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Mary to Bay Rail Trail (Fraser Coast)

Queensland - Central

4.4 based on 8 reviews
Location: 288km north of Brisbane
Length: 32 km
Surface: Coarse gravel, Fine gravel, Loose sand, Railway ballast, Sealed
Start / End: Maryborough to Hervey Bay
Public Transport: Coach
Suitable for:
  • Cycling – Mountain BikesCycling – Mountain Bikes
  • Cycling – Touring and Hybrid BikesCycling – Touring and Hybrid Bikes
  • PramsPrams
  • Scooters and Inline SkatesScooters and Inline Skates
  • WalkingWalking
  • WheelchairsWheelchairs

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Potential RT
  • Other Trail
  • Former Railway
View Map

This Rail Trail consists of two distinct sections

This Rail Trail, still under development, consists of two distinct sections – urban and rural. When complete, it will ultimately connect the heritage city of Maryborough to the seaside city of Hervey Bay. It is a work in progress and trekkers will need to exercise discretion in what route to take as they travel from one section to another.

The sealed urban section is a high quality rail trail provides a safe off-road connecting the main centres of the major regional seaside town of Hervey Bay, from Urangan Pier to Nikenbah.

  • It provides access to the beaches and the 868m long pier at Urangan
  • There are many road crossings and care needs to be exercised at most
  • The foreshore shared path along the coast from the Urangan Pier makes a very scenic loop trail back to Pialba
  • Along this stretch there are an increasing number of cafes and restaurants opening to keep users fueled up and keen

The unsealed rural section starts at Piggford Lane (off the Maryborough-Hervey Bay Road), and continues towards Maryborough, almost to the Colton station site.  See Section Guides for more detail

● This section has a lot of rough sandy and gravel sections, mainly suited to bikes with wider tyres- mountain bikes, hybrid bikes and most ebikes.
● Traverses paperbark forest with no facilities.

Nearby Attractions

The Fraser Coast has many wonderful attractions and activities.  A few are listed below.

  • Visit Queens Park Maryborough
  • Go To The Maryborough Markets
  • Discover the restored Pialba Railway Station building
  • Browse Through Brennan And Geraghty’s Store Museum
  • Discover The Maryborough Military And Colonial Museum
  • Take a fun train ride on the ‘Mary Ann’ throughout Maryborough’s Queens Park alongside Mary River
  • Go Whale Watching July Through November
  • Take A Stroll Along The Esplanade
  • Visit The Botanic Gardens In Urangan
  • Visit The 868 meter Long Urangan Pier
  • Visit the Burrum District museum at Howard
  • Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum
  • Take A Trip To Fraser Island Queensland

Last updated: 19 September 2023

Access Points

  • Urraween – Parking on side of road (wide verges)
  • Pialba – Parking available at the Hervey Bay Community Centre with walk/cycle path connections to the rail trail.
  • Urangan – At the Pier
  • Nikenbah – Park on side of road (wide verges)
  • Walligan Station Picnic area – access via Dundowran Road
  • Takura Station Picnic Area – access via Torbanlea Pialba Road.
  • Churchill Mine Trail Head 9km from Dundathu or 11km from Torbanlea.

Section Guides

Urangan to Pialba (6.9km)

  • Wide sealed trail surface connects the main centres of the coastal city of Hervey Bay.
  • Many shops and restaurants near to the trail

Pialba to Nikenbah (6.9km)

  • Wide sealed trail surface connects the main centre to southerly suburbs.
  • Many shops and restaurants for the first few kms of this section
  • There are no facilities near the trail head, except a cafe at Nikenbah

 Piggford Lane, Nikenbah to Walligan (Stockyard Creek) (4.5km)

  • Due to having no formal crossing of the busy Maryborough – Hervey Bay Rd, this section currently starts at Piggford Lane
  • Wide smooth gravel trail surface through bushland with quite a bit of bird life.
  • There are no facilities in this section, except a shelter at Walligan trailhead

At Stockyard Creek a very scenic lagoon used for watering steam trains for many decades can be found a couple of hundred metres downstream (to the left) of the rail trail.

Stockyard Creek to Takura (2km)

  • Rough sandy and gravel section, not officially developed, which may not be accessible after wet weather
  • There are two rough crossings at missing bridges between Stockyard Creek and Takura
  • Isolated section with no facilities
  • Picnic table at Takura station site

Takura to Colton (11km)

This section has a lot of rough sandy and gravel sections mainly suited to bikes with quite wide tyres, and walking

A further 7.2 km from Takura has been developed passing through woodland area, with bridge bypasses and signage.  The Circuit is still developing, and story boards will be installed at a later date.  Churchill Mine Rd Trail Head provides a pleasant rest area and parking, near the Susan River trestle bridge. The trail has now been developed for another 3.8km.
Safety and etiquette signage at Takura and Churchill Mine Trail Heads provides good advice for these next 11kms. This includes downloading the Emergency Plus app on mobile phones. Be prepared.
Walkers, horse riders, mountain and e-bikers will enjoy this lengthy section, taking in the birdlife and natural beauty this Wallum country offers.
Approximately 5 kms west of Takura the Trail provides access to the Colliery Circuit extensive walking tracks where the remains of the area’s coal mining history are still evident.

  • Runs through paperbark forest with no facilities
  • Newest section of the trail, built entirely by volunteers
  • This section is isolated, and the only road access points are at Torbanlea – Pialba Rd at Takura, and Churchill Mine Road.
  • Some missing bridges, but good bypasses built by volunteers
  • We advise you to bring plenty of water, and don’t travel alone on this section

Maryborough (3km)

Council has constructed the first section from the Maryborough end in 2023.

  • From Walker St (across from cemetery beside Zemek Bridge overpass) to Quarry Rd.
  • High quality unsealed surface.

Do you know of a bike hire or transportation service on this rail trail that should appear here? If so, let us know at admin@railtrails.org.au.

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8 reviews of “Mary to Bay Rail Trail (Fraser Coast)”

As the description states; this ride consists of various surfaces with parts to the Western end best suited for wide tyres. Trail is not completed however I was able to push on to Aldershot by crossing through some fences taking care not to damage them. I then popped out onto the Bruce Hwy and shortly after located the Maryborough end of the trail which felt like a highway.

Last week, We traveled the 20 or so Km from Urangan Pier. Good bitumen surface to Nikenbak, short distance mowed grass to Piggford Lane, then very good dirt surface about next 6 or 8 Km to the unmade creek crossing where we stopped.
Sign@ge could be improved, especially around Unwarra (?) Road. In other places Fraser Coast Bicycle Users Group has provided handy signage.
Next visit we may tackle the entire run to Maryborough.
Overall, where we travelled, it is better than BVRT!

Great to see improvements continue for the Mary to Bay Rail Trail, with additional wayfinding signs in the Urangan and Pialba areas. Still not clear indication at King St Urangan for the Pier St connection. Trail map on sign at Hunter St Pialba unfortunately bypasses the whale sculpture, Regional Gallery area and railway remnants. The Depot Cafe at Nikenbar, accessed via trail gate, is a must for coffee etc. Sealed trail still ends with no trail crossing at Maryborough Hervey Bay Rd. Restart trail at Piggford Ln towards Maryborough for gravel sections open. See also Facebook 'Mary2Bay Rail Trail Discussion'page for current community involvement and updates.

This certainly is a well built and designed rail trail. It is well used by locals and when I was there the electric scooters certainly outnumbered the cyclists. It has a very good coat of bitumen which I would say has very low maintenance and the local council keep the lawns and infrastructure well maintained. It has all the bells and whistles that you could expect from an urban cycling path.
Hervey Bay is worth visiting, but for my liking the place is really just becoming another city landscape. The beach areas and the pier are worthy of a visit and as I only rode the sealed area I can’t say much about the section. This is more remote and would be good to visit as this is more to my liking and more rural landscape is at the Maryborough end of the trail. I think this would appeal more to the adventure cyclists. I understand behind the scenes there is a group of dedicated locals working towards improving this section.

We are back in Hervey Bay and it isn't raining. Rode the complete trail from the Jetty to the end of the dirt section off Piggford Road. It is 3.5km from Piggford Rd to the end of the dirt section. Very smooth surface with two new bridges. At the end of the trail is a missing bridge, which would have been quite long. You could push down to the low level crossing and continue further down towards Maryborough, however 4 wheel drivers have been down and churned up the area into a huge deep rutted mud bath. No way of getting through on a bike unless you like getting muddy. Very inconsiderate, especially since there are signs up saying no vehicles beyond this point.
Read my previous review for the rest of the trail.

Wow this is a very top class rail trail. Hot mix all the way from the jetty to Maryborough-Hervey Bay Rd. Too wet for us to go any further unfortunately. The surface is wide and smooth, and neat and tidy lawn and gardens on each side all the way. Felt like we could have rode on this all day, but it would not stop raining. Hervey Bay residents are so lucky to have this trail running through the middle of the city. 🛴🚲❤

Trail from Urangan to Nikenbah is fully sealed.
Nikenbah to Pigford Lane not clear but bypassing along the main road is possible.
Pigford to Walligan rest area is packed gravel and clear.
Walligan to Torbanlea Road has two removed bridges which maybe impassible when wet, surface is loose ballast but not hard to ride some over growth and small trees down.
Beyond that I have not ventured.

Road from Maryborough RWS to Urangan Pier via mainline and then the rail trail this morning – 58ks and 4 hours later arrived in the Bay. Great ride, challenging in places, especially through the forestry when you enter the trail head off the mainline north of Aldershot. Much work to be done on the trail at that end, but what an asset it will be. Recommend the ride for those wanting adventure as well as the rail trail experience. Steve Kingaroy.

Background Information

Traditional Owners

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

Development and future of the rail trail

The trail is managed by the Fraser Coast Regional Council, who extended the trail to the Urangan Pier, which links it up with the foreshore shared path along the Bay water front.

Discussions are currently under way to determine a suitable crossing of the busy Hervey Bay to Maryborough Rd to join the rural and urban sections together.

The Council, supported by local cycling groups such as the Fraser Coast BUG, have developed a plan for the whole of the former line to be converted to a rail trail and a connection made from Colton to Maryborough to provide a safe link between the two cities.

Rail Line History

The former railway branched off the North Coast main line at Colton, just above Maryborough. It reached Pialba in 1896 and was extended to Urangan in 1913. The line carried out a lot of pineapples from local farms and goods from the Urangan Pier and brought in a lot of picnic trains from Maryborough.  The last section of the line closed in 1993.

New section of Mary to Bay Rail Trail officially opened

Posted: 26/08/23

An enjoyable morning was had by nearly 350 people who attended the official opening of a ...


Rural section of Mary to Bay Rail Trail progressing well

Posted: 19/03/23

Rail Trails Australia Central Queensland rep Desley O'Grady made a flying visit to Hervey Bay ...


Mary to the Bay Rail Community Consulation Sessions

Posted: 29/01/19

Fraser Coast Regional Council are holding two Community Consulation Drop In Sessions about the planned ...


The 3.2km Hervey Bay Rail Trail Extension Opens

Posted: 22/05/17

The 3.2Km extention of the Rail Trail from Urraween Road to Chapel Road has now ...


Mary to the Bay Rail Trail extension opens (QLD)

Posted: 10/06/16

Photo. Mark Linnett, 2016 The Fraser Coast Regional Council ...

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