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Mary Valley Rail Trail

Queensland - South East

4.2 based on 5 reviews
Location: 158 km north of Brisbane (via Caboolture), 167 km via Gympie, 53 km west of Noosasa
Length: 5 km
Surface: Coarse gravel
Start / End: Imbil (end of William St) to Brooloo
Public Transport: None
Suitable for:
  • Cycling – Mountain BikesCycling – Mountain Bikes
  • Cycling – Touring and Hybrid BikesCycling – Touring and Hybrid Bikes
  • Horse RidingHorse Riding
  • WalkingWalking

Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Potential Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • Good climate most of the year
  • This is a short trail mainly through state forest
  • Imbil is well situated with food and accommodation options
  • Imbil Railway Station is well preserved
  • Suitable for a long walk, or a short out and back ride

July 2022: As a consequence of flooding rainfall events earlier this year, the middle 2km section of the trail has been damaged. Detours are in place that are passable with caution.

Nearby Attractions

  • Scenic rural countryside
  • Imbil has a substantial railway bridge over Yabba Creek
  • Railway history and heritage
  • The Mary Valley Rattler train runs on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday between Gympie and Amamoor (13 km north of Imbil)

Last updated: 7 August 2022

The Stage One 4.5 km open section of the trail runs through the towns of Imbil and Brooloo.

Most of the rail trail passes through State forest; there are bellbirds along the trail as well as many other native animals.

  • The access at Imbil is via William St (limited parking)
  • The access at Brooloo via Sutton St
  • Toilets and drinking water at Imbil
  • A few gates to open and close

Stage 2 (Imbil to Kandanga) and Stage 3 (Kandanga to Anamoor) are currently undergoing a Feasibility Study by Gympie Regional Council. This Study is due to be delivered by 30 June 2023.

Section Guides

Imbil to Brooloo (4.5 km)

  • cafes, hotel, fuel, caravan park, motel
  • no toilets or drinking water at Brooloo

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5 reviews of “Mary Valley Rail Trail”

The Brooloo to Imbil Rail Trail may only be 4.7 kms long but I found it an excellent ride despite some washaway sections clearly affected by heavy rains this year.

It has a nice wide surface and is a delightful relaxing ride with a few cuttings as the trail passes through what feels a remote area with many bellbirds tweeting away.

It more down hill from Brooloo way, so some times no need to pedal.

What is sad is that the Imbil Railway Station still has signs from when from when the Mary Valley Rattler tourist train used to run here until 2013, a ride I did in 2012.

The tourist train now only goes from Gympie to Amamoor a town 17kms further north, so hopefully one day the rail trail can be extended allowing a combination of a tourist train and a rail trail. Assuming the tourist line is never reopened.

Having seen a train less than a decade ago, hopefully the bridges can be reused.

The Mary Valley Rail Trail (Stage 1) was officially opened on 28 July 2019. It is fully constructed and serviced with excellent interpretative signage. (The 2018 comment by Dave is now irrelevant.) Gympie Council have constructed a concrete causeway over Western Creek, and the compacted fine gravel surface is ideal w for walking, horse riding as well as biking. It is a 5km trail from Imbil to the former rail terminus at Brooloo. Detailed local history, rail history and description of other natural features including the Bellbird colony are provided on the signage at Brooloo, Breakneck Road crossing, Western Creek Road crossing and at the Imbil end of the trail at Selwyn Street. Imbil has a range of ideal accommodation (camping, caravanning, hotel, motel, quality cabin and B&B accommodation available as well as a range of eateries (cafes, coffee shop, Railway Hotel, restaurant at Bowls Club. The Trail passes through a farming area and beside State Forest but more importantly right over the site of the first gold discovery at Boyds Gully which commenced the rush in 1870 to the Imbil Diggings. There are two box culverts under the rail trail at Browns Gully and the larger one that allows the discharge of Breakneck Creek under the rail trail. Though only 5km, it is an excellent trail to ride and is an adjunct activity for the many campers and other visitors to Imbil. Consideration is currently being given to extending the trail northwards from Imbil which would take in Melawondi Tunnel, Melawondi (sawmilling location), to Kandanga.

The Mary Valley Rail Trail (Stage 1) was officially opened on 29 July 2019. It is fully constructed and serviced with excellent interpretative signage. (The 2018 comment by Dave is now irrelevant.)
Gympie Council have constructed a concrete causeway over Western Creek, and the compacted fine gravel surface is ideal w for walking, horse riding as well as biking. It is a 5km trail from Imbil to the former rail terminus at Brooloo. Detailed local history, rail history and description of other natural features including the Bellbird colony are provided on the signage at Brooloo, Breakneck Road crossing, Western Creek Road crossing and at the Imbil end of the trail at Selwyn Street.
Imbil has a range of ideal accommodation (camping, caravaning, hotel, motel, quality cabin and B&B accommodation available as well as a range of eateries (cafes, coffee shop, Railway Hotel, restaurant at Bowls Club.
The Trail passes through a farming area and beside State Forest but more importantly right over the site of the first gold discovery at Boyds Gully which commenced the rush in 1870 to the Imbil Diggings. There are two box culverts under the rail trail at Browns Gully and the larger one that allows the discharge of Breakneck Creek under the rail trail.
Though only 5km, it is an excellent trail to ride and is an adjunct activity for the many campers and other visitors to Imbil. Consideration is currently being given to extending the trail northwards from Imbil which would take in Melawondi Tunnel, Melawondi (sawmilling location), to Kandanga.

Rode this trail on 31.7.2018. Pretty bumpy on Mtn bike, but okay. The trail had been slashed/mowed only a day or so prior which was great. Every road or driveway has barbed wire gates closing off tail. Some I was able to open and close, others I had to throw bike over and scramble under – pretty annoying and obviously not possible for horse riders to use. The old timber bridge that was there in 2004 has since been removed, sadly. I had to throw bike down embankment and push through long grass to get to road to bypass this creek, just south of Western Creek road. Two things made this an enjoyable trip. 1/. The Bell birds at George Burtenshaw Feature Protection Area can be heard as the trail passes right beside it. 2/. The lovely little town of Imbil….

Background Information

Traditional Owners

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

Development and future of the trail

The rail trail was developed by Gympie Regional Council.

It is hoped to see the Mary Valley Rail Trail extended from Imbil to Amamoor, adding around 16 km to the trail. Gympie Regional Council has earmarked the extended trail as the key catalyst project for the Mary Valley in its 2019-24 Tourism Strategy, and is applying for funding to carry out a Feasibility Study.

Railway history

The Mary Valley line was a branch line of the North Coast railway line, which branched just south of Gympie and continued to Brooloo in the upper Mary Valley.

It was built between 1911 and 1915 to facilitate closer settlement of the Mary River Valley and reached the terminus of Brooloo in April 1915.

The line had become unprofitable by the 1970s and in 1988 staff were withdrawn from all of the stations and some buildings such as goods sheds and residences were sold for removal.

The Mary Valley Heritage Railway Board set out to operate a tourist train on the line in 1996 using volunteers and trainees; tourist train services began in May 1998.

The train currently runs from Gympie as far as Amamoor on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

For more information click on:

https://www.maryvalleyrattler.com.au/tickets-and-timetable/

Celebrate the Inaugural Mary Valley Rail Trail Fun Run (S.E. Qld)

Posted: 18/01/20

The Mary Valley Rail Trail Easter Fun Run is happening on 11 April 2020. The Imbil Easter ...

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Gympie Council wins prestigious award

Posted: 27/12/19

Gympie Regional Council has been formally recognised for its contribution to outdoor spaces with the ...

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Come celebrate the opening of Queenslands newest Rail Trail

Posted: 20/07/19

The much-anticipated Mary Valley Rail Trail opens Sunday 28 July 2019 with a fun-filled community open day. ...

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Mary Valley Rail Trail construction works underway

Posted: 27/05/19

Construction activities have commenced for the Mary Valley Rail Trail from Imbil to Brooloo near ...

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Mary Valley Rail Trail planning feedback (Queensland)

Posted: 04/07/18

Gympie Regional Council is currently in the preliminary stages of planning the Mary Valley Rail ...

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