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
  • The trail is a pleasant path along the old rail reserve. It has easy grades and is ideal for children and novice riders. 
  • Centenary Gardens features an old rail weighbridge complete with gangers’ trolley, railway signal, BBQ and picnic facilities, playground and toilets.

Attractions

  •   Old station building
  •   Silo art
  •   Rural town scenery
  •   Lavender Federation Walking Trail access
  •   Murray to Clare Lavender Cycling Trail (M2C) access

Trail Guide

The Eudunda Rail Trail features a smooth fine gravel surface of good width. It is South Australia’s shortest rail trail but is a handy off-road link for cyclists, walkers and runners. Two of SA’s long distance trails, the Lavender Federation Walking Trail and the M2C Lavender Cycling Trail, pass along this trail. 

There are coffee shops, bakery and supermarket in the nearby main street, and toilets and picnic facilities at Centenary Gardens.

Section Guides

Worlds End Hwy to Thiele Hwy (0.6km)

The trail starts opposite the Centenary Gardens on Worlds End Hwy and runs through the station yard alongside the old platform. The stone station building is intact but in poor condition. East of the station the trail passes between a large iron elevated tank and a water standpipe. Grain silos opposite the station have been decorated with ‘silo-art’.

Head east across South Tce and continue behind houses until the trail leaves the railway embankment and terminates at a pedestrian crossing on Thiele Hwy.

 

Side Trails

Centenary Gardens

Opposite the trail start point on Worlds End Hwy, a paved footpath leads into Centenary Gardens past a rail weighbridge with a gangers’ trolley on display. Adjacent is a children’s playground and free BBQ facilities with public toilets beyond that. A bronze statue pays tribute to author Colin Thiele who grew up in this area.

 

Lavender Federation Walking Trail

The Lavender Trail extends south to Murray Bridge and northwest to Clare and is well signposted.

 

M2C Lavender Cycling Trail

The M2C Lavender Cycling Trail extends south to Murray Bridge and northwest to Clare using mostly unsealed roads and tracks. It is not signposted but maps and directions can be downloaded.

Background Information

Traditional Owners

We acknowledge the Ngadjuri 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 takes advantage of the old railway reserve to provide an off-road link between the centre of town and the showgrounds/oval area to the east.

There have been proposals to extend the rail trail north to Hampden but there are currently no extensions planned.

Rail Line History 

The first section of the line from Gawler to Kapunda was opened in 1860. It was extended via Eudunda 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 removed not long after. The Kapunda to Eudunda section was closed in 1994 and was pulled up the following year.

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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.

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • Historic WWII munitions plant with extensive rail and tramway network
  • Links Salisbury Railway Station with the northern industrial and Defence precincts  
  • Passes alongside RAAF Edinburgh 
  • Semi-rural alternative to busier urban routes between Salisbury and Elizabeth

Attractions

  • Historic remains of Penfield railway
  • RAAF Base Edinburgh
  • Penfield Model Engineers Society railway park

Trail Guide

This flat trail links Salisbury Railway Station with the northern industrial and Defence precincts via the railway corridor where possible and by adjacent paths and roads where the railway corridor is not accessible.

The trail gives cyclists and tourists an opportunity to view the remains of a once busy and important railway line. Some of the railway corridor is still within Defence land and is not accessible. 

Penfield Model Engineers Society has extensive landscaped grounds and railway networks and is at the eastern end of Woomera Ave (1.5 km from Penfield Trail). 

From the northern end cyclists can head east to return to the Gawler railway line at Elizabeth or head northwest to the Stuart O’Grady Cycleway to Gawler.

There are no facilities, shops or cafes along this trail.

There is no signage relating to this trail; it must be self-navigated.

Section Guides

Salisbury to Penfield 1 (3.2 km)

This section features a smooth hot-mix surface with some paved sections.

From Salisbury Railway Station, find the cycle path along the western side of the station. Head north, cross Salisbury Highway on the pedestrian bridge and continue north. At the Little Para River, cross the Little Para River Cycle Trail and continue north across the pedestrian bridge. At the next fork, veer right to pass between Salisbury High School and the railway line on a paved path that terminates on Langford Tce.

Continue northwest along Langford Tce with the Main North Line on the right. Right turns are not allowed at the northern end of Langford Tce, so cyclists must use the ramp on the right and proceed on the footpath along Bagster Rd, crossing the Main North Line before then crossing Bagster Rd to reach closed-to-traffic First Ave.

The Penfield Line corridor lies between First Ave and the Main North Line. At the northwestern end of First Ave, take the cyclepath to the left to follow close to the Main North Line, crossing the Penfield line corridor in the process.

The cyclepath ends at West Ave. Penfield 1 station was just to the northeast of this point but no remains are visible. The security checkpoint at the entrance to the old Weapons Research Establishment lies to the east. Some buildings are still in use but access to this area is no longer restricted.

  • Behind Salisbury High School near Langford Tce, a subway passes beneath the Main North Line leading to a pedestrian overpass over the Gawler line. From this overpass, the remains of the Penfield line are visible diverging from the Gawler line and ending abruptly at the edge of an industrial estate. This piece of line is sometimes used to park railcars that have terminated at Salisbury
  • As you pass Compton St on Langford Tce you are near the old Hilra Station on the opposite side of the Main North Line, in what is now an industrial estate. No evidence remains
  • On the northern side of Bagster Rd there is some old railway infrastructure and ballast within the railway corridor of the old Penfield line between the Main North Line and First Ave
  • Midway along the cyclepath at the north-western end of First Ave remains of the Penfield Line are visible on the right. The two tracks of the Penfield Line curve to the right while a single line continues straight ahead to the old Bulk Stores, of which some sawtooth roof buildings still exist. Ballast and a number of concrete culverts remain near the line junction.

Penfield 1 to Penfield 3 (2.9 km)

This section is initially on road or footpath, then a good quality sealed cycle path to the west of the Penfield line corridor.

Proceed north along West Ave, which is usually quiet in this section. The eastern footpath is a good option for children or adults who do not wish to ride on the road. Take care at the junction with Woomera Ave.

Prior to the Purling Road roundabout cross to the eastern footpath to minimise road crossings. North of Purling Rd the trail is a good quality path well away from the road. 

Approaching Taranaki Rd roundabout, Penfield 3 station remains are visible on the right.

  • At the eastern end of Woomera Ave (1.5 km from West Ave) is the Penfield Model Engineers Society, with extensive landscaped grounds and railway networks
  • The first road crossing north of the Purling Rd roundabout is the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) main entrance, which can be busy at peak hours
  • The Penfield line crossed just to the west of the DSTO security gate and Penfield 2 station was just south of the entrance road. No evidence remains of the line or station
  • North of the DSTO entrance the Penfield railway corridor can be discerned from remaining ballast, culverts and tree lines
  • Close to the fence line of RAAF Edinburgh are several sawtooth roofed red brick warehouses that have loading platforms evident on their eastern sides. They were served by a spurline that crossed West Ave north of Taranaki Rd
  • Platform and shelter remain of Penfield 3 station near Taranaki Rd, now overgrown with trees and bushes 

Penfield 3 to Edinburgh North (1.2 km)

This section is on a good quality sealed cycle path to the west of the Penfield line balloon loop. An alternate route is to travel via Taranaki Rd past Penfield 3 station and turn left into East Ave, which for much of its length is closed to traffic but open to cyclists and pedestrians.

Both routes terminate at Bellchambers Rd, Edinburgh North.

Turn right on to Bellchambers Rd to travel to Elizabeth and the Gawler rail line.

  • the route of the balloon loop can be discerned at various times of the year, depending on crops and grazing
  • RAAF Edinburgh has an AP3C Orion aircraft and a Leopard tank on display near the main entrance

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Rail line history 

Penfield railway line started just north of the Salisbury station on the Gawler line,  then ran northwest and then turned north through Defence land in what is now Edinburgh. It served  Hilra, Penfield 1, Penfield 2, and Penfield 3 stations and was double track for the whole length. The line had a balloon loop for trains to go the other way. The line was closed and dismantled in 1991.

The line opened in 1941 to serve various World War II armaments factories at what was then known as Penfield. As it was built for industrial purposes, sidings branched off both the Up and Down tracks at many locations. The largest siding went into what is now RAAF Base Edinburgh. During the war years this branch line was used by passenger trains carrying workers to the munitions factories in the area as well as freight trains carrying raw materials in and armaments out. Passenger trains were necessary because Salisbury was a semi-rural community at the time and most of the workforce had to be brought in from other districts.

The No 2 Explosives and Filling factory sprawled over 11.65 square kilometres of plain in the Penfield area in mid 1942. It employed 6500 people working a six-day week around the clock in three shifts. It was served by 25 passenger trains a day; 19 were from Adelaide, the other six from Gawler, Hamley Bridge, Tanunda, Angaston and Kapunda via a specially built connecting curve from the main north line to the Penfield branch line.

A more limited peak hour passenger service to Penfield continued after the war, serving staff at the government Weapons Research Establishment (later DSTO).

The balloon loop closed in June 1983 following the derailment of a train of railcars. Services continued to Penfield 3 on the Down track and returned on the Up track using a crossover just south of Penfield 3. The Up track beyond Hilra closed in April 1984 along with most of the sidings. The remaining sidings were closed in 1986, and single track went for the length of the branch by the end of the 1980s.

The remaining peak-hour trains were withdrawn from the Penfield branch in January 1991, due to low patronage and the need to fund an upgrade of the worn-out track. The track was dismantled in the same year but several hundred metres of track from Salisbury station were kept so that trains from Adelaide terminating at Salisbury could change direction back to Adelaide. The short spur remains, but the next section through Hilra station has been replaced by the road through an industrial estate. 

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 rail trail will pass through a 15 km by 2 km strip of terra rossa soil that produces some of the world’s finest cabernet sauvignon. Cycling is the perfect way to enjoy this region; many wineries are located within 20 km of Coonawarra township and along the rail trail.
  • The trail will extend the Aussie Camino Trail that connects Portland, Victoria to Penola in recognition of Saint Mary MacKillop and Father Julian Tenison Woods. It will also be close to Naracoorte Caves (SA’s only UNESCO World Heritage site) and the Ramsar wetland sites of Bool and Hack Lagoons

Attractions

  • Coonawarra Wine Region
  • Historic Penola
  • The Aussie Camino Trail
  • Naracoorte Caves
  • Bool and Hack Lagoons 

Trail Guide

Important note: This rail trail is not yet open. It is expected construction will begin in 2022.

The trail will run for 20 km through the Coonawarra Wine Region vineyards and past wine cellars, some dating from 1890. Once the trail is open it is expected several side trails to cellar doors and wineries will be built.

The sealed trail will begin on the outskirts of Penola and follow the unused Wolseley to Mt Gambier rail corridor to end at Father Woods Park, home to seven sculptures depicting the lives of Father Julian Tenison Woods and Saint Mary MacKillop.

 

 

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Development and future of the rail trail

The future Coonawarra Rail Trail will connect with a proposed Naracoorte Caves trail, creating a 50 km trail between Penola and Naracoorte and providing a mix of wine tourism trail with a bush trail along back roads, around wetlands and through conservation parks.

Rail line history 

The Wolseley to Mt Gambier railway line was built in stages between 1881 and 1887. The line was primarily used to transport farm produce to Adelaide, and closed in 1995.

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
  • Honours elite junior local cyclist Shamus Liptrot who died in 2011, several years after suffering serious injuries in a cycling accident. Halbury was Shamus’s home town 
  • An excellent ride for all the family and can be extended to form a longer ride along the Wakefield Plains and Clare Valley
  • The history of the bullock and rail trails comes alive in Devil’s Garden adjoining the trail midway between Balaklava and Halbury
  • An excellent ride from Leasingham through the range to Halbury then Balaklava

Attractions

  • Dunn’s Bridge 1.5 km from Balaklava is  a single span bowstring arch bridge built in 1880 over the Wakefield River.
  • Devil’s Garden 7km from Balaklava, east of the Roberts Rd crossing is a small area of eucalypts that has a history of sand hills, bullock teams, corduroy roads and serious flooding. To find out more click here
  • Links to the Balaklava to Port Wakefield section of the Copper Rail Trail
  • Links to a back roads trail to the Riesling Trail (Leasingham) in the east

Trail Guide

The trail is flat and runs through a well vegetated corridor. At Roberts Rd about halfway, take time to visit Devil’s Garden.

Parking is available in Edith Tce, Balaklava, close to shops and amenities and a short distance from the trail at the junction of War Memorial Dr and Railway Tce. The trail begins on the northern side of the rail corridor just north of the intersection of War Memorial Dr and Railway Tce. Follow the path east along the back of Christopher St.

 

 

Section Guides

Balaklava to Halbury

The trail crosses Dunn’s Bridge 1.5 km from Balaklava. This metal bowstring arch bridge was built in 1880 and heritage listed in 1995.

A further 3 km along the trail there is a small bridge over a creek. Dismount to cross the bridge; it is narrow with an uneven surface.

Use Roberts Rd 2 km along the trail to reach a roadside cairn that describes the Devil’s Garden, a fine example of mallee box woodland.

The rail trail terminates at Halbury, but a well signed back roads trail can be followed over the range to Leasingham and the Riesling Trail

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Rail history

The line from Balaklava to Blyth opened in 1876 and closed in 1988. The rails and sleepers were removed shortly after, and the rail trail was built in 2012.

There is a memorial to Shamus Liptrot at the junction of the trail and Bridge Rd, 1 km from Balaklava.

The 37 km Copper Trail begins at Port Wakefield follows an unused rail reserve 26 km to Balaklava and a further 11 km to Halbury. From Halbury the Copper Trail follows a signed route on back roads over the range to Leasingham on the Riesling Trail. 

Development and future of the Rail Trail

Wakefield Regional Council is planning to extend the trail beyond Halbury, following the unused rail corridor north. Ultimately, the Copper Rail Trail may connect with the Southern Flinders Rail Trail.

No services listed for this rail trail.

Advertise your Business Here

Click here for information on advertising your rail trail support business.

New Copper Rail Trail Opened in South Australia

Posted: 18/07/20

The Wakefield Regional Council, located in the mid north of South Australia, has constructed a 26...

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • A ‘bush track’ rail trail that provides a challenge for mountain bikers who enjoy a challenge
  • Forms an important link with other trails in the region and can be part of a larger ride through the Wakefield Plains, Clare Valley and Yorke Peninsula
  • Many historical features and structures 
  • Very welcoming community 

Attractions

  • Links with Walk the Yorke Walking and cycling trail in Port Wakefield
  • Links with a back-roads trail to the Riesling Trail in the east
  • Cuts through an area of century plant (Agave americana) with 6 m high flower stalks
  • Caravan parks at Port Wakefield and Balaklava

Trail Guide

Overall description

The trail surface varies from rubble /gravel to a formed natural earth surface, and is suited to walkers and  adventurous riders. Make sure you have water and food; there are no facilities between Balaklava and Port Wakefield.

The trail runs between flat, open grain fields, but thanks to the efforts of the local community, which planted the rail reserve with indigenous vegetation 30 years ago, the trail now provides visitors with shade as well as great scenery.

Balaklava has good parking in Edith Terrace, near shops and amenities, and a short distance from the trail at the junction of Hudson Rd and Balaklava Rd.

Port Wakefield has good parking, cafes and amenities. Construction work will begin soon on the duplication of the Princess Highway through Port Wakefield, so it may be worth parking near the beginning of the path east of the golf course on Balaklava Rd.

NOTE: the Shamus Liptrot Rail Trail, 11 km from Balaclava to Halbury, forms part of the Copper Rail Trail and is described in more detail in its own webpage 

Section Guides

Port Wakefield to Bowmans (10 km from Port Wakefield Golf Course)

The trail will ultimately begin at the start point for the Walk the Yorke walking and cycling trail, but cyclists should start the trail on the northern side of Balaklava Rd just east of the Port Wakefield Golf Course.

This section of trail is flat and has a compacted earth surface. The corridor has some vegetation and Council plans to add new planting.

About 6 km out Port Wakefield Golf Course the trail passes through a dense planting of century plants, easily recognisable by their long, tapered dull grey green leaves and 6 m tall flower spikes.

A further 2 km from the century plants the trail crosses a farm entrance where several railway sleepers were left in place when the rails were removed.

Take care when using the road crossing to cross the rail line just before Bowmans: this is a major freight route and carries many high-speed trains each day. 

 

Bowmans to Balaklava (15 km)

Bowmans was once a thriving railway town and many of the original railway houses are still occupied. The Bowmans railway loading platform is visible on the side of the trail.

Vegetation increases in the trail corridor as the trail progresses to Balaklava; there are small sections of old man saltbush and bullock bush, which were once common in this area.

This section has some sections of compacted earth, but is mainly compacted rubble.

Use Balaklava Road to enter Balaklava. A small section of railway line has been retained from Hudson Rd to Whitwarta Rd on the approach to Balaklava, and the original railway turntable is visible on the corner of Whitwarta Rd and Balaklava Rd.

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Rail history

A private horse-drawn tramway was built from Port Wakefield to Balaklava and on to Hoyleton in 1869. It was later taken over by the SA Government and converted to steam train. The line closed in 1984.

Up to construction of the horse drawn tramway the alignment of the line was used by bullock teams to transport copper from Burra to Port Wakefield.

The Copper Trail continues along an unused rail reserve another 11 km to Halbury as the Shamus Liptrot Rail Trail. From Halbury the trail follows a signed route along back roads, over the range to Leasingham on the Riesling Trail. 

Development and future of the Rail Trail

Wakefield Regional Council is planning to extend the trail beyond Halbury, following the unused rail corridor northward. The trail may ultimately connect with the Southern Flinders Rail Trail.

No services listed for this rail trail.

Advertise your Business Here

Click here for information on advertising your rail trail support business.

New Copper Rail Trail Opened in South Australia

Posted: 18/07/20

The Wakefield Regional Council, located in the mid north of South Australia, has constructed a 26...

More...

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.

Advertise your Business Here

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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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