Trail Possible

Sandy Hollow to Merriwa

NSW country and ACT

3 based on 1 reviews
Location: 100 km north west of Newcastle
Length: 0 km
Surface: Disused Railway Line
Start / End: Sandy Hollow to Merriwa
Public Transport: Coach
Suitable for:

Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • This short but scenic line in the northwestern section of the Hunter Valley has a small township at each end offering food and accommodation options
  • At around 39 km long, it would be ideal for a one-day out and back ride for the experienced cyclist or a two-day tour for a more relaxed excursion
  • The railway was built through very undulating countryside and has a scenic and very winding route


NOTE: This rail trail is not yet open. It is one of 17 potential Rail Trails in NSW

  • This trail is close to the large city of Newcastle
  • It is at the northern end of the Hunter Valley Wine country
  • Large coal trains can be seen passing Sandy Hollow
  • Larger nearby towns include Denman and Muswellbrook

Trail Guide

This Trail is a proposed Rail Trail only at this stage.  It is not yet constructed or open.

The railway corridor is owned by the NSW State Government, and trespassing is prohibited.

The Merriwa Railway Society plans to restore the station and yard at Merriwa, and to establish a display of a selection of locomotives and rolling stock.

In 2014, the goods shed was repainted and the station platform barge wall replaced, and there has been regular mowing, brush cutting and weed spraying within the station precinct.

To contact us about this trail, Email or click here

Section Guides

Sandy Hollow to Gungal (16 km)

The first section of this trail parallels the Golden Highway, on the other side of Halls Creek.

There is a missing bridge over Halls Creek next to Sandy Hollow; the middle span is all that remains.

There are spectacular sandstone outcrops in this area, and a road crossing around 13 km from Sandy Hollow.


Gungal to Merriwa (23 km)

From here the line enters some undulating and spectacular countryside, turning away from the highway to avoid the many hills at the Merriwa end.

The station precinct at Merriwa is about 1 km uphill from the town centre. It features a restored station building, goods shed and other railway infrastructure.

Background Information

Traditional Owners

We acknowledge the Wiradjuri and Wonnarua people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail will be built.

Development and future of the rail trail

As of June 2021 there is no active committee trying to lobby for the construction of a rail trail on this disused corridor.  Rail Trails Australia views this as a viable potential rail trail, and would be keen to support any person, or group to lobby for its construction.

If you are interested, contact us at

Rail Line History

The Merriwa Branch Line was opened in October 1917. The Branch started at Muswellbrook and had stations at Roxburgh, Mangoola, Denman, Myambat, Sandy Hollow, Gungal, Wappinguy and Merriwa. Rail motors on passenger duties ceased operation in 1973.

The Muswellbrook to Sandy Hollow section was relaid to main line standards and a long planned route through to Ulan near Gulgong was finally completed in 1982. This section is now used exclusively for freight (mostly coal) transport.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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One review of “Sandy Hollow to Merriwa”

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