Map Legend:

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

Attractions

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

Trail Guide

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

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

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

Section Guides

Broken Hill to Silverton (25 km)

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

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

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Development and future of the rail trail

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

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

Rail line history 

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

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

No services listed for this rail trail.

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Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
A rugged and partially complete rail trail on the south coast of WA. Located on the alignment of a historic government railway built to haul mining and agricultural products to the small port of Hopetoun.

Attractions

  • The small agricultural and mining community of Ravensthorpe includes many historical buildings
  • The small coastal community of Hopetoun, formerly known as Mary Ann Haven
  • Scenic and rugged bushland
  • Old mine workings around the former sidings of Kundip and Desmond
  • The nearby Fitzgerald River National Park, an internationally registered biosphere reserve

Trail Guide

Four sections of the rail trail are currently open. The three northern sections form a contiguous trail between Ravensthorpe and Lee Creek (just south of Lee Rd). The southern section links Dunns Swamp Rd with the jetty precinct in Hopetoun. A 16 km section is missing between Lee Creek and Dunns Swamp Rd.

In the northern sections the trail surface consists mainly of coarse gravel, whereas the section near Hopetoun can be very sandy in places. Many bridges and culverts have been washed out over the years, making this trail unsuitable for bikes and horses. Due to its isolation and ruggedness, the trail is recommended only for experienced hikers.

Section Guides

Ravensthorpe to Desmond (15 km)

The northern trailhead is at the site of the former Ravensthorpe railway station (near the roundabout just east of town). There is a picnic table and maps of the railway walk incorporating the history of the district,

Heading east, the trails runs parallel to the South Coast Hwy for about 7 km before turning south. The next section runs along the foothills of the Ravensthorpe Range as the former railway alignment has been resumed by a nearby farm. The trail rejoins the former railway alignment about 2 km south of the highway.

Running parallel to the Ravensthorpe Range, the trail continues south for a further 4.5 km before meeting Elverdton Rd where it detours around the former Desmond Siding area, covered by tailings of a closed copper mine. The mine area is private property and extremely dangerous: STRICTLY NO ADMITTANCE. There are several connecting trails around Desmond including a pathway to the Mt Desmond lookout

Desmond to Kundip (10 km) 

Desmond is 11 km southeast of Ravensthorpe and 38 km north of Hopetoun. The Desmond to Kundip section of the rail trail is about 10 km long and takes three to four hours.

On the eastern side of the Hopetoun–Ravensthorpe road, this section runs close and parallel to the usually dry Steere River. There are several small creek crossings that can become wet during and after heavy rain.

Kundip to Lee Creek (11 km)

Kundip is an abandoned townsite 19 km south of Ravensthorpe and 30 km north of Hopetoun. This section on the western side of the Hopetoun–Ravensthorpe road runs through bushland with wildflowers and places of historic interest. In July/August the intense blue Hovea elliptica flowers are very eye-catching, while between June and October the creamy climbing native Clematis pubescens drapes from the trees.

Towards the end of the trail, turn left at the marker for Lee Creek Rest Area. A short walk along a 300 m path of brings you to a picnic table, benches and an information bay. You can continue another 300 m along the railway until it crosses the sealed road.

Between Lee Creek and Dunns Swamp Rd the railway ran east of the main road through what is now cleared and cultivated farmland.

Dunns Swamp Rd to Hopetoun (5 km)

This section begins at Dunns Swamp Rd about 1.5 km east of the Hopetoun–Ravensthorpe road. Heading south for around 3 km, the trail surface is very sandy and not suitable for bikes.

After reaching The Esplanade, the trail heads west along a limestone track parallel to the Hopetoun foreshore. There are several points of interest on this section, including the old turntable and marshalling yards. The trail terminates at the site where the Hopetoun jetty joined the mainland just west of the present groyne, where a replica railway station has been built.

Background Information

Traditional owners

Rail Trails Australia acknowledge the Wudjari people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which this rail trail is built.

Development and future of the rail trail 

This project was carried out by a sub-committee of Ravensthorpe Hopetoun Area Promotions in the early 2000s, with assistance from the Shire of Ravensthorpe and financial assistance from the WA Department of Local Government’s Community Facilities Grants Program and WA Tourism Commission’s Development Fund.

When complete, the Hopetoun–Ravensthorpe Railway Heritage Walk will form a 57 km continuous trail between Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun. Timeframes for the completion of the missing section between Lee Creek and Dunns Swamp Road remain uncertain.

Rail line history 

The narrow gauge railway was built to connect mines in the Ravensthorpe area to the Hopetoun port and operated from 1909 to 1935. It was 54.7 km long, constructed of 45 lb per yard rail with jarrah sleepers and earth ballast. The route included stations at Hopetoun and Ravensthorpe, sidings at Three Mile, Seven Mile, Kuliba, Kundip, Desmond and 30 Mile, and a private spur and siding to Mt Cattlin Gold Mine.

The first locomotive, a Beyer Peacock 2-6-0, arrived by sea in 1908 from Kirup and was used by contractors. Up to five locomotives were used on the line: the last, G233, was removed in 1944 to Midland Railway Workshops where it was restored. Now known as the Leschenault Lady, it is housed at the South West Rail and Heritage centre in Boyanup.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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