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Tumbarumba to Rosewood (Riverina Highlands) Rail Trail - Trail Description



Tumbarumba to Rosewood (Riverina Highlands) Rail Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: Southern NSW, 460km from Sydney. Stage 1: Tumbarumba to Rosewood is now open.
Start/end: Wagga Wagga to Tumbarumba
Status: Open
Length open: 21km
Surface: Sealed
Terrain: Flat to slight incline
Best seasons: Spring, summer and autumn
Public transport: Coach
Features: tourist
Contact Region: Country NSW & ACT
The Mannus Creek bridge is the largest on the rail trail (Snowy Valleys Council 2020)
The Mannus Creek bridge is the largest on the rail trail (Snowy Valleys Council 2020)
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes Suitable for cycling touring hybrid bikes Suitable for wheelchairs Suitable for prams Suitable for scooters in line skates



The rail trail between Tumbarumba and Rosewood is now open, a distance of 21km. 

  • The trail is fully sealed 
  • Family-friendly trail suitable for all types of bicycles, scooters, mobility scooters and prams
  • The trail passes through beautiful sub-alpine countryside and farmland
  • There are three major road crossings: Wagga Road (near SawPit Creek, and at Langlands Street in Tumbarumba township), and Jingellic Road (near Hyne Timber Mill) 
  • Interpretive signs explain some of the history of the rail line and the region
  • This is NSW's first rail trail on an ex-Government rail corridor. 

Tumbarumba provides all the facilities of a regional NSW town, including accommodation, cafes, supermarkets, pubs, etc. 

Rosewood has a general store and Gone Barny - a cafe, garden centre, gift shop and Post Office. 


Trail Access 

In Tumbarumba, the rail trail starts at historic Wolter Cottages, Albury Street (Wagga Road); but the start point for many will be in nearby Figures Street. Both starting points are a short distance from the main street of the town along a multi-purpose path. 

Things to see and do

There are a number of local attractions that are adjacent to or nearby this rail trail. 

  • Tumbarumba Visitor Information Centre and Museum
  • There are several cellar doors in the Tumbarumba area
  • The historic Hume and Hovell Track can be accessed using Tumbarumba as a base
  • Pioneer Women's Hut Museum and Boggy Creek Show (both not yet directly accessible from the trail, but hopefully in future)

It is anticipated more attractions will become available now that the trail is open. 

Bike hire:  E-bikes are available for hire at Tumba Bikes and Blooms, located in Bridge Street, Tumbarumba. Advance booking is recommended. For opening times and more information, see Tumba Bikes and Blooms.  Click here for their Facebook page.

Bike hire is also now available at Ride Tumba, located at 14 The Parade, Tumbarumba, phone 0409 833504. Their Facebook page is Ride Tumba.

For more details on Tumbarumba tourism, please click on this link:  Tumbarumba info.

A comprehensive locally-written guide to the Tumbarumba to Rosewood trail is available on this link:  A guide to riding the Tumbarumba rail trail

Access to Tumbarumba is mainly by car. There is also a regular coach service linking Tumbarumba to Cootamundra and Wagga Wagga.  

Future Developments

The Riverina Highlands Rail Trails will develop in four stages to a full length of 129km. 

  • Tumbarumba to Rosewood (21km) - Stage 1, now open 
  • Wagga Wagga to Ladysmith (19km) 
  • Rosewood to Humula (26km) and Tarcutta (a further 30km)
  • Ladysmith to Tarcutta (33km)

Background Information

Wagga Wagga to Tumbarumba

This scenic railway branched from the Main South Line at Wagga Wagga, and passes through Tarcutta to the township of Tumbarumba, rising to 800m above sea level. It opened in stages from 1917 to 1921.  Operation beyond Ladysmith ceased in 1974 after significant flooding and all operations ceased in 1987.

Being NSW, services are suspended; most of the line is not officially closed (which requires an Act of Parliament) but 45 years on little infrastructure remains.  The line has been cut by construction of a RAAF base at Forest Hill, near Wagga Wagga, and the Hume Freeway at Tarcutta.  In addition significant sections of track and other infrastructure have been illegally removed.

The only stations remaining on the line are at Ladysmith (which is maintained by the Tumba Rail historical group) and Borambola.

We believe that experience in other states and overseas has shown that the best way to protect the integrity of a disused rail corridor is to once again have it valued by the community, and rail trails are a wonderful way of doing this.

Rail Trail Development History

The Riverina Highlands Rail Trails Steering Committee was formed in 2004 under the Riverina Regional Development Board to promote the development of two rail trails. In June 2006 the Board adopted the recommendations of the feasibility study to construct the rail trails.

Extensive consultation with local communities saw concerns from some but generally great support for the proposals.  All the four Shire Councils involved also expressed support along with the NSW Lands and Transport Ministry.

Development looked close to starting in 2009 with $220,000 of federal government funding but legislation to close the line did not get passed.

in 2012, the Riverina Higlands Rail Trail group was formed to continue the process of getting this rail trail established.

Given the reservations about constructing rail trails in NSW, Rail Trails Australia suggested the establishment of one or two shorter "pilot" rail trails.  These could verify the benefits of a rail trail on a long disused government branch line, something all the other states in Australia and many other countries take for granted.

The Tumbarumba to Rosewood sub--committee was formed in 2013 following significant community support which led to the support of the then Tumbarumba Shire Council.

This resulted in support from the new state government and finally in June 2017 the Tumbarumba to Rosewood section of the railway was officially closed! Former local MP Greg Aplin was instrumental in obtaining $5.7m in funding to construct this pilot rail trail.

Construction started in April 2019 of the 22km Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail and it was opened in April 2020.

"Wagga Rail Trail Inc" are working towards the development of a rail trail between Wagga Wagga and Ladysmith, a distance of approx 21km.  It is envisaged that this section would become a well used commuter path between the city centre and Forest Hill, approx 10km from Wagga Wagga once the pilot rail trail is proven.


Read an excellent Australian Geographic magazine story. (You can download this story too).

Download a map and gradient profile of the rail trail.

Snowy Valleys Council is responsible for the construction and management of the first section from Tumbarumba to Rosewood.

Riverina Highlands Rail Trail Inc

Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail Steering Group

Wagga Wagga to Ladysmith

Tumba Rail, who have plans to operate rail trolleys at Ladysmith.

For further information on the progress of rail trail development in NSW, click here

May 2021

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

Contact Us About This Trail

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31 May , 2021 by

A really worthwhile ride. Good distance, good surface, good vistas and scenery, good interpretations at the old stations! The rail-trail actually starts about 4km out of town – up one bloody steep hill! Some amenities (toilets) at the rail head, but no shops or other facilities…just a car park. The trail, itself, is magnificent – one year old in April 2021, but already had some maintenance on the track, possibly repairing frost upheaval of the asphalt. There was also quite a bit of damage from wombat holes! Good trail surface – even modified cattle grids, which were very easy to cycle over and allow farmers to leave connecting gates open. Some-one has thought this rail trail business through! [See photos section for trail/cattle grids] Essentially the rail trail is a big Vee…with Glenroy Station as it’s lowest altitude. This means that as you start from either Tumbarumba or Rosewood, it is downhill for at least the first 8km. [That also means a gentle uphill to each end] Most tunnels are actually cow over-passes…often occupied by cows, resting and looking at crazy people cycling underneath! [See photos section] All in all, a really great experience - many thanks to all the organisations and people involved...your region benefits from our cash! - rode in late April - weather FANTASTIC!

27 May , 2021 by jerryCashman

Fantastic experience - did the trail with a group from Canberra and loved every bit of the weekend. Many thanks to the team who produced the trail - speaking to one local I understand that it took many years of work to bring it to fruition - our thanks!

25 May , 2021 by Messmate

An very good trail with excellent infrastructure. Congratulations to all involved in getting one of the first NSW Rail trail up and running. Victoria is a long way ahead. Looking forward to future extensions.

02 March , 2021 by

Until now; I have had to go to Victoria to do my rail trails, but now NSW has one, and hopefully the first of many more. Can't wait to experience the trail myself. Well done to all involved in this project..

14 October , 2020 by johnobrien

Rode the trail both ways today. It was a fantastic experience. This is such a great trail. I loved the overhead bridges/tunnels, especially the one with the cow in the middle looking down and checking us out. Tumba and Rosewood made us very welcome, and we stayed in a lovely motel in Tumba. Will come back again for sure.

11 October , 2020 by Plummy

We've ridden all of the major rail trails in Victoria with our kids at various ages. We've ridden with a 15mth old in a trailer all the way up to the current day with our 5yo twins on a trailer and our 7yo on his own bike. It is so great to finally see a rail trail in NSW that has been built to at least the same standard as the Victorian rail trails. This trail is brilliant! It will be so good for the area, which is still suffering immensely from the fires. The trail is a real credit to the many people who have fought for so long to see this trail come to fruition. We parked our car at Rosewood and rode our bikes with panniers to Tumbarumba, We had our 7 year old on his bike (first time without using a tow rope), 5 year old twins in a double trailer (last time for them) and myself and my wife. The trail is in great condition and passes through some beautiful countryside. As usual the grades are very nice and we took a leisurely 3hrs with breaks to get to Tumba. The downhill into Tumba was a nice surprise and made us contemplate our journey back up it the following morning. We stayed at the Union Hotel, as the cabins at the caravan park were booked out. We tried 3-4 different accommodation options and every place I spoke to over the phone were incredibly lovely. We had a great meal at the pub that night and a slightly noisey evening (which is what you get staying in a pub). The next morning we rode back up out of Tumba which was easier than we anticipated and took the obligatory photos at the trail head. The work that the local Mens Shed has done to build the cottage at the start is amazing. The signage along the entire route is fascinating and the rest areas are in some beautiful spots. The bridges are simply the best we've seen on a Rail Trail, including the Victorian ones. Super smooth and look perfect in the environment. The underpasses are frequent and keep the kids entertained every time we rode through one, plus they broke up the ride nicely for our 7 year old as there are quite a number of them. We went to the 'Gone Barney' cafe on the edge of Rosewood for some refreshments, who were obviously relishing the patronage from the many cyclists we saw on the trail. We had a fantastic time and it was so good to finally ride a quality Rail Trail in NSW, which will hopefully now be the start of more to come.

03 February , 2020 by wow01

Stage 1 of this trail, from Tumbarumba to Rosewood, is set to open on 3 April 2020. This will be the first rail trail in NSW constructed on abandoned ex-government tracks. Look out for Jolly Berries, 247 Tumbarumba Road, adjacent to the trail! Excellent blueberries.

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Share your experience on the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail

(Posted: 12/05/21)

Please complete a survey on your experience on the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail to help get other rail trails in NSW established.


Local economy thrives since the opening of the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail

(Posted: 18/04/21)

Local business owners and the President of the Tumbarumba Chamber of Commerce are amongst the community members featured in a video documenting the area’s economic boom since the opening of the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail (TRRT) in April 2020.


Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail Family Fun Day

(Posted: 17/04/21)

Due to delays caused by Covid, the official opening of the history-making Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail finally took place on Saturday 10 April 2021.


NSW Rail Trails Forum

(Posted: 17/04/21)

Rail Trails supporters and representatives met in Tumbarumba in April to discuss how to make faster progress on rail trail development in New South Wales.


Tumbarumba Rail Trail Group honoured in Australia Day awards

(Posted: 01/02/21)

The Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail Committee, led by Owen and Cathy Fitzgerald and Debbie and Grant Harris, has been recognised in the NSW Australia Day awards for 2021, winning the Tumbarumba Region’s Community Group of the Year award.


Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail Officially Opened

(Posted: 03/04/20)

After nearly two decades of hard work by the community, the 21km rail trail officially opened today – the first rail trail on a government corridor in NSW.


Cancelled - Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail Opening 3rd April

(Posted: 04/03/20)

Be part of history at the opening of NSW's first rail trail on a government corridor. 


Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail Still on Track

(Posted: 06/02/20)

The Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail is still on track to be completed in time for the official opening on Friday 3 April this year, despite the horrendous bush fires that raced through the district.


Construction Starts on NSW's Tumbarumba Rail Trail

(Posted: 25/04/19)

The rail trail from Tumbarumba to Rosewood will be the first one in NSW on the formation of a former government railway


Federal Government Reaffirms Support for Riverina Highlands Rail Trail

(Posted: 29/04/09)

The Member for Eden Monaro, Mike Kelly says the Federal Government is keeping a promise by spending $220,000 for stage one of this rail trail.


Riverina Highlands Rail Trail (NSW) a step closer

(Posted: 18/07/06)

The Riverina Regional Development Board has adopted the recommendations of a feasibility study to proceed with the rail trail. More...

Riverina Highlands Rail Trail (Southern NSW) Feasiblity Study starts

(Posted: 01/02/06)

Funding has been announced for the study and public meetings are to take place in March 2006.


Riverina Highlands Rail Trail Feasibility Study EOI

(Posted: 14/08/05)

Expressions of Interest in the conduct of a Feasibility Study to address the feasibility of utilising former railway corridors from Tumut to Batlow and Wagga Wagga to Tumbaruba for rail trails are being sought. More...