Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • A short trail that runs along the eastern edge of the Margaret River townsite, suitable for hiking and cycling
  • Interesting birdlife and wildflowers
  • Links to other trails including the Ten Mile Brook Trail

Attractions

  • The new Margaret River footbridge
  • Views over countryside

Trail Guide

Also known as the Wannang Biddi, the Darch Road Trail begins at the Ten Mile Brook Trail (Bunitj Biddi) just west of Margaret River Perimeter Rd. Heading south, the trail crosses the river via newly build footbridge then joins the alignment of a historic timber tramway formation before finishing at Andrews Way (formerly known as Rosa Brook Rd)

Background Information

Traditional owners

Rail Trails Australia acknowledges the Wadandi people of the Noongar Nation, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which this rail trail is built.

Development and future of the rail trail 

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River plans to build a connecting path linking the southern end of the Darch Trail to the Wadandi Track, enabling trail users to circumnavigate the Margaret River townsite via three rail trails – the Wadandi Track, the Ten Mile Brook Trail and the Darch Trail.

Rail line history

The Darch Trail follows one of the many old timber tramways in the Margaret River area.

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 55km trail can start at either Castlemaine or Maryborough and follow the now disused rail line, via the towns of Guildford, Newstead and Carisbrook.
  • From a tourism perspective a unique feature of this trail would be that a traveller could take a train from Melbourne and head either to Castlemaine or Maryborough, traverse the trail to the other end and take a train back to Melbourne.

Attractions

  • A stand-out destination is the impressive Maryborough Railway Station once described by Mark Twain, the famous American writer, as ‘a railway station with a town attached ’.

Trail Guide

The rail corridor passes through an ancient volcanic plain landscape, crosses the Cairn Curran Reservoir and Moolort Plains, a very different environment to the goldfields landscapes closer to Castlemaine. A feature of the Plains is its wetlands and swamps, a habitat for a variety of wetland flora and birdlife. Several towns along the route are located on the Loddon River, which flows from the Great Dividing Range in the south to the Murray River in the north.

Section Guides

Castlemaine – Guildford (11km): This section of the rail trail passed through Castlemaine and Campbells Creek before reaching a more rural environment with low hills following the edge of an ancient volcanic flow and crossing the Loddon River at Guildford.

Guildford – Newstead (12km): The route continues through farmland and forested historic goldfields. Newstead is a small town along the Loddon River.

Newstead – Carisbrook (25km): The rail trail continues past cropping and grazing land and crosses the Cairn Curran reservoir and wetlands. The Moolort Plain is a flat ancient volcanic landscape, with low hills on the approach to Carisbrook, a town on the Loddon River.

Carisbrook – Maryborough (7km): This part of the trail passes through dry Box ironbark forest which formed part of the 19th Century goldfields in Central Victoria.

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Railway history

  • Castlemaine Station is on the Melbourne to Bendigo line and was established in 1862.
  • Maryborough Station is on the Melbourne to Mildura line and terminus for V/Line service from Ballarat. It opened in 1874 but the current station building was erected in 1890 with 25 rooms and a clock tower, of red brick with stucco trimming (excerpt from Wikipedia)
  • The Maryborough – Castlemaine passenger service was withdrawn in July 1977, being replaced with a bus service. From that time, the track was then used only for freight until 2004 when the line was closed

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
Why we want the Casterton to Branxholme Rail Trail The 54 km trail will pass through pleasant farmland and forests in far western Victoria. It will feature the Wannon River Bridge, the longest 19-century Victorian railways timber bridge still in existence

The trail will provide another reason for walkers and cyclists to visit the region, complementing the nearby Hamilton to Coleraine Rail Trail. initial construction is likely to focus on the 4 km Casterton to Sandford section and the 20 km Sandford to Merino section

 

Attractions

  • Casterton is the home of Australia’s famous kelpie sheepdog. Visit the Australian Kelpie Centre and enjoy the Kelpie Walking Trail

Trail Guide

The Casterton-Branxholme Rail Trail will link the townships and localities of Casterton, Sandford, Merino and Branxholme, and will connect the region’s unique landscape, cultural, natural and heritage features. Glenelg Shire Council endorsed a feasibility study in 2020 to build the trail.

Section Guides

Casterton to Sandford (4 km) 

Within Casterton the trail will link the Heritage Railway Station precinct with the Kelpie Centre and current and future Casterton trails. It will pass Casterton Saleyards, Racecourse and Victoria’s longest surviving timber railway bridge.

Sandford to Merino (20 km) 

A historic English oak tree in front of the town’s old hall will contribute to the trail landscape. The trail will pass through the historic buildings of the Henty area.

Merino to Branxholme (30 km)

Merino is an attractive country town; Branxholme has heritage rail features including a water tower and reservoir. The route will be mostly rural landscape and production forests.

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Development and future of the rail trail

In 2019 Glenelg Shire engaged a consulting firm to undertake a feasibility study for a rail trail from Casterton to Branxholme as part of its strategy to develop enjoyable, safe walking and cycling opportunities for the Shire.

Council approved the final version in June 2020.

Rail line history

  • The line opened from Branxholme to Casterton in 1884 after two years of construction and earthworks. The line closed in 1977
  • In February 1883 the line opened to Henty for goods traffic only. At this time, work was still being done to dig out the cutting south of Sandford
  • Wannon River bridge a few km east of Casterton. Built in 1884, it has withstood floods in 1893, 1906, 1946 and 2016. The 292 m bridge is the longest surviving example of a Victorian Railways 4.57 m timber-beam bridge still retaining its all-timber integrity. It also has unusual early structural features, particularly the very rare vertical-four-pile piers on the main river channel section. The bridge deck sweeps in a grand curve.

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 ‘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.

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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
  • The EDRT is a challenging ~15km walk or cycle beside the Puffing Billy steam railway in the Dandenong Ranges.
  • The trail extends from Clematis through Emerald and Cockatoo to Gembrook.
  • The terrain varies from undulating to hilly on different surfaces (sealed, gravel, dirt) so it is most suitable for hybrid and MTB bikes.
  • The scenery is spectacular, changing regularly along the trail with outstanding forests & lake, farmland and villages.

Attractions

  • The lovely country villages of Emerald, Cockatoo and Gembrook have full facilities available.
  • Emerald Lake, Wright Forest and mountain farms are highlights along the way

Trail Guide

  • This trail follows the Puffing Billy steam railway through the Dandenong Ranges from Clematis/Emerald to Gembrook
  • Whilst only 15km long, this trail offers a full range of experiences for users – hills, forests, farms, rural villages, picnic facilities, heritage railway.
  • It does not follow the follow the railway in some locations and has steeper gradients.

Section Guides

Access Points
* Car Park of Paradise Hotel in Clematis
* Ample on-street parking in Emerald, Cockatoo and Gembrook
* Car Park at Emerald Lake Park (fees applicable)
* Many other parking & access points along the trail

Clematis to Emerald (3km):
* Unofficial start of the trail is at the Paradise Hotel in Clematis
* Trail originates eastern end of the car park
* Pass along a short section of trail before crossing both the railway and Edenmont Road
* Trail follows on the north side of the railway up Emerald Bank (if you’re lucky, you’ll see Puffing Billy working very hard up this climb) and across Pinnocks Road & the railway.
* Trail is interrupted at Belgrave-Gembrook Road – travellers can cross the road to enter Emerald Station Park (south side of railway) or use the road, turn right at the roundabout (Kilvington Drive) to enter the main street of Emerald.
* Note the many shops & eateries including the famous Emerald Village Bakery
* Official start of trail is on Kilvington Drive at the Gemco Theatre, at the far end of Emerald Station Park (on north side of railway).

Emerald to Emerald Lake (3km):
* Follow the blue signs with yellow arrows along the trail
* After a short distance, cross into Pepi’s Land on the south side of railway
* At Beaconsfield-Emerald Road, cross the railway (again) and road, taking care as it can be very busy.
* Follow the trail past the Emerald museum and down to the Nobelius Packing Shed (previously used for flower distribution but now the home of Puffing Billy’s night train dining experience)
* On entry to Emerald Lake Park, the recommended trail is to the left, down a steep zig-zag section and turn right at the T-junction.
* Follow this trail into the western car park of Emerald Lake reserve.
* Continue along the northern bank of Emerald Lake until arrival at the road intersection (Wombat Corner).

Emerald Lake to Cockatoo (5km):
* From Wombat Corner, pass beside the gate onto a beautiful, fern-lined trail that follows Wattle Creek, before crossing a sweeping bridge to arrive at Wright Road.
* Cross Wright Road and follow the trail to the right until the railway is crossed again, this time at the restored Wright Station.
* Pass through the gates to the left and follow the management road, Wright Track, into the Wright Forest
* Stay on Wright Track until a gate – turn left onto Boundary Track before the gate and follow it, past another couple of gates, down the steep incline to Baker Street.
* Turn left at Baker Street, down another steep incline to cross the bridge over Cockatoo Creek.
* Continue on the trail to Cockatoo, arriving at the Ash Wednesday Bushfire Education Centre, after crossing Bailey Road
* Continue on the trail along Bailey Road, across Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Road and the railway to enter the Cockatoo shopping precinct.

Cockatoo to Gembrook (6km):
* The trail continues along Fairbridge Lane, past the new IGA supermarket, to join the main road, Belgrave-Gembrook Road.
* The trail passes through Cockatoo beside Belgrave-Gembrook Road, past the Cockatoo Primary School and into Old Gembrook Road.
* Continue along the trail until Doonaha Road where the trail meets the railway again, at the restored station, Fielder.
* Cross the often-busy Belgrave-Gembrook Road with care and continue on the trail beside Fielder Road.
* Another crossing of B-G Road is needed at the Mapleridge Local Produce Centre (small market of local produce).
* The trail now follows the Puffing Billy Railway all the way to Gembrook.
* Continue on the trail from Mapleridge with spectacular views over the rich farming country in all directions
* At the top of the hill, just after the crossing at Orchard Road, is the Gembrook Sports Ground and the final trail crossing of railway.
* Continue on the trail and again cross B-G Road at the Gembrook outskirts
* Follow the trail along the southern side of the railway along Station Road where the trail ends at Main Street, Gembrook.
* Note the Eastern terminus of the Puffing Billy Railway, Gembrook Station, on the left of the trail.
* Unfortunately, the Gembrook Hotel burned down recently, but there are many shops & cafes available in Gembrook, all on the main street.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Map Legend:

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

Attractions

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

Trail Guide

Section A (2.5 km)

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

Section B (3.5 km)

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

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Development and future of the rail trail 

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

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

Rail line history 

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

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

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

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • Good climate most of the year
  • This is a short trail mainly through state forest
  • Imbil is well situated with food and accommodation options
  • Imbil Railway Station is well preserved
  • Suitable for a long walk, or a short out and back ride

Attractions

  • Scenic rural countryside
  • Imbil has a substantial railway bridge over Yabba Creek
  • Railway history and heritage
  • The Mary Valley Rattler train runs on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday between Gympie and Amamoor (13 km north of Imbil)

Trail Guide

The 4.5 km open section of the trail runs through the towns of Imbil and Brooloo.

Most of the rail trail passes through State forest; there are bellbirds along the trail as well as many other native animals.

  • The access at Imbil is via William St (limited parking)
  • The access at Brooloo via Sutton St
  • Toilets and drinking water at Imbil
  • A few gates to open and close

Section Guides

Imbil to Brooloo (4.5 km)

  • cafes, hotel, fuel, caravan park, motel
  • no toilets or drinking water at Brooloo

Background Information

Traditional Owners

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

Development and future of the trail

The rail trail was developed by Gympie Regional Council.

It is hoped to see the Mary Valley Rail Trail extended from Imbil to Amamoor, adding around 16 km to the trail. Gympie Regional Council has earmarked the extended trail as the key catalyst project for the Mary Valley in its 2019-24 Tourism Strategy, and is applying for funding to carry out a Feasibility Study.

Railway history

The Mary Valley line was a branch line of the North Coast railway line, which branched just south of Gympie and continued to Brooloo in the upper Mary Valley.

It was built between 1911 and 1915 to facilitate closer settlement of the Mary River Valley and reached the terminus of Brooloo in April 1915.

The line had become unprofitable by the 1970s and in 1988 staff were withdrawn from all of the stations and some buildings such as goods sheds and residences were sold for removal.

The Mary Valley Heritage Railway Board set out to operate a tourist train on the line in 1996 using volunteers and trainees; tourist train services began in May 1998.

The train currently runs from Gympie as far as Amamoor on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

For more information click on:

https://www.maryvalleyrattler.com.au/tickets-and-timetable/