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Great Southern Rail Trail & Tarra Trail - Trail Description



Great Southern Rail Trail & Tarra Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: South Gippsland, 130km from Melbourne
Start/end: Leongatha to Port Welshpool
Status: Open
Length open: 74km
Surface: Fine gravel
Best seasons: All seasons
Public transport: Coach
Features: tourist
Contact Region: Gippsland, Victoria
Typical Scenery between Fish Creek and Hoddle (2014)
Typical Scenery between Fish Creek and Hoddle (2014)
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes Suitable for cycling touring hybrid bikes Suitable for wheelchairs Suitable for horse riding Suitable for prams



  • A picturesque rail trail close to Melbourne, Phillip Island and Wilsons Promontory. 
  • This rail trail has seen many major improvements in recent years including the opening of the Black Spur bridges near Koonwarra in March 2016.
  • Pretty towns and villages along the way give you many opportunities to savour local fare like Moo's Cafe at Meeniyan
  • The rail trail has a wide smooth hard packed gravel surface and only one crossing of a major road, after Meeniyan.
  • Take the full 74km journey or choose shorter segments for a more leisurely outing. Make sure to stop and explore the towns that are linked along it, with their unique stories and experiences they offer... as well as the terrific coffee, shopping and dining opportunities.


  • Combine your rail trail journey with other regional attractions such as Agnes Falls, Walkerville Lime Kilns, Coal Creek Heritage Village, or Wilsons Promontory National Park.

  • Accommodation options are available in the towns along the trail.
  • for further information on activities and accommodation.
  • Travel further east to Yarram or Port Albert for another 13km of trail mainly following the old railway line called the Tarra Trail

Support Services

Snowy River Cycling logo web

Snowy River Cycling

Fully supported rail trail tours




CycleWayz logo webAustralian Cycling Holidays

Explore the rail trail at your own pace every day of the year. Trek hybrids (adults and children), E bikes for adults, baby buggies, tagalongs, tandem. Our Range of Options:  Fully Supported tours with everything included on single or multiple rail trails; Bike/pannier hire multi day; Day Bike Hire – Welshpool, Fish Creek. Leongatha; Transfers Only - bikes and people.


moos logo webMoo's at Meeniyan

A restaurant and cafe located in the picturesque township of Meeniyan, South Gippsland, just 10 minutes from Leongatha and 1.5 hours from Melbourne. Enjoy a break on your way to Wilsons Prom, with great coffee, locals wines, yummy meals and local produce.


Tour de Vines 2015 08 13 200Tour de Vines

Self guided 2 nights with 2 days of beautiful cycling, a great mini escape. Accommodation, breakfasts, luggage moves, bikes, support all included.


GSR Logo webGreat Southern Ride

Located directly opposite the start of the GSRT in Leongatha. GSR has a fleet of Ebikes for hire, encouraging visitors to South Gippsland and locals to ride the amazing diamond, the GSRT. Bike servicing, parts, kids bikes, and accessories are available in the Bike Store to support all bike riders.


LOGO LINEN ON LOAN webLinen on Loan

Quality Linen Hire for Accommodation and Holiday Rentals. We offer 'Bed Linen Pack' hire service available in all bed sizes, including complimentary bath towels, with free delivery and pick up and one fee covering your hire for up to fourteen days.




Realigning the highway and upgrading the Great Southern Rail Trail by building a new pedestrian underpass is part of the South Gippsland Highway Upgrade. There will be closures of the rail train near Koonwarra in July while the new concrete structure is installed to form the underpass. The rail trail will be closed at the marked location between Monday 12 July to Friday 16 July (24 hours a day) and again on Monday 26 July (8am to 5pm). From Monday 19 July to Friday 30 July pedestrians will have access through this area, however pedestrians will be escorted through the site area and should expect intermittent delays of up to 30 mins. A bus service will run on the hour and half hour from Meeniyan and Koonwarra for walkers and cyclists. It is recommended that horses not travel through the area at this time due to the close proximity of heavy machinery. Weekend pedestrian access will be maintained and the rail trail will completely reopen to all users from Saturday 31 July.

There will be closures of the rail train near Koonwarra in July while the new concrete structure is installed to form the underpass.

The rail trail will be closed at the marked location between Monday 12 July to Friday 16 July (24 hours a day) and again on Monday 26 July (8am to 5pm).

From Monday 19 July to Friday 30 July pedestrians will have access through this area, however pedestrians will be escorted through the site area and should expect intermittent delays of up to 30 mins.

A bus service will run on the hour and half hour from Meeniyan and Koonwarra for walkers and cyclists.

It is recommended that horses not travel through the area at this time due to the close proximity of heavy machinery.

Weekend pedestrian access will be maintained and the rail trail will completely reopen to all users from Saturday 31 July.

Access Points

  • Leongatha: Horticultural Park, 1 Young St.
  • Koonwarra: adjacent to the Koonwarra Café.
  • Meeniyan: 100m north of the shops off the Nerrena - Meeniyan Rd.
  • Buffalo: Picnic area on Neals Rd
  • Fish Creek: picnic area on Falls Rd, next to the petrol station.
  • Foster: 1.5 km south of the town centre on Station Rd.
  • Toora:  Toora Jetty Rd, Toora.
  • Welshpool: Memorial Hall Reserve, South Gippsland Hwy, Welshpool
  • Port Welshpool: Port Welshpool Foreshore Reserve, Lewis St, Port Welshpool
  • Yarram: adjacent to the site of old railway station
  • Port Albert: adjacent to Port Albert Jetty

There are toilets at all towns listed in the Access Points noted below.

Leongatha – Meeniyan (16km)

  • From Leongatha to Koonwarra the trail descends gently to the wide-open dairy farming country for which this area is renowned. Give way to dairy cattle crossing the trail!
  • Near Koonwarra the trail enters tea tree and eucalypt bushland, including seasonal and permanent wetlands.
  • At Koonwarra, an underpass goes under the highway before entering one of the most scenic sections around the Black Spur with its two historic bridges.
  • Check out the even longer old timber railway bridge alongside the new bridge over the Tarwin River near Meeniyan.

Leongatha is a major regional centre with all facilities.

Koonwarra has a visitor orientated general store and bakery; ideal location for intermediate break.

Meeniyan is a small town but has an exceptional number of facilities for visitors including accommodation, shops, gallery and many dining options. A recent Gippsland Tourism Town of Excellence Award winner, Meeniyan possesses an involved and progressive community and offers free Wifi throughout the town.

Meeniyan – Hoddle Range - Foster (32km)

Here the railway began a long diversion south to Fish Creek in order to avoid the highest part of the Hoddle Ranges.

  • The trail passes through lowland forest.
  • From Stony Creek to Buffalo the trail is undulating. Just over 2km from Stony Creek on the left are the remains of a rail motor stopping place used for local passengers and small freight. Grey kangaroos, wallabies and many bird species are a common sight here.
  • There is a functioning weighbridge at Buffalo railway station that will form the nucleus for a museum in the future

The trail then enters the foothills of the Hoddle Range. There are a number of cuttings and embankments providing changing views.

  • At Fish Creek the former freight sidings are now a parking area but the station platform remains. Note the fish-shaped tables in the picnic shelter.

  • From Fish Creek the trail climbs for 6km to Hoddle Summit, named after Victoria’s first Surveyor-General, Robert Hoddle. It crosses the summit at an elevation of 140m just past Lowrys Road.
  • Descending from the hills, there are spectacular views of Corner Inlet, the Strzelecki Range to the north and the mountains of Wilsons Promontory to the south east.
  • There is only a platform at Foster station site but plans to make it a feature of the community. Follow Station Rd for 1km to reach the town centre.

The artistic village of Fish Creek has an old butter factory, book and antique stores, the Promontory Hotel and plenty of places to eat.

A kilometre or so before Foster is the new Gurneys Cider cafe on the north side of the trail 

Foster is a larger town and has quite a few facilities for visitors

Foster - Toora - Welshpool  (19km)

The trail from here here is flat and relatively straight. Lush dairy farm country interspersed with gum trees around watercourses.

  • The biggest feature of this section is the wind turbines on the hill behind Toora.
  • The Toora station precinct is also a feature with a park and skate ramp.

Toora has a supermarket, swimming pool, caravan park, motel, hotel, cafes and restaurants.

Welshpool is a small town with limited facilities.

Welshpool to Port Welshpool (5km) - connecting trail

From Welshpool, there is a connecting trail to the coast. It is initially an offroad bike path, then joins a quiet unsealed road which follows the alignment of the former horse drawn Port Welshpool Tramway.

Enjoy views of Corner Inlet, Snake Island and the norther section of Wilsons Promontory National Park.

For more information on this trail see the book Rail Trails of Victoria.

Alberton to Yarram: "The Tarra Trail" (7km)

Another short section of trail has been developed between Yarram and Alberton. The old railway line once went from Foster to Alberton and then split, reaching Yarram and Port Albert.

  • The 7km from Yarram to Alberton follows the old railway alignment for 6.5km. This is signposted as the Tarra Trail.
  • The trail starts as a bike path on the west side of the main road through Alberton, and ends just north of the Yarram Station building.
  • It is also possible to ride via either of two roads to Port Albert, the original gateway to the Goldfields. Many historic buildings remain.
  • There are plans to extend the trail to Port Albert in the future.
  • Welshpool: Memorial Hall Reserve, South Gippsland Hwy, Welshpool

  • Port Welshpool: Port Welshpool Foreshore Reserve, Lewis St, Port Welshpool

  • Yarram: adjacent to the site of old railway station

  • Port Albert: adjacent to Port Albert Jetty

Background Information

The Great Southern Railway took five years to build and opened in 1892.  It initially joined Dandenong to Port Albert, and was later extended to Yarram and Woodside; there were also branch-lines to Outtrim and Wonthaggi.

The last  ran to Yarram in 1987 and the last train beyond Leongatha ran in 1992. The line from Cranbourne to Leongatha was closed in 1993.  Unfortuntely while several governments looked at reopening the VLine passenger service to Leongatha this did not happened and in 2012 several kilometres or rail were removed at Koo Wee Rup and a short rail trail constructed there.

The first section of the rail trail between Leongatha and Koonwarra opened in 1998 and was gradually extended to Foster.  Following the expiration of a 10 year moratorium the rail trail was extended from Foster to Toora, and then on to Welshpool by 2014.

In 2016, the Victorian Government and the South Gippsland Shire Council completed a $1.8m project to "bridge the gap" between Koonwarra and Meeniyan. This picturesque section contains three long timber bridges.


The Great Southern Rail Trail is managed by South Gippsland Shire Council (as from 1 July 2020).

Navigate this trail on your phone or tablet with the Cylewayz App

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Rail Trails Australia has worked with Cyclewayz to provide this trail as a free download. With the app you can navigate point by point and view details and photos of points of interest.

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Many people ask about accommodation on Gippsland rail trails because they are so long and often demand multi-day travelling. Unfortunately maintaining lists of accommodation near rail trails is beyond the scope of the volunteer capacity of Rail Trails Australia. There are many other resources available for finding accommodation of all kinds in all places. When searching, simply use keywords including the towns through which your chosen rail trail passes, and you should find plenty of options.

June 2020

To advertise your rail trail support business on this page, please click here.

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25 May , 2021 by Messmate

We rode the trail April 2021: rode from Bruthen on EGRT then to Sale via C106 (not a quiet back road!) From Sale down South Gippsland Hwy - mostly wide shoulder to Yarram. Yarram Alberton Trail then back on hwy to Welshpool (need to open the section Welshpool- Alberton Hwy had no shoulder ) Rail trail to Fish Creek then across to Inverloch and Wonthaggi to Bass Coast Rail trail to San Remo and Cowes and ferry to Stony Point. You could also link up trails such as Gippsland Plains into this trip and do a big loop from Sale.

23 February , 2020 by RobertI

15-20 Feb, This is the BEST RAIL TRAIL! I rode the full 75km and back camping at Toora. Its a dream, with smooth, straight riding, wonderful scenery and facilities all along. I loved it and will do it again.

22 February , 2020 by Smithy

Rode this trail19th Feb 2020. The ride from Foster to Totora , you have to wade across a road six inches deep of sloppy cow poo. How disgusting. When arrived at Toora, signs say coffe shop open 7 days a week. Guess what, closed on Mondays. Thee rest of the trail back towards Leongatha is great.

09 May , 2019 by

12/27 Is this Victoria's best Rail Trail? It certainly has the best surface of the 12 I have done so far this year, and with it's magnificent and expansive views over Wilson's prom it has the good looks as well. I did the Great Southern with friends over 2 days 6th & 7th April.The Great Southern Rail Trail is a beautiful way to spend the weekend. Part 1. I started at Leongatha with 4 friends and an objective of making Fish Creek for lunch. A coffee stop at the lovely little town of Meeniyan punctuated the ride. Nice to catch up with fellow Transplant Australia life member Chris Tew for part of the way. 35km today. Part 2. Capped off a lovely weekend by finishing the Trail. 2 of us today started at Fish Creek and finished at Welshpool. We saw the most magnificent views from the top of Hoddle Ranges towards Wilson's Prom. Another 33km today, so the total was 68km for the weekend. This is my 12th trail since Jan 1 for my challenge to ride all 27 railtrails in Victoria this year to celebrate my 30th year after my liver transplant. You can follow my rail trail exploits on FB Warwick Duncan - The 2nd Chance Man or Insta @warwick_rides.

24 April , 2019 by ajft

Wife & 10yr old son and I spent four days along here from the 11th to 14th; Leongatha to Foster, Foster to Port Welshpool, Port Welshpool to Fish Creek and Fish Creek back to Leongatha. Very enjoyable and idyllic weather, much warmer and less wind than I expected of this part of the country at this time of year! Unlike the last review we didn't see much wildlife, ;ots of wombat holes, but no wombats, roos or koalas, the only wildlife was rabbits and foxes, but abundant birdlife. Watch out for some of the huge longitudinal cracks in the track surface especially between Leongatha and Koonwarra, they can swallow a wheel and cause quite a crash. Good to find that the chicanes and gates don't make it unrideable for tandems or fully loaded touring bikes, some trails go overboard on their obstructions. Loved the signage along the trail, although a bit more at both Leongatha and Port Welshpool to find the trail could be helpful - we ended up leaving the car at Leongatha station and trying (unsuccessfully) to use the locked toilets to get changed.

14 April , 2019 by CycleAustralia2014

Victoria has some beautiful and varied rail trails to explore. With a couple of days free I decided an overnight adventure along The Great Southern Rail Trail (GSRT) was in order. The GSRT begins in the town of Leongatha an easy 90 minute drive from Melbourne on the M1 and South Gippsland Highways. Regrettably there is no reliable way to get yourself and bicycle to the trail head using public transport. You could try your luck taking the Bairnsdale train from Southern Cross Station, get off at Warragul and then ride the 56 kms to Leongatha on back country roads. You’d need to keep an eye out for farm machinery and logging trucks. Hitching up my lightly packed rear panniers, I rolled off on a hard compacted gravel surface towards Port Welshpool some 75 kms away in warm murky, overcast, autumn conditions. I was very quickly surrounded by lowland forest country of Messmate, Manna and Peppermint eucalyptus trees that gave off a delightful aroma. The understory of wattles, grasses and native scrub was alive with small birds; mostly honeyeaters, finches and fairy wrens. I watched a Grey Strike thrush hunting the edge of the trail take a skink lizard for lunch! The trail is well signposted with information boards strategically placed along the way. There are covered shelters and pit toilets at regular intervals just off the trail. Passing through the inviting tourist towns of Meenyian, Fish Creek, and Foster. I stopped for a nice cup of tea and browsed the local shops. The country folks are friendly, engaging and used to seeing cyclists come off the trail. While there are no major road crossings, however the trail does intersect many local farm roads where I had to push through spring loaded gates. I was mindful of dairy cows as they ambled unaided off to the dairy. I’ve cycled this trail before in summer and flies were a big problem, especially passing through the small township of Toora. I recommend you carry a fly net, although they weren’t too bad this time around. Wildlife abounds: Kangaroos, Koalas Kookaburras, birds large and small and lizards. The gradient is as you might expect from an old rail line, gentle, gradual climbing and descending, making for easy cycling with bucolic country scenes and views across the inlet to Wilson’s Promontory National Park, known to generations of nature loving families simply as The Prom. After the open farmland around Toora, I cycled into Welshpool exchanging pleasantries with locals who were out walking the trail. For the last 5 kilometres into Port Welshpool, I dropped down into a musty, swampy, marshland of tea tree, banksia, grass trees and wattles. Port Welshpool is your typical sleepy fishing village. It’s so sleepy in fact it’s almost comatose, With only two shops the pub and a cafe. I cycle the path through town past empty holiday homes along the foreshore past knots of fishermen waiting on the tide. I turned right at the long jetty to set up camp for the night in the Caravan Park. After a good feed and pleasant banter in the pub, I slept comfortably in my tiny coffin-like MSR Hubba tent. The next morning I woke to a clear cold autumn day. After a boiling pot of tea and toast at the cafe, I cycled the trail back to Leongatha ridding into an increasingly warm and sunny day. I photograph birds and chat to friendly trail users. While I did the trail out and back in 2 days, there are great opportunities to extend this trail into a week or more. Tidal River in Wilson’s Promontory National Park is a beautiful 72 kms ride from Meeniyan and well worth a detour. Visit especially if you’re an overseas visitor who wants to get up close and personal with Australia’s wildlife. For those wanting to appreciate the extensive Aboriginal history of Gippsland you can contact Overall this is a fun trail to cycle and a good one to do with friends.

10 April , 2019 by Kem

We rode from Leongatha to Port Welshpool over two days. I've done most the rail trails in Vic, and this is one of the best maintained and signed. A good intro for beginners too, as its mostly flat, with plenty of towns to stop at along the way. Not quite as scenic as some, as cow fields is the dominate environ. Day 1: Parked at the Leongatha train station (which is actually a bus station). Then it is a short ride on an obvious path to where the trail officially begins. The path goes along Bennet st and long street, you then cross C454 with the pedestrian crossing. turn right along the overpass and you'll see the start of the trail below to your left. There look like to nice cafes in Koonwarra, but we found that this was two close to the start to warrant a stop. Instead we stopped after 18km at Meeniyan, which has a number of options, but there is a place that specialises in pastries, which is hard to go past. We then stopped Fishcreek for lunch. The cafe there close at 4, we just made it. There were a couple of options, and more if you get there early. We then road to Foster. We stayed the night in Foster at the caravan park. We brought our tent, but there are also cabins you can hire. The staff were friendly and there is a camp kitchen, which we only used for breky, as we went to the pub for dinner. So day one was about 50km. It includes the only ascents of the trip, which weren't too tough, and the downhill made it worth it. This stretch has the most bushland, trestle bridges and cuttings. Day 2: we rode 12 km to Toora. Toora is a small town, but had a few pleasant surprises. The Latte Dah Cafe, is modern and hip, it's on the South Gippy hwy, which you get to if you ride through the main street. There was also a German bakery as part of a bric-a-brac store and gallery. The pastries matched anything I've had in Germany. We then rode on to Welshpool. This section is probably the least scenic of the trip, as it's just cow paddocks, but the wind farm in the hills provides some contrast. We were a little disappointed by Welshpool, slim pickings for food options, so we rode on to Port Welshpool, where fish and chips is your only option, (the pub opens after 4pm). The section near Port Welshpool is one of the prettiest parts, as you pass through banksia bushland. At Port Welshpool, you can ride along what is apparently Vic's longest pier. I believe it. We also swam, i recommend a spot about 400m west of the pier. It was very windy at Port Welshpool though, which locals implied is not uncommon. But you don't seem to feel it a bit inland. We then road the 5km back to Welshpool to get the 16:52 v/line coach back to Leongatha. We were hoping to put our bikes in the ample storage underneath, but the driver was unrelenting. V/line is hopeless, which is why I took off a star for this trip, as they should be supporting the rail trail. So we locked our bikes up, and then had to drive an hour back to collect them.

05 April , 2019 by johnobrien

My wife and I travelled down from NSW to ride some of the great Rail Trails in Victoria. We finished the Gippsland Plains RT and then drove over to Leongatha to ride the Great Southern RT. However no accommodation available in Leongatha, so found a room at the motel in Meeniyan. The original ride plan was modified so that we rode from Meeniyan to Leongatha, back to Meeniyan and out to Buffalo before returning back to Meeniyan. Complicated I know, but turned out to be a really great ride with a total of 58ks. The new bridges in the Black Spur section are a real highlight of this ride. You can see that some sections of the old railway bridges have been incorporated into the new construction, with a really great result. The rural views along the way are just superb, with lots of "how's the serenity?" being quoted on occasions. Coffee and cake in Leongatha was well received, followed by a bit of exploration of the old railway station and railway precinct. A bit of a shame that the old heritage railway from here has closed down. The surface on this trail looks like a fine white sand, but isn't sandy at all. In fact I found this surface to be one of the most compacted and smoothest of all the RT's we have ridden, most enjoyable. We have previously ridden all the way to Port Welshpool a few years ago, and have fond memories of that ride. I think that this trail has got everything going for it, smooth surface, great views, and a long distance. Just a pity the weather was against us riding for another day or two on this trail.

06 October , 2018 by The12WheelCaravan

What a fantastic experience, highlight of the school holidays!!! I just completed the ride from Leongatha to Port Welshpool with my family of six. The trail is in great condition, with villages spaced conveniently along the way. We have children aged 2-9, with the elder two on their own bikes and the younger two in a bike trailer. The four year old was able to get out of the trailer and ride his own bike along the flatter sections. We rode the trail in easy stages, driving to the start of each stage in the morning then catching the vLine bus back to the car at the end of each day. We locked the bikes up near the bus stop overnight. The bus comes past between 3.30 and 4.30 in the afternoon, depending where you are along the route. We did Day 1: Leongatha to Meeniyan, about 18kms. Day 2: Meeniyan to Fish Creek, about 18kms. Day 3: Fish Creek to Port Welshpool, and then doubling back to Welshpool, about 41kms total (only my 9 year old and I did this leg, with him on a bmx, in about 4.5 hrs including fish & chips at Port Welshpool). Tips: > The vLine bus was great to save car shuffling. The driver accepts cash only, and depending on the driver the kids were free! > The only tricky part was that the start of the trail does not connect well to Leongatha Station, which is where the bus arrives. The trail starts just to the south of the station. We parked at the station, then followed the bike path from the station past the Salvation Army and over the main road and rail bridge at the lights. Another 50m along the bike path there is a spot you can do a hop through the grass and over the disused rail line, which lands you just past the ‘official’ start of the rail trail. This part was a bit wobbly with the bike trailer, but then you’re sailing. It would be great if you could just ride off the station platform at Leongatha! > Look out for the fantastic Alison Lester shop in Fish Creek. > There is a trail map and set of about 7 individual cards for each leg of the trail you can pick up at tourist info or similar. The leg cards were handy to pass around amongst the kids and give a great sense of accomplishment as each section is completed. > After Foster we spotted a Koala up close which was totally fantastic, a real life Blinky Bill! Enjoy!

05 April , 2018 by wow01

Re my last comment - meant to give 5 stars.

05 April , 2018 by wow01

We used the Easter holidays to ride from Toora to Fish Creek and back. The trail is in very good condition, just a bit of leaf litter and some fallen tree branches to the east of Fish Creek. There is a new business, Gurney’s, adjacent to the track, making cider and offering cider tastings. They have a signpost on the trail, about 3km west of Foster.

11 February , 2018 by davnrob

Rode from Welshpool to Port Welshpool with the track totally off road. The track in places was very wide and hence looks like a road but is reserved for bikes and walkers only. Lots of vegetstion to protect riders when those winds blow off the southern ocean. Interesting Port village to wander and improvements to 1km jetty underway to encourage more visitors.

03 January , 2018 by wmdavies

My 16-year old son and I just completed this trail in two stages: from Leongatha to Toora, and from Toora to Port Welshpool (74kms in total). The trail is now continuous with a well-maintained surface, and is well signposted, with lots to see and do en route, from the quaint towns like Fish Creek, Foster and Port Welshpool, art galleries, and fine old pubs, to the great new bridges to replace the old railway bridges, and wonderful vistas of nearby Wilson's Prom. The main trail starts with a few hills in densely wooded terrain, but has a clean run down to Foster. The remainder of it is very flat passing through dairy country. We also did the optional extra spur "Tarra Trail" running from Alberton to Yarram (7km) which is also flat. I understand there is a plan to connect these trails and, once complete, it will be a great community asset, and a wonderful attraction for bikers. I applaud the efforts of the community and volunteers who have maintained the trails, erected signs and distance markers, and planted out trees (many are done by local school kids, especially on the Tarra Trail). I recommend the trail if you are fit enough and like the idea of slow tourism. Take your time, explore the region, and enjoy what this part of Gippsland has to offer.

26 June , 2017 by pageal

Five YHA Cycling riders covered 150km in 2 days within a week of winter solistice, Leongatha/Port Welshpool and return. A very threatening weather forecast didn't eventuate with high rainfall, but Sunday did throw a 20kn NW'ly headwind at us - so we all felt like heroes on ride completion. The trail has extensive sections with tree cover on both sides, which mitigated the wind somewhat. No mechanicals and everyone was capable and worked together. The night sky Milky Way view was astounding, with little back-lighting in Port Welshpool. A stretch of perhaps 6km had been thoroughly cleared back 3 feet from the usable trail edge by Council, which was impressive maintenance. The trail was superbly maintained, a pleasure to ride, and the locals friendly and helpful. Great cafes and/or bakeries at the many towns we visited along the route, and a good pub tea on Sat night. The 3 new Koonwarra bridge we brilliant.

28 September , 2016 by wmdavies

An exceptionally good trail: well-maintained and with sufficient things of interest en route. My 15-year old son and I did The Bass Coast and Grand Ridge Trails recently so we wanted to complete the trifecta (I am a 56-year old moderately fit man). We did 65 km from Leongatha to Toora in the best part of a day starting off at around 10am, and at no great haste. The trail was a gentle camber all the way with a wonderful downhill run just before Toora. Lunch was at Fish Creek. We could have gone further to Welshpool but for the necessity of a car shuffle and the impending storm clouds. There were echindas en route, rosellas and (sadly) lots of rabbits! The fading rural architecture was a delight in places like Toora. The Toora pub--the oldest in Gippsland apparently--was closed and boarded up or I would have finished the trip with a beer. We also marvelled at the bridges, at least 5-6 en route, some very long, which were well-restored from old trestle bridges that the trains used. I take my hat off to the volunteers that have such a good job with this trail. We will be back to finish the Toora-Port Albert leg in the near future.

05 March , 2016 by Robert J

The section between Koonwarra and Meeniyan is now complete and open negating the need to travel through the black spur on the highway. It's very scenic with a long paved section joining the bridges. It's well worth the ride.

23 October , 2015 by Gary

Completed the entire length of this trail and have only positive comments to add. A really great ride on a fantastic smooth surface. Starting at Leongatha after an early start from near Lara and battling the traffic through the suburbs. Plenty of history remaining at the station area and Gangers from the SGR were very friendly. A lot of pollen blowing around and a remarkable amount of fruit trees along the section to Black Spur. Beautiful farm land and very healthy looking dairy and beef cattle line the trail. A little history remaining at Meeniyan Station with photo's. While riding, you can play "dodge the poo", but be careful as when you pass the horse poo the flies and insects rise to eye and face height. The surface may need regular clearing as done on the Grand Ridge Rail Trail. Between Meeniyan and Fish Creek there are many very large wombat holes, and rabbits don't seem to be afraid. At Fish Creek, the station has been turned into a Community Garden, and the area kept clean and tidy. A big climb out of Fish Creek up to Hoddle and a good place for a rest. Down the grade all the way into Foster through rain forest type country. Good views of the Prom from this section. Tall ferns, creepers and vines line the trail. Several crossings have self closing spring gates, a bonus and great idea to those installing these. Work underway at Foster to return the station building to a standard. Flat and generally straight to Toora but could be subject to strong winds at times. Good views of the Toora wind farm along this section. Call into the Royal Standard Hotel at Toora for a coffee. The section to Welshpool is open but remnants of the Tramways to Barry's Beach and Port Welshpool can be found. I also completed the Tarra trail from Alberton to Yarram while in the area. A short ride but really needs to be connected to the rest of the trail. Some areas require some minor works. Overall this is a great trail with a massive amount to see along the way. All people were found friendly and appreciate visitors to their towns. I suggest the connection to Port Albert, Port Welshpool, Port Franklin and Barry's Beach along their tramways. This would create additional riding and history of the areas concerned. The trail will be one great adventure upon completion of the three bridges at Black Spur. The surface is suitable for all bike types. As I said, I am very happy with completing this trail and if possible will return to do it again. Great effort for a 60 plus gent. Well done to the committee.

14 September , 2015 by pageal

YHA Cycling had a group of 8 ride the trail with panniers to overnight at the caravan park in Port Welshpool, which was affordable and tidy. It was about 70km on RT and 5km on a quiet road into Port Welshpool. A well designed and maintained rail trail, with some beautiful views and charming cafes en route. Cafe stops included Meeniyan, Fish Creek, Foster and Toora. Toora's was 2 blocks up the main street on the east side, and run by a possibly German chap who did a great cooked breakfast and it smelt like a lovely bakery as soon as you walked in; on a Sunday. Buffalo's general store is doing coffee, but we didn't make that one. Excellent provision of toilet blocks to a high standard all along the route. Second week of Spring, so blossom trees in bloom and new growth, with the fields an unbelievable lush green. Farm dams full and water in the creeks. Trail surface was basically dry and good to ride, although a week earlier some mud was getting flicked up I was told. The 3 bridge reconstruction east of Koonwarra is a work in progress and one still needs to take the road for 3km, which wasn't a problem for our group. Detour signage was patchy, and we backtracked 1km on the way east. My guess is that this will easily be another 9-12mo to completion. The eagle, heron and ibis birdlife was a highlight; with the wombats and roos escaping notice, although I got a snap of roo footprints and saw 3 wombat holes on track edge. Crossing the 140m alt high point going east becomes worthwhile when the view of Corner Inlet opens up. Just east of Foster, a roughly 300-400m stretch of tree and shrub planting had gone in next to the trail, showing thoughtfulness and ongoing commitment. Overall, the Great Southern RT is a world class ride.

23 April , 2015 by Yarmy

Four of us rode the trail last weekend (while Melbourne was taking cover from storms) from Leongatha to Welshpool & back, (we stayed overnight at the Welshpool Pub - great food too !) and also down to Port Welshpool for a look. We were fortunate and did not have a drop of rain while riding (it fell overnight luckily). Track was in great condition, even with a lot of rain overnight was still easy to ride. What a great track it is too, in great condition, and we were really impressed with the range of scenery & variations as we travelled along. We met a few other cyclists & pedestrians walking dogs, and without exception they all smiled & said hello. Didnt see much in the way of wildlife, other than a couple of immense wombat holes in the side of some of the cuttings. Cafe's at Koonwarra & Foster were very good too, great breakfasts/coffee. The short road section as already commented on, is a bit hairy, as cars/trucks are doing 100k, and in places there are no shoulders. Once this section is completed, I would give it 5 stars.

08 April , 2015 by Philflem

We rode from Foster to Welshpool today, lovely ride, very flat surface and very little gradient, great views. We will look forward to seeing the bush regenerating, as we came across workers spraying all the weeds. Well done South Gippsland people for getting so far with this trail. We thoroughly recommend this ride! Also lovely park areas in all towns with clean facilities!

20 March , 2015 by davnrob

Rode Foster to Fish Creek and it was fantastic. Fish Creek was a real surprise with lots of old buildings in a real historic town.

09 March , 2015 by cascho

I rode this trail on Saturday 7th March 2015, between Koonwarra and Toora. This is an impressive trail – the quality is good, though a bit sandy, which means in places through the Hoddle range the track has been cut up with tire tracks left from cyclists during wet conditions. This can cause problems if you are on thin tyres. Also watch out for the mud pit outside of Foster on the way to Toora – where the cows cross – you just have to go through it, there is no going around. The best part of track is the Hoddle Range and the views over to Wilsons Prom. Surprised at how friendly all of the trail users are – by far the friendliest I have come across – The Great Southern is certainly more than just a stroll in the park. Looking forward to Black Spur creek section opening.

05 January , 2015 by wow01

Rode the section from Toora to Fish Creek on 2 Jan 2015. The trail is in excellent condition, with great views towards Wilsons Promontory from the section between Foster and Hoddle station site. We saw a good number of other cyclists on the trail, and the townships of Toora, Foster and Fish Creek are all great tourist spots. Also we checked out some of the new section from Toora to Welshpool, which will open later in 2015. All bridges are in place, still some fencing, bride rails and earthworks to complete.

18 May , 2014 by 

Awesome ride. Did the full length from Leongatha to Toora. Will look forward to seeing more work on this trail and the extension on to Welshpool. Horrible on road section near Koonwarra made worse by bogan road users using their horns as they come up behind cyclists. Seems bizarre to say the old bridges are too dangerous to be used and then redirect walkers/cyclists onto the narrow highway and risk death and serious injury from speeding traffic. You can walk your bike across the old bridges with care. It doesn't need mega expensive new bridges to make this more useable for walkers and cyclists. Great little towns and cafes along the way. Full marks to those businesses that go out of their way to be cycle friendly. We happened to be in Fish Creek for the Tea Cosy festival! Love that town! New section to Toora is a lovely smooth ride - only complaint is the gate arrangement at the frequent road crossings. The chicanes are hard to negotiate unless you dismount. Would be impossible on a horse. A little more thought as to the ease of use of these barriers would be good - and do we really need the full barrier thing at every minor road and farm track?

17 March , 2014 by stanford67

Rodes trail early march between Koonwarra (east of Highway section) and Toora. Trail was well maintained. Has a number of long steady climbs between Buffalo and Foster, but well worth the effort. Trail from Foster to Toora flat and easy going. Saw lots of animal life on this section including roos, domestic dogs, a few foxes, and some birds of prey. The bridges across the Tarwin River were interesting. A great trail.

05 November , 2013 by Ridgefield

Completed the rail trail from Leongatha to Toora with my teenage son over two days of the Melbourne Cup long weekend. Left the car at Toora and got the VLine back to Leongatha. The best leg was between Fish Creek and Foster. The worst was the highway section south of Koonwarra. Too dangerous and I would not do it again. Hope this missing 3km is completed soon. Overall a really great trail. No problems finding the start at Leongatha. The park is diagonally opposite the friendly BP service station at that end of town. Comfortable night at Meeniyan Motel with a good dinner at Meeniyan Hotel next door. Welcome stop at Fish Creek Roadhouse. At Foster, ignore the trail sign at the Station Road crossing which says the trail ends in 1km. It now goes to Toora. Also just beyond Station Road we saw a sign pointing to a siding trail to Foster that looked more interesting than a cycle along Station Road, but we didn't check it out.

09 February , 2012 by hscott

Meeniyan CWA Branch is holding a "Breakfast on the Bridge" to celebrate the Australian Year of the Farmer on Saturday 25/02/12 on the Rail Trail bridge over the Tarwin River, 2 km north-west of Meeniyan, on the South Gippsland Highway, from 8.00am to 1.00pm. $5 for breakfast/brunch, all welcome.

24 January , 2012 by Davicat

It's a spectacular trail well worth the ride. However the rail trail leaflet did not give any indication where to start. The beginning is hard to find. People need to know that the Horticulture park is tiny, hidden away in a little gully. The only blue sign I saw for the trail pointed to behind the tyre business but this requires lifting your bike (ours were fully loaded for a two day ride) over the concrete curbing at the end of the business' car park. A terrific trail and it will be even better when the trestle bridge opens, at the moment there are 3kms on the highway which is a bit hairy.

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Iconic Gippsland rail trail (in Victoria) to be extended

(Posted: 14/07/21)

Following a $6m grant from the Victorian Government to the Wellington and South Gippsland Shire Councils, the Great Southern Rail Trail in Victoria's Gippsland region will become a continuous off-road track from Nyora to Yarram.


Update on Victoria's Great Southern Rail Trail Extension

(Posted: 09/06/21)

Rail Trails Australia is excited to share an update of the progress of the Great Southern Rail Trail Extension from Nyora to Leongatha as at May 2021.


Changes to the Great Southern Rail Trail in Victoria

(Posted: 22/04/21)

On 22 April 2021 the South Gippsland Highway project team issued the following advice regarding the upgrade of the South Gippsland Highway and the changes to the Great Southern Rail Trail.


Great Southern Rail Trail to grow by 36 km

(Posted: 12/02/21)

The beginning of works to extend Victoria’s Great Southern Rail Trail (GSRT) was marked by an official sod turning ceremony at Loch railway station on Thursday.


The fabulous Great Southern Rail Trail in South Gippsland is to be extended!

(Posted: 10/08/20)

After lots of work over a few years the extension of the Great Southern Rail Trail has been approved and funded by a combination of South Gippsland Shire Council and grant funding.


Great Southern Rail Trail Relaunch - 26 November 2016

(Posted: 06/11/16)

Celebrate the re-launch of the Great Southern Rail Trail, cycle, walk or horse ride from Leongatha to Port Welshpool, or from Port Welshpool to Leongatha.


Great Southern Rail Trail "Bridges" the Gap (Gippsland, Victoria)

(Posted: 06/03/16)

The Black Spur bridges were opened on Friday making one great rail trail.


Great Southern Rail Trail to "bridge" the gap (Gippsland)

(Posted: 19/10/14)

The Victorian Government and South Gippsland Shire Council have announced funding to contruct the missing section of the Great Southern Rail Trail between Koonwarra and Meeniyan.


Great Southern Rail Trail (VIC) - Marketing and Promotion Plan & Community Forums

(Posted: 05/06/14)

The Great Southern Rail Trail Committee and Council are seeking community input into the Marketing and Promotion Plan for the Great Southern Rail Trail (GSRT).


Great Southern Rail Trail Power Supply Work (VIC)

(Posted: 19/01/14)

Power Line works on the Great Southern Rail Trail - Jan 23.


Great Southern Rail Trail Extension to Toora is Now Open (VIC)

(Posted: 01/09/13)

The Great Southern Rail Trail in Gippsland Victoria has extended from Foster to Toora.


$2m extension for Great Southern Rail Trail (Vic)

(Posted: 04/04/12)

Victorian Government gives nod to Great Southern extension More...

Great Southern Rail Trail (Vic) Bridge Opening Celebrations

(Posted: 10/06/08)

A reminder that the official opening of the Pumphouse Bridge over the Tarwin River is occurring this Friday with further celebrations over the weekend.


Tarwin River Bridge Open on the Great Southern Rail Trail (Victoria)

(Posted: 31/03/08)

The major new pedestrian bridge over the Tarwin River is now open.


Great Southern Rail Trail (Gippsland, Victoria) Heritage Day

(Posted: 03/01/07)

On Sunday 14th January 2007 the South Gippsland Tourist Railway is having a special day in conjunction with the Great Southern Rail Trail. More...

Great Southern Rail Trail (Victoria) seeks loans for bridge

(Posted: 19/12/05)

The Committee of Management is seeking contributions from individuals to help complete an important bridge across the Tarwin River on their rail trail in Gippsland, Victoria. More...

Great Southern Rail Trail (Gippsland, Victoria) Bike & Walk Family Day

(Posted: 03/11/05)

Enjoy a Bike & Walk Family Day on Sunday, November 13th along the Great Southern Rail Trail. More...

Great Southern Rail Trail Weekend

(Posted: 25/11/04)

The Friends of the Great Southern Rail Trail had a very successful weekend on 13/14 November. More...

The Great Southern Rail Trail Discovery Weekend

(Posted: 04/11/04)

Special events over weekend of 13th and 14th November 2004. More...

Great Southern Rail Trail Open (Vic)

(Posted: 28/01/04)

The Great Southern Rail Trail is now officially open through to Foster. More...

Grant for Great Southern Rail Trail (Vic)

(Posted: 11/01/02)

The Minister for Environment and Conservation, Hon. Cheryl Garbutt, announced that the Bracks Government have allocated $600,000 funding over two years for construction works. More...

Victorian Trail Developments

(Posted: 14/08/01)

There have been developments a number of trails around Victoria.


Great Southern Rail Trail (Vic)

(Posted: 04/07/01)

The Great Southern Rail Trail have a new information brochure. More...

Great Southern Rail Trail (Vic)

(Posted: 15/02/01)

A new 3.5 km section of the trail is now open from Meeniyan to Stony Creek and work has started on a further 22 km. A survey of the trail has been conducted. More...

Railtrails at the Melbourne Bicycle Show

(Posted: 01/11/00)

iltrails were well represented at the bike show in Melbourne on Sunday 15 October. More...

October Events (Victoria)

(Posted: 25/09/00)

October is packed with railtrail events in Victoria - two trail rides and a bike show. More...

Great Southern Rail Trail Update (Victoria)

(Posted: 25/09/00)

The next section of The Great Southern Rail Trail between Meeniyan and Stony Creek should be completed in the next 6-8 weeks, weather permitting. More...

Gippsland Railtrails News

(Posted: 17/06/00)

Work continues on the next section of the East Gippsland Rail Trail. Reports from Gippsland Plains, Great Southern and Walhalla Goldfields railtrails. Plans for an Gippsland Rail Trail newsletter. More...

Victorian News Roundup

(Posted: 01/11/99)

Updates on the Murray to Mountains, Moe to Yallourn, Great Southern and Bonnie Doon railtrails. More...