Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
The bustling tourist town of Strahan lies on the northern end of Macquarie Harbour. The trail follows the foreshore, offering wonderful views of the historic town and its harbour. Now a fully sealed, concrete trail, it follows the former railway that connected the Abt rack railway from Queenstown with the main line north to Zeehan and Burnie. The Abt railway is now an operational tourist railway which operates daily.

Attractions

Strahan has many wonderful attractions and activities for visitors.  Some are listed here

Strahan is the departure point for the West Coast Wilderness Railway

Franklin–Gordon Wild Rivers National Park

Boat cruises provide an unforgettable journey through World Heritage Wilderness of the Gordon River.

Nearby, in Macquarie Harbour is Sarah Island, once a notorious convict prison

There are long stretches of wild ocean beach to explore with massive sand dunes

Take a 30-min walk (one way) to Hogarth Falls and go platypus spotting

 

Background Information

Traditional Owners

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

Rail line history

The railway was built from Queenstown to Strahan by the Mount Lyell Mining Co. which  began operations in November 1892. The railway officially opened in 1897, and again on 1 November 1899 when the line was extended from Teepookana to Regatta Point and Strahan.

Due to the extremely rugged terrain and lack of roads at the time, the railway was the only way to get copper from the mine at Queenstown to markets.

The railway utilised the Abt rack and pinion system for steep sections. Because of the steep gradients and many tight turns, the chosen gauge was the narrow 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)

The original line continued into the Mount Lyell mining operations area in Queenstown, and at Regatta Point the line linked around the foreshore of Strahan to link with the Government Line to Zeehan.

The railway ceased operation on 10 August 1963 due to increasing maintenance costs and the improvement of road access to the West Coast from the north with the opening of the Murchison Highway. The last train run was hauled by the same locomotive that ran the first service (no.1 in 1896 was the first engine to steam into Queenstown). The rail and other movable items were lifted taken off-site, leaving most of the bridges intact.

Despite various proposals post 1963, it was not until the 1990s some very committed local West Coast people campaigned for the restoration of the Abt Railway as a heritage tourist attraction featuring the unique rail system and the community’s mining history.

The restoration of the Abt Railway was made possible through the allocation of $20 million from the Federal Government’s Prime Minister’s Federal Fund, with further funding from the State Government and some private investment.

The restored railway commenced operations on 27 December 2002 as the Abt Wilderness Railway, with the new terminus in Queenstown. The station at Regatta Point terminus has been renovated.

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 beautiful trail that winds along the edge of Bass Strait, the banks of the Mersey and Don rivers, through areas of bushland and through the centre of Devonport City. Much of the trail shares a corridor with, or is adjacent to the working freight rail line and the heritage Don River railway. In places, the trail runs on the formation of the old tramway that ran from Don River heads south to Melrose.
  • The trail has a good surface of mostly wide concrete or bitumen path and can be ridden in all weathers. The trail is suitable for all types of bikes, scooters, wheelchairs and mobility vehicles (except for a short section of old bitumen near Don College).
  • There are frequent distance makers and numerous interpretive signs to provide a background on the Devonport area, the port history and the railway.
  • Devonport is a major regional centre with a full range of facilities. Devonport is the home port for the Bass Strait ferry “Spirit of Tasmania” and the cycle trails can be directly accessed from the ferry port.
  • There are plenty of accommodation options in Devonport including the Bluff Caravan Park adjacent to the trail. There are several bicycle shops in town. There are numerous cafés and eating options in the area including several delightful cafes right on the trail where it runs along the banks of the Mersey River.
  • Significant attractions adjacent to the trail include the heritage Don River Railway which runs regular tourist services on a short 3km section of the old tramway from Don to Coles Beach. Some of these services are steam hauled. The railway workshops and museum have a magnificent collection of locomotives, rolling stock and railway infrastructure. There is also the excellent Bass Strait Maritime Museum (and café!) at the mouth of the Mersey River and “Tiagarra” – the Tasmanian Aboriginal Cultural Centre at the Bluff where a number of petroglyphs (rock carvings) can be viewed. There is a safe swimming area at the patrolled Bluff beach – and another good café at the Life Saving Club.
  • An interesting side trip can be taken by crossing the Mersey River on the little “Spirit of Devonport” passenger ferry (bikes carried at no cost). The ferry pontoon is located adjacent to the Harbourmasters Café right on the trail. After crossing, you can continue a ride along the East Devonport foreshore path and the edge of the river and Bass Strait coast as far as Pardoe beach near the airport.
  • Devonport City Information Centre is in the new paranaple centre in Rooke St one block back from the riverfront (This area is currently undergoing extensive renovation and construction as part of the new riverfront precinct)

Attractions

  • Tiagarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place
  • Don River Railway
  • Bass Strait Maritime Centre
  • Devonport Aquatic Centre

Trail Guide

Access Points

  • Devonport – numerous access points from off street parking areas on Victoria Parade along the banks of the Mersey River
  • Bluff Beach – large parking area adjacent to the Surf Life Saving Club (With public toilets)
  • Coles Beach – Parking area (with public toilets) adjacent to the beach
  • Devonport Aquatic Centre – at the western end of Steele Street
  • Don – street parking at the Don Reserve outside the Don River Railway entrance (can be crowded on weekends). Public toilets at the Don Hall.
  • Horsehead Creek – large parking area at Horsehead Creek Park on the banks of the Mersey River approx. 3km south of Devonport City.

Section Guides

“Spreyton Link” Horsehead Creek to Devonport City (3km)

  • From the car park, head north along the banks of the river on a good path
  • Take care with vehicles and boat trailers accessing the boat ramp at this park.
  • Continue on a good path adjacent to the river through the Waterfront Centre complex (another good café here overlooking the river). The path then continues adjacent to the railway line and Devonport – Spreyton road. Take care crossing the busy port access road.
  • The path then continues on the old railway formation including through the old loading bays that gave direct rail access for the warehouses of local businesses.
  • The path now goes under the Bass Highway and continues as a dedicated cycle/walking trail adjacent to the working rail line and overlooking the rail yards and port activities until you come to the beautiful riverside park area of Victoria Parade in downtown Devonport.

Devonport City to Don (7.5 km)

  • It’s a gentle flat ride on a good wide path all the way to Coles Beach.
  • From the river side park area, continue north along the banks of the Mersey taking care when crossing the railway line and extra care around the boat ramp area. This section is also very popular with walkers, dogs and people on mobility scooters.
  • Where the Mersey River enters the sea (at the controversial “Spirit of the Seas” statue) the path heads west along the beautiful coast line at the edge of Bass Strait. The path continues to wind through the park until you get to Bluff Beach where there is safe swimming (patrolled beach), café and public toilets.
  • The path now re-joins the main rail line winding through lovely tea trees and coastal vegetation to Coles Beach. There are public toilets at Coles Beach. Coles Beach is also the terminus of the heritage Don River Railway.
  • From Coles Beach the trail shares much of the corridor with the Don River railway. Tourist trains run on this section all year round so take care when crossing this line.
  • The trail now passes through areas of open forest and some dense tea trees with glimpses of the Don River through the trees. The track surface is bitumen and rough in parts especially through the tea tree areas. The Devonport Council is progressively upgrading the track.
  • At the Devonport Aquatic Centre, the main path heads south a further 1 km through bushland and in close proximity to the rail line to Don Village and the headquarters of the Don River Railway.
  • From Don, return to Devonport by taking the Old Tramway loop on the western side of the Don River and cross the river on the new “Sawdust” bridge, cross the rail line and then a very short steep ascent brings you back out at the Aquatic Centre where you rejoin the main trail back to Devonport. (Alternatively, the loop can be done in reverse but take extra care on the steep descent to the Sawdust bridge)

Background Information

Traditional Owners

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

Development and future of the trail

The Devonport City Council has plans to extend the trail further south along the alignment of the old tramway to Melrose, where the extensive Tasmanian Arboretum has been established, as well as the popular swimming and picnic spot of Lake Eugenana at the old limestone quarries.

The North West Coastal pathway from Latrobe to Wynyard is currently under construction, and will link many existing pathways including parts of the Devonport cycleway and significant sections of rail trails. When completed, the Coastal Pathway will link small and large towns over a network of about 110 km of high quality paths.

 

Rail line history

A timber tramway was built in the 1850s from Don Heads on the western side of the Don River to carry timber from the hinterland to a wharf on the river.

In 1916, a more substantial rail line was built on the eastern side of the river to carry limestone mined in quarries near Melrose as well as bringing out timber and produce from the farms further south in the Paloona and Barrington areas. Traffic on the line declined through the 1940s and 1950s and eventually complete closure of the line in 1963.

The heritage rail group was formed in 1973 and today has a substantial complex of workshops. Museum and tourist facilities at its Don River headquarters. There are regular tourist trains running on the 3.5 km stretch of line from Don to Coles Bay.

The Devonport City Council builds, maintains and upgrades many trails suitable for cycling and walking for people of all mobilities.

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 passes through rich agricultural landscapes with a gentle grade
  • Well interpreted Aboriginal history
  • Extensive World War II history
  • Produce stalls and coffee shops
  • Good climate year-round; April-September optimal

Attractions

  • Outstanding heritage listed natural environment and unique wildlife
  • Expanding network of touring, MTB and road bike trails in the region
  • Proximity to Cairns, Great Barrier Reef and coastal attractions
  • Well serviced towns and villages

Trail Guide

The trail links Atherton with Walkamin on the central Atherton Tablelands. Facilities adjacent to the trail in Atherton and Tolga (6 km north) include toilets and cafes and most facilities; the small settlement of Walkamin (14.5 km north of Tolga) has toilets, car parking and a small store.

Section Guides

The trail begins at Platypus Park on the southern side of Atherton and runs through the centre of the township. There are many trails leading to the Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park, and the Atherton Skills Park and MTB trailhead lie on the trail.

The trail runs north to Tolga, passing the Tolga Scrub, a remnant of endangered mabi forest that once covered most of the Atherton Tablelands. A diversion off the trail leads to the popular 28 km Tolga to Kairi cycling loop: Tolga Kairi Cycle Loop

From Tolga the trail heads to Rocky Creek, which during World War II housed the largest military hospital complex in the Southern Hemisphere. Around 60,000 Australian soldiers were treated here for war-related conditions.

The trail passes the restored Rocky Creek igloo, one of the complex’s remaining buildings. Across the road is the Rocky Creek campground and war memorial park, the focus of Victory in the Pacific celebrations each year. There are rest and toilet facilities at Rocky Creek.

The trail continues beneath the Kennedy Highway road bridge and runs a further six km north to Walkamin (see map at Atherton Tablelands Rail Trail)

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Development and future of the rail trail 

A feasibility study detailing the extension of the remaining 16 km section between Walkamin and Mareeba was released in early 2020. RTA representatives continue to work with Mareeba Shire Council on the project, which could link the two major townships of the Tablelands by way of a safe 36.5 km trail.

Extending the trail to the south from Atherton towards Herberton is also a priority. Atherton Herberton Historic Rail (AHHR) holds the lease for the railway corridor between Atherton and Herberton, and the development of a 21 km shared use trail is well advanced.

The current railway line is being restored so AHHR can operate tourist trains between Herberton and Atherton, and a section of the corridor between Atherton to Hasties Road has been developed for use by cyclists, equestrians and walkers.

The Atherton to Herberton railway line has significant historic and cultural values; the tunnel at the top of the Herberton Range is reputed to be the highest in Qld.

The trail also crosses a diverse landscape with outstanding natural features such as Carrington Falls and Hasties Swamp National Park, a large seasonal wetland that is a refuge and birdwatching hotspot for resident and migratory birds.

From Herberton the original trail runs for 35 km to Ravenshoe, but this section is partly demolished and effectively unrideable. The last 7 km section from Tumoulin to Ravenshoe is intact and the Ravenshoe Railway Company still holds the lease, though the train is not currently running.

There is limited political interest in redeveloping the redundant sectors of the Tablelands region, but there is potential for a trail of around 92 km from Mareeba to Ravenshoe.

Rail line history 

The Atherton Tableland Rail Trail constitutes a small part of the extensive history of the Cairns to Ravenshoe railway system. For comprehensive information on this system, go to:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablelands_railway_line_Queensland

Acknowledgements

We thank Tablelands Regional Council, Rail Trails Australia and Atherton-Herberton Historic Railway Inc. for their continued support, and look forward to working with AHHR on the shared trail from Atherton to Herberton. This link will also open up safe cycling opportunities in the savannah country to the west of the Tablelands, including the Lappa Trail and the Irvinebank to Boonmoo tramline.

No services listed for this rail trail.

Advertise your Business Here

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Come and celebrate the opening of the extention of the Atherton Rail Trail Saturday 23 March 2019.

Posted: 18/03/19

Tablelands Outdoor Recreation Association Inc. are pleased to advise that the official opening of the ...

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Come and enjoy the 2016 Atherton Bike Fest on the Rail Trail

Posted: 12/10/16

Come and join us for a celebration of cycling! and enjoy riding the Rail Trail ...

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Opening of the Atherton Rail Trail (far North QLD)

Posted: 21/08/14

Friends of the Atherton Rail Trail and the Tableland Regional Council invite you to the ...

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Atherton Rail Trail nears completion (Qld)

Posted: 22/07/14

Stage one of the Atherton to Mareeba Rail Trail is now 85% complete,with stage one ...

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Atherton Tablelands Rail Trail get a green light

Posted: 10/09/13

After 7 years of hard work by the Friends of Atherton Tablelands Rail Trail and the ...

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Funding Offer for Atherton Tablelands Rail Trail (QLD)

Posted: 30/11/10

Tablelands Regional Council Mayor Tom Gilmore, Transport Minister Rachel ...

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Atherton Tablelands Rail Trail Community Meetings (QLD)

Posted: 09/02/10

Disused Rail Approaching Atherton Tablelands Regional Council will ...

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Atherton Tablelands Rail Trail (North Qld) Community Meeting

Posted: 20/08/07

A feasibility study for the proposed Atherton Tablelands Rail Trail from Atherton to Yungaburra has ...

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • Experience history, Lake Hume, one of Australia’s largest reservoirs, high timber bridges and the foothills of the High Country
  • The trail traverses farmland near the shores of Lake Hume and forest at Shelley, once Victoria’s highest railway station
  • The trail is undulating to Bullioh with some moderate gradients. Bullioh to Shelley is all uphill at the steepest gradient trains could manage. Plan your trip
  • Trail surface is of varying quality beyond Old Tallangatta
  • The 600 m Sandy Creek bridge is a scenic landmark

Attractions

  • Albury/Wodonga has many attractions including the Murray River at Wodonga and Bonegilla Migrant Museum
  • Recreation facilities around Lake Hume
  • Old Tallangatta, the town that moved!
  • Many National and State Parks to explore. There are good views from lookouts and mountaintops (including the Main Range of Kosciuszko National Park) and plenty of picnic and camping areas

Trail Guide

The High Country Rail Trail will be eventually 112 km long, in three distinct sections:

  • The 6 km high standard urban Wodonga to Bandiana section
  • The 37 km good standard rural section around Lake Hume to Tallangatta and Old Tallangatta
  • The 37 km section to Shelley is for the more adventurous, but well worth it

Albury/Wodonga is a major regional centre with all services while Tallangatta has some services. There are no services beyond Tallangatta.

Section Guides

Access Points

  • Wodonga: many access points; parking on side roads
  • Bandiana: car park at Whytes Rd
  • All other stations sites from here have carparks
  • Old Tallangatta: no parking at trailhead itself – park at Mitta Bridge rest areas or in Old Tallangatta across causeway
  • Shelley – Take Avondale Rd off Murray Valley Hwy at Shelley, past the Shelley accommodation camp

Albury/Wodonga to Bandiana (6 km)

  • From Albury station follow the old Hume Hwy 5 km toward Wodonga across the Murray River floodplain to High St and the former Wodonga railway station precinct, which is well worth a visit
  • From the Wodonga station precinct travel 200 m east along Reid St to the start of the rail trail
  • From here to Bandiana is a very smooth asphalt surface
  • Military and history interpretive signs toward the Bandiana Military Museum provide an insight into the role the region and Australia has played in conflict and peacekeeping
  • Many other interpretive signs, so many excuses to stop and read. Kangaroos are common near the military facilities

Albury and Wodonga are major regional cities with all facilities. There is a hotel and takeaway near Bandiana.

Bandiana to Huon (17 km)

  • A bitumen surface to Ebden, then a wide, smooth gravel surface to Huon
  • The army has taken over some of the former line and the very long trestle bridges across the Kiewa river flats have been demolished, so a diversion with boardwalk and low level bridges has been built across the Kiewa River flats.
  • There is a steep gradient at Whytes Rd
  • Make use of the picnic tables at Kiewa River to enjoy the scenery
  • After crossing Kiewa River, the trail joins the original rail alignment; leaving the river red gum forest the trail rises slowly to Mahers Rd with the first views of Lake Hume
  • From Mahers Rd the trail passes beneath Murray Valley Hwy then heads south with the Mitta Arm of Lake Hume to one side, hills on the other and mountains in the distance. There are many locations for a refreshing dip on a hot day, especially when the water level is high
  • The trail descends to Huon where the platform, goods shed, weighbridge and some rolling stock remain. If water levels are very low, the remains of the original station site can be recognised further down the hill
  • This trail features sites rich in cultural history such as Bonegilla station site
  • At Bonegilla, a diversion to the large dam wall is worthwhile. Follow Bonegilla Rd north; along the way visit Block 19, the Bonegilla Migrant Experience Heritage Park

Huon to Tallangatta (12 km)

  • From Huon to the 600 m Sandy Creek bridge with its distinctive ‘red sticks’.
  • From Sandy Creek to Tallangatta the trail surface has one side sealed and the other smooth gravel

Tallangatta is a small regional town with some food and accommodation, including a bakery and choices for coffee.

Tallangatta to Old Tallangatta (8 km)

  • The trail is sealed all the way from Tallangatta to the Mitta bridge, an impressive structure
  • At Old Tallangatta, turn left at the over-bridge and follow the road for 1 km to see the few remaining buildings of the township; if the weir level is low take a stroll around the building foundations
  • There is an interpretive sign at a viewing point up on the highway
  • No facilities at Old Tallangatta

Old Tallangatta to Shelley (37 km)

  • This section is for the more adventurous, but has many rewards
  • No drinking water or toilet after Tallangatta
  • From Old Tallangatta to Bullioh the trail is basically flat and a little rough as it winds up the valley
  • A stone step crossing of Tallangatta Creek requires a diversion on to Murray Valley Hwy in wet weather
  • A short on-road diversion at Bullioh around the station area
  • From Bullioh the trail climbs almost continuously for 28 km at the maximum gradient trains could manage. Cyclists should consider starting at Shelley unless they are quite fit or on a fully charged e-bike
  • There are many reasons to stop with wonderful views between Bullioh and Derbyshire and three tall timber bridges, including the highest in Victoria
  • After Derbyshire the trail enters forest and follows a creek
  • A 1 km diversion on to the highway to get around the 76 m long Boggy Creek bridge near Koetong (viewing platform)
  • Boggy Creek bridge can be reached by car; from Wodonga, turn left off Murray Valley Hwy before Koetong on the Mt Lawson road that leads to Mt Lawson State Park
  • From Koetong, after a short descent to Koetong Creek, it is a steady but picturesque climb to Shelley
  • Many large timber bridges in this section, some of which have been restored by voluntary community participation; others have a diversion around them
  • Enjoy a break in the forest at Shelley station, at 781 m Victoria’s highest station site
  • The only facilities are at the Shelley Forest Camp (booking required)
  • Other places to visit include the summit of Mt Lawson and its loop nature trail, Conic Range Walking Track, a 1.5 km walk off Firebrace Rd, great views of the Koetong Creek Valley, and Avondale Gardens Reserve. Follow the signs from Shelley off Avondale Rd

Beetoomba (9 km)

Part of the future section to Cudgewa and Corryong is accessible, but it is only for keen walkers and mountain bike riders as the surface is rough and there are low-level crossings around the four bridges in this section.

Background Information

Traditional Owners

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

Development and future of the rail trail 

Many developments are under way and planned to improve this trail.

Parklands Albury/Wodonga, in conjunction with three local voluntary advisory groups, is working on improving the Old Tallangatta to Shelley section and opening the Shelley to Cudgewa section.

When the rail bypass of Wodonga opened, Rail Trails Australia supported local organisations to extend the trail from Bandiana into Wodonga; this is now complete to a high standard, providing an important backbone for the local off-road path system and preserving an important piece of history. Rail Trails Australia supports extending the rail trail across the Murray floodplains toward Albury.

Development of the trail began in 1996. Highlights of its development include

  • opening of the 600 m Sandy Creek bridge in 2012 to link Bandiana and Tallangatta
  • opening in 2019 of the fifth volunteer-restored bridge at Dry Forest Creek at Bullioh to link Tallangatta with Shelley

Railway History

Construction of the branch line began in 1887 and reached Tallangatta (now Old Tallangatta) in 1891. Cudgewa was not reached until 1921 due to the difficult terrain and labour shortages. According to legend, Corryong and Tintaldra were arguing over which should get the railway but the era of the motor car arrived before the argument could be settled, leaving the small township of Cudgewa as the terminus.

Construction of Hume Dam required the line between Ludlows and the present Tallangatta to be shifted up the hill in the early 1930s. In the 1950s the level of the dam was raised requiring further track deviations, the lifting of the Sandy Creek bridge and the shifting of the entire town of Tallangatta.

During the 1960s the railway carried construction materials for the Snowy Mountains Scheme as well as regular cattle and general goods trains. Construction also sped road improvements in the area, increasing competition for the railway. The last regular goods train ran in 1978 and the line officially closed in 1981.

Observing the remains of Bonegilla station platform, with only a few farmhouses in sight, it is hard to believe the part this area played in the lives of so many Australians. During World War II a major military training camp was established at Bonegilla, and following the war until 1971 the location was a reception centre for more than 320,000 migrants; you can listen to their stories in the excellent visitor centre at Block 19 (off Bonegilla Rd on the way to the dam wall). Remarkably, despite this number of people arriving in Bonegilla a station building was never built, let alone a siding. Now the former station’s small claim to fame is its native grassland reserve.

Also at Bandiana South is a large military museum that provides a vivid reminder of what was until recent times a very large military presence in the area.

Wodonga’s and Bandiana’s large railway facilities are now largely gone.

No services listed for this rail trail.

Advertise your Business Here

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

Enhancing the High Country Rail Trail (Victoria)

Posted: 30/07/20

Over an extended period, Tallangatta and Bonegilla High Country Rail Trail volunteers and staff from ...

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Rail trails can help support bushfire affected communities

Posted: 04/02/20

It may be a little difficult carrying an #EmptyEsky on your bike, but you can ...

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Tall Trestle Treadle and Bridge Opening along High Country Rail Trail (Vic)

Posted: 19/10/19

Over 100 riders celebrated the completion of the Dry Forest Creek Bridge and its official opening ...

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Opening of the Dry Forest Creek bridge at Tallangatta in Victoria

Posted: 24/09/19

You are invited to the official opening of the Dry Forest Creek bridge at Tallangatta ...

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Funding for High Country and Murray to Mountains Rail Trail links

Posted: 26/02/16

Victorian Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford has announced funding of $205,000 to support projects to ...

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Celebrate High Country Rail Trail Improvements (NE Victoria)

Posted: 10/01/16

Upgrading of the trail surface in full swing in ...

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High Country Rail Trail Koetong Bridge Opening

Posted: 04/10/14

The large timber bridge at Koetong on the High Country Rail Trail in north east ...

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Funding for High Country Rail Trail Upgrade

Posted: 28/05/13

The federal government has announced total funding of $512,281 to carry out improvements to 17 kilometres of ...

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Australia’s Longest Rail Trail Bridge Open

Posted: 20/11/12

Hundreds enjoyed a beautiful spring day for the long awaited opening by local state member ...

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High Country Sandy Creek Bridge Opening

Posted: 29/09/12

A local BUG enjoying a preview of the bridge / ...

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High Country Sandy Creek Bridge Update

Posted: 10/06/12

Following the remarkable progress made in January when all girders on the 600m bridge were ...

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High Country Rail Trail Bridges the Gap

Posted: 23/01/12

The High Country Rail Trail ( NE Victoria) has bridged the 600m long gap across Lake ...

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Sandy Creek Bridge Contruction to Start (VIC)

Posted: 27/09/11

Artists impression of the new Sandy Creek Bridge. Credit: ...

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General Flood Warnings (VIC, QLD and anywhere else that’s had rain!)

Posted: 19/12/10

Victoria Due to extensive flood and water damage from the Kiewa River the High Country ...

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Funding Announced for High Country Rail Trail (Vic) Sandy Creek Bridge

Posted: 02/07/10

The long awaited bridging of the gap is in ...

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No VLine Train Services To North East Victoria

Posted: 07/11/08

From Sunday 9th November VLine trains to Wangaratta and Wodonga will be replaced by buses ...

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Progress on Sandy Creek Bridge, High Country Rail Trail (Vic)

Posted: 10/06/08

Looking forward to when the gap can be bridged. (2005). ...

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High Country Rail Trail (Vic) July Inspirational Ride (UPDATED)

Posted: 07/07/06

Photo Credit: Alexander McCooke Update: Due to the ...

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High Country Rail Trail (NE Victoria) Kiewa River Bridges Opened

Posted: 23/04/06

Gathering at the Kiewa River to open the bridges ...

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High Country Rail Trail (NE Victoria) Kiewa River Bridge Opening

Posted: 06/03/06

Kiewa River bridge under construction. Photo Credit: Damian McCrohan 2006[/...

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • Winds through scenic pine forests and bushland, rich farmland and rolling hills as it travels from Colac up to Beech Forest and Ferguson
  • Originally a narrow gauge railway that played a key role in opening the western Otways to settlement

Attractions

  • Magnificent eucalypts and blackwoods provide homes for abundant birdlife
  • Features outstanding and innovative interpretive signs along the route
  • Note that the trail is almost continually downhill from Beech Forest to Gellibrand, and is best suited for mountain and hybrid bikes

Please visit Colac Otway Shire Council’s website for more information about the Old Beechy Rail Trail: http://www.colacotway.vic.gov.au/Parks-Recreation/Old-Beechy-Rail-Trail

Trail Guide

The main sections of the Old Beechy Rail Trail are:

  • Colac to Gellibrand is 28 km and is on-road for the first 11 km. It then follows a combination of quiet country lanes and dedicated rail trail paths
  • Gellibrand to Beech Forest is 18.5 km long and ascends steadily through scenic bushland and past timber plantations. Note: parts of this section are currently closed
  • Beech Forest to Ferguson is 4 km long, passing through dense rainforest.  Colac has a wide range of facilities while Gellibrand and Beech Forest more basic food and accommodation.

Section Guides

Closure between Wimba and Beech Forest

The trail is currently closed between Wimba and Beech Forest. During this period walkers and cyclists will detour to use Old Beech Forest Rd. Take care and watch for logging trucks, and observe warning signs and other traffic control instructions.

For queries regarding the detour, contact Colac Otway Shire Council’s Recreation and Open Space Co-ordinator on 5232 9400.

Colac-Barongarook (11 km)

This section is on-road since the original railway route is no longer available. Less experienced cyclists may prefer to start at Barongarook. Sections are steep, with loose gravel.

  • from Colac Railway Station, cross the footbridge and follow the signposted route out of town via Wilson St, Queen St, Aireys St, Woodrowvale Rd and Forest St
  • follow Forest St for 4 km to its end, then turn left into Barongarook Rd for 2.3 km
  • turn right at Alford Rd then  turn left after 1 km at Maggios Rd. After 500m, the rail trail starts on the right.

Barongarook-Birnam (6 km)

The trail travels through beautiful bushland to Cashins Road. The surface is very good.

Birnam-Kawarren (3.5 km)

The trail leaves the original railway formation and has a very steep climb and descent on a gravel surface.

  • Turn right at Cashins Rd. The trail starts again on the left
  • Climbs steeply through bushland and then descends again, entering farmland
  • Rejoins the railway alignment at the site of Kawarren station

Kawarren-Gellibrand (6.5 km)

  • The trail runs beside the main road
  • Cross the main road just before Gellibrand. A pedestrian and cycle bridge carries the trail over the Gellibrand River; the original railway bridge was demolished to make way for the road
  • Gellibrand’s original railway station building survives contains a historical display

Gellibrand-Wimba-Dinmont (13.9 km)

The trail from Gellibrand to Beech Forest is steep and rough in parts; it is not suitable for inexperienced riders.

  • Shares the footpath through Gellibrand. Cross the road at the southern edge of town to rejoin the original railway formation
  • Entering farmland, the trail starts the climb to Beech Forest
  • One short on-road section: watch for log trucks
  • The section from Wimba to Dinmont is currently closed
  • At Dinmont, the old railway water tank is still in use

Dinmont-Beech Forest (4.5 km)

  • This section is currently closed
  • Sections of this trail between Dinmont and Ditchley are steep and you will need to walk your bike or  ride on-road to Ditchley
  • From Ditchley to Dinmont, the trail is off-road
  • At Beech Forest look for the site of the balloon loop (used for reversing trains) at the eastern end of town

Beech Forest-Ferguson (4 km)

  • The trail begins on the southern side of the Beech Forest-Lavers road, east of the information shelter at Beech Forest. Follow it west through a dense rainforest and ferns. It then crosses farmland close to the road until Ferguson, which has a rustic cafe.

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Development and future of the rail trail

After eight years of planning by local progress associations, volunteers and Colac Otway Shire, the concept of a rail trail came to reality when it opened to the public in 2005.

The section is currently closed from Wimba to Ferguson while the Shire resolves issues relating to trail safety, alignment and landholder access.

Rail Trails Australia wrote to the Colac Otway Shire in 2020 to express concern about delays in reopening closed sections of the trail.

Rail Trail users may wish to write to Colac Otway Shire to:

  • encourage Council to reopen closed sections of the trail
  • tell Council how you will use rail trail once it is fully open

Railway history

The 2′ 6″ narrow gauge line opened to Beech Forest in 1902 and was extended to Crowes in 1911. By 1940, only one trip a week was being made and by 1954 the terminus of the line had shifted back from Crowes to Weeaproinah. The line closed in June 1962 despite strong objections from many local people.

Many sawmills built tramways in the forest, and sidings on the Beechy line and the remains of some mills can still be seen.

The line ran ‘mixed’ trains with passengers and timber, cattle, potatoes, cheese and other farm produce.

Steam locomotives travelled at a maximum speed of 32 km/h (20 mph) between Colac and Gellibrand and 16-24 km/h (10-15 mph) on other sections.

Parts of the railway were sold when the line was closed. The rail trail committee has done an amazing job negotiating with landowners to allow so much of the trail to follow the original route.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Old Beechy Rail Trail

Posted: 25/07/16

There is a small detour and closure along the Old Beechy Rail Trail between the 42...

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Old Beechy Rail Trail (Vic) Fun Run

Posted: 03/03/12

Discover the beauty of the Otways on the Old Beechy Rail Trail with a 16Km ...

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Old Beechy Rail Trail User Survey (VIC)

Posted: 18/01/11

If you've recently used the Old Beechy Rail Trail here is your opportunity to tell ...

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$750,000 To Upgrade The Old Beechy Rail Trail

Posted: 29/05/10

From the State Government Newsroom: The Old Beechy Rail Trail will become an iconic tourist ...

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Opening of the Old Beechy Rail Trail (Vic) on October 22nd 2005

Posted: 01/10/05

The Old Beechy Rail Trail, 130km SE of Melbourne, will be officially opened on Saturday 22...

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Old Beechy Rail Trail Officially Opened

Posted: 31/07/05

Colac railway Station......Premier Steve Bracks looking over the ...

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Beechy Rail Trail Event, Sunday 28 November 2004

Posted: 24/11/04

On Sunday 28 November 2004, the Barongarook Hall Committee will hold a BBQ and car boot sale ...

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
The 16 km Fernleigh Track between Adamstown and Belmont on the coastal fringe of Newcastle is a high-quality rail trail running through quiet bushland and suburban landscapes. A major feature is the 180 m curved brick-lined Fernleigh Tunnel beneath the Pacific Highway. The Fernleigh Track has public transport access at Adamstown, and access points at Whitebridge, Redhead, Jewells and Belmont have car parks. It is a very popular rail trail and a visit is easily combined with a short side trip to Redhead Beach. The trail is being extended south by Lake Macquarie council in the Fernleigh Awabakal Shared Track project, and will eventually connect to Blacksmiths and Swansea.

Attractions

The Newcastle region offers a large range of opportunities for visitors:

  • The region has many historic sights.
  • The harbourfront of Newcastle has been transformed into a major tourist venue, with many restaurants and shops.
  • A light rail service connects Newcastle’s main railway station with the whole CBD and the beach.
  • The Hunter Valley northwest of Newcastle is one of Australia’s prime wine production regions.
  • Newcastle has a wide range of accommodation.

Trail Guide

The Fernleigh Track consists of three basic sections: 

Adamstown to Whitebridge (6 km)

Access the trail alongside Adamstown Station on the Newcastle Central Coast line, or ride in from Newcastle CGD along well-signposted routes. The offroad portion starts at the junction of Park Ave and Bailey St, and climbs on a slight gradient up to the 180m brick lined Fernleigh Tunnel (2.1 km) under the Pacific Highway. (Take care crossing the busy connector between Park Ave and Brisbane Water Road, 700m from the start.) It then runs through bushland in the Glenrock State Recreation Area, before crossing Burwood Road (3.5 km) at traffic signals.

Considerable traces of the original railway and the coal mines it serviced can be found along this stretch, including Kahibah Station (where the trail crosses the Great North Walk). Burwood Colliery Dam, etc. Interpretive signage tells the story of the mines and railway.

Water and toilets are available at Whitebridge Station (5.5 km). This is the peak of the trail profile.

Whitebridge to Redhead (4.5 km)

From Whitebridge the trail gently descends to Redhead through native bush. The restored station platform at Redhead is a major feature of this section. Here ‘up’ and ‘down’ traffic take different sides of the platform!

Turn left at Cowlishaw St (9.5 km) to ride down to Redhead Beach (signposted), for shops and cafes. There is water available at Liles Oval near the turnoff.

Redhead to Belmont (5.5 km)
This section is basically flat and the scenery predominantly coastal bushland, the highlight being the boardwalk across wetlands. Kalaroo Rd must be crossed (11.9 km) just prior to reaching the Jewells Station platform, where water is available. 

The platform and surrounds at Belmont (15.5 km) have had considerable landscaping and interpretive signage.

The rail trail finishes in Railway Parade, a few hundred metres from the picturesque Lake Macquarie harbour at Belmont. Lake Macquarie City is extending the trail to the south towards Blacksmiths, in a project called the Fernleigh Awabakal Shared Track (FAST – under construction). While not a former railway, it will provide off-road access for much of the journey south to the Swansea Bridge (22 km) and Caves Beach (25 km).

Belmont is the best place along the trail to buy refreshments, with a range of places to eat and drink close to that end of the track. There are also shops and cafes at Redhead and Adamstown. 

Section Guides

Adamstown to Whitebridge (6 km)

The trail climbs on a slight gradient passing through the 180 m brick-lined and fully lit Fernleigh Tunnel beneath the Pacific Highway, then runs through bushland in the Glenrock State Recreation Area.

  • From the south side of the Adamstown railway station, head southwest along Park Ave to the roundabout and the start of the trail.
  • Follow the trail through the tunnel and then across Burwood Rd.

Whitebridge to Redhead (4.5 km)

The restored station platform at Redhead is a major feature of this section. Here ‘up’ and ‘down’ traffic take different sides of the platform.

  • From Whitebridge the trail gently descends to Redhead through native bushland.
  • From Collishaw Street it is 1.5 km to Redhead surf beach.

Redhead to Belmont (5.5 km)

This section is basically flat and the scenery predominantly coastal bushland, the highlight being the boardwalk across wetlands. The platform and surrounds at Belmont have had considerable landscaping, making it quite a feature.

  • The rail trail finishes in Railway Pde, a few hundred metres from the picturesque Lake Macquarie harbour at Belmont.
  • From this point, connections can be made south to Swansea and west to the Lake Macquarie shoreline.

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

 Rail line history

The railway opened in the late 1880s to transport coal from mines in the Lake Macquarie area to the Port of Newcastle. Evidence of some of the mines is still visible from the track. It was also used as a passenger service between Belmont and Newcastle with stations at Kahibah, Whitebridge and Redhead. The last passenger train ran in 1971. Coal mines along the corridor began to close in the 1980s and the line ceased to be used in 1991. Remnants of the former railway are visible all along the Fernleigh Track. 

Newcastle and Lake Macquarie councils purchased the land of the former private coal railway to Belmont and opened the first section of the rail trail, Adamstown-Kahibah (Burwood Rd), in 2003. Stage 3 of the Fernleigh Track from Whitebridge to Redhead opened in 2009. Stage 4 from Redhead to Jewells Station was completed in mid 2010 and the completed rail trail to Belmont was opened in March 2011. The FAST track to Blacksmiths is expected to be completed in 2022.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Design taking shape for new Fernleigh Track amenities block

Posted: 11/12/20

A new amenities block on the Fernleigh Track rail trail in NSW will include an ...

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Cessnock City Council Trails Strategy recognises value of colliery rail network

Posted: 23/06/20

Cessnock City Council (CCC) recently released their Trails Strategy. The Strategy was developed by CCC ...

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NSW continues the momentum for developing cycling facilities

Posted: 19/06/20

Lake Macquarie and Newcastle City Councils are showing what can be done when it comes ...

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Newcastle’s Fernleigh Track to be extended

Posted: 19/02/20

The very popular Fernleigh Track – Adamstown to Belmont Rail Trail is set to be extended ...

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • A high quality rail trail connecting the main centres of the major regional seaside town of Hervey Bay
  • Provides access to the beaches and the 868m long pier at Urangan
  • Many road crossings but all have treatment appropriate to their use.
  • The foreshore trail along the coast from the Urangan Pier makes a very scenic loop trail back to Pialba.
  • Along this stretch there are an increasing number of cafes and restaurants opening to keep users fueled up.

Attractions

The Fraser Coast has many wonderful attractions and activities.  A few are listed below.

  • Visit Queens Park Maryborough
  • Go To The Maryborough Markets
  • Browse Through Brennan And Geraghty’s Store Museum
  • Discover The Maryborough Military And Colonial Museum
  • Explore The Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Take a fun train ride on the ‘Mary Ann’ throughout Maryborough’s Queens Park alongside Mary River
  • Go Whale Watching July Through November
  • Take A Stroll Along The Esplanade
  • Visit The Botanic Gardens In Urangan
  • Visit The 868 meter Long Urangan Pier
  • Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum
  • Take A Trip To Fraser Island Queensland

Trail Guide

Access Points

  • Urraween – Parking on side of road (wide verges)
  • Pialba – Parking available at the Hervey Bay Community Centre with walk/cycle path connections to the rail trail.
  • Urangan – At the Pier
  • Nikenbah – Park on side of road (wide verges)

Section Guides

Urraween to Pialba to Urangan (7.5km)

  • Wide sealed trail surface connects the main centres of the coastal city of Hervey Bay.

Pialba to Nikenbah (7km)

  • Wide sealed trail surface connects the main centre to southerly suburbs.

There are no facilities near the rail trail except a cafe at Nikenbah.

Nikenbah to Stockyard Creek (3.5km)

  • Wide gravel trail surface through bushland with quite a bit of bird life.

Due to no formal crossing of the busy Hervey Bay to Maryborough Rd, this section currently starts at Piggford Lane.

There are no facilities on this section except a shelter at Stockyard Creek.

Background Information

Traditional Owners

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

Development and future of the rail trail

The trail is managed by the Fraser Coast Regional Council, who extended the trail to the Urangan Pier, which links it up with the foreshore shared path along the Bay water front.

Discussions are currently under way to determine a suitable crossing of the busy Hervey Bay to Maryborough Rd to join the rural and urban sections together.

The Council, supported by local cycling groups such as the Fraser Coast BUG, have developed a plan for the whole of the former line to be converted to a rail trail and a connection made from Colton to Maryborough to provide a safe link between the two cities.

Rail Line History

The former railway branched off the North Coast main line at Colton, just above Maryborough. It reached Pialba in 1896 and was extended to Urangan in 1913. The line carried out a lot of pineapples from local farms and goods from the Urangan Pier and brought in a lot of picnic trains from Maryborough.  The last section of the line closed in 1993. The rails are still in place from Colton to Takura.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Mary to the Bay Rail Community Consulation Sessions

Posted: 29/01/19

Fraser Coast Regional Council are holding two Community Consulation Drop In Sessions about the planned ...

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The 3.2km Hervey Bay Rail Trail Extension Opens

Posted: 22/05/17

The 3.2Km extention of the Rail Trail from Urraween Road to Chapel Road has now ...

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Mary to the Bay Rail Trail extension opens (QLD)

Posted: 10/06/16

Photo. Mark Linnett, 2016 The Fraser Coast Regional Council ...

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • This is a showcase rail trail that accommodates multiple active transport modalities and represents best practice in the design and delivery of a sealed surface rail trail
  • Provides commuting and recreational opportunities for the local community
  • Completed in 2021, this is a high quality urban rail trail with some rural sections close to Brisbane.
  • There is an existing short but scenic trail west of Wamuran.

Attractions

  •  All-weather sealed surface
  •  Extensive landscaping, including railway themed pavement treatments at road crossings
  •  Superb trailhead shelters at both ends with shade, seating, water (for people and dogs), bike repair stations and heritage information displays
  • Landscape moves from inner city to rural residential with extensive tree plantings along more exposed sections towards Caboolture, and incorporating heavily treed sections near Wamuran
  • Information signs detailing the area’s heritage

Trail Guide

  • Car parking is available at both trailheads.
  • The first section of the trail from Caboolture marks a change from light industry to residential suburbs and provides a commuting pathway for a number of schools that border or are close to the trail.
  • Approaching Wamuran, the trail passes a sawmill and timber yard that were once served by the railway as well as farmland that is still used to grow strawberries and pineapples.

Section Guides

Caboolture to Wamuran (10.5km)

  • It has a 3m to 3.5m wide asphalt surface commencing from Beerburrum Road, Caboolture and terminating at Atwood Street, Wamuran.
  • The rail trail includes a major entry statement in Caboolture and Wamuran and also include shelters, lighting, information map boards, drinking fountains, seating, and landscaping.
  • The pathway is designed for all-weather usage being mostly constructed of asphalt with some key entry sections of decorative concrete.
  • Features of the trail include bridges, road crossings, seating nodes, landscaping and way finding signage.
  • If driving to the entry at Caboolture it is recommended to park in Toohey St.
  • The trail provides a key transport link for pedestrians and cyclists attending local schools including Tullawong State School, Tullawong State High School, Grace Lutheran College, St Peter’s Catholic Primary School and St Paul’s Lutheran Primary School.

Wamuran Forest (6 km)

This trail winds through state forest near the Glasshouse Mountains. It is an attractive walk or ride and is included in Bicycle Queensland’s book Good Rides in South East Queensland.

  • It has a dirt surface.
  • The trail starts at Mylett Road. This road is a dead end, and the trail starts at the gate at the end of the road. It finishes at a gate on Raaen Road. This gate is marked with a TRAIL sign.

These TRAIL signs actually mark the “Wamuran Loop Trail” (28km) which runs through the forest and, also starting at Raaen Road. The Loop Trail also takes in a short section of former railway beside the highway just west of Wamuran.

Durundur Railway

At Woodford, 13km north west of Wamuran, a short section of the old line has been developed as a tourist railway. The original station buildings from both Wamuran and D’Aguilar can be found there. The 1km railway has been built to 2 foot (610mm) gauge and is based around locomotives from sugar cane lines.Trains operate on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month. For more information see the Railway’s Website.

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Development and future 

The first stage of the rail trail to Wamuran was opened in 2019. Stage 2 was completed in 2020, and the last section was completed bin 2021.

The project is part of a $7 million investment by Moreton Bay Regional Council and the Queensland Government to deliver cycle and pedestrian facilities between Caboolture and Wamuran making sustainable travel easier.

The trail was officially opened in 2021 as a joint project of the Moreton Bay Regional Council and the Queensland Government. Investigations are ongoing to investigate extending the trail to Woodford.  

Rail line history 

The first major section of the railway, from Caboolture to Woodford, opened in December 1909 and was extended to Kilcoy in November 1913. The line included sidings or branch lines and loading platforms to allow freight and produce to be loaded to and from railway carriages at the Moodlu, Wamuran, Bracalba, D’Aguilar and Woodford stations. At the time Caboolture was a major sawmilling centre.

During the early 1900s the railway played an important role in the development of the region at a time when road transport was inefficient and unreliable. The railway enabled local sawmills to support the needs of a growing Brisbane and transported crops to feed the city’s increasing population. In turn, it provided a reliable transport link to the city and delivered mail and other supplies to the region’s towns.

Although the line between Wamuran and Kilcoy closed in July 1964, the section between Wamuran and Caboolture remained open and was used for freight transport. By this time the growth of industrial processing meant most local pineapple production was destined for the Golden Circle Cannery at Northgate. Fresh produce such as bananas and strawberries continued to be shipped to Brisbane and to southern States.

In the 1970s the Wamuran line became popular for day-trip steam train excursions, many using heritage trains. While this novelty bolstered the train runs, the demand for freight from the region was ebbing away as international markets were developed. The last operating section of the line from Caboolture to Wamuran was suspended in September 1996 and the line was officially closed in 2008. The original Wamuran Railway Station building has been relocated and is now used by the Australian Narrow Gauge Railway Museum Society in Woodford.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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

Caboolture Rail Trail Opens First Stage

Posted: 19/05/19

The first stage of the 10.5km Caboolture to Wamuran Rail Trail, north of Brisbane has ...

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Wamuran Rail Trail Loop

Posted: 13/01/14

Damage to Caboolture- Wamuran  Rail Loop, 50 km north of Brisbane  from last years severe weather ...

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