use (particularly around Round Hill and Penguin) and how the Coastal pathway can be accommodated in that space are yet to be resolved.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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