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Murchison to Rushworth Rail Trail - Trail Description



Murchison to Rushworth Rail Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: Northern Victoria
Start/end: Murchison to Rushworth
Status: Partially open
Length open: 10km
Surface: Fine gravel
Terrain: Flat
Public transport: Train, Bus
Contact Region: Northern Victoria
The restored timber bridge across the Stuart Murray Channel. (2012)
The restored timber bridge across the Stuart Murray Channel. (2012)
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes Suitable for cycling touring hybrid bikes



This trail is partially open - it is still being developed.

  • Will be 19km long when complete.
  • This is old goldmining and cropping country, with a signifcant feature being the Waranga Basin.
  • 8 kilometres from Murchison to Channel Inlet Road opened in March 2015.
  • 2 kilometres at Rushworth open.


Murchison to Channel Inlet Rd  (8 kilometres)

  • Gravel surface
  • Straight and flat but surrounded by bushland including the unique ecosystem of Doctor's Swamp wetlands with easy access to the Parks Victoria picnic area on the western boundary of the swamp.
  • Includes the refurbished historically significant bridge over the Stuart Murray Canal
  • Gives easy access to Waranga Basin along Channel Inlet Road.

Murchison is a small regional town with a bakery and general store situated on a picturesque section of the Goulburn River. 

Rushworth (2km)

At Rushworth landscaping has been done and an ashphalt trail laid from the main street to the end of the yard.

It is a great reminder of how a Victorian country branchline station looked, now that nearly all of them have disappeared. At either end of the sealed trail the surface is gravel to the town's limits.

Rushworth is an historic regional town with several options for food and drink.

Girgarre (2km)

The local communty have developed a gravel surface trail south to Mason Rd with lots of revegetation taking place. Refer separate description here.

Background Information

A line from Murchison East on the Shepparton railway was constructed to the gold minig town of Rushworth in 1890 and extended to Colbinabbin in 1914. Rushworth became a junction when a line was constructed to Girgarre in 1917. A diversion of the line was necessary when the Waranga Basin was constructed. The lines were all closed by 1987.

At Rushworth the community purchased the land and infrastructure around the station to retain it for posterity.

The Greater Shepparton City Council opened the Murchison to Channel Inlet Rd section in 2015.

Future Developments

The Shire of Campaspe has obtained a lease from Victrack to develop the rest of the corridor from the Waranga Basin to Rushworth.  Campaspe Shire is seeking funding to construct this as part of the Heathcote to Murchison Trail (outline brochure here) to link to the O'Keefe Rail Trail at Heathcote.

Extending the trail on to the Melbourne Shepparton railway line at Murchison East would allow better access from public transport.  However making the large bridge across the Goulburn River safe to cross will be a significant undertaking.

The Girgarre community are planning to extend their section to Stanhope in 2019 and have longer term plans to extend it all the way back to Rushworth.


The trail is managed by the Greater Shepparton City Council and Shire of Campaspe. Refer to their websites below to report issues.

Greater Shepparton City Council website

Shire of Campaspe website

January 2016

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04 October , 2020 by Gary

Rode out from Murchison on a very quiet Saturday morning. Still not much happening with people moving about. I found the surface very good though I timed it bad as the tractors and slashers had just finished and left sticks everywhere.Very well sign posted telling the story of long ago. It is s real pity that Campaspie has not kept up with Shepparton in the development of this rail trail. Almost seems a waste of money only being half completed. I feel the Rushworth end would be the better end for sight seeing around hte Basin. Overall, very good.

17 March , 2020 by Smart

The blue metal track is pretty loose in places but not hard to ride any moderately experienced cyclist on a bike with 30 mm or wider tyres. Quite flat. The track appears to have regular maintenance and is family friendly.

21 September , 2018 by Digger

Nice crushed blue metal track, flat from Murchison heading towards Rushworth. Easily tackled with a hybrid bike. I did the short 2km ride from Girgarre. Had an encounter with 2 large Irish Wolfhounds right at the end of the trail. They were friendly enough at first, but having that chase drive, they were a handfull, able to keep up with me going flat out with their noses right at my thighs... They chased me coming and going unfortunately.

28 April , 2015 by 

We rode this new Rail Trail on 29/3/15; it was easy to ride with hybrid bikes. We rode to the current end (Channel Inlet Road) and back, had lunch at the Murchison Bakery - and a stroll around the nearby landscaped, river bank area. We are looking forward to being able to ride all the way to Rushworth on this trail and think it will be a fantastic experience to ride into what is a well preserved old country railway precinct. (Congratulations to the Rushworth community for preserving this area for posterity.)

15 December , 2014 by cascho

I rode this trail on Saturday 13th December 2014 (along with the Dookie trail). First off – the section between Murchison and Waranga Bushland reserve is open – and much more interesting than the small section in Rushworth. The trail from Murchison is flat and good bridges across the canals. Once you come to the end of the trail at Waranga Bushland – the rail reserve continues on – and it is evident that others have continue to ride along the reserve, though Victrak have signs everywhere stating it is prohibited to ride on the rail easement. I saw no one the entire ride – so if you want to get away from the crowds, then this ride is for you.

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Construction Starts on Murchison Rail Trail (Northern Victoria)

(Posted: 25/05/14)

Construction has started on the first 8km stage of the Murchison to Rushworth Rail Trail


Murchison to Rushworth Rail Trail (Vic) Development Starts

(Posted: 03/11/13)

The Greater Shepparton City Council has obtained funding to begin constructing the first 8km of this central Victorian rail trail