Trail Open

Carnarvon Tramway

Western Australia

Location: 904km north of Perth
Length: 3 km
Surface: Coarse gravel
Start / End: Carnarvon to Carnarvon
Public Transport: None
Suitable for:
  • Cycling – Mountain BikesCycling – Mountain Bikes
  • Cycling – Touring and Hybrid BikesCycling – Touring and Hybrid Bikes
  • WalkingWalking

Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • Links the town of Carnarvon with the heritage precinct around One Mile Jetty

Nearby Attractions

  • One Mile Jetty Interpretive Centre. Note: the jetty is currently unsafe and closed to visitors
  • Railway and lighthouse museums including ‘Kimberley’, the tramway’s last working locomotive
  • Unique regional flora and fauna; Dawson burrowing bees can be seen between July and September
  • The railway line has been rebuilt and the trail runs beside the rails
  • Interpretive signboards along the trail

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Background Information

Before the construction of the North West Coastal Highway, shipping provided the only link between Carnarvon and the outside world. The tramway was built in 1900 to link the town and One Mile Jetty, crossing the mangrove swamps around Babbage and Whitlock Islands. One Mile Jetty continued to be used as a deep-sea port until the 1980s.

Traditional owners

We acknowledge the Inggarda, Baiyunga, Thalanji, Malgana and Thudgarri people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built.

Rail line history 

The tramway was made of two-foot gauge railway line and ran for more than two miles. As part of the tramway, a 323 m long timber bridge was built across the southern arm of the Gascoyne River, connecting Whitlock Island to the mainland.

Floods in 1902 and 1904 caused considerable damage to the tramway and the tramway was raised and converted to three foot six inch gauge.

The first locomotive used on the tramway was the ‘Kia Ora,’ now part of the Rail Transport Museum in Bassendean.