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Irvinebank to Boonmoo rail trail - Trail Description



Irvinebank to Boonmoo rail trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: In the Dry Savannah country, approx.140 km south west of Cairns, 1370km from Brisbane
Start/end: Irvinebank to Boonmoo
Status: Partially open
Length open: 17.5km
Surface: Coarse gravel
Terrain: Gently undulating to undulating in the main part
Best seasons: Dry season - April to end September, summer months are oppressively hot
Contact Region: North Queensland
 Stannary Hills circa early 1900's
Stannary Hills circa early 1900's
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes



• Remote landscape offering panoramic views
• Interesting remnants of mining and railway history
• Small mining museum at Irvinebank
• Sections of bike friendly council roads adjacent to alignment


Starting at Irvinebank ride east for approximately 6.5 km on the Irvinebank to Petford council road. There are obvious remnants of the alignment on the southern side of the cutting and Gibbs Creek leading out of Irvinebank.

   Turn right at Hales Siding Road and ride north for 5.75 km to the intersection of Stannary Hills and Hales Siding Road. Again, the alignment is close to the road with Weinert’s siding signposted on the eastern side of this road. It is a further 5.65 km to Stannary Hills historic site.

                                                                                                                                                                                 Only ride the trail described below with prior permission from the owners of Boonmoo Station, the Gunderson family. Their contact number is 4094 4129. Riding without prior permission will constitute trespass and legal action will be taken.
Also leave access gates as found and do not disturb cattle and wildlife. The Gunderson’s offer outback camping at a number of attractive sites along Eureka Creek. See link below.

   From Stannary Hills historic site, approximately 1.5 km of the 2-foot gauge tramway is rideable but there are significant landslides blocking the line beyond. Ride downhill and cross over Eureka Creek and enjoy the short ride past historic mining features and an im-pressive cutting. Backtrack up the hill and return southward 1.95 km from Stannary Hills historic site. Just before the Stannary Hills Cemetery you will find a station track on the right-hand side of Stannary Hills Road which heads north west. Travel on this station road with Bock Creek on your right. After 5 km Bock Creek merges with the more substantial Eureka Creek and you will begin to ride on and observe remnants of the alignment, old bridges, ore bins etc. Riding downstream adjacent to Eureka Creek you will come to Boonmoo Station homestead approximately 20.5 km from the turnoff on Stannary Hills Road. Boonmoo siding is a further 500m from the homestead and is on the Atherton Tablelands - Forsayth railway line which is still used by the Savannahlander tourist train during winter months - see details at link below. It is a further 15km by road from Boonmoo siding to Dimbulah and civilisation

                                                                                                                        CAUTION: Sections of these trails - particularly between Stannary Hills Cemetery and Boonmoo Station homestead - traverse through a remote area having no services and limited mobile reception. Self-supported cyclists and/or support vehicles should carry plenty of water a 1:50,000 Irvinebank topographical map, compre-hensive first aid, food/fuel and viable communication systems. Eureka Creek may be impassible in wet conditions - seek local advice.


                                                                                                                                            Feb 2018

Background Information

The line was built the Chillagoe Railway and Mines Ltd company and opened in 1907.

Stannary Hills was a tin-mining town in the Herberton minerals area, 30 km west of Ather-ton and 12 km north of Irvinebank.
In 1884, tin deposits were found at Eureka Creek, and a mining town named Eureka was formed by 1888. It was later named Stannary Hills (Stannum is the Latin word for tin). In 1902 a two feet gauge tramway was built from Stannary Hills to the Cairns-Chillagoe rail-way, following the Eureka Creek valley and joining the railway at Boonmoo. The tramway lowered the costs of transporting tin out of Stannary Hills (the mines had not been worked for about eight years), and the ore was processed at a nearby battery.
Five years later the tramway was extended south to Irvinebank's tin mines, making Stan-nary Hills and Irvinebank a major base-metal region. The post office directory for 1911 recorded eight hotels at Stannary Hills, along with a Jack and Newell and other stores, a hospital, two butchers, two bakers and a teacher.
By 1920 there were four hotels, and Jack and Newell's branch store had closed. Ten years later one hotel was left. The Stannary Hills teacher was last mentioned in the 1933 directory. The tramway was closed in 1936 and the rails were taken for scrap during World War II. Some of the timber bridge supports remain. In 1948 the last hotel closed and in 1955 the post office closed. Reference - Queensland Places

Feburary 2018


Tableland Adventure Guides run fully guided/catered multi day bike rides including the Lappa Trail - see details at Tableland Adventure Guide. l Lappa Rail Trail

Interesting historic information may be found  HERE

Boonmoo Station contact details – Ph 07 4094 4129   Click HERE


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1 comment

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06 August , 2016 by Brooksie

Ride this trail with prior permission from the owners of Boonmoo Station, the Gundersons- friendly and helpful people who gave us advice and a map to follow. We rode this trail for a few hours enroute to Irvinebank on mtbs towing Bob trailers, as part of a much longer tour which included the better known Lappa Rail trail a couple of days later. Some interesting old cuttings and relics, also scenery along Boonmoo Creek. For day trippers, organise drop off and pickup at the Dimbulah and Irvinebank ends. Contact owners beforehand.

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