Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway

Attractions

The Lockingon and district community aim to establish an 8 km bike and walking track on the dissused rail corridor on the west side of Lockingto Road

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Cancelled – inaugural Kotta to Lockington Rail Trail Fun Run

Posted: 26/02/20

This has been cancelled The inaugural Kotta to Lockington Rail Trail Fun Run will take ...

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • Girgarre is a dynamic small town with a big heart
  • The Girgarre Farmers Produce and Craft Market is held on the second Sunday of each month at the Progress Park Reserve
  • Girgarre’s famous annual Moosic Muster music festival

Attractions

  • Girgarre’s famous fresh orange juice, pressed on site, is a must-try!
  • With up to 120 stalls, the Girgarre Market provides visitors and locals with the chance to sample the finest produce from the Goulburn Valley region alongside a range of artisan goods, arts and crafts.
  • The Girgarrie Botanic Gardens, a unique display of indigenous plants from across the Campaspe area

Trail Guide

Section A (2.5 km)

The trail starts at the former station site in the centre of Girgarre and travels south to Mason St

Section B (3.5 km)

This section is yet to be built, and it will eventually go on to Stanhope

Background Information

Traditional owners

We acknowledge the Ngurrai-illam-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 local committee constructed the first 2km section in 2015 and are now planning to extend the rail trail to Stanhope in the near future.

Their long term plan is to extend the rail trail all the way to Rushworth where it will join the Murchison to Rushworth Rail Trail.

Rail line history 

The rail line to Girgarre opened in 1917 and closed back to Stanhope in 1975. The line completely closed in 1987.

The local committee constructed the first 2km section in 2015 and are now planning to extend the rail trail to Stanhope in the near future.

Their long term plan is to extend the rail trail all the way to Rushworth where it will join the Murchison to Rushworth Rail Trail.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  •  Murchison is a small regional town on the Goulburn River. It is famous for a meteorite that struck nearby in 1969
  • The trail connects Murchison with the Waranga Basin along Channel Inlet Rd and includes the refurbished historically significant bridge over the Stuart Murray Canal
  • This rail trail is flat and passes through the unique ecosystem of Doctors Swamp wetland, which has a Parks Victoria picnic ground on its western boundary

Attractions

  • A small park in Murchison is dedicated to the meteorite’s impact, which was heard, observed and smelt one quiet Sunday morning. The meteorite weighed more than 100 kg and the oldest material found on Earth, silicon carbide particles estimated to be 7 billion years old.
  • Murchison has a bakery-cafe with picnic and toilet facilities beside the river
  • Waranga Basin – the fourth-largest inland waterway in Victoria and an important off-river storage supplying water to many irrigation areas as well as nearby towns – was the first major dam built in Australia. The first stage of construction began in 1905 using hand tools and horse-drawn scoops. At the time it was the largest project of its kind in the world
  • The rail trail traverses former gold mining and cropping country well as wetlands
  • Rushworth is a small town with a bakery-cafe, ice cream shop and so on

Trail Guide

Note: This trail is partially open – it is still being developed.

Section A Murchison to Channel Inlet Road (8 km)

  • Starts near the end of Impey St in Murchison and ends at Channel Inlet Rd

Section B Rushworth (2 km)

  • The community of Rushworth bought the land and infrastructure around the station to retain it for posterity. There are plans for this short section of trail to be linked with the end of the Murchison section

Background Information

Traditional owners

We acknowledge the Ngurrai-illam-Wurrung and Taungurung people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built.

Development and future of the rail trail 

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

The Shire of Campaspe has obtained a lease from Victrack to develop the rest of the corridor from Waranga Basin to Rushworth. Campaspe Shire is seeking funding to build 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 to the Melbourne-Shepparton rail line at Murchison East would allow better access from public transport, but making the large bridge across the Goulburn River safe will be a significant undertaking.

The Girgarre community is planning to extend its section to Stanhope and in future back to Rushworth.

Rail line history 

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

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Construction Starts on Murchison Rail Trail (Northern Victoria)

Posted: 25/05/14

Soon more than just kangaroos will be able to ...

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Murchison to Rushworth Rail Trail (Vic) Development Starts

Posted: 03/11/13

Greater Shepparton City Council has received funding of $150,000 towards the Murchison stage of the Box ...

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • A short, easy, flat trail with a bitumen surface that stays close to the small town of Dookie and provides good views of farmland
  • Accessible, suitable for many people
  • Dookie is a small farming town nestled among low hills between Shepparton and Benalla

Attractions

Nearby agricultural college

Trail Guide

Relatively short trail, traversing classic Australian farming landscape.

The start of the trail just to the east of the large grain silos is not hard to find in the small town of Dookie. The trail extends both ways from this point.

Options

  • Mary St to Treacy Rd along the rail trail (5.5km)
  • Treacy Rd to Mary St via Chateau Rd (8.7km)
  • Treacy Rd to Mary St via McCormack Rd, Wrens Quarry Dookie Rd and McDonald Rd (14.7km)

Section Guides

Section A:  Dookie-Treacy Rd (5 km)

  • The trail heads northeast through open farmland with rolling hills in the distance. There are no water or toilets
  • The trail’s wide sealed surface makes it accessible to all, and it fits in with a system of trails being built in the area
  • Volunteer community groups have installed interpretive signage, historical markers and a shelter
  • Revegetation efforts are paying off, and there is a birdwatcher’s logbook to record sightings

Section B: Dookie toward Cosgrove  (3 km)

  • the trail heads west toward Cosgrove and Shepparton, finishing at Conway Rd

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Development and future of the rail trail

Dookie residents formed the Friends of Dookie Rail Trail group to encourage the City of Greater Shepparton to lease this section of the rail corridor, and the trail was completed in 2010.

The remainder of the former branch line follows a quiet road to Katamatite; there are no plans for this section at present.

Stage 2 of the Dookie Rail Trail 7 km southwest to Cosgrove, alongside the active rail line, is half complete and discussions are under way to extend it toward Shepparton.

Rail line history

The branch line to Katamatite was built by Yarrawonga Shire in 1890 and taken over by Victorian Railways in 1892. The line closed in 1986 and the rails were removed shortly afterward. The branch line from Shepparton to Dookie is still open for grain trains but has not been used for many years.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Dookie Rail Trail Official Launch

Posted: 14/10/11

Peter McManus, DRT Coordinator, at the Lemnos/Cosgrove Rd ...

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Dookie Trail is now open (VIC) (update)

Posted: 25/04/10

Dookie students out enjoying their new rail trail. Photo ...

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • A well established easy rail trail that provides options of half- or full-day rides between Bendigo, Axedale and Heathcote through box ironbark and yellow gum woodland and grazing farmland, across the Campaspe River and past Lake Eppalock
  • Take a two-hour morning train from Melbourne to Bendigo, ride 23 km to Axedale Tavern for a country pub lunch, then head for home or ride on and stay overnight in Heathcote, or stay overnight in Bendigo and enjoy all this regional city has to offer

Attractions

  •  Many access points along the way for shorter cycling routes
  •  A stunning new bridge across the Campaspe River
  • Heathcote is an attractive town with several accommodation options, a new brewery and is well known for its quality shiraz wines
  • The Pink Cliffs Geological Reserve is close to town and shows off colourful eroded cliffs that remain from sluice mining

Trail Guide

Sites of former stations are marked on the map but generally little remains of them. The Friends of the Bendigo Kilmore Rail Trail have erected replica signs and are recreating sections of platforms to add to the experience of the rail trail.

Wildflowers, including orchids, appear in spring.

Access Points

  • Bendigo – at the north western end of Lake Weeroona, off Weeroona Ave. Parking is available next to Bendigo Rowing Club rooms
  • Cafe and toilets around the lake area
  • Bendigo station is 3 km south on Railway Place
  • East Bendigo – Pratts Park Rd (parking on Rifle Range Rd)
  • Junortoun – car park off Wikie Rd
  • Longlea – park along Longlea Lane
  • Axedale – corner of High St (McIvor Hwy) and Mitchell St at Axedale Public Hall: parking, playgrounds and toilets
  • Knowsley Forest – an entry point for the trail is near the intersection of Toolleen-Axedale Rd and McIvor Hwy; this leads into Knowsley Forest near the power line transformer pole. Note: take care entering and leaving McIvor Hwy
  • Knowsley – parking near where the trail crosses Moorabbee Rd at Knowsley Tennis Courts
  • Derrinal – a trail rest stop and replica station name board is opposite the former Derrinal Railway station, off Old Bendigo Rd, (park on the side of Old Bendigo Rd)
  • Heathcote – carpark off Herriot St at the new rail trail shelter. Heathcote Visitor Information Centre, corner of High and Barrack Sts, has parking and trail information

Section Guides

North Bendigo to Axedale (23 km)

  • From Lake Weeroona, follow the Bendigo Creek Trail north to a T intersection and turn right to begin the trail
  • Cross Midland Hwy with care and go through the brick-lined culvert beneath the Bendigo–Echuca railway line
  • Bendigo Bushland Trail crosses the trail at Markovitch Lane
  • At the 4km point a trail branches to the north (to the former Department of Defence ammunition storage facility, Rangelea siding): follow signs for the main trail
  • Take care crossing the McIvor Hwy next to the Baptist Church at Junortoun
  • At 12 km is Axe Creek, with a new at-grade bridge and a possible stop for a picnic
  • The trail passes the former Axedale station before reaching Axedale Racecourse station
  • The trail now diverts off the original railway alignment to follow a newly built sealed trail into Axedale township
  • Continue within street reserves down to River Reserve on the Campaspe River frontage, where there are picnic tables and art installations

Axedale has drinking water, toilets, a general store and Axedale Tavern.

Axedale to Derrinal (17 km)

  • The trail follows an underpass beneath McIvor Hwy, then crosses a rail trail bridge north of the highway over Campaspe River
  • The trail meets quiet Ingham Rd; follow this up the hill to the dedicated trail
  • Take care crossing McIvor Hwy near the Toolleen-Axedale Road
  • The trail now enters Knowsley Forest. There is a picnic area about 300 m north along Smart Track, with a dam and table-seats
  • After reaching Smart Track the rail trail returns to the original formation
  • After Knowsley, the trail passes Moorabbee Hill Rest Stop where table-seats and bike racks provide an opportunity to relax and enjoy views of the Great Dividing Range
  • The trail continues down hill to Lake Eppalock, which flooded some of the track but a purpose-built causeway and the 90 m Mt Ida Creek bridge allow the trail to stay on the original alignment. There is another picnic area on the causeway giving views of the lake
  • At Derrinal a rest stop provides a view of the former station platform (now private property) across McIvor Hwy.

NOTE: trail users should respect all privately owned land. Take care crossing cattle grids between Knowsley Forest and Derrinal.

Derrinal to Heathcote (9 km)

  • The trail skirts McIvor Hwy and enters One Eye Forest near Hills Rd
  • ‘Rail trail users only’ status continues from Hills Rd to the Mia Mia-Derrinal road section, but take extreme care on the shared section between Mia Mia-Derrinal road and  Burnt Track shared, especially at several narrow areas
  • The last new trail bridge in One Eye Forest is located above a complete section of the original, much longer 1888 timber railway bridge
  • Near the intersection of the Toolleen-Axedale road and McIvor Hwy is an entry point into Knowsley Forest, at a power line transformer pole adjacent to the highway
  • Parking is available at the trail intersection with Moorabbee Rd in Knowsley, next to Knowsley Tennis Courts
  • There is a trail rest stop and replica station name board opposite the former Derrinal station off Old Bendigo Rd. There is no formal carpark; park on the side of Old Bendigo Rd
  • Heathcote Visitor Information Centre, corner of High St and Barrack St, provides trail information and parking. Other access points in Heathcote are in Herriott St at the back of Kyneton Rd, or at the end/start point of the trail at Pink Cliffs Rd.

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Development and future of the rail trail

Mitchell Shire Council received a Feasibility Study in 2018 that considered:

  • an extension of the trail from Heathcote to Wallan (connecting with the railway passenger service between Melbourne to and Wodonga)
  • a link between Wallan and the Craigieburn Bypass Trail and then to Melbourne’s network of bicycle trails
  • a linking trail between Kilmore to Tallarook and the start of the Great Victorian Rail Trail

The Friends Group have produced two brochures outlining the vision for the first two sections.

Campaspe Shire is seeking funding to construct the Heathcote to Murchison Trail (outline brochure here) to complete the Murchison-Rushworth (Waranga) Rail Trail and link it to with the O’’Keefe Rail Trail.

Rail line history 

This line was built in 1888 by Andrew O’Keefe to link Bendigo and Heathcote, from where here the it line continued to Heathcote Junction, near Wallan, on the North Eastern main line.  The Heathcote – Bendigo section of that line closed in 1958 (as the construction of Lake Eppalock reservoir was taking place and the rest of t)  This lightly -trafficked branch line was then was completely closed by 1968.

The first section of a rail trail between Bendigo and Axedale was opened in 1993 (by the former Shire of Strathfieldsaye Council. The second stage constructed and opened in 1999 (built by current City of Greater Bendigo Council), though like its the former railway, it was basic affair with rough surface and many low- level crossings.

The potential was there though, and in 2009 the Friends of the Bendigo – Kilmore Rail Trail was formed by locals to lobby for the extension of the rail trail and advise the councils.  In 2010, the Bendigo Council and the Victorian Government committed to a significant upgrade of the rail trail, including installing bridges on the Axedale section, and extending it a further 26 km extension to Heathcote. This work was completed in 2015.

In 2019 the Friends of the Bendigo Kilmore Rail Trail installed a bike repair station just east of Wilkie Rd Junortoun, a water station just east of Bennetts Rd in Junortoun, and a bike repair station and water station adjacent to the toilets at Axedale Park and at Heathcote’s Barrack Reserve next to the Visitor Information Centre.

Goldfields Bike Tours & Hire – Unique opportunity to experience hybrid or E-bike riding to explore the rail trails and in conjunction with our air conditioned bus and 15-bike trailer.

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New Whistle Posts for the O’Keefe Rail Trail (Victoria)

Posted: 19/07/21

The Whistle Post installation team Recently the Friends ...

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Heritage Railway Wagon Returns to O’Keefe Rail Trail

Posted: 07/03/20

A former Victorian Railway’s wagon can now be admired on the O'Keefe Rail Trail ...

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History Revealed on O’Keefe Rail Trail in Victoria

Posted: 28/07/19

The Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail (FBKRT) group have informed us of new signs ...

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Bike Repair Stations on the O’Keefe Rail Trail

Posted: 08/04/19

The last bolt had barely been inserted before the ...

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Wallan to Heathcote Rail Trail (VIc) Feasibility Study Feedback

Posted: 11/02/17

The Mitchell Shire, City of Greater Bendigo, and State Government have funded a feasibility study ...

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More History Recreated on the O’Keefe Rail Trail (Vic)

Posted: 23/04/16

The hard working volunteers from the Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail report on their ...

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Wallan to Heathcote Rail Trail Feasibility Study Begins

Posted: 13/03/16

The Wallan to Heathcote Rail Trail feasibility study formally began on 22 February 2016, with the selected ...

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O’Keefe Rail Trail Developments (northern Victoria)

Posted: 11/10/15

Now that the extension of the O'Keefe Rail Trail is open providing 50km of continuous ...

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Unofficial Opening of O’Keefe Rail Trail Extension (Northern Victoria)

Posted: 20/08/15

Following five years of hard work the Friends of the Bendigo Kilmore Rail Trail celebrated ...

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O’Keefe Rail Trail Now Open to Heathcote

Posted: 27/06/15

The Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail (FBKRT) group have informed us of new signs ...

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O’Keefe Rail Trail Extension Updates (Northern Victoria)

Posted: 23/11/14

The ongoing project to extend the O'Keefe Rail Trail in northern Victoria a futher 26km ...

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O’Keefe Rail Trail Upgrade Continues (Vic)

Posted: 13/07/14

Heavy machinery provided a good start in the autumn[/...

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O’Keefe Rail Trail Improvements Continue

Posted: 25/11/12

Improvements and developments on the O'Keefe Rail Trail in northern Victoria continue apace. Over the ...

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O’Keefe Rail Trail funding bears fruit (VIC)

Posted: 31/10/10

O'Keefe RT upgrade. Following up from the announcement of funding by Regional Development Victoria and ...

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O’Keefe Rail Trail Receives Funding for Extension (VIC)

Posted: 27/06/10

The Victorian Government has committed $1.9 million for a 24 km extension of the O'Keefe Rail Trail ...

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O’Keefe Rail Trail (Victoria) Community Ride

Posted: 19/08/09

The following notice has been provided by the Friends of the Bendigo - Kilmore Rail ...

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O’Keefe Rail Trail (Vic) Community Meeting

Posted: 04/07/09

The following notice has been provided by the Friends of the Bendigo - Kilmore Rail ...

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • Victoria’s longest rail trail traverses undulating farmland from the Goulburn River to the high country of Mansfield
  • A good standard trail with almost 5 km of bridges from which to enjoy views; the few low level crossings are easy
  • Features the only tunnel on a rail trail in Victoria, and an impressive 385 m bridge across Lake Eildon at Bonnie Doon

Attractions

  • Country markets in Yea, Tallarook, Alexandra, Yarck and Mansfield (monthly or bi-monthly)
  • National Trust listed Trawool Valley
  • Alexandra Timber Tramway and Museum
  • Yea Railway Park
  • Yea Wetlands and Mullum Wetlands in Mansfield

Trail Guide

  • The surface is either compacted gravel (chert) or granitic sand in sections that are shared between walkers, cyclists and horses. Signs mark the way for horses where there is a dedicated bridle path beside the gravel path
  • Emergency markers are located at 1 km intervals along the Tallarook to Mansfield section of the trail. In an emergency, call 000 and quote the emergency marker code where you are located
  • There are several crossings of major rural highways, two with underpasses
  • Major towns with all services are Yea, Mansfield and Alexandra. Smaller towns are Tallarook, Molesworth, Yarck and Bonnie Doon

The main sections of the Great Victorian Rail Trail are:

  • Tallarook to Yea is 38 km, and follows the picturesque Trawool Valley
  • Yea to Cathkin is 21 km, and features the Cheviot Tunnel and Goulburn River floodplains
  • Cathkin to Bonnie Doon is 40 km, and includes the highest point on the trail
  • Bonnie Doon to Mansfield is 22 km, and features the impressive bridge over Lake Eildon and views of Mt Buller
  • Cathkin to Yea is 13 km, and has picturesque views at the top of Eglington Gap

 

Section Guides

Tallarook to Yea (38 km)

  • Follows the Goulburn River up the Trawool Valley, classified by the National Trust for its scenic beauty
  • Mix of compacted gravel and granitic sand surface
  • Yea is a medium regional town with a variety of food and accommodation
  • The former Yea Railway Station has been restored and now houses the Yea Family History Group. The goods shed has also been restored and is available for hire
  • The station precinct comes alive on the first Saturday of each month with the Yea Country Market. The station precinct also has a great playground, picnic facilities and a skate park

Yea to Cathkin (21 km)

  • Features lots of bridges across the Yea and Goulburn River floodplains
  • In the middle of this section is the climb up to the 200 m long Cheviot tunnel. It is straight, but quite dark in the middle: use your headlight or dismount before entering
  • Compacted gravel surface
  • Molesworth is small town with a general store, caravan park, and a motel with wine bar and restaurant
  • After crossing the highway, go straight on to Yarck, Bonnie Doon and Mansfield or veer right for Alexandra

Cathkin to Bonnie Doon (40 km)

  • This section has a long climb up to the highest point, 397 m at Merton Gap
  • Compacted gravel surface
  • Yarck is a vibrant town with refreshments and accommodation for cyclists
  • Merton is a small town with limited facilities.

Bonnie Doon to Mansfield (22 km)

  • No real hills in this section
  • Features the 385 m long bridge over the Brankeet Arm of Lake Eildon, a real sight when there is water beneath it
  • Approaching Mansfield on a clear day, Mt Buller is clearly visible; a very different sight when it is covered in snow
  • Compacted gravel surface
  • Mansfield is a major regional and tourist centre with many facilities. The station is used by the local historical society with some carriages, and a large tourist information centre next door

Cathkin to Alexandra (13 km)

  • A significant climb either way on this section with panoramic views of the Cathedral Ranges at the top of the gap
  • Bituminised compacted gravel surface to the gap, granitic sand surface to Alexandra
  • Alexandra is a major regional centre with a variety of food and accommodation options. The former Alexandra Station site is now home to the Alexandra Timber Tramway

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Development and future of the rail trail 

The Spring/Home Creek Landcare Group began re-vegetation of the rail reserve at Cathkin in 2006 to create a flora and fauna reserve.

In 2021 funding was obtained for some major art features to enhance the rail trail.

Apart from the Bonnie Doon bridge, which opened in 2000, the first stage of the rail trail opened in August 2010.  The entire trail was opened by June 2012. In January 2014, branding as the Great Victorian Rail Trail was completed.

Railway history 

A broad gauge branch line opened to Yea in 1883 and to Mansfield in 1891. A further branch from Cathkin reached Alexandra in 1909.  The whole line closed in 1978, along with many other branch lines across Victoria.