Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
The proposed 32 km Batlow to Tumut rail trail will be a major tourism drawcard in this picturesque part of southern NSW. The rail trail runs through the Gilmore Valley, linking the orchard area of Batlow with the subalpine town of Tumut. The intention is to construct a rail trail that will be family-friendly, with a surface and facilities suitable for all types of bicycles and scooters. The trail will also be suitable for walkers, creating additional walking options in the region. It will transform local tourism, and give a significant boost to economies and businesses of the region.  

Attractions

  • Batlow is NSW’s premium apple-growing area, with an annual Ciderfest; all types of fruit and nuts are grown in the Batlow area
  • Tumut offers a range of tourism attractions and facilities  
  • The Batlow-Tumut rail trail will form part of a southern NSW network of rail trails and mountain bike trails, including proposed Gundagai region trails to the north of Tumut, and the now-open Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail to the south
  • Snowy Mountains attractions are close to Tumut

Batlow is 40km by road north of Tumbarumba, which has a 21 km fully-sealed rail trail to Rosewood.

Trail Guide

This Trail is not developed – It is one of 17 potential rail trails in NSW

The abandoned Batlow line branches from the Cootamundra to Tumut line at Gilmore and roughly follows the picturesque and meandering route of Gilmore Creek. 

Batlow is at an altitude of 775 m, and the proposed rail trail will decline 470 m to Tumut with constant views of the Gilmore Valley. 

Tumut is 400 km southwest of Sydney, in the Snowy Mountains foothills.  

Important note: This rail trail is not yet open. The alignment is owned and managed by Transport NSW and much of it passes through private property. Trespassing on the alignment is prohibited. 

Section Guides

This trail is not yet open.

Background Information

Traditional owners

We acknowledge the Wiradjuri people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail will be built.

Development and future of the rail trail

A local rail trail advocacy group, at work for many years, is promoting this rail trail to boost local businesses and residents. The Batlow area suffered disastrous bushfires in 2020, and the rail trail proposal has been renewed as part of the Do It for Batlow campaign. 

The proposed trail is 40 km from Tumbarumba, which would provide a dual-trail experience in addition to Batlow’s scenic location in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains.  

Rail line history 

The abandoned line between Tumut and Batlow was originally part of the longer Cootamundra to Tumut (104 km) and Kunama (an additional 35 km from Gilmore Junction) branch lines. 

Train services began to Batlow in 1922 and ended in 1983. The line was used mainly for fruit haulage. The whole branch line between Cootamundra and Tumut was closed in 1984 after major flood damage.

The only station building remaining is at Tumut. It is near the visitor information centre and is well maintained.  

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Batlow – Tumut Rail Trail group seeks funding for a feasibility study

Posted: 18/05/21

The Batlow to Tumut Rail Trail Association in NSW has launched a gofundme campaign to ...

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Batlow-Tumut Rail Trail needs your support

Posted: 27/04/21

The Batlow-Tumut Rail Trail (BTRT) Association is fundraising for a detailed Development Plan for the ...

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Batlow businesses rally in support of the Batlow to Tumut rail trail – fresh impetus for trail development

Posted: 11/07/20

With the success of the nearby Tumbarumba to Rosewood rail trail in attracting tourists now ...

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The proposed Tumut to Batlow Rail Trail

Posted: 23/02/16

Rail Trails for NSW hosted the official launch of the proposed Tumut to Batlow on ...

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • A short, high quality trail of 8km in length that passes through the regional centre of Mount Gambier
  • Links tourist attractions and facilities
  • Commercial centre is 400 m from the trail
  • Flat, with easy street crossing

Attractions

  • Many tourist features, including Umpherston Sinkhole and Cave Garden
  • Old rail yards have been converted into a landscaped civic centre where community events and markets are held regularly
  • The railway station has been restored and is used for community activities
  • The extinct volcanic region of Mt Gambier is less than 2 km south of the trail. The crater region contains Blue Lake, Valley Lake, a playground, walking trails and a caravan park

Trail Guide

The trail runs east-west through the city of Mt Gambier with its focal point being the former rail yards and railway station, which have been transformed into parklands and play areas while retaining much railway memorabilia.

The trail begins at the Blue Lake Sports Park, passes Umpherston Sinkhole and then progresses to the centre of the city and the railway station precinct. 

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

 

Development and future of the rail trail 

The trail has recently been extended to Wandilo Road and in late 2021 a shared use path will be built along Wireless Rd. 

The trail will have solar lighting installed in 2021-22.

 

Railway history

The railway line to Mount Gambier was originally part of South Australian Railways (SAR) narrow gauge network. Opened in stages from 1881, it reached Mt Gambier in 1887 and connected with the broad-gauge Adelaide-Melbourne line at Wolseley. It was also a junction for the line to Millicent and Beachport.

The SAR line to Mt Gambier and Millicent was converted to broad gauge in the 1950s.

Mt Gambier also had a broad-gauge connection with Heywood, Victoria, which opened in 1917. Mt Gambier had two goods yards and a locomotive depot and roundhouse.Passenger services to Adelaide ended in December 1990, and the line officially closed in April 1995. Some of the line was used by the Limestone Coast Railway tourist service, but this ceased operations in June 2006.

When the land was given to the community by the SA Government, the City of Mount Gambier repurposed the site into a public green space.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Mount Gambier Rail Trail will see the light

Posted: 16/04/21

The Mount Gambier Rail Trail in South Australia is to become an even better ...

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Mount Gambier’s rail trail is a blooming success

Posted: 15/03/21

Over the past decade the City of Mount Gambier in South Australia, with assistance from ...

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • Runs alongside the historic Goldfields railway track, along which restored steam trains run between Maldon and Castlemaine on Wednesdays and Sundays
  • Catch the train from Melbourne to Castlemaine, ride to Maldon for lunch, then return --- or take the steam train one way as a treat!

Attractions

  • The volunteer-run Victorian Goldfields Railway restored this railway track and the steam trains that run along it: these can be viewed at the Maldon Railway Station
  • The attractive towns at both ends have significant historical interest
  • Maldon is notable for its 19th century townscape

Trail Guide

The trail and rail line pass through box ironbark woodland and provide glimpses of grazing land. Muckleford station site has a picnic table and is a good place to stop and rest; there are toilets here but they are only open when tourist trains run – there are no other toilets or drinking water along the trail.

It is possible to ride in one direction, and take the train back to the start.  Bikes can be taken on the train.  It is mainly downhill from Maldon to Castlemaine.

Section Guides

Castlemaine to Muckleford Station (8 km)

  • Starting at Langslow St, the trail follows the railway line.
  • Passes through woodland and gently undulating open farmland

Muckleford Station to Maldon (9.7 km) 

  • This section has more forest than farmland. After Maldon Railway Station there is a short ride along the trail to the remains of the historic Beehive mine, with its intriguing brick chimney
  • Maldon has a number of good cafes and hotels

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Development and future of the rail trail 

The trail was built in 2016-17 and officially opened in March 2017.

Rail line history 

  • Castlemaine Station is on the Melbourne to Bendigo line and was established in 1862
  • A branch line to Maldon and on to Newbridge via Shelbourne began 1 km south of Castlemaine (from the Maryborough branch line) and was completed in 1884
  • Bushfires in 1969 destroyed rail infrastructure between Maldon and Shelbourne, and the line from Newbridge to Castlemaine closed soon afterward
  • The line between Maldon and Castlemaine was preserved, and reopened as the Goldfields Tourist railway in 2005

The Bike Vault – bike hire in Castlemaine

The Victorian Goldfields Railway runs heritage trains

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Construction to start on Castlemaine to Maldon Rail Side Trail

Posted: 28/05/16

The Mount Alexander Shire has announced that a tender for the construction of the 18km ...

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • This short but scenic line in the northwestern section of the Hunter Valley has a small township at each end offering food and accommodation options
  • At around 39 km long, it would be ideal for a one-day out and back ride for the experienced cyclist or a two-day tour for a more relaxed excursion
  • The railway was built through very undulating countryside and has a scenic and very winding route

Attractions

NOTE: This rail trail is not yet open. It is one of 17 potential Rail Trails in NSW

  • This trail is close to the large city of Newcastle
  • It is at the northern end of the Hunter Valley Wine country
  • Large coal trains can be seen passing Sandy Hollow
  • Larger nearby towns include Denman and Muswellbrook

Trail Guide

This Trail is a proposed Rail Trail only at this stage.  It is not yet constructed or open.

The railway corridor is owned by the NSW State Government, and trespassing is prohibited.

The Merriwa Railway Society plans to restore the station and yard at Merriwa, and to establish a display of a selection of locomotives and rolling stock.

In 2014, the goods shed was repainted and the station platform barge wall replaced, and there has been regular mowing, brush cutting and weed spraying within the station precinct.

To contact us about this trail, Email or click here nsw@railtrails.org.au

Section Guides

Sandy Hollow to Gungal (16 km)

The first section of this trail parallels the Golden Highway, on the other side of Halls Creek.

There is a missing bridge over Halls Creek next to Sandy Hollow; the middle span is all that remains.

There are spectacular sandstone outcrops in this area, and a road crossing around 13 km from Sandy Hollow.

 

Gungal to Merriwa (23 km)

From here the line enters some undulating and spectacular countryside, turning away from the highway to avoid the many hills at the Merriwa end.

The station precinct at Merriwa is about 1 km uphill from the town centre. It features a restored station building, goods shed and other railway infrastructure.

Background Information

Traditional Owners

We acknowledge the Wiradjuri and Wonnarua people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail will be built.

Development and future of the rail trail

As of June 2021 there is no active committee trying to lobby for the construction of a rail trail on this disused corridor.  Rail Trails Australia views this as a viable potential rail trail, and would be keen to support any person, or group to lobby for its construction.

If you are interested, contact us at nsw@railtrails.org.au

Rail Line History

The Merriwa Branch Line was opened in October 1917. The Branch started at Muswellbrook and had stations at Roxburgh, Mangoola, Denman, Myambat, Sandy Hollow, Gungal, Wappinguy and Merriwa. Rail motors on passenger duties ceased operation in 1973.

The Muswellbrook to Sandy Hollow section was relaid to main line standards and a long planned route through to Ulan near Gulgong was finally completed in 1982. This section is now used exclusively for freight (mostly coal) transport.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • A short trail of 25 km, making it suitable for day trippers as well as locals
  • Both Broken Hill and Silverton would benefit economically from this trail
  • Ecotourists would be attracted to this unique trail

Attractions

  • Visit the real Outback of NSW
  • Line of Lode Miners Memorial
  • Sulphide Street Railway and Historical Museum
  • Broken Hill Sculptures and Living Desert Sanctuary
  • Pro Hart Gallery
  • Royal Flying Doctor Service
  • White’s Minerals and Mining Museum
  • Mad Max Museum at Silverton
  • Silverton Hotel

Trail Guide

A short section of this trail is open at the Silverton end.

A couple of small bridges have been restored for walkers and bikes.

Mountain bikes are recommended, as it is rough and sandy in sections.

Section Guides

Broken Hill to Silverton (25 km)

This trail would run through outback countryside, mainly paralleling the road between the two sites.

Broken Hill is a large regional city with plenty of food and accommodation.

Background Information

Traditional owners

We acknowledge the Wiljali people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail will be built.

Development and future of the rail trail

As of June 2021 there is no active committee trying to lobby for the construction of a rail trail on this disused corridor.  Rail Trails Australia views this as a viable potential rail trail, and would be keen to support any person or group to lobby for its construction.

If you are interested, contact us at nsw@railtrails.org.au

Rail line history 

This was part of an old private narrow-gauge tramway between Cockburn and Broken Hill, owned by the Silverton Tramway Company. It was built in 1888 to transport ore from the Silverton mines to Port Pirie, SA and extended to Broken Hill when minerals were discovered there.

The NSW Government completed a standard-gauge line direct from Broken Hill to Cockburn in 1970. This led to the demise of the privately owned Silverton line and it closed to rail traffic shortly thereafter. The ownership of the rail corridor was returned to the Crown, with some sections sold off to adjacent landholders.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • The disused  210k m railway between Armidale and Wallangarra traverses picturesque countryside in the New England Ranges of Northern NSW
  • A number of old railway stations have been preserved and refurbished by local community groups
  • Tenterfield Railway Station is a museum that houses rolling stock and memorabilia
  • The line passes Ben Lomond, and at 1,363 m above sea level, is the highest railway station in Australia
  • Wallangarra Station on the NSW-QLD border was the change of gauge station.  All buildings and rail lines remain in situ
  • Armidale, Guyra, Glen Innes and Tenterfield offer many accommodation and dining options

Attractions

This Trail is not developed.  It is one of 17 potential Rail Trails in NSW.

  • Preserved railway stations at Black Mountain, Glen Innes, Deepwater and Tenterfield
  •  Glen Innes has a replica Stonehenge
  •  Tenterfield saddlery
  •  Historic buildings and churches

 

 

 

Trail Guide

Overall description

Section A:  Armidale to Black Mountain (33 km)

Section B: Black Mountain to Guyra (10 km)

Section C: Guyra to Ben Lomond (24 km)

Section D: Ben Lomond to Glen Innes (36 km)

Section E: Glen Innes to Deepwater (37 km)

Section F: Deepwater to Tenterfield (55 km)

Section G: Tenterfield to Wallangarra (19 km)

Background Information

Traditional owners

We acknowledge the Nganyaywana, Ngarabal, and Gumbainggir people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail will be built.

Development and future of the rail trail

Many years of lobbying by the local New England Rail Trail community group and rail trail support groups have seen the 103 km Armidale to Glen Innes section identified as one of three pilot rail trails that would be supported by the NSW Government.

A feasibility study for the Armidale to Glen Innes section was completed in 2018 and a business case in 2019. In February 2020 Armidale Council allocated funds for design and to look at a management structure. It is hoped Glen Innes Council will shortly do the same.

Rail line history 

The Main North line extends from Sydney to the Queensland border at Wallangarra.

It once was the main line to Queensland, with a break-of-gauge at the border. Now the North Coast Line now provides a standard gauge line to Brisbane, and the Main North is disused beyond Armidale.

The section from Sydney to Maitland forms part of the main northern trunk line, and carries various sorts of freight and passenger trains. From Maitland to Armidale, freight dominates, especially coal from the Hunter Valley coalfields. Nevertheless, daily Explorer passenger trains still run from Sydney to Armidale.

Lines to the northwest branch off at the major rail location of Werris Creek.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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New England Rail Trail needs your help

Posted: 08/08/19

The New England Rail Trail Committee is ramping up it's efforts to get a rail ...

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • The 214 km rail line between Queanbeyan, Cooma and Bombala winds through scenic countryside that varies from mountain valleys to the high rolling Monaro plains
  • Close to many other rail trails in the region

Attractions

  • Close to Canberra and its 460,000 residents
  • Gateway to the NSW Snowy Mountains
  • Railway heritage including stations and bridges
  • Rail museums at Cooma and Canberra

 

Trail Guide

This is a possible rail trail only and no sections are open.  It is one of 17 potential rail trails in NSW

This trail has enormous potential. The Queanbeyan end will attract locals and Canberrans for day trips to Michelago, where refreshments can be obtained.  The next stop would be Bredbo (30 km) and Cooma is a further 35 km. The Nimmitabel and Bombala sections offer rural scenery and facilities for visitors. There is accommodation at Queanbeyan, Cooma and Bombala and cafes/hotels along the way.

Section Guides

Queanbeyan to Tuggeranong (14 km)

Tuggeranong to Michelago (35 km)

Michelago to Colinton Tunnel (20 km)

Colinton Tunnel to Bredbo (10 km)

Bredbo to Chakola (17 km)

Chakola to Cooma (17 km)

Cooma to Coonerang (27 km)

Coonerang to Nimmitabel (12 km)

Nimmitabel to Jincumbilly (37 km)

Jincumbilly to Bombala (25 km)

Background Information

Traditional Owners

We acknowledge the Ngarigo people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail will be built.

Development and future of the rail trail

A group of locals formed Monaro Rail Trail Inc to work on proposals to use the abandoned rail corridor for a multi-use trail, enabling wider community use by walkers, cyclists and equestrians.

Snowy Monaro Regional Council commissioned a feasibility study of the Trail in 2019.

The Canberra to Port of Eden Rail Feasibility Study, published in 2021, found a return to rail project is not feasible.  Snowy Monaro Regional Council has allocated funding for a development plan for southern sections of the rail trail.  The Queanbeyan Palarang Council has allocated funding for a development plan for a northern section of the rail trail.

If you are interested, contact us at nsw@railtrails.org.au

Rail Line History

The Bombala line extends from near Goulburn in southeast NSW almost to the Victorian border, finishing at Bombala. It travels within a few km of Canberra, then runs to Cooma and Nimmitabel.

Construction of the line began in 1887, reaching Cooma in 1889, and it survived until 1990. The Cooma to Nimmitabel section opened in 1912 and was extended to Bombala in 1921. There is a tunnel at Colinton.  From Cooma the line winds through hills to the terminus at Bombala.

This railway was very important and very busy during construction of the Snowy Mountains Scheme from the 1950s to 1970s. The Scheme, the largest engineering project so far undertaken in Australia, provided a major source of employment for postwar migrants; 100,000 people worked on the Scheme between 1949 and 1974, two-thirds of them migrants from more than 30 countries.

The Goulburn to Cooma railway line became the lifeline for the Scheme, with passenger trains transporting materials as well as workers and their families to and from Cooma. It was progressively closed past the point where the Canberra line branches off. The Australian Railway Historical Society ACT division had operating rights from Queanbeyan to Michelago, though no trains have run since 2006.

Rail motors which ran between Cooma and Chakola, and the Cooma Monaro Railway operated diesel railcars, known as ‘Tin Hares’ on sections of the line many times a year. While neither now operate, there are rolling stock and/or exhibits at the Historical Society’s Museum behind Canberra station, and at Cooma and Bombala stations.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Monaro Rail Trail (NSW) Developments

Posted: 05/12/21

With the easing of travel restrictions, Rail Trails Australia president Damian McCrohan, took great delight ...

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
The Encounter Bikeway is a railside trail as well as a heritage rail trail that runs parallel to the original 1853 corridor. This area is a prominent tourist destination, and the best way to see it all is by bike.
  •  The 31.5 km trail is sealed and is a mixture of relatively quiet ‘on road‘ sections and shared use paths
  • The trail begins in the River Murray Port of Goolwa and passes through seaside towns of Middleton and Port Elliot before arriving at Victor Harbour. All the towns date back to the mid-1800s
  • The section between Goolwa and Victor Harbor follows the alignment of the railway line and occasionally runs along the coast or through wetlands
  • The railway is used today by an tourist train called the Cockle Train, which uses restored steam trains or diesel trains depending on season and demand
  • The perfect family cycling outing, particularly when combined with a return trip home on the Cockle Train

Attractions

  • Goolwa’s wharf area has steamboats, a micro-brewery to a working railway station
  • You will see and hear the Cockle Train on many occasions as you cycle the trail
  • The Murray River mouth can be reached from Hindmarsh Island by bike or car. The barrage across the river Murray can be reached by bike 
  • The Coorong region south of the Murray mouth and can be reached on organised boat tours
  • The trail follows beaches from wild surfing areas to sheltered sandy bays
  • It’s not unusual to spot whales just off the coast 
  • The railway terminates at Victor Harbour, but a horse-drawn tram carries tourists to Granite Island for a 2 km walk around the island
  • Goolwa, Middleton, Port Elliot and Victor Harbor each claim to have the best bakery in South Australia!

Trail Guide

Overall description

The rail trail has two sections that link the four townships along the railway line. Two trails either end of the railside trail have been included because they provide great views of the Murray River and Rosetta Head.

Section Guides

Laffin Point to Goolwa Wharf (3.5 km)

(Laffin point is the start of the Encounter Bikeway)

  • A pleasant shared use path along the Murray River within the reserve next to Liverpool Rd
  • Crosses the 1914train line  that runs from Goolwa to Strathalbyn. This line is used by Steam Ranger tourist trains
  • Passes beneath the bridge to Hindmarsh Island before arriving at Goolwa Wharf

Goolwa Wharf to Port Elliot (15 km)

(Goolwa Wharf is the start of the Encounter Rail Trail)

  • The train line originally approached the wharf by reversing along Cutting Rd to be at right angles to the wharf. This was later changed so the train was parallel to the wharf and did not have to run through the centre of Goolwa. The train heads inland then west to Middleton, but the bike trail takes a scenic route along the coast to reconnect with the train line just east of Middleton
  • The wharf area was once a hive of activity moving produce from river barge to train; now it is just as busy in holiday season with tourists visiting the area’s many activities, including the Cockle Train, a working steamboat, Coorong cruise boats, art gallery, brewery and distillery, coffee shops, cafes and markets and. Enter the wharf area from beneath the Hindmarsh Bridge, turn right into Cutting Rd, cross the rail line and then turn left into Dunbar Rd
  • As Dunbar Rd passes the railway station and moves away from the river, there is an entrance to the next section of off-road trail. This short rubble section of the trail follows the train line, then crosses the line and continues along the quiet roads of Admiral Tce and Riverside Drive on the Murray River. From Barrage Rd the trail is a shared use path that passes a café, playground and bird hide.
  • From Bristow-Smith Ave the trail uses the back streets of Goolwa and a section of shared use path through a wetland to an off-road section at the end of Redclift St. This  leads along a timber deck over the usually dry wetland within Tokuremoar Reserve, which contains some of the last and least disturbed indigenous cultural heritage sites and foreshore dune habitat of its type on the Fleurieu Peninsula
  • The trail then climbs to Surfers Pde, which offers great views of the Goolwa and Middleton surf beaches
  • The trail deviates inland toward Middleton township to cross Middleton Creek via a footbridge, then moves back to the coast at Middleton Point. When the surf is up this area is always busy 
  • The trail runs through the seaside Rantalang Basham Beach Conservation Park as it heads to Port Elliot. It’s worth taking the time to look at the restored farm buildings and artwork in this reserve
  • The Cockle Train line edges closer to the trail as you move through the reserve. As you climb to Port Elliot you will see Port Elliot Rd on the right, where the 1936 Australian Grand Prix was run between Victor Harbor and Port Elliot. 70,000 people watched Les Murphy win the race in an MG Sports car at a top speed of 110 km (68.5 miles) per hour.

Port Elliott to Victor Harbor (7.5 km)

  • Approaching Port Elliot the scenery changes from sprawling, sandy surf beaches to smaller surf beaches broken up by large areas of granite. The trail enters Port Elliot along Scrymgour Rd and then Basham Pde. Pause at the junction of Basham Pde and The Cutting to take in the scenery and history of Horseshoe Bay
  • The cutting is the alignment of the original rail line, which ran down to the small jetty on the west side of the bay. Horseshoe Bay is very scenic with its rolling surf, cafes, islands and walking trails, but it proved extremely dangerous for shipping due to its shallow depth, rocky outcrops and exposure to high winds and waves. After the loss of many ships the SA Government extended the rail line to the safer harbour a few km away in Victor Harbor
  • Enjoy the Harbour Master’s Walk around Freeman’s Knob, the shops of the Strand and the Elliot Railway Station 
  • The trail climbs up Strangways Tce along Murray Pl and then into Barbara St, where it crosses the railway line. In many places the railway line and trail are next to each other, providing opportunities for photographs of the train with the coast in the background
  • Further down the coast, the trail diverts around Urimbirra Creek at Watsons Gap, but the train crosses the creek on a reinforced concrete arch bridge built in 1907 to replace the 1863 timber and steel bridge.
  • The trail (shared use and on local roads) follows the railway line to the Hindmarsh River Bridge, then crosses the railway line and uses Bridge Tce and a foreshore shared use path to reach Victor Harbor
  • Along Bridge Tce is the Victor Harbor Yacht Club car park: enter this to reach a shared use foreshore path that can be safely followed to Warland Reserve. When you see the Anchorage Hotel on the corner of Coral St and Flinders Pde, travel a short distance along Coral St and you will see a railway road crossing controlled by wooden gates. Victor Harbor Railway Station is immediately south of the gates.
  • Return to the foreshore path and travel to Warland Reserve and the 630 m long causeway, built from 1864 to 1875, that leads to Granite Island. The Goolwa to Victor Harbor train ran along this causeway to the screw pile jetty on the eastern side of Granite Island where freight was loaded on to ships. Horse-drawn trams now ferry tourists to the island, but the causeway is in poor condition and is to be rebuilt, with only small sections of the start and finish of the original timber causeway to be retained

Victor Harbor to Rosetta Head (the Bluff) (5.5 km)

(the end of the Encounter Bikeway)

  • The trail officially ends in Victor Harbor, but the Encounter Bikeway continues to Rosetta Head (the Bluff). This pleasant trail hugs the coastline and offers a scenic ride to a car park from which you can walk to the summit

Car parking

As this is a tourist region, convenient parking for cyclists’ vehicles can be an issue. 

Goolwa –at the Goolwa Wharf at the end of Cutting Rd, or along Liverpool Rd to the north of Goolwa Wharf and close to the Murray River

Middleton –along Surfers Pde and the Esplanade

Port Elliot –on the foreshore off The Cutting, but the area is often busy so the best options can usually be found along Scrymgour Rd, Basham Pde or Strangways Tce

Victor Harbor –often busy near the town centre, but on-street parks can usually be found on Bridge Tce, Flinders Pde and The Esplanade

Please note that references to streets called ‘Cutting Road’ and ‘The Cutting’ indicate that these carriageways were once excavated to become cuttings for the old rail line.

 Side trails

Goolwa Barrage ( 4km return)

  • Follow Barrage Rd south from the trail (continue following Barrage Road past the Bristow Smith Ave corner and along river for 2 km. The barrage was built in 1935 to stop salt water from the Murray mouth extending up into the river and fouling the water supply. You can walk along the concrete barrage out into the Murray and watch boats moving through the lock, seals and pelicans hunt the plentiful supply of fish.

Watson’s Gap path (7 km return)

  • The trail winds around Watson’s Gap Bridge and across Urimbirra Creek. A shared use path on the land side of the trail follows the creek into the land subdivision.

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Rail history

The first Europeans to sight Victor Harbor more than 200 years ago were Captain Matthew Flinders of the British sloop Investigator and Captain Nicolas Baudin of the French ship Le Geographe. They met at sea in 1802, a few miles from the Murray mouth. Although their countries were at war, each captain was given documents by the other nation’s government stating that the ships were on scientific missions, and were therefore not to be regarded as ships of war. Together, the ships returned to the bay and sheltered while their captains compared notes. Flinders named the bay Encounter Bay after the meeting. The region’s place names are a mixture of Aboriginal, English and French.

The railway line was built in 1853 and is South Australia’s first railway and Australia’s first full scale public railway. Produce was shipped by paddle steamer and barge down the Murray and its tributaries from as far north as Queensland and was moved by horse-drawn train to the ports of Port Elliot and Victor Harbor for shipping around the world.

Initial attempts to ship produce from Goolwa to the open sea via the Murray mouth were generally unsuccessful so the SA Government built a train line to the safe port of Port Elliot. Unfortunately, there were numerous shipwrecks near the Port Elliot harbour so the line was extended to Victor Harbor in 1864. The horse-drawn train was replaced with a steam train in 1884.

By the 1890s rail lines to regional rural areas in SA and Victoria had reduced the need to use the Murray to transport produce and the Goolwa to Victor Harbor line became a passenger and tourist train.

Development and future of the rail trail

The proposed Murray Coorong Trail will follow the path of the Murray 450 km from Cadell (near Morgan) to Salt Creek (the Coorong). The three Council areas involved have begun construction of sections of the trail and will undertake further works with the help of the State Government using council reserves, levee banks, State parks and reserves and Crown land. It would be appropriate to construct a path from the Murray Coorong Trail at Wellington on the Murray to the Encounter Trail and then to the Murray River Mouth via Hindmarsh Island.  

Naming of Victor Harbor

Victor Harbor: Despite harbour normally being spelt with a ‘u’ in Australian English, the name of the city is spelt Victor Harbor. This spelling is found in several geographical names in South Australia, including Outer Harbor. The township of Victor Harbor was proclaimed in 1914 with the spelling Harbor,  The harbour was proclaimed on 27 May 1915 under the Harbors Act 1913 and its name was established on 15 June 1921 as Victor Harbor. According to the State Library of South Australia, the absence of the ‘u’ is not influenced by American spelling, but archaic English spelling. Of course, this spelling is not consistently applied.

 

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • The Nurragi Rail Trail provides a unique opportunity to experience remnant vegetation which is indigenous to the region
  • Includes a mix of natural and cultural heritage features
  • Recommended for families, train enthusiasts, and groups who want a gentle 2-3 hour walk 

Attractions

  • More than 300 species of native plants
  • Lake Alexandrina at Milang is a great place for a dip, especially for the kids;  the water is only waist deep until past the end of the jetty
  • Milang Railway Museum (open from 12- 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays and by appointment at other times; phone 8537 0061) has souvenirs and serves refreshments in the carriages.

Trail Guide

One of the original reasons for rail trails was to create long conservation corridors, and this trail is a good example. 

Following settlement of the area in the mid 1800s native vegetation was cleared for agricultural production and less than 2 per cent remains. The Nurragi rail corridor was left relatively undisturbed and through the efforts of the local community, council and SA Government, existing vegetation has been protected and revegetated with species of the original Milang scrub.

More than 300 species of native plants grow on the reserve; 67 of these are of particular conservation significance. The reserve also attracts native mammals, reptiles and birds.

The trail is only suitable for walking as there are many stiles over fences at the road crossings, it can be cycled if you are prepared for a significant challenge. The trail is flat and is easy walking,  but be prepared to move through sections of vegetation.

Nurragi volunteers have established a self-guided walking trail from Sandergrove to Milang. Points of interest are marked, distance markers have been installed, and a brochure produced to guide walkers.

The only facilities are at Milang, including BBQ facilities and a caravan park at the foreshore. 

Nurragi Conservation Reserve can be reached from many points including:

  • The Sandergrove end via Goolwa Rd and Tucker Rd (follow Tucker Rd to the end, past the railway line)
  • Next to the cemetery (off Weeroona Rd) at the Milang end 
  • At Punkulde or from Nurragi Rd

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

 

Rail line history 

The Reserve is on the former Sandergrove to Milang railway line, which opened in 1884 and closed in 1970. Sandergrove was the junction on the now Steamranger line from Mt Barker to Victor Harbor, about 10 km south of Strathalbyn.

A heritage agreement permanently protects the Reserve, which is significant for its valuable remnant native vegetation. Nurragi was the intermediate station on the former railway line and is based on the Ngarrindjeri word for ‘scrub’.

The Reserve was dedicated as a nature conservation and plantation reserve in 1991, and the rail trail was officially opened  in May 2014.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
This trail is not opened or developed. It is one of 17 potential rail trails in NSW
  • The trail would be almost 130 km long, making it ideal for a one-day ride for the enthusiast or a multi-day tour for the touring cyclist.
  • There are major towns at the start and finish, with delightful villages between
  • Dubbo and Molong are well served by public transport, with plenty of accommodation and places to eat
  • The villages of Yeoval and Cumnock offer accommodation and meals
  • The trail passes through rolling countryside and has many embankments, cuttings, and bridges for railway enthusiasts to enjoy
  • Artwork displays of ‘Animals on Bikes’ at various locations between Dubbo and Molong
  • Some station buildings and railway infrastructure survive at Dubbo, Yeoval, Cumnock and Molong

Attractions

  • Dubbo, a five-hour drive from Sydney, is a major transport hub in the Central West and is well served by air and rail transport. It is at the junction of the Newell and Great Western Highways.
  • Dubbo has many tourist attractions, including Western Plains Zoo.
  • Molong is 30 km from the large city of Orange, which has many tourist attractions, accommodation and restaurants.
  • Both Dubbo and Orange have bike shops as well as large shopping malls.

 

Trail Guide

This trail would begin near Dubbo city centre and cross the Macquarie River to Dundullimal historic homestead. From Dundullimal there is a cycleway link to the popular Western Plains Zoo, connecting with an existing cycleway back to town.

The trail would continue through undulating rural countryside and pass through a couple of old railway station sites to the small village of Yeoval (the birthplace of Banjo Paterson), which offers food and accommodation. Banjo Paterson Park has a large bronze statue of the man in his army uniform.

The small village of Cumnock is 25 km further, and rail trail users could obtain food and stay at the Royal Hotel.

The next 30 km are the most scenic part of the trail, passing through deep cuttings and beautiful hilly countryside to Molong – a large country town with food and accommodation options.

The old line criss-crosses the countryside and there are six crossings of the Dubbo to Molong road. The many ‘Animals on Bikes’ artworks along the way use metal and other materials to produce fascinating sculptures.

Section Guides

Dubbo to Toongi Station Site (27 km)

  • The cycle path from the Dubbo showgrounds heads south and crosses the Macquarie River before travelling through beautiful rural countryside to Toongi
  • Two road crossings on this section
  • Cumboogle station site at around 9 km
  • There is nothing left at Toongi apart from a disused wheat storage area

Toongi to Yeoval (47 km)

  • Two old station sites of Arthurville at 23 km and Walmer 12 km further
  • A large concrete and steel bridge over the Little River
  • Yeoval has large wheat silos at the station site

 

Yeoval to Cumnock (26 km)

  • three road crossings in this section as the old line follows Banjo Paterson Way
  • Cumnock has large wheat silos and a small wooden station building and platform

Cumnock to Molong (29 km)

  • Larras Lee locality was once a station site
  • Two road crossings
  • Molong still has a working railway line that goes from Sydney to Broken Hill, though there are no passenger trains to Molong
  • Molong’s beautifully kept railway station building is used as the Community Library

Background Information

Traditional Owners

We acknowledge the Wiradjuri people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail will be built.

Development and future of the rail trail

As of June 2021 there is no active committee trying to lobby for the construction of a rail trail on this disused corridor.  Rail Trails Australia views this as a viable potential rail trail, and would be keen to support any person or group to lobby for its construction.

If you are interested, contact us at nsw@railtrails.org.au

Rail Line History

This 129 km railway from Molong to Dubbo opened in 1925 and paralleled the main Orange-Dubbo railway while serving communities along the way. Operations ceased in 1991 except for 2 km at Molong, used for a passing siding on the main western line to Broken Hill.

The Molong- Dubbo line left the Broken Hill line at Molong and rejoined it at Dubbo. The line was designed with gentler grades than the steeper section of the Main Western line via Wellington, but this resulted in it taking a meandering course (131 km for a point-to point distance of 85 km).

The line is scenic and includes several steel bridges and significant engineering works.

Passenger services were operated by rail motors from 1932 to 1974, with the occasional diversion of other mainline trains over the line. The rail motor was withdrawn in September 1974, with the remainder officially closed in 1993.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Dubbo Tracker Riley Cyclepath extension

Posted: 25/06/12

The opening ceremony was held at Dundullimal homestead due to wet weather on the day.  ...

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