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Southern Flinders Rail Trail - Trail Description



Southern Flinders Rail Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: Flinders Ranges, 207 km north of Adelaide, SA.
Start/end: Laura/Melrose to Stone Hut/Wilmington
Status: Partially open
Length open: 34.5km
Surface: Coarse gravel, Fine gravel
Terrain: Flat, undulating
Best seasons: All seasons
Public transport: Coach
Contact Region: South Australia
Between Wilmington and Melrose, September 2014. (Alex Thompson)
Between Wilmington and Melrose, September 2014. (Alex Thompson)
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes Suitable for cycling touring hybrid bikes Suitable for horse riding



  • Four sections are currently open, with options for return trips
  • Scenic rural views close to Mt Remarkable National Park
  • Gentle gradient suitable to all levels of fitness
  • Potential for a trail from Gladstone to Willmington


This trail is not fully developed, but the four sections open are:

Laura towards Gladstone (2.5km)

This section was build some time ago, and runs parallel to the Main North Rd.

  • It starts on the southern outskirts of Laura at the welcome to Laura sign and runs south for nearly 3km towards Gladstone.
  • This section is coarse gravel, and would only be suitable for walkers and mountain bikes.

Laura and Stone Hut (7km)

Completed in 2011, this section also runs along side the Main North Rd.

  • This is a high class rail trail with a good smooth hard packed gravel surface suitable for road bikes
  • it commences at the northern welcome to Laura sign
  • There are a couple of gates to negotiate adjacent to the Laura Golf Club
  • The trail finishes about 1km before Stone Hut.  Use the roadway to get to the bakery at Stone Hut.

Wirrabarra toward Stone Hut (3km)

This short section of trail was completed in 2011, and is a fair quality gravel surface with a rough creek crossing so suitable for hybrid or mountain bikes.

  • Follows the rail alignment south from the silos in Wirrabarra
  • The trail winds through scenic hilly country and shady pine trees

Melrose to Wilmington (22km)

This section was also completed in 2011, This is not a developed rail trail, but rather a very rough track beside the old railway alignment. It features stunning views of Mt Remarkable to the west, and views of the Flinders Range to the East.

  • The start at Melrose end is approx 3km north from the township, out behind the showgrounds.
  • It veers away from the main road at the Wilmington end, and is suitable only for walking and mountain bike enthusiasts.
  • Horse riding is prohibited.
  • Mobile phone coverage is limited.
  • Some sections go through very rocky creek crossings, where you will have to dismount and walk
  • A few shady trees at the Melrose end, but otherwise very open country

Background Information

A narrow gauge railway once joined Gladstone, Laura, Stone Hut, Wirrabara, Yandiah, Boolero Centre, Perroomba, Melrose, Terka and Wilmington. It started in Gladstone in June 1884 to serve the rapidly developing wheat growing region and was full opened to Wilmington by 1915.

The last train left Wilmington's Wheat Silo on 28 July 1988.

Gladstone was once a very important and busy station, with a mixture of both narrow and broad gauge lines. The site of Gladstone had main lines from Adelaide, Peterborough, Port Pirie, and branch lines to Wilmington and a munitions depot. It had grain silos, sheep and cattle yards, goods sheds, loco sheds,a turntable, and a very impressive railway station. Little remains today.


For further information on trail and current conditions see below.

Northern Areas Council, Jamestown Ph: 08 8664 1139

District Council of Mt Remarkables, Melrose Ph: 08 8666 2014

Laura to Stone Hut Brochure (1.4MB)

Melrose to Wilmington Brochure (0.5MB)

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1 comment

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07 October , 2012 by Dezina

Just rode Melrose to Wilmington track and found it to be not too bad. Local bike shop owner advised it was pretty rough and it was, with rocks all along the graded track. MTB's for sure. Great fun though and made a nice change from the single track action around Mt Remarkable, with great views of the mountain. It's great to see the rail corridor getting used, especially for biking!

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Grant funding for Southern Flinders Ranges Rail Trail (SA)

(Posted: 18/05/20)

The District Council of Mount Remarkable will match the South Australian Governments Opens Space and Places for People Grant of $100,000 toward the expansion of the Southern Flinders Ranges Rail Trail from Melrose to Booleroo Centre.