- Rail Trail
- One of Australia’s best known and most popular regional rail trails
- The perfect introduction to northeast Victoria’s mountains, farmland, history, gourmet produce and wines
- The entire rail trail is sealed and mostly flat, apart from the Everton to Yackandandah section
- Milawa gourmet region
- Eldorado, Lake Buffalo, Mt Buffalo, Stanley and Wandiligong
- Renowned Rutherglen winery region
- Bright’s spectacular autumn colours and alpine scenery
- Historic Beechworth is a noted (cooler-climate) wine growing area and has spectacular autumn displays
- Yackandandah, Bright and Beechworth have extensive mountain biking areas
Last updated: 13 December 2023
The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail has three components:
- The Mountain section from Wangaratta to Bright and Beechworth is 97km and follows the picturesque Ovens Valley, which produces hops, berries, nuts and grapes
- The Murray section from Rutherglen to Wahgunyah is a 9km trip across this famous wine-producing area
- The Heritage section from Wangaratta to Oxley is 9km, basically flat and crosses farmland as it heads toward the gourmet region of Milawa
- Wangaratta, Beechworth, Myrtleford and Bright are major towns with all services
For public transport options click on “Get Around” then “Show More” if necessary.
Wangaratta Station to Bowser (8km)
The branch line to Bright left the main Melbourne-to-Albury line at Bowser. A network of paths, levee banks and disused roads is now used to reach Bowser from Wangaratta.
- Follow the signs from Wangaratta Station to the trailhead at Apex Park, across the Ovens River
- From the park, a pathway runs beneath the road and onto a levee bank before paralleling the Wangaratta to Bowser road, which has the first of several rest areas with a steam locomotive theme.
Bowser to Everton Station (18km)
- The trail now crosses flat farmland with distant views of the Everton Hills
- After 11km the site of Tarrawingee Station is reached and the trail climbs gently to the Everton station site, formerly a junction to Beechworth or Bright
- It’s also a junction for the trail to Yackandandah, which heads off to the left; Myrtleford and Bright are to the right
At the Wangaratta-Eldorado road, cyclists can make an on-road diversion to the impressive Cock’s dredge at Eldorado, returning to the trail using the Eldorado-Tarrawingee road (18km round trip).
In Eldorado there are public toilets, a general store and a cafe (Firebox Cafe). The cafe has variable opening hours so visitors should check before relying on it to be open.
Everton Station to Myrtleford (26km)
- This section undulates through farmland and native bushland to Taylors Gap (where the original cutting has been filled in to improve the Great Alpine Rd) before beginning the descent into Myrtleford
- At Myrtleford much of the railway corridor has been sold; follow the rail trail signs through town.
- Myrtleford has plenty of accommodation and facilities
Myrtleford to Bright (30km)
- The trail rejoins the original alignment at Jones Reserve, then rises at a gentle continuous grade as it follows the Ovens Valley to Bright. Mt Buffalo looms on the right and the high country approaches in front.
- Farms growing berries and grapes may tempt you to make a detour to taste their wares
- At Porepunkah the trail passes beneath the highway bridge. Take a dip in the nearby Ovens River if the day is warm enough. The trail follows the Back Porepunkah road and returns to the railway corridor
- The end of the trail is at the old Bright Railway Station, now a museum open on Sundays or by arrangement
Porepunkah is a popular summer holiday destination.
Bright is also a very popular tourist town with its proximity to the alpine area. It is a regional centre with many facilities.
An easy ride on a bitumen sealed bike trail runs from Bright and alongside Morse’s Creek to the small historic village of Wandiligong.
NOTE: The sealed trail now extends further up the Ovens Valley to the Tawonga Gap Rd turnoff. From there the 16km Great Valley Trail takes cyclists further up the valley. This extension was completed in 2022, and connects at the Trout Farm to the 5km Harrietville Trail, which already runs up to Harrietville.
Everton to Beechworth (16km)
- This section is peaceful and attractive with a mixture of bush and farmland. This has one of the steepest grades that were allowed for a broad gauge branch line, so some may find the gradual climb challenging
- The last section is a gentle descent to the old Beechworth station. Turn left at Albert St and follow it into town or continue on to the Lake Sambell Reserve trail and Chinese Gardens
Historic Beechworth has many attractions, with many festivals and events throughout the year.
Beechworth to Yackandandah (22km)
- This section is also attractive with a mixture of bush and farmland and undulates up and down as it descends 240m down to Yackandandah. It has one of the steepest grades that were allowed for a broad gauge branch line, plus a bit of a roller coaster affect near Yackandandah due to not being on the original formation, so riding down is fast and very undulating. However riding back out of Yack is very tough going due to steep undulations, so unless you are fit or have a fully charged e-bike, riding down to Yackandandah is recommended.
- From Beechworth station the general route of the old rail corridor is followed around the Lake Sambell Reserve.
- It then diverges away and becomes a road-side path as far as Kibell Lane. From here the unsealed but fairly smooth Kibell Lane is used. After a short steep descent it becomes the old rail corridor with many large cuttings and embankments and views out over the valley below. The lane has limited slow speed traffic.
- At the end of Kibell Lane the rail trail proper starts again with more large cuttings and embankments as it continues to descend.
- At Star Lane the trail leaves the old corridor again so turn left onto a roadside path which takes a dog-leg down to Beechworth-Wodonga Rd. As per the map some users may prefer to keep going on the quiet Star Lane directly to Beechworth Rd.
- The off formation trail along the Beechworth – Wodonga Rd is undulating with only one short steep pinch.
- The Yackandandah Rd underpass at the roundabout is now completed.
- From the roundabout the rail trail is on the original formation for a scenic kilometre before it runs alongside the old formation, which is now private land. There are great views of the valley and mountains descending to Yackandandah. It is a bit of a roller coaster with the undulations; maybe in the future some of the land holders may allow some of the bigger cuttings to be used to remove the biggest of the these!
Historic Yackandandah has a lovely main street and all the facilities of a small popular tourist town.
There is a bit of railway history at the former railway station area, including one of the best preserved gantry cranes. A nearby brewery also has a selection of interesting railway rolling stock.
Rutherglen to Wahgunyah (8km)
- The station at Rutherglen is easy to find; look for the wheat silos behind the historic main street
- The trail traverses vineyards and farmlands to Wahgunyah, signalled by the large Uncle Toby’s production centre
- At Wahgunyah some of the track has been left in place for possible use by the local rail heritage group. The trail finishes alongside the Murray River
Both Rutherglen and Corowa/Wahgunyah are well set up to cater for visitors.
Bowser to Rutherglen on-road link (42km)
- For those keen to ride between the main rail trail at Bowser and Rutherglen, an on-road option is shown on the map
- All roads are 100 km/h and have no shoulders. Bowser to Springhurst is lightly trafficked service roads, Springhurst to Rutherglen has regular traffic. Note when turning off the rail trail at Bowser, Morrison’s Rd is unsealed; Byawatha Rd 400 m further is sealed.
- To go via Chiltern and have a bakery stop is more than 20 km further. At Springhurst overpass continue straight on Gayfers Rd, then turn right at the T-intersection to a bitumen road then left on to a gravel road past a few farms to the Horns Access road. Turn left into a tunnel beneath the highway, then over the railway and on to Racecourse Rd and follow the signs into Chiltern. Follow the blue signs featuring R for Rutherglen and follow the Old Howlong road and Cornishtown Rd into Rutherglen, a total distance of close to 70 km
Wangaratta to Oxley (9km)
- The formal rail trail begins next to Targoora Park Recreation Reserve and travels along the old rail line in the Wangaratta to Whitfield Rd reserve
- Before reaching the Hume Fwy, the path crosses to the east side of the road reserve to pass beneath the Freeway adjacent to King River
- after rejoining the road reserve the trail crosses to the west side and continues to (and crosses) the Glenrowan to Myrtleford road, the current terminus of the rail trail
- A shared path continues by crossing the Wangaratta to Whitfield road and proceeds adjacent to the road to Oxley and Milawa townships.
Bright to Harrietville (27km)
This is not a rail trail, but a pleasant dedicated path between Bright and Harrietville
The trail follows the Ovens River and explores the beautiful valley between Bright and Harrietville. The trail is flat and fully sealed, suitable for both road bikes and mountain bikes.
Follow the rail trail from the center of Bright towards the Tawonga Gap turnoff and then wind your way through eucalypts and a spectacular valley to arrive in Harrietville where you can find refreshments.
Bright to Wandiligong (5.5km)
Another pleasant trail extending from Bright to the old mining town of Wandiligong
This easy 11km-return ride follows Morses Creek alongside farmland and over bridges. Watch paragliders float to the ground as you pass the landing paddock.
V/Line still carries bicycles to Wangaratta but this service cannot be relied on 
Start of the rail trail at Apex Park, Wangaratta 
Shelter with the theme of a train at Bowser (2009)
The first bridge out of Bowser on the way to Everton 
The former station of Everton is where the rail trail diverges to either Beechworth/Yackandandah or Bright 
Walkers also enjoy the rail trail, here between Everton and Myrtleford [Helen Newman 2021]
First views of Mt Buffalo near Gapsted 
Approaching Myrtleford 
Arriving at Myrtleford from Bright with Mt Buffalo in the background 
Typical scenery in the Ovens valley of old hop and tabacco drying kilns 
Typical of many businesses along the rail trail tempting users with their wares (when restrictions are lifted!). 
Walking between Myrtleford and Eurobin 
Beautiful scenery near Eurobin 
Eurobin station is a popular rest stop 
Eurobin with snow covered Mt Feathertop in the background (2012)
Another popular business in Porepunkah 
Autumn colours approaching Bright [Greg Hutchison 2013]
Approaching Bright thorugh the Spring blossoms (2005)
Bright station in the autumn 
Bright station has a museum with preserved rollingstock from the steam era 
The Great Valley Trail continues from Bright to Harrietville [Alpine Shire Council 2014]
Climbing up to Beechworth from Everton 
Descending from Beechworth down to Everton is a lot easier! 
Beechworth station 
Beechworth station 
Kibell Lane is mostly on the old formation and now part of the rail trail to Yackandandah. It is reasonably smooth and lightly trafficked 
The start of the rail trail proper from Beechworth to Yackandandah at the end of Kibell Lane 
View from the end of Kibell Lane section of the rail trail. 
Descending from Beechworth to Yackandandah on the rail trail proper between Kibell Lane and Star Lane [Chris Kinniard, 2021]
Another view of the rail trail proper to Star Lane 
The path beside Star Lane and Factory Lane on the way to Yackandandah 
The underpass for Yackandandah Rd at the Wodonga-Beechworth Rd roundabout is now complete and has easy approaches 
A section of the rail trail from the roundabout to Yackandandah is on the original formation 
The Yackandandah Rd has used the old rail formation for a short distance requiring this boardwalk. [Chris Kinniard 2021]
Climbing out of Yackandandah in the evening with the original formation clearly visible on the left in private property. 
The old hand operated railway crane at Yackandandah has been well preserved. 
A brewery and cafe at the Yackandandah Station site in Turntable Lane 
Start of the rail trail at Rutherglen 
C'mon let's go for a walk through Rutherglen on a beautiful winter's day 
Streaming along between Rutherglen and Wahgunyah (2010)
Rutherglen station site 
Even the information centre and bike hire is steeped in history and Rutherglen 
Cofields Winery in Wahgunyah (2018)
Riding between Wangaratta and Oxley (2011)
Replica of the waiting room at the end of the former narrow gauge line. (2004)
Attractions along the Oxley/Milawa heritage section
Riding from Bright to Everton
Bespoke Cycle Tours
Join Bespoke Cycle Tours small group (max. 10) accompanied or unaccompanied 1 to 9 day tours in Victoria, NSW and Sweden. Itineraries include Murray to Mountains Rail Trail; quiet backroads and 3-5 star accommodation. On accompanied tours enjoy quality meals, meet local characters and visit boutique wineries, farms and galleries.
Australian Cycle Tours
Let Australian Cycle Tours handle the logistics on your Murray to Mountains Rail Trail trip. Our adventures feature luggage transfers, passenger shuttles, comfortable accommodation, navigation app and quality bike hire, plus expert advice and support.
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in self-guided and supported cycling experiences. We’re powered by World Expeditions, Australia’s original adventure travel company
Ride With Us
Experience the Camperdown to Timboon Rail Trail by bike. We have Ebikes, Mountain bikes, children’s bikes as well as a child and pet seat available for hire. Bike transport and shuttle service is available for pick up and departure from anywhere along the trail. Gourmet Rail Trail Ride and back pack sandwich lunches also available. Also private gourmet tours for two to eight people to experience the 12 Apostles Artisans Trail and other local farm gate producers by luxury vehicle.
Tour de Vines
Self guided & small group guided tours from 1 to 5 days with the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail specialists.
AllTrails Bicycle Tours
AllTrails Bicycle Tours have been running multi-day cycle tours around Victoria and across the country for 25 years and once again return to Northern VIC for our ‘Triple Trails’ tour. This group tour takes in three of the best trails in Victoria (High Country RT, Great Vic RT and Murray to Mountains RT) – a wonderful way to see multiple trails with full support and great accommodation, all with minimal effort and organisation on your part.
Great Southern Ride E Bike Sales & Hire Meeniyan
GSR is an E-Bike hire store located in the middle of the Great Southern Rail Trail, Meeniyan, a 2-hour drive from Melbourne.
Included in your hire: E-Bike, helmet, lock & rider instruction.
Riders have options of half or full day hire.
GSR stock E Bikes, helmets, tubes, tyres, accessories, & carriers.
The Bike Hire Company (Beechworth) – Offers bike hire and transfers
Tel: 0400 345 648 Website: www.thebikehirecompany.com.au
There are PTV trains from Melbourne and Sydney to Wangaratta. There are PTV buses from:
- Wangaratta to Myrtleford and Bright.
- Albury/Wodonga to Yackandandah and Beechworth.
- Albury/Wodonga to Rutherglen.
As always bicycle carrying restrictions apply.
Refer to the PTV web page for planning and timetables, or your navigation program of choice.
Do you know of a bike hire or transportation service on this rail trail that should appear here? If so, let us know at email@example.com.
We acknowledge the Waveroo people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built.
Development and future of the rail trail
Construction of the rail trail began at Bright in 1993, and finished in 2002 with the opening of sections to Wangaratta and Beechworth.
The trail between Rutherglen and Wahgunyah on the Murray was completed in 2009.
The Wangaratta to Oxley section of the trail opened in 2011, providing tourism links with the Oxley and Milawa regions. Extension of the rail trail toward Whitfield is also planned.
Rail Line History
A branch line from Bowser (Wangaratta) to Everton and Beechworth opened in 1875 and was extended to Yackandandah in 1891. A second branch line was built from Everton to Myrtleford in 1883 and extended to Bright in 1890. Everton was once an important regional railway junction, but little evidence of that remains today. The line from Beechworth to Yackandandah closed in 1956 and the last train to Beechworth ran in 1977.
Beechworth, originally known as Mayday Hills, was a major gold mining centre in the 1850s. You can explore traces of this activity at Woolshed Falls, the Gorge Scenic Drive and the Old Powder Magazine. Beechworth Historic Park surrounding the town has unusual cypress-pine/box woodland and box-leaf wattle.
The line to Bright was popular in the early 20th century with tourists visiting the picturesque town of Bright and Mt Buffalo Chalet, built and owned by Victorian Railways. The line closed completely closed back to Bowser in 1987. The line from Springhurst to Wahgunyah opened in 1879. Passenger services ended in 1962, and goods services closed in 1995.
The original King Valley rail route, 49 km from Wangaratta to Whitfield, was Victoria’s original narrow gauge line. The line opened in 1899 and closed in 1953.
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