- Rail Trail
- On Road
- Possible Rail Trail
- Other Trail
- former Railway
- Experience history, Lake Hume, one of Australia’s largest reservoirs, high timber bridges and the foothills of the High Country
- The trail traverses farmland near the shores of Lake Hume and forest at Shelley, once Victoria’s highest railway station
- The trail is undulating to Bullioh with some moderate gradients. Bullioh to Shelley is all uphill at the steepest gradient trains could manage. Plan your trip
- Trail surface is of varying quality beyond Old Tallangatta
- The 600 m Sandy Creek bridge is a scenic landmark
- Albury/Wodonga has many attractions including the Murray River at Wodonga and Bonegilla Migrant Museum
- Recreation facilities around Lake Hume
- Old Tallangatta, the town that moved!
- Many National and State Parks to explore. There are good views from lookouts and mountaintops (including the Main Range of Kosciuszko National Park) and plenty of picnic and camping areas
The High Country Rail Trail will be eventually 112 km long, in three distinct sections:
- The 6 km high standard urban Wodonga to Bandiana section
- The 37 km good standard rural section around Lake Hume to Tallangatta and Old Tallangatta
- The 37 km section to Shelley is for the more adventurous, but well worth it
Albury/Wodonga is a major regional centre with all services while Tallangatta has some services. There are no services beyond Tallangatta.
- Wodonga: many access points; parking on side roads
- Bandiana: car park at Whytes Rd
- All other stations sites from here have carparks
- Old Tallangatta: no parking at trailhead itself – park at Mitta Bridge rest areas or in Old Tallangatta across causeway
- Shelley – Take Avondale Rd off Murray Valley Hwy at Shelley, past the Shelley accommodation camp
Albury/Wodonga to Bandiana (6 km)
- From Albury station follow the old Hume Hwy 5 km toward Wodonga across the Murray River floodplain to High St and the former Wodonga railway station precinct, which is well worth a visit
- From the Wodonga station precinct travel 200 m east along Reid St to the start of the rail trail
- From here to Bandiana is a very smooth asphalt surface
- Military and history interpretive signs toward the Bandiana Military Museum provide an insight into the role the region and Australia has played in conflict and peacekeeping
- Many other interpretive signs, so many excuses to stop and read. Kangaroos are common near the military facilities
Albury and Wodonga are major regional cities with all facilities. There is a hotel and takeaway near Bandiana.
Bandiana to Huon (17 km)
- A bitumen surface to Ebden, then a wide, smooth gravel surface to Huon
- The army has taken over some of the former line and the very long trestle bridges across the Kiewa river flats have been demolished, so a diversion with boardwalk and low level bridges has been built across the Kiewa River flats.
- There is a steep gradient at Whytes Rd
- Make use of the picnic tables at Kiewa River to enjoy the scenery
- After crossing Kiewa River, the trail joins the original rail alignment; leaving the river red gum forest the trail rises slowly to Mahers Rd with the first views of Lake Hume
- From Mahers Rd the trail passes beneath Murray Valley Hwy then heads south with the Mitta Arm of Lake Hume to one side, hills on the other and mountains in the distance. There are many locations for a refreshing dip on a hot day, especially when the water level is high
- The trail descends to Huon where the platform, goods shed, weighbridge and some rolling stock remain. If water levels are very low, the remains of the original station site can be recognised further down the hill
- This trail features sites rich in cultural history such as Bonegilla station site
- At Bonegilla, a diversion to the large dam wall is worthwhile. Follow Bonegilla Rd north; along the way visit Block 19, the Bonegilla Migrant Experience Heritage Park
Huon to Tallangatta (12 km)
- From Huon to the 600 m Sandy Creek bridge with its distinctive ‘red sticks’.
- From Sandy Creek to Tallangatta the trail surface has one side sealed and the other smooth gravel
Tallangatta is a small regional town with some food and accommodation, including a bakery and choices for coffee.
Tallangatta to Old Tallangatta (8 km)
- The trail is sealed all the way from Tallangatta to the Mitta bridge, an impressive structure
- At Old Tallangatta, turn left at the over-bridge and follow the road for 1 km to see the few remaining buildings of the township; if the weir level is low take a stroll around the building foundations
- There is an interpretive sign at a viewing point up on the highway
- No facilities at Old Tallangatta
Old Tallangatta to Shelley (37 km)
- This section is for the more adventurous, but has many rewards
- No drinking water or toilet after Tallangatta
- From Old Tallangatta to Bullioh the trail is basically flat and a little rough as it winds up the valley
- A stone step crossing of Tallangatta Creek requires a diversion on to Murray Valley Hwy in wet weather
- A short on-road diversion at Bullioh around the station area
- From Bullioh the trail climbs almost continuously for 28 km at the maximum gradient trains could manage. Cyclists should consider starting at Shelley unless they are quite fit or on a fully charged e-bike
- There are many reasons to stop with wonderful views between Bullioh and Derbyshire and three tall timber bridges, including the highest in Victoria
- After Derbyshire the trail enters forest and follows a creek
- A 1 km diversion on to the highway to get around the 76 m long Boggy Creek bridge near Koetong (viewing platform)
- Boggy Creek bridge can be reached by car; from Wodonga, turn left off Murray Valley Hwy before Koetong on the Mt Lawson road that leads to Mt Lawson State Park
- From Koetong, after a short descent to Koetong Creek, it is a steady but picturesque climb to Shelley
- Many large timber bridges in this section, some of which have been restored by voluntary community participation; others have a diversion around them
- Enjoy a break in the forest at Shelley station, at 781 m Victoria’s highest station site
- The only facilities are at the Shelley Forest Camp (booking required)
- Other places to visit include the summit of Mt Lawson and its loop nature trail, Conic Range Walking Track, a 1.5 km walk off Firebrace Rd, great views of the Koetong Creek Valley, and Avondale Gardens Reserve. Follow the signs from Shelley off Avondale Rd
Beetoomba (9 km)
Part of the future section to Cudgewa and Corryong is accessible, but it is only for keen walkers and mountain bike riders as the surface is rough and there are low-level crossings around the four bridges in this section.
We acknowledge the Waveroo and Jaitmatang people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built.
Development and future of the rail trail
Many developments are under way and planned to improve this trail.
Parklands Albury/Wodonga, in conjunction with three local voluntary advisory groups, is working on improving the Old Tallangatta to Shelley section and opening the Shelley to Cudgewa section.
When the rail bypass of Wodonga opened, Rail Trails Australia supported local organisations to extend the trail from Bandiana into Wodonga; this is now complete to a high standard, providing an important backbone for the local off-road path system and preserving an important piece of history. Rail Trails Australia supports extending the rail trail across the Murray floodplains toward Albury.
Development of the trail began in 1996. Highlights of its development include
- opening of the 600 m Sandy Creek bridge in 2012 to link Bandiana and Tallangatta
- opening in 2019 of the fifth volunteer-restored bridge at Dry Forest Creek at Bullioh to link Tallangatta with Shelley
Construction of the branch line began in 1887 and reached Tallangatta (now Old Tallangatta) in 1891. Cudgewa was not reached until 1921 due to the difficult terrain and labour shortages. According to legend, Corryong and Tintaldra were arguing over which should get the railway but the era of the motor car arrived before the argument could be settled, leaving the small township of Cudgewa as the terminus.
Construction of Hume Dam required the line between Ludlows and the present Tallangatta to be shifted up the hill in the early 1930s. In the 1950s the level of the dam was raised requiring further track deviations, the lifting of the Sandy Creek bridge and the shifting of the entire town of Tallangatta.
During the 1960s the railway carried construction materials for the Snowy Mountains Scheme as well as regular cattle and general goods trains. Construction also sped road improvements in the area, increasing competition for the railway. The last regular goods train ran in 1978 and the line officially closed in 1981.
Observing the remains of Bonegilla station platform, with only a few farmhouses in sight, it is hard to believe the part this area played in the lives of so many Australians. During World War II a major military training camp was established at Bonegilla, and following the war until 1971 the location was a reception centre for more than 320,000 migrants; you can listen to their stories in the excellent visitor centre at Block 19 (off Bonegilla Rd on the way to the dam wall). Remarkably, despite this number of people arriving in Bonegilla a station building was never built, let alone a siding. Now the former station’s small claim to fame is its native grassland reserve.
Also at Bandiana South is a large military museum that provides a vivid reminder of what was until recent times a very large military presence in the area.
Wodonga’s and Bandiana’s large railway facilities are now largely gone.
The 600m Sandy Creek bridge (2012)
Allow time to take in the spectacular views between Bullioh and Koetong (2019)
Lake Hume is full as riders approach Tallangatta. (2012)
The old (bypassed) Wodonga station site is a focal point of the city again (2019).
The section in Wodonga has a high quality surface and lots of interpretive signage and remnants of the railway. (2019)
Bonegilla station, which played a small role in the lives of many Australians (2011)
The Hume Dam near Bonegilla (2011)
Community groups have restored the Ebden station platform (2013)
Summer on Lake Hume at Ludlows Reserver (2013)
Horse riders enjoying the view near Huon (2002)
Riding between Tallangatta and Old Tallangatta (2008)
Old and new technology! (2019)
Crossing the Mitta Mitta River bridge near Old Tallangatta over an empty Lake Hume. The scenery varies with seasons and rainfall (2019)
Old Tallangatta (2008)
The surface between Old Tallangatta and Bullioh will be improved shortly but the scenery is worth it in the meantime. (2019)
Volunteer restored Dry Forest Creek bridge completed the trail from Wodonga to Shelley in Oct 2019.
One of the famous 'high bridges' near Derbyshire. This one is the highest remaining in Victoria, with an easily graded bypass around it. (2019)
Several of the bridges have volunteer made creative and practical sculptures all from reclaimed materials. (2019)
There is 28km of climbing from Bullioh up to Shelley, easy going down!
Cycling besides the Dry Forest Creek near Koetong (2019)
The Koetong Creek bridge is one of five restored by volunteers (2019)
Cruising down from Shelley to Koetong. Where bridges are bypassed they are evenly graded. (2019)
Shelley station is now very quite, ideal for a picnic. (2012)
There is a multitude of engaging signs providing background on local, railway and natural history. (2019)
Section of the former mainline between Wodonga and Albury, which should become part of the rail trail. (2011)
Lazy Acres Appaloosa & Beef
Lazy Acres Glamping is part of an Appaloosa horse stud at Koetong, which is 4 kms from Shelley Station on the High Country Rail Trail. Includes one luxury caravan which is totally self sufficient (in fact a small house) in a paddock with plenty of room for horses, cars and trailers. Plus your own firepit, BBQ, access to the camp kitchen and the whole garden that includes a permamently 37 deg hot spa, all in a magic location. Facebook link is “Lazy Acres in the mountains Koetong north east Victoria.”
AllTrails Bicycle Tours
AllTrails Bicycle Tours have been running multi-day cycle tours around Victoria and across the country for nearly 25 years and once again in 2022 we return to the High Country Rail Trail. This group tour takes in three of the best trails in Victoria (High Country, Great Vic and Murray to Mountains) – a wonderful way to see multiple trails with full support and great accommodation, all with minimal effort and organisation on your part.
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Victorian Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford has announced funding of $205,000 to support projects to ...More...
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The large timber bridge at Koetong on the High Country Rail Trail in north east ...More...
The federal government has announced total funding of $512,281 to carry out improvements to 17 kilometres of ...More...
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Following the remarkable progress made in January when all girders on the 600m bridge were ...More...
The High Country Rail Trail ( NE Victoria) has bridged the 600m long gap across Lake ...More...
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The long awaited bridging of the gap is in ...More...
From Sunday 9th November VLine trains to Wangaratta and Wodonga will be replaced by buses ...More...
Looking forward to when the gap can be bridged. (2005). ...More...
Photo Credit: Alexander McCooke Update: Due to the ...More...
Gathering at the Kiewa River to open the bridges ...More...
Kiewa River bridge under construction. Photo Credit: Damian McCrohan 2006[/...More...