Trail Open

Brisbane Valley Rail Trail

Queensland - South East

3.9 based on 15 reviews
Location: Wulkuraka is 46 km South West of Brisbane City
Length: 161 km
Surface: Coarse gravel, Compacted earth, Fine gravel, Sealed
Start / End: Wulkuraka (Ipswich) to Yarraman
Public Transport: Coach, Train
Suitable for:
  • Cycling – Mountain BikesCycling – Mountain Bikes
  • Horse RidingHorse Riding
  • WalkingWalking

Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway

General

  • At 161 km in length, it is Australia's longest rail trail
  • Gently undulating through mostly farming land in the southern section, with steeper sections and bushland in the north
  • Heritage-listed attractions include Lockyer Creek bridge (92 m long), built in 1884 - 1886, and Yimbun Tunnel (100 m long) built in 1909 -1910
  • Suitable for multi-day tours, with options for fully supported tours and shuttles
  • Car parking is soon to be constructed at the Wulkuraka end of the trail

Attractions

  • Close to Brisbane
  • Scenic rural countryside
  • Good climate conditions most of the year
  • Railway history and heritage
  • Food and accommodation options at the many towns along the trail

Trail Guide

There are many low level crossings where bridges have been removed. Care should be taken after heavy rains. Care should be taken on the very steep ones when wet or icy.

  • Access points at each town are the former station sites, which have plenty of parking space
  • Horses must be shod
  • No drinking water or toilets available outside the towns listed
  • There are many low level crossings, where bridges are missing or have been removed

Section Guides

Wulkuraka (Ipswich) to Fernvale (23 km)

Note:  There are no toilets along this section of the rail trail. There is drinking water located directly along the Brassall Bikeway (between Wulkuraka & Fernvale), immediately south of Workshops Street, and another in John Murphy Park, Brassall

  • The Wulkuraka Trailhead address is at 163 Grace Street, Wulkuraka
  • The trail begins on the northern side of Wulkuraka railway station. Follow the concrete bikeway along Grace Street, pass Arnold Street on the right and cross to the other side of Grace Street.
  • The first section to Diamantina Boulevard at the Warrego Highway underpass has a high quality concrete surface. The remainder is gravel and dirt suitable for hybrid and mountain bikes.
  • Continue 100 m and turn right on to Brassall Bikeway. After 150 m, turn left at the picnic shelter and enter the BVRT connection path.
  • Station sites along this section include Muirlea (5 km), Pine Mountain (8.6 km), Borallon (11.5 km), Wanora (15 km), Fairney View (18.5 km) and Fernvale (22.6 km. All are clearly marked.
  • A carpark suitable for horse floats and with CCTV security is available at the old Borallon Station site (Borallon Station Road).

Fernvale to Lowood (8 km)

  • Mainly fine compacted gravel surface, with a substantial portion of the trail now concreted between Fairney View Fernvale Road & Clive Street, Fernvale. And again, along part of the Lowood section, from the township, through part of Pete Bevan’s native gardens.
  • Suitable for hybrid bikes, personal mobility vehicles or horse-drawn vehicles
  • The first section of the rail trail developed by the then Shire of Esk in 2002
  • A fun run is held on the trail each July. For information about the fun run click HERE
  • Fernvale’s facilities include the Fernvale Futures Visitor Information Centre at the station site, bakery, café, ATM and accommodation. Filtered water, WiFi and outdoor power points are available 24 hours at the front of the Information Centre. There are toilets and free electric barbeques in the park opposite the bakery.
  • Lowood is smaller but has basic facilities and still has its station, used by the local Lions Club, off Railway St and visible from Main St. Toilets and water are located in the park in the centre of town and the northern section of the trail has an extensive native garden display, planted and maintained by locals. Lowood Flood Boat Memorial, also in the park, commemorates rescues following devastating floods in the 1890s.
  • Lowood Showgrounds has horse accommodation facilities, overnight camping and caravan access.

Lowood to Esk (36 km)

  • Coarse gravel/dirt surface
  • Native bushland and farmland
  • Between Lowood and Coominya is the large Lockyer Creek Bridge, opened to rail trail users in 2019.
  • The intermediate town of Coominya has limited facilities. Drinking water can be bought from the supermarket, café or hotel.  There are toilets and a playground in the station park, with room for horse floats to park and offload.
  • Esk is the major regional centre and has most facilities. The station has been restored by the local Lions Club and the precinct is now a feature. There are many cafes and two pubs, a lovely main street and the trail passes through the middle of town.
  • A significant feature of the area is Lake Wivenhoe, the major water source for southeast Queensland and twice the capacity of Sydney Harbour.

Esk to Toogoolawah (19 km)

Rehabilitation works to the historic timber bridge located at Coal Creek, between Esk and Toogoolawah, are due to commence from Monday, 6 September 2021.  This project will involve major structural rehabilitation works to the bridge including replacement of most of the timber components along with installation of a new walkway that will improve safety for trail users and deliver an all-weather crossing over Coal Creek. The project is estimated to take approximately 12 weeks to complete, weather permitting.  An alternative access track will be provided to ensure the trail remains accessible whilst works are underway however due to the nature of the project, there will be heavy machinery and vehicles moving through the site, so trail users should exercise caution when passing through the work area and follow all safety warnings, signage or directions given by contractors on site. For safety reasons, horse riders are advised to dismount when traversing the creek.  Further information will be provided on TMR’s BVRT website shortly.

  • Coarse gravel/dirt surface
  • Undulating farmland
  • Toogoolawah’s facilities include a cafe that opens onto the rail trail. The station building is a small museum and regular markets are held in the former station yards.

Toogoolawah to Moore (27 km)

  • Smooth gravel surface so suitable for hybrid bikes
  • Some steep descents/ascents where railway bridges have been removed; the trail dips in and out of creek beds
  • Undulating terrain
  • Yimbun Tunnel is the only tunnel on the trail
  • A large concrete and steel bridge at Harlin was destroyed in the 2013 floods, requiring a diversion through the very small town
  • Moore has several places to get meals, a bed and breakfast and the Old Church Gallery

Moore to Blackbutt (29 km)

The public toilets at Benarkin, 25 km along the trail from Moore, are closed until further notice. The BVRT remains open but there is a detour to divert users back onto the trail. The nearest public toilets are in Les Muller Park, Coulson Street, Blackbutt.

Some steep grades where railway bridges have been removed; the trail dips in and out of creek beds

Moore to Linville (7 km ) 

At the old Moore station, cross Linville Road and follow the road for 100 m; rejoin the BVRT on the left.

Linville to Benarkin (18 km) 

  • From Linville the trail climbs the rugged and picturesque Blackbutt Range
  • Front suspension and gloves are recommended for riders due to the rough surface
  • Linville and Benarkin are small villages, each with a general store
  • The pub in Linville also has accommodation
  • From Linville the trail climbs around 300 m to Benarkin, but grades on the railway alignment are relatively easy.
  • Gravelly and rocky surface
  • Grass trees and many cuttings
  • Several stock control gates along the way: leave these as you find them
  • Cattle may be grazing beside the trail
  • Close to the small village of Benarkin the vegetation changes to eucalyptus and scrub. Benarkin sits at the top of the range about 500 m above sea level, as do Blackbutt and Yarraman.
  • Free toilets and showers available at Benarkin
  • Trail distances marked every 2 km

Benarkin to Blackbutt (5 km) 

  • smooth gravel surface: can be ridden comfortably on hybrid bikes
  • steady climb to Blackbutt
  • The Nukku siding station has been restored and relocated in the Blackbutt rail yards
  • A downhill ride from Blackbutt is obviously easier going
  • Blackbutt is a regional centre and offers bakeries, cafes, supermarkets and a visitor information centre
  • Accommodation is available at the Hotel Radnor or at B&Bs close to the trail

Blackbutt to Yarraman (19 km)

  • Steady climb to the top of the range, then descent to Yarraman
  • Coarse gravel/dirt surface
  • Yarraman facilities include two hotels, two motels and a caravan park, a supermarket, bakery and the Yarraman Heritage Centre, which houses the old station building
  • The old Pidna station site is at Harland Park at Cooyar Creek, beside the highway
  •  Kingaroy Rail Trail is a 45 km drive from Yarraman

Background Information

Traditional Owners

We acknowledge the Wakka Wakka and Yuggera people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is situated.

Development and future of the rail trail 

The first section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail was constructed by the then Esk Shire between Fernvale and Lowood in 2002. Nanango Shire followed with the Linville to Blackbutt section in 2006. The Queensland Government has gradually completed other sections in conjunction with regional councils, culminating in construction of the last 30 km between Toogoolawah and Moore in 2018 by TMR.

Railway history

The rail trail follows the former Brisbane Valley railway line, which ran north from Wulkuraka (Ipswich) 161 km to Yarraman. The railway was built in stages, reaching Esk in 1886 and Yarraman in 1913.

The bridge that crosses Lockyer Creek at Clarendon is heritage listed. It has a half-through double x 2 lattice girder spans, and is one of the oldest existing metal truss bridges, with the longest span of its type in Queensland.

At one time, Linville station was the largest loading point for cattle in southeast Queensland. Passenger services operated until 1967 and freight services were reduced from 1988, with the last section closing in 1993.

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15 reviews of “Brisbane Valley Rail Trail”

Trail surface upgrades at Coominya have transformed the previously unpleasantly rough-to-ride approaches to Coominya into a delightful smooth, wide, hard-packed trail surface. Previously I would choose to ride on the bitumen roads that run parallel to the trail. That is no longer necessary. The new surface is almost as good as smooth asphalt. And a concrete path has been installed through Coominya and in the diversion beside the low level bridge just out of Coominya.

In addition, the removal of the step-over barriers on the trail between Coominya and Esk, near the junction with the Esk-Gatton Highway, is most welcome. Riders no longer have to lift their bikes over barriers. Two of the barriers have been completely removed and a third is still in place but the stock gate across the trail beside it has been locked open.

Great to have on-going improvements for trail users.

We rode the BVRT in June 2021 on an organised supported tour. We were based in Esk and shuttled out to Yarraman for the start of the ride to Moore. Lunch was provided and we were shuttled back to Esk. The following day we were shuttled back to Moore for the ride to Esk. Again lunch was provided at Toogoolawah. The last day we were shuttled to Wulkuraka for the ride back to Esk. Lunch was provided at Coominya. Great organisation, and well worth the experience.
The trail has loads of improvements since we rode on it a couple of years ago. However there are still a lot of missing bridges and dangerous steep crossings to negotiate. The volunteers kept a watchful eye on everyone, and there was only a couple of minor incidents by some inexperienced riders.

Looking for a challenge that is both attainable and enjoyable? Look no further than the section of rail trail from Esk to Moore along the magnificent Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. Having done the section south from Esk to Coominya a few months earlier, I wanted to head north this time.
Making an early Sunday morning start, I drove from Brisbane to the Esk Caravan Park where two trail bikes had been reserved for us by the very friendly motel and park owners. We left the caravan park around 8:15am in perfect cycling conditions and headed immediately out on the BVRT towards our morning tea stop at Toogoolawah, some 19-20km away.
This section of the trail was a bit rugged and climbed gently, affording us great views across the farmlands in the area. We were required to stop several times to pass through chained gates and there were a few “bridge bypasses”. However, excellent concrete surfaced approaches and exits on either side of the bridges had recently been constructed to ensure a continuous ride along the trail.
We stopped at the delightful café at Toogoolawah for a coffee before continuing towards Moore. The trail surface improved considerably to an easier gravel surface which made cycling a lot easier. The highlight of this section was passing through the tunnel at Yimbun that was built in 1910.
After a few more steep (but not insurmountable) “bridge bypasses” we finally reached our lunch time destination at the Old Church Gallery in Moore, a distance of almost 50km from Esk. This is a beautiful old restored church building exhibiting a range of art and crafts. Adjacent to it is a restaurant with beautiful indoor and outdoor seating areas where we had lunch provided by the hospitable owner and staff.
The return trip to Esk was slightly easier in that the overall elevation was downhill. We stopped for refreshments at the Toogoolawah hotel and returned to Esk soon after 4pm.

Been going out regularly recently between Wulkuraka and Lowood (31 Km one way). Trail is now very accessable from the railway station at Wulkuraka. The station lifts make getting from the arrival side (towards Walloon) and onto the trail very easy. In general the trail is in pretty good shape and well maintained through these sections.

I recommend “Big Bens” bakery at Lowood for some refreshments before the ride back. They are just off the main street. Lowood is a very nice little town, it is not too busy and its much less chaotic than Fernvale on the weekend. The park in the area of the old railway station is well set out with seating and tables for a picnic or to eat your takeaways. Toilets are also very clean and well serviced.

For those wishing to make a weekend of it and stay in Lowood, and perhaps go further on the BVRT, there are camp sites available at the Lowood Showgrounds.

A friend and I chose to ride the Esk to Coominya section of the BVRT. We hired very good mountain bikes from the friendly and helpful people of the Esk Caravan Park – these bikes were ideal for the terrain. The ride was very pleasant and scenic, with a very good riding surface. There were 4 bridges that were boarded up to prevent cyclists travelling on them, but excellent detours had been constructed, including concrete on the steep and possibly slippery sections. There was also an abundance of bird and animal life along the way. Although there was good signage along the way showing you were on the BVRT, there were no distance markers along the way – this would enhance the experience knowing what distance you had traveled or still had to go. We stopped in Coominya for a welcome coffee and to fill our water bottles before returning to Esk on the same route. The entire trip took us 3.5 hours including the various photo opportunity stops and refreshment break.

My wife and I travelled from NSW to ride the BVRT from Yarraman to Wulkuraka recently.

The trail is progressing and has the potential to be a great trail. Dave and Josie from ‘Out There Cycling’ provide excellent transport services at reasonable prices and are happy to provide local knowledge and advice.

The trail is a real mixed bag. Having cycled trails in other states and overseas it suffers from the same issue as many rail trails- funding ! It has the key ingredients to be a great trail. There are friendly, welcoming towns evenly spaced combined with iconic Australian scenery, fauna & flora.

The need for more funding is evident with the trail surface in need of significant improvement. We had touring bikes with panniers. Most touring bikes have hybrid tyres and need to be highly inflated. Even though the trail is promoted as an ‘adventure trail’ suitable for mountain bikes, for bike tourers it is a challenge. This is mainly due to the sections that have large loose chunks of blue metal ballast exposed.

Other issues are the lack of bridges . Even though the creeks were dry at the time of our visit and most have a strip of concrete to assist traversing the quite frequent creek beds, they have potential to be unsafe. I heard from one cyclist who told us that he and his cycling partner had bad falls when they came across ice at the bottom of the dip. Beware -they can be quite steep and slippery! Many of the trestle bridges are still present and fenced off. The most difficult crossing was near Fernvale but it was made bearable to see the old bridge being rebuilt and will be great once completed!

It would be a terrific trail if the surface was consistently surfaced like the new Moore to Toogoolawah section and the bridges were able to be utilised. The final suggested improvement which would allow the trail to flow is to keep adding livestock grids to eradicate the need to open gates.

Good on Queensland for developing rail trails of significant distances. Certainly a long way ahead of my home state!

Rode my hybrid bike from Fernvale to Lockyer River and back in July. Very dry with plenty of cattle on the trail. It is tedious stopping for all the gates, but I understand the reason for them. Rough little sections over the water courses.
Would have gone further but didn’t want to get my feet wet. Looking forward to a repaired bridge
Very impressed with the Native plant garden planted outside Lowood, lots of loverly flowering plants. Thanks Pete’s Hobby Nursery made the ride.
Hope Somerset Council can secure funding to make improvements to the trail. Toilets, lunch stops, distance markers and water supply can make this a great rail trail. Looking foward to coming back to do more.

We rode from Fernvale to Esk (46kms) on Saturday, overnighted and returned the next day. It had rained during the week before but found the trail well drained. Good mountain bike cycling on coarse gravel trail. I rang Peter Kleis (Rail Trail Ranger) for advice on the trail a couple of days before our ride and he was very helpful.

Completed Benarkin to Yarraman and return last weekend. Trail is in reasonable condition.

1 “Taranaki” style gate/fence across the trail very close to another gateway, just prior to Harland park. This was really quite annoying and it was difficult to close, not sure what purpose it actually serves. Some trail users would really struggle with this is my guess.

Some sandy patches the on the run in to Yarraman, but it was quite manageable.

Trail signage at Nukku road was confusing 1 sign indicating a turn to the right (not passing under the road bridge above trail) and then heading away up some unknown side road. I pressed straight on though following the rail trail (in spite of the sign saying advanced it was not too bad in my humble opinion, except for the aforementioned gate) and was rewarded by a couple of startled deer a little further on, and lots of surprised rabbits. All in all it was a nice quiet peaceful ride.

Crystal Café at Yarraman served up a good feed and the staff were very friendly, and keen to see rail trailers!

The Ipswich City Council are undertaking an Outdoor Recreation Plan for the City and would like your input!!

Cycling, Mountain Biking, Horse Riding and Walking are popular outdoor recreation pursuits and we want to know where you recreate, where you’d like to recreate and what can be done to improve outdoor recreation opportunities within the City of Ipswich.

There are three ways to provide your input:

Fill in a short online survey at www.ipswich.qld.gov.au or https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PW5QG2V

Attend a user group workshop on Monday 2nd December 5.30pm, Queens Park Environmental Education Centre – Conference Room, Queens Park, Merle Finimore Avenue, Ipswich.

Or email us at info@rossplanning.com.au

By providing your input Council will have a better understanding of the demand for outdoor recreation, as well as plan for future opportunities.

We rode the Toogoolawah to Cominya section over two days on our horses and while stony in parts the horses all handled it ok. My horse wore boots on the front feet but not the back and handled it all fine. The creek crossings were easy, as were all the gates and step overs. This section is all flat and we even managed to have a canter in some parts where there were no stones. The Showgrounds at Esk are a pleasure to stay at ( just don’t try to ride anywhere near the golf course, as the golfers are an anti horse bunch, and you will get hit by a well aimed ball) Our only gripe is that the Summerset Council don’t make it easy to ride and hire the showgrounds. Plan on looking at doing this at least 2 to 3 weeks in advance as bond for the grounds and getting it to them is an issue, and then you have to get it back. Check what you get as the showgrounds are controlled by 3 separate groups. All in all the Rail Trail do a really good job on the tracks and the water tanks and troughs for the horses are first class and it’s just the council that needs to come to the party with making it easer to camp overnight with horses. .Lastly we would like to thank Peter Kleis (Rail Trail Ranger) for making sure we knew where we were going and that all was ok with us.

We rode the Linville to Blackbutt and return last weekend. The trail is very good – there are 4 or so low level creek crossings but these are easily crossed, maybe walking down and up the slopes. One of our group rode a hybred bike but as it had narrow tires, he had two punctures with rocks pinching the tubes.
The track is in very good condition and the local councils should be congratulated and thanked in the way they have maintained the track.
We have been informed that the section from Blackbutt to Yarraman is open and in fairly good condition.

The BV rail trail is open in sections. I have ridden from Esk to Toogoolawah some months ago, and yesterday I rode from Linville to Blackbutt. Both have numerous gates and creek crossings, and the trail is pretty rough in places. Best ridden on a full mountain bike, but a hybrid will also be ok (just).
Parts of the trail are incredible, well worth the effort. Linville to Blackbutt has been the best bit so far.

Has anybody ridden parts or all of this lately? Difficult to know accurately what stage it is at and what parts are open/closed currently. Photos on the web would seem to indicate not yet open parts have been ridden?

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A key section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, the Brassall Bikeway, has reopened. Many ...

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Posted: 24/11/16

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Posted: 06/09/16

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The R&R Rail Trail Duathlon & Fun Run Come and enjoy the  Annnual ...

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Posted: 13/01/16

The Honourable Jackie Trad MP, Deputy Premier has advised that funding has been granted for ...

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Posted: 23/11/15

There are several fallen Trees along the Blakbutt to Benarkin Section of the Brisbane Valley ...

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Posted: 23/11/15

Don't own a horse, Dont ridea bike, Well here is your chance to walk a ...

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Posted: 27/10/15

Users of the Fernvale to Lowood section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail are asked ...

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R and R Rail Trail Duathlon (Brisbane Valley Rail Trail) Sunday 4th October

Posted: 26/09/15

There are differenrt courses avaiable , The 30/30 km long course (Run/Cycle) Minimum age 18 years The 30/30 ...

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Posted: 07/09/15

Experience the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail like never before, by Moonlight. Cycle from Esk to ...

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Posted: 25/08/15

Spring has sprung at Blackbutt, so come and enjoy a weekend of Flowers, Bands, Quilts ...

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Stage one of the 2015  Womens End to End ride will be happining from Yarraman to ...

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Saturday May 30 is stage two of the great end to end Brisbane Valley Rail Trail ...

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Posted: 23/05/15

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Cycling Somerset are holding a ride along the lower section of the BVRT on November 1 ...

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Posted: 13/10/14

Come and enjoy a cycle  along  the Toogoolawah to Coominya  section on the Brisbane Valley ...

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Come and enjoy the inaugural Rail Trail Duathlon  on the BVRT  just 2 hours north west ...

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Posted: 18/08/14

Ride the Scenic Yarraman to Moore section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail on Saturday ...

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Posted: 27/07/14

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Posted: 22/07/14

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Posted: 17/07/14

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Posted: 04/07/14

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Posted: 21/06/14

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A new replacement bridge on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail at Esk was opened on ...

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Posted: 27/04/13

A day of activities has been arranged to celebrate the centenary of the Yarraman railway ...

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Posted: 08/09/12

7th September 2012 (Apologies for the late notice) The Festival is Queensland’s only festival focussing ...

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Posted: 06/09/12

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Community Grants are open again this year for the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail as well ...

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You are invited to the official opening of the Yarraman to Harland Park section of ...

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Parts of Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Reopened (QLD)

Posted: 13/08/11

Esk - Toogoolawah section was re-opened on Saturday 30 th July! 100km of the BVRT was ...

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Bloomin’ Beautiful Blackbutt Festival 2011 (QLD)

Posted: 10/08/11

You and your friends are invited to Blackbutt and the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail during ...

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Brisbane Valley Rail Trail – Working Bee #2 (QLD)

Posted: 28/02/11

Toowoomba Regional Council will be providing support for the volunteer efforts on the day with ...

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Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Grants Available (QLD)

Posted: 08/02/11

Community partnerships program – Does your organisation need more information or advice on your project? 4th ...

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Working Bee – Brisbane Valley Rail trail – 18 Feb (QLD)

Posted: 06/02/11

An invitation from the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail committee: ...

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Linville Station Turns 100! (QLD)

Posted: 23/10/10

Linville Station Building. Photo credit: Alexander McCooke The ...

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Rain Delays Work on Brisbane Valley Rail Trail

Posted: 19/08/10

Media release: South Burnett Regional Council Manager of Council Facilities, Kerry Mercer, said that 75ml ...

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Brisbane Valley Rail Trail to open 100th Kilometre

Posted: 02/07/10

You are invited to celebrate the completion of 100km of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. ...

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Opening of the Toogoolawah section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (QLD)

Posted: 23/11/09

There will be an official opening of the Toogoolawah section of the Brisbane Valley Rail ...

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Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (QLD) – Community Information Session

Posted: 30/09/09

Toowoomba Regional Council will be providing support for the volunteer efforts on the day with ...

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Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Fun Run

Posted: 27/06/09

There are two options to this run, the 8.3km run or the shorter 3km run ...

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Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Grants Available

Posted: 20/04/09

The Queensland Department of Infrastructure and Planning has provided the follwoing information which should be ...

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Brisbane Valley Rail Trail – Coominya Section Opened

Posted: 15/12/08

Coominya Section Opening On Saturday 15 November, Coominya celebrated its Christmas Carnival and became the next ...

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Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (Qld) Openings

Posted: 17/05/08

Some good news from the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. After flood damage caused the closure ...

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Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (Qld) Draft Plan Open for Comment

Posted: 21/01/08

The first state-government funded section of the 148km Brisbane Valley Rail Trail was opened on ...

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Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (Qld) Official Opening and Public Plan Release

Posted: 05/11/07

A further 7km of section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail between Moore and Linville ...

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