- Rail Trail
- Take in the rolling countryside for which the region is famous, with southern ocean glimpses near the Warrnambool end of the trail
- Enjoy Warrnambool’s foreshore precinct, meanders through the historic village of Koroit and the popular seaside town of Port Fairy
- Cycle the length of the trail in a brisk two or a leisurely four hours each way
- Port Fairy is a charming coastal village with many historic buildings and a very popular music festival
- Visit the small Irish heritage township of Koroit and Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve
- Warrnambool has many attractions including Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, beaches, whale-watching and Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground
- Country markets in Warrnambool and Port Fairy
Last updated: 21 February 2024
The project is being managed by the Port Fairy to Warrnambool Rail Trail Committee of Management who are grateful to the Moyne Shire Council which provided $600,000 from its allocation of Local Road and Community Infrastructure funding.
The main sections of the trail are:
- Warrnambool to Koroit (20km) passes through wetlands on the edge of the Southern Ocean and skirts around Tower Hill Reserve
- Koroit to Port Fairy (18km) descends gently through farmland and native vegetation
Port Fairy, Warrnambool and Koroit all have a wide range of facilities.
Signage for the trail is deficient at the Warrnambool end
From Warrnambool to Illowa the trail does not follow the original alignment.
Horses are permitted beside the trail only between Commercial Rd (or the Penshurst/Warrnambool road), Koroit and Illowa, then down Illowa Rd to Millers Lane and on to Levys Point track. Horses are not permitted between Port Fairy and Koroit, or along the Merri Creek to Warrnambool.
Port Fairy to Koroit (18 km)
Due to the re-sheeting of the sections between the Princes Highway in Port Fairy and Koroit, this section will be progressively closed to all users, with detour signs in place. It is anticipated the work will commence in early July and be completed in early September.
- The trail starts at Regent St in Port Fairy and is sealed for 1.5 km as it leaves town.
- After crossing the Princes Hwy, the trail passes through farmland and skirts the northern side of an extinct volcano that last erupted around 25,000 years ago – now Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve. The crater is home to native animals and has many walking tracks.
- The old Koroit railway station and goods shed have been restored and a real feature, along with the playground and other facilities there.
- Koroit has refreshments and toilets.
Koroit to Warrnambool (20 km)
Due to the re-sheeting of the sections between the Koroit and Lanes Lane in Illowa, this section will be progressively closed to all users, with detour signs in place. It is anticipated the work will commence in early July and be completed in early September.
- The first 5 km travels southeast toward Princes Hwy, where an underpass has been built. At Lanes Lane, just before the highway, you travel west along the lane to the underpass
The next 9km passes through the Kellys swamp wetlands toward Levys Point. Riders should check for any floodwaters after heavy rain
- As you pass beneath the highway you travel along Illowa Rd, which has been fenced to provide separation from traffic, and turn right into Millers Lane
- At the top of the lane the path continues on the right side of the horse-riding school, and downhill across the boardwalk over Kellys Swamp
- The trail continues on a dirt road past the knackery to Levys Point
- The last section winds 6 km along Merri River to the breakwater in Warrnambool
- The section between Illowa and Warrnambool is not on the original railway alignment. Signage is minimal
- The pedestrian and bicycle crossing across the railway line at the Warrnambool trailhead is closed. For access to Warrnambool CBD or to the rail trail from Warrnambool Station, detour via Pertobe Rd or Harris St. Neither route is cycle friendly, and user groups are lobbying Victrack to reopen the crossing.
Near the start of the trail at Warrnambool [2021 George Turner]
The trail at Warrnambool Breakwater (2011)
Walking along the Merri River from Warrnambool (Andrew Lecky 2019)
Kelly Swamp boardwalk [Steve Bennett 2015]
Migratory geese and swans at Belfast Coastal Reserve wetland (Andrew Lecky 2019)
Following the Merri River, on the outskirts of Warrnambool (Steve Bennett 2015)
Protected path along Ilowa Rd [Steve Bennett, 2015]
Crossing under the highway at Illowa and rejoining the original alignment 
Riding between Illowa and Koroit 
Tower Hill road crossing near Koroit (2011)
The Queen Anne style Koroit railway station has been fully restored by the community which now hold many events at this precinct 
The Koroit station precinct is a great place to have a break for all ages. (Andrew Lecky 2019)
The Koroit goods shed has also been restored and is the base for the voluntary rail trail committee. [2021 George Turner]
The Moyne station site is also a good spot for a break between Koroit and Port Fairy.
Typical scenery between Koroit and Port Fairy [2021 George Turner]
More typical scenery around the dairy farming region of Port Fairy 
Bridge across the Moyne River near Port Fairy (2011)
The start of the bitumen entering Port Fairy [2021 George Turner]
The railway signal near Port Fairy. The last few kilometres are sealed.
A bit of an attraction on the outskirts of Port Fairy [2021 George Turner]
The only original railway remnant at Port Fairy is the goods shed 
Port Fairy atmosphere
Comedian Tracy Harvey visited the rail trail in 2021.
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 Western VIC for our Coast, Craters and Gold ‘Six-Pack’ rail trails tour. This group tour takes in six of the best trails in Victoria (Port Fairy to Warrnambool RT, Craters to Coast RT, Old Beechy RT, Skipton to Ballarat RT, Castlemaine to Maldon RT, O’Keefe RT) – a wonderful way to see multiple trails with full support and great accommodation, all with minimal effort and organisation on your part.
We acknowledge the Gunditjmara people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built.
The line opened in 1890 and cropping farmers were pleased to be able to send their produce to Geelong by train, rather than by ship from the ports of Warrnambool and Port Fairy (then known as Belfast). The area grew wheat, oats, malting, peas and beans, potatoes, turnips, hay and grasses. Special trains ran to the seaside towns for picnics and excursions.
The line closed in 1977.
Moyne Shire has released a draft bicycle strategy for Port Fairy in Victoria's western district. ...More...
A total of $80,000 will be spent in the restoration project on the Port Fairy to ...More...
Article text reproduced with permission from The Moyne Gazette (by Anthony Brady 6th Feb 2013). USE ...More...
The opening of the Port Fairy to Warrnambool Rail Trail took place on 31st May 2012 ...More...
Murray Goulburn - Moyneyana Family Bike Ride. Saturday 15th January 2011. Port Fairy to Koroit (17 km ...More...
Typical scenery on the Port Fairy Koroit section. Photo ...More...
The April edition of the Moyne Shire Community News details progress on the Trail. Download ...More...
Turning the first sod. Photo credit: Pam Moore ...More...
The Moyne and Warrnambool Shire councils have been successful in obtaining funding of $850,000 from the ...More...
The Moyne Shire Council commissioned a feasiblity study into constructing a rail trail from Port ...More...