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Bass Coast Rail Trail - Trail Description



Bass Coast Rail Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: 130km south-east of Melbourne, near Phillip Island
Start/end: Wonthaggi - The old railway station, located by the nearby mine tower head to Woolamai - near the Recreation Reserve on Trew Road
Status: Open
Length open: 23km
Surface: Fine gravel
Terrain: Flat from Wonthaggi to Kilcunda, then easy climb to Anderson and a decline to Woolamai
Best seasons: All
Public transport: Coach
Features: tourist
Contact Region: Gippsland, Victoria
The iconic Bourne Creek bridge at Kilcunda
The iconic Bourne Creek bridge at Kilcunda
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes Suitable for cycling touring hybrid bikes Suitable for wheelchairs Suitable for horse riding Suitable for prams



  • This is a spectacular coastal railtrail which can easily be ridden in both directions in a few hours
  • High standard gravel surface.
  • An original timber trestle bridge at Kilcunda right on the beach
  • Plenty of places to eat and stay at Wonthaggi and Kilcunda
  • Historical mining sites
  • Wonderful mining museum in Wonthaggi at old State Coal Mine site
  • Museum, arts and craft shop at Wonthaggi station site.

Extra Options

  • The George Bass Coastal Walk begins at Kilcunda, and is a pleasant walk along the beach and cliff tops with views of Cape Woolamai & Phillip Isalnd
  • Visit Phillip Island on the shared path from Anderson, which keeps you off the very busy road. There are some steep sections on this path.
  • Visit the historic State Coal Mine at Wonthaggi
  • Cycle on the east area trail from Wonthaggi to Cape Paterson approx 9km

Support Services

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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; Transfers Only - bikes and people.




  • Wonthaggi railway station site, Bent Street (or carparking at the shopping centre on the western side of the Bass Highway)
  • Kilcunda township - on Bass Highway
  • Anderson - V-Line carpark opposite roundabout to Phillip Island on Bass Highway
  • Woolamai Recreation Reserve on Trew Road

Wonthaggi to Kilcunda (13km)

This is a very pleasant and easy to ride section of the trail where the scenery is a mix of farmland and coastal heath and paperbark

  • Cross the long bridge over the Powlett River and then Mouth of Powlett River Rd
  • The trail climbs up into a cutting before emerging to give one of the many magnificent coastal views
  • The trail now runs right on the ocean to Kilcunda with beaches and rock pools
  • Cross the iconic Bourne Ck trestle bridge to arrive at Kilcunda village.

Kilcunda to Anderson (4km)

The trail from Kilcunda is a steady climb to Anderson, giving views of the large tailings heap at the old Mitchell Mine

  • The trail diverges from the original railway alignment at Kilcunda due to safety reasons crossing the Bass Highway, which requires a short steep climb up to the original rail alignment
  • Proceed through rolling hills towards Anderson

Anderson to Woolamai Recreation Reserve (6km)

The trail from Anderson is a steady decline and then flat, giving panoramic views of the surrounding areas, farming land and Western Port Bay.

  • The trail continues with a fall in elevation, past the small township of Woolamai, to McGrath Road and Woolamai Recreation Reserve

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

Background Information

This trail is part of a former branch line from Nyora to Wonthaggi.  The line was opened in 1910 to service the coal mines, passengers and farm produce in the Wonthaggi area.  The line was closed in 1978 due to the decline in passengers and mining

The first commercial coal mine was opened in Kilcunda in 1865

The Bass Coast Shire is the committee of management for this rail trail, and is committed to eventually extending the trail the full distance of 48km to Nyora


Please report any issues (or compliments) to the rail trail managers:

  • Bass Coast Shire Ph: 03 5671 2211

For further information

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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Support Services and Attractions


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.

December 2019

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

Contact Us About This Trail

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26 June , 2021 by

Should really check the weather before riding! It was raining and cold. The trail is excellent condition despite the rain. The scenery is sensational. Pleasant riding and fairly easy.

30 March , 2021 by

30 March 2021 We took our ebikes on our car from Cape Paterson to Wonthaggi on 20th March and rode this trail to Kilcunda. We found this an easy ride and especially loved the views of the rugged coastline and the surf. WE had a great brunch at the General store and rode back to Wonthaggi

07 June , 2020 by RobertI

I couldn't wait to get out after Covid 19 restrictions so I started this new section at Woolamai Race Track after parking awkwardly on McGrath Rd. (there are no road signs showing where the Bass Trail starts). Its a beautiful wide path up hill to Anderson with excellent views all round. Anderson round about has toilets and its a lovely path onward to Wonthaggi but it was crowded being a long weekend. One concern is a dangerous crossing at the busy Bass Highway above Kilcunda (I hope they put a bridge or tunnel here). On the return trip it became dark but with my good headlight I really enjoyed it. I must mention here I also did the path from Anderson to San Remo, its for mountain goats as there are some ridiculous steep sections however its safe away from the very busy Phillip Island Road.

23 March , 2020 by Jani

Our group of 10 cycled from Wonthaggi to Kilcunda on 20 March 2020 on a beautiful sunny day but with a fierce headwind all the way. Had a great time - good dry surface and wonderful views. Our only concern was the suggestion to park at the Railway Museum or shopping centre car park which had a 2 hour limit. We thought that parking at the Visitor Centre and Gallery was a better option as there were some all day parking spaces.

15 September , 2019 by Delsks

Rode this trail on the 11th of August 2019, riding Wonthaggie to Anderson’s return. In the days leading up to the ride it had been raining heavily, and when we started the trail was covered in a layer of sleet. However, the gravel surface was in great condition and there were people riding it on gravel bikes. There was one section that was under about 20cm of water, and resulted in wet feet which certainly adds to the adventure. Despite its location the trail is generally well sheltered from the wind, and it has great views of the coast and the countryside. Certainly recommend a coffee at the General Store in Kilcunda, and lunch at the Wonthaggi Hotel was a great way to finish the ride. It would be great if the trail were a little longer to make more of a day of it.

30 April , 2019 by

13/27. We did this rail trail over Easter on a lovely day, but even if it wasn't sunny, this trail would still be stunning. A nice easy surface along the entire track, much better than the last time i rode it about 10 years ago. We rode the Woolamai to Wonthaggi direction to get the tail wind, and also so we could finish at the Wonthaggi Hotel, which is right at the end of the trail, for lunch. The iconic views at Kilcunda are not to be missed. We had a coffee break at the General Store there to soak it all in. The only real hill is up to Anderson, but it is not steep in typical railtrail fashion. I'm riding every ail trial in Victoria this year to promore organ donation. You can follow my other rail trail exploits on FB Warwick Duncan - The 2nd Chance Man or Insta @warwick_rides.

11 June , 2017 by Foxy58

I rode the Anderson to Wonthaggi section and return on the 10/6/17. This was the 1st rail trail I have ridden and I loved it. The track was in great condition and the coast along Kilcunda was a lovely bonus. Plenty of bird life the occasional rabbit or Kangaroo and curious cows. Overall a very enjoyable 34 klm ride and highly recommended. Looking forward to riding more trail trails in the future and definitely be back to ride the Bass Coast trail trail again.

28 February , 2016 by Dixon

Rode the trail on 28.02.16. Started at McGrath Rd in Woolamai, you can see the start of the trail, but there are no signs anywhere saying this is a rail trail or in fact it is the Bass Rail trail. We just assumed that was it and when we saw the first marker we knew we were at the right place. There is no parking at McGrath Road, you need to find a place on the side of the road in the grass verge. I assume this will be fixed when it is extended to the Rec reserve. A nice ride through to Wonthaggi and back. pretty long climb (around 5km) at the start, probably why we saw no one else on the first section. Worth doing, we enjoyed the coastline at Kilkunda, great scenery.

12 October , 2015 by ingelong

Our first ever rail trail and we are now hooked! We rode it with loaded touring bikes no problem. Had to stay on the edges though as horse hooves had cut up the centre quite a bit. Otherwise superb.

22 July , 2015 by wmdavies

I did this trail with my 14-year old son recently (in conjunction with the 'Grand Ridge Rail'). It is an easy run to Kilcunda from Wonthaggi, nothing spectacular, but lovely as one approaches the coast. One can see broad sweeps of coastline to one side of the trail and the rolling hills of Gippsland on the other. The old Kilcunda Bridge is a thrill with the crashing surf next to you. Wonthaggi has plenty of dining options (Connell's Bakery near Safeway is one of the best), and Kilcunda has a notable pub with views of the coast. What more could you want? Highly recommended. It's a pity it does not extend to Inverloch by the coast as well. Inverloch is paradise ever on a bad day.

20 March , 2015 by davnrob

Rode the trail from Wonthaggi to Anderson with beautiful scenery. Trail surface damaged west of Kilcunda by horses presumably in wet weather.

10 December , 2014 by jberkelm

I rode this trail 10/12/14 , previous time was 3 years ago. Probably because of the recent weather the trail has become quite rough in particular the stretch from Anderson to Woolamai. The main damage has come from horses. The track is also getting dangerous at the road crossing points, the surface falls away quickly and there are deep ruts in the crossing styles. The camber of track is fairly severe in places and could be difficult even for a hybrid with smoother tyres. The names at the roads crossings are not displayed. This ride could be a real attraction for trails riders if it was properly maintained and promoted. The motorbike ruts don't help either.

21 November , 2014 by cascho

I rode this trail on the 19th November 2014. Perfect day for it – sunny without any wind. The ride between Wonthaggi and Kilcunda is the best part – along the coastal dunes – though the views from Anderson are just as good. The trail surface is good – though it’s a shame the trail just ends in the middle of nowhere outside of Woolamai. Beware there was a swooping Grey Butcherbird right near the top of Anderson hill (as you cross the gravel road) which was pretty fearless in attacking me.

17 March , 2014 by stanford67

Rode this trail early March 2014. Trail surface good all the way. There was some sand on the trail near the Kilcunda trestle bridge, and a few 'ruts' in other places, but otherwise my bike (a portable / foldup with MTB rim on the back and standard road / hybrid rim on the front) had no problems travelling it. Well worth effort to ride this trail as it is fairly flat except for the section between Kilcunda and Anderson which has some grades. Watch for crosswinds near Kilcunda, and roos between Kilcunda and Powlett River!

11 June , 2012 by Jon

I rode the trail a couple of days ago on a touring bike with a 25mm front tyre and 28 mm on the back. No problems at all so a hybrid should be OK.

29 May , 2012 by rickp

Hi Nancy, I haven't ridden this trail myself but according to the Trail tab of this description page, the blue indicators on the right show that the trail is suitable for touring/hybrid and mountain bikes, among other things. Enjoy! And feel free to comment again with your experience of the ride. Cheers!

19 May , 2012 by Nancy

Does anybody know if hybrid bikes are suitable for riding on this trail? Much appreciated. Nancy.

26 April , 2012 by lynnb

I ride this rail trail frequently. It's a gravel surface, recently upgraded near the Powlett River. Much of the trail is quite sheltered, there are great views from the Powlett River Bridge across farmland to the Desal Plant and then fabulous ocean and beach views as you get close to Kilcunda. It's a fairly easy ride from Wonthaggi and there's a lovely cafe at Kilcunda.

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