Trail Open

Great Southern Rail Trail & Tarra Trail

Victoria - Gippsland

4.4 based on 27 reviews
Location: South Gippsland, 130km from Melbourne
Length: 74 km
Surface: Fine gravel
Start / End: Leongatha to Port Welshpool
Public Transport: Coach
Suitable for:
  • Cycling – Mountain BikesCycling – Mountain Bikes
  • Cycling – Touring and Hybrid BikesCycling – Touring and Hybrid Bikes
  • Horse RidingHorse Riding
  • PramsPrams
  • WalkingWalking
  • WheelchairsWheelchairs

Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • Farmlands, 90-metre-high canopies of various species of eucalypts, fungi, wildflowers, lichen, moss, and fern gullies
  • A foodies’ paradise, farm gate produce, craft shops and tourist attractions such as the rural town of Yarram further east, Coal Creek Heritage Village and Wilsons Promontory National Park


  •  A picturesque rail trail close to Melbourne, Phillip Island and Wilsons Promontory
  • Many major improvements in recent years including the opening of the Black Spur bridges near Koonwarra in March 2016
  • Pretty towns and villages with many opportunities to savour local fare, such as Moo’s Cafe at Meeniyan
  • a wide, smooth, hard-packed gravel surface and only one crossing of a major road, after Meeniyan
  • Take the full 74 km journey or choose shorter segments for a more leisurely outing. Stop and explore the towns linked along the trail with their unique stories and experiences as well as terrific coffee, shopping and dining

Trail Guide

Works are in full swing to realign the South Gippsland Highway between Koonwarra and Meeniyan. Temporary barriers have been installed along the trail; though work will largely be behind these barriers, there may be times you will see on the trail. Traffic controllers may stop you briefly to allow machinery and vehicles to cross: please follow signage and instructions. View the full October construction update or for more information on the upgrade, visit the South Gippsland Highway Upgrade webpage.

Access Points

  • Leongatha: Horticultural Park, 1 Young St
  • Koonwarra: adjacent to the Koonwarra Café.
  • Meeniyan: 10 0m north of the shops off the Nerrena-Meeniyan road
  • 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
  • Welshpool: Memorial Hall Reserve, South Gippsland Hwy
  • Port Welshpool: Port Welshpool Foreshore Reserve, Lewis St
  • Yarram: next to the old railway station site
  • Port Albert: Port Albert Jetty

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

Section Guides

Leongatha-Meeniyan (16 km)

  • From Leongatha to Koonwarra the trail descends gently to the dairy farming country for which this area is renowned. Give way to dairy cattle crossing the trail!
  • near Koonwarra the trail enters ti-tree and eucalypt bushland, including seasonal and permanent wetlands
  • at Koonwarra, an underpass goes beneath 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 Tarwin River near Meeniyan

Leongatha is a major regional centre with all facilities.

Koonwarra has a general store and bakery, ideal for an intermediate break.

Meeniyan is a small town but its exceptional facilities include accommodation, shops, a gallery and many dining options. A recent Gippsland Tourism Town of Excellence Award winner, Meeniyan has an involved and progressive community and offers free wi-fi throughout the town.

Meeniyan-Hoddle Range-Foster (32 km)

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

  • The trail passes through lowland forest
  • From Stony Creek to Buffalo the trail is undulating. Just over 2 km 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 common sights here
  • There is a functioning weighbridge at Buffalo railway station that will be the nucleus of a future museum
  • The trail then enters the foothills of the Hoddle Range. Several cuttings and embankments provide 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 6 km to Hoddle Summit, named after Robert Hoddle, Victoria’s first Surveyor-General. It crosses the summit at an elevation of 140 m just past Lowrys Rd.
  • 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 southeast
  • Only a platform remains at Foster station site but there are plans to make it a community feature. Follow Station Rd for 1 km to 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 Gurneys Cider Cafe on the north side of the trail.

Foster is a larger town and has facilities for visitors enjoying the spectacular sea views.

Foster-Toora-Welshpool (19 km)

The trail from here is flat and relatively straight, through lush dairy country interspersed with eucalypts around watercourses.

  • The biggest feature of this section is the wind turbines on the hill behind Toora
  • Toora station precinct has a park and skateboard ramp
  • Toora has a supermarket, swimming pool, caravan park, motel, hotel, cafes and restaurants
  • Welshpool is a small town with limited facilities

Welshpool-Port Welshpool connecting trail (5 km) 

From Welshpool, is a connecting trail to the coast is initially an off-road 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 northern section of Wilsons Promontory National Park.

Alberton-Yarram: “The Tarra Trail” (7 km)

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 trail follows the old railway alignment for 6.5 km. 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, which features many historic buildings
  • There are plans to extend the trail to Port Albert
  • Parks include Memorial Hall Reserve at Welshpool, Port Welshpool, Foreshore Reserve in Lewis St, adjacent to the site of the old railway station in Yarram, and at Port Albert Jetty

Background Information

Traditional owners

We acknowledge the Gunnai, Bun Wurrung and Wurundjeri people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built.

Development and future of the rail trail 

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

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

Railway History

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


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27 reviews of “Great Southern Rail Trail & Tarra Trail”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).
> 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!


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ...


Great Southern Rail Trail Relaunch – 26 November 2016

Posted: 05/11/16

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


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Posted: 06/03/16

There is another option for your Victorian Labour Day or Easter holiday planning! A big ...


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Posted: 19/10/14

Joining Mr Ryan at the announcement were The Nationals ...


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

Posted: 05/06/14

What features of GSRT would you like to see promoted? How should GSRT be branded? ...


Great Southern Rail Trail Power Supply Work (VIC)

Posted: 19/01/14

Transfield Services are replacing some of SP AusNet’s power lines with new conductors on 23...


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

Posted: 01/09/13

The opening ceremony at Foster Cyclists, runners and ...


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

Posted: 04/04/12

A Media Release from the Premier of Victoria. (3 April 2012) Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional ...


Great Southern Rail Trail (Vic) Bridge Opening Celebrations

Posted: 09/06/08

The new and the old. Photo credit: David Levin[/...


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

Posted: 30/03/08

Sleek modern structure glides past the old Tarwin River ...


Great Southern Rail Trail (Gippsland, Victoria) Heritage Day

Posted: 02/01/07

On Sunday 14th January 2007 the South Gippsland Tourist Railway is celebrating the reopening of their ...


Great Southern Rail Trail (Victoria) seeks loans for bridge

Posted: 18/12/05

The Committee of Management of the Great Southern Rail Trail in Gippsland, Victoria (see description) ...


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

Posted: 02/11/05

As part Catchment Week celebrations the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority is hosting a Bike &...


Great Southern Rail Trail Weekend

Posted: 24/11/04

The breakfast group at Korumburra. Photo credit: Alexander McCooke[/...


The Great Southern Rail Trail Discovery Weekend

Posted: 03/11/04

The friends of the Great Southern Rail Trail in South Gippsland have organised a weekend ...


Great Southern Rail Trail Open (Vic)

Posted: 27/01/04

The Great Southern Rail Trail is now officially open through to Foster. For details of ...


Grant for Great Southern Rail Trail (Vic)

Posted: 10/01/02

The Minister for Environment and Conservation, Hon. Cheryl Garbutt, announced that the Bracks Government have ...


Victorian Trail Developments

Posted: 13/08/01

There have been developments on a number of Victorian trails in recent months. A quick ...


Great Southern Rail Trail (Vic)

Posted: 03/07/01

The Great Southern Rail Trail have a new information brochure. It is available by writing ...


Great Southern Rail Trail (Vic)

Posted: 14/02/01

The Great Southern Rail Trail have a new information brochure. It is available by writing ...


Railtrails at the Melbourne Bicycle Show

Posted: 31/10/00

Railtrails were well represented at the bike show in Melbourne with almost half of the "...


Great Southern Rail Trail Update (Victoria)

Posted: 24/09/00

The next section of The Great Southern Rail Trail between Meeniyan and Stony Creek should ...


October Events (Victoria)

Posted: 24/09/00

Railtrails at Melbourne Bicycle Show Sunday 15 October The Bicycling Australia Show is on Sunday 15 October ...


Gippsland Railtrails News

Posted: 16/06/00

East Gippsland Rail Trail Bairnsdale to Nicholson In the next few weeks, this section of ...


Victorian News Roundup

Posted: 31/10/99

Work has started in Wangaratta on the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail. When complete, this ...


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