Go Back To Trail Finder
Trail Open

Tumbarumba to Rosewood (Riverina Highlands) Rail Trail

NSW country and ACT

4 based on 26 reviews
Location: 470km south of Sydney, 460km north of Melbourne
Length: 21 km
Surface: Sealed
Start / End: Tumbarumba to Rosewood
Public Transport: Bus
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 is NSW’s first rail trail on a government rail corridor. It passes through beautiful sub-alpine countryside and farmland
  • The trail is sealed and family friendly, being suitable for most types of bicycles, scooters, mobility scooters and prams
  • Interpretive signs and installations along the trail explain the history of the branch line and the region. Remnants of the railway tracks are visible at Rosewood
  • Since opening in 2020, the trail has become a very popular tourist destination
  • Halfway between Melbourne and Sydney, it is part of the proposed Riverina Highlands Rail Trail

To see a video by media presenter Mike Tomalaris about the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail, click here

Nearby Attractions

  • The Snowy Mountains and Mt Kosciusko
  • Several vineyard cellar doors are close to Tumbarumba
  • Tumbarumba has a great pump track and a network of mountain bike trails at Police Paddock
  • The Hume and Hovell Tk
  • Paddys River Falls
  • Pioneer Women’s Hut Museum
  • Ladysmith Tourist Railway

Last updated: 16 October 2023

The gradient is gentle, dropping from Tumbarumba to a low point about halfway along the trail, then rising slightly to Rosewood

Tumbarumba has all the facilities of a regional town, including accommodation, cafes, supermarkets, hotels and free RV stop.

 

Section Guides

Tumbarumba to Rosewood (21km)

  • The Tumbarumba trailhead is on the edge of town in Figures St. It has a large car park, amenities block and historic artefacts. There is a 2km shared path from Princes St which will take you past the pump track and avoid steep Albury St on the way there. The original railway station was further north. Detailed directions can be found in the Tumbarumba rail trail guide
  • As you head west, you’ll pass an impressive group of young snowgums in one of the cuttings.
  • The recreated railway station at Glenroy is reached after about 8km. It has an amenities building and bike repair station but no road access.
  • The impressive Mannus Creek Bridge has a picnic area which is also a good spot to take photos
  • Wolseley Park Station site has a large number of interpretive signs and is very colourful in autumn
  • The Rosewood trailhead is near the Rail Trail Cafe. There are public amenities, picnic shelters and another bike repair station.
  • In addition to the Rail Trail Cafe in the former general store, Rosewood has a garden centre cafe, gift shop, post office … and a gnome garden.
  • Note for road bikes:  the trail has some sharp bumps at bridges and arched, relocatable cattle grids which may not suit bikes with narrow, high-pressure tyres.

Ride Tumba e-bike hire in Tumbarumba: https://ridetumba.com.au/  or phone 0409 833 504

Rail Trail Cafe Rosewood bike hire:  https://rosewoodrailtrailcafe.com/  or phone 0455 222 109

Public Transport

NSW TrainLink operates a bus service on 6 days per week connecting Tumbarumba with Sydney-Melbourne railway daytime XPT services via Cootamundra or Wagga Wagga.

Bicycles can be taken as luggage on the TrainLink bus subject to conditions, which include pre-booking. Please check the Transport for NSW website for further details.

 

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.

Advertise your business here

Leave a Review

You must be logged in to post a review.

27 reviews of “Tumbarumba to Rosewood (Riverina Highlands) Rail Trail”

This was our first ever rail trail adventure. We took our hybrid bikes to do the loop (42k) on New Years Day – very early to avoid the heat of the day.
The first one or two kms out of Tumbarumba were a bit rough and I was worried that our commuter bike tyres wouldn't stand up to the trip. However, after the first few kms, the track cleaned up and was pretty smooth for the rest of the journey.
The scenery is incredible and there weren't any problems with magpies (or snakes!). We were too early for the cafes, so we just did the return loop. Picnic tables and toilet facilities in Rosewood (Memorial Park) were very convenient. The track is well maintained and easy to follow. Great information signs as you go along.
We stayed at the Tumbarumba Motel which is reasonably close to the trailhead, although a pretty steep trip up the hill to start with. The signs to the trailhead are a bit vague – we were glad we walked up to the trailhead the day before because it wasn't easy to find.
Definitely recommend it.

Stunning trail! I rode this trail this morning (return ride from Tumbarumba – Wednesday 27/12/23). I saw kangaroos on the trail, also a flock of yellow tail black cockatoos and an echidna. Beautiful scenery, field of cows, plentiful birdlife and rolling hills. Facilities along the trail are excellent (bike maintenance, toilets and benches). Also stopped in at the Rail Trail cafe in Rosewood and had some breakfast.

Well done to those that are responsible for making this trail a reality and I very much hope the rest of the trail to Wagga and other trails in NSW get funding. I live in VIC but will certainly travel to cycle new trails as they open in NSW.

The third rail trail for this trip saw us heading off from Tumbarumba Caravan Park this morning in lovely sunshine. There’s a bit of a climb out of town to the trailhead but nothing too serious. Then we enjoyed the downhill meander to Mannus Creek though the swoopy boi near the timber mill was having a bit of a crack at us. Not long after we stopped for a snake, even though we had right of way. The trail is well maintained and obviously a lot of money was spent on the cattle grids, fencing, underpasses, bridges, etc. Coffee and a muffin at the Rail Trail Cafe at Rosewood was excellent. Another really pretty trail with amazing views. All up 46km enjoying some beautiful scenery and finishing with a great descent back to Tumbarumba.

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this rail trail experience. A beautiful morning ride and great to see so many people out enjoying it too. The warnings placed on the trail were helpful and like a few who have commented here there were a number of magpies to contend with along the way but it is the season for them. The trail is well maintained, again there are warnings up if there is any rough surface (which there isn't much of, sealed for 99.9% of the way). The scenery is magnificent and the amenties were great. Morning tea at the Rail Trail Cafe at Rosewood was delicious. Congratulations to all involved in making the rail trail happen, you should be very proud and we highly recommend the riding experience.

Definitely magpie swooping season at the moment (early October) but it will reduce from this point. I was on the Tumbarumba rail trail twice on the Labour Day long weekend and was swooped. The best advice I can give is to stop. They will usually return to a tree at that point.

Writing this mid September, 4 stars for the track I found it easily and it was fully surfaced nice countryside. The problem was it was basically 90 mins of horror; Australia’s real life attempt to reproduce Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece “The Birds” . The Magpies didn’t just stop at swooping, most got physical , wacking me on my helmet and back, 4 times on the way out to rosewood , and 6 times on the way back Swooping magpies are part of riding however 15km relentless physical attacks made it a nightmare. My recommendation is if stating from Tumbarumba inot proceed past the timber mill which was were the attacks begin. Alternatively plan to visit after the the end of magpie season which is mid October.

For a first effort at a rail trail NSW has done very well. Did a quickish return trip from Rosewood to Tumbarumba on a glorious spring afternoon – the surrounding countryside looked beautiful and glimpses of snow on the main range were wonderful. Lots of signs and information and wide enough to comfortably ride alongside someone.

The shoulders beside the sealed surface are very narrow and there are quite deep gutters in some places so care is needed. The age old debate about sealing trails versus a packed gravel surface is relevant here because care is required at the Rosewood end where tree roots are already breaking up the sealed surface and there are various sections where repairs are under way. Breaks and bumps in the sealed surface due to tree roots and water are to be expected and I hope that the local council continues to maintain the trail on a timely basis.

The trail blazer in NSW, and what a great job they have done. The trail is well made and the scenery great. Nice cafes in Tumbarumba and one in Rosewood at the turn around.

Tumbarumba is a lovely town, so we parked our motorhome at Rosewood and rode to Tumbarumba for lunch. There was a fairly strong headwind all the way to Tumbarumba, so we did more excercise that we were planning to get to lunch, but a lot less on the way back. The cafe in Rosewood was nice if you're planning on riding the other way, but a lot more choice in Tumbarumba. We plan on returning on our next trip and spending a lot more time in the area, we didn't realise there was so much to do in the area. Very glad we dropped past the information centre. We are interested to see how all the trees along the trail have grown, should be even better by now. There was plenty of space to park our motorhome in Rosewood, and there is dedicated RV parking in Tumbarumba.

The Rail Trail Cafe (fully renovated former general store) near the Rosewood trailhead is for sale. I rode the trail in pouring rain last week and dripped all over the floor before the ride back to Tumba

Rode the Tumbarumba-Rosewood trail yesterday in both directions. Some surface repairs have been made around the timber mill section, still a short section to do but overall the trail is now in much better condition than earlier in 2023.
Also some care is needed around Wolseley Park station site due to wet leaves on the trail surface.
A sunny spot at Gone Barny was a very nice place to be yesterday!

Had the trail all to myself thanks to sneaking a ride in on a Monday in late May. This is the 3rd time ive ridden, each time a single loop from rosewood return and on a different type of bike. I had my gravelbike with me, overkill for this trail and slightly slower than my older heavier road bike I took last time with knobbly tyres. That said the slightly rough trail surface on the section behind the sawmill, which is currently open though under maintence, presents no problems to a beefier bike and you can proceed as normal. Great to see continued love and care is still being put into the trail, Glenroy in particular is now a fully fledged halfway 'pitstop'. Only thing I would caution any aspiring strava segment hunters at this time of year is to ride to conditions with the autumn leaf matting at woolsey park. There are some large bumps that will jolt you around if you go through at speed and the mat of wet leaves makes it more treacherous to anyone running slicks. The tree roots lifting the chipseal up are completely invisible under the leaves.

The trail is just brilliant, smooth surface, gorgeous rural views, interesting historic interpretive signage, no gates, can only hope it is extended to Wagga Wagga in my lifetime.

Seven other riders and I enjoyed riding the Tumba rail trail last week. It is in great condition and the local committee responsible for its development should be very proud. Lovely country vistas including autumn colours on a very large vineyard.

Wonderful rail trail with good surface. Good interpretive signage, wonderful views, inquisitive stock, lots of bird life. Good cafes at Rosewood and Tumbarumba. 48ks return is an enjoyable ride.

Well we struck it lucky with the weather today. Absolutely perfect, with blue skies, cool air, and no wind. Third time on the trail since it officially opened in 2021. The trail is the same, but there have been massive improvements at both trail heads and Glenroy station site. New toilets, interesting interptetive signs, sculptures, maintenance stations,and tree plantings. I found a railway wagon that is being restored at the Tumbarumba mens shed. This will be transported to a site on the rail trail once the restoration is completed. New cafes have popped up at Rosewood and Tumbarumba. The 42km return trip is easily achieved on ebikes, which can be hired at Tumba Bikes and Blooms. The fully sealed surface is holding up well after 3 years of use despite bush fires and extreme weather events. This trail is a photographer's delight, with great mountain views at every turn. The birdlife and curious cows make the ride even more enjoyable. Well worth the 500km trip. Will definitely return again.

This was a lovely rail trail, but we had some difficulty finding the trailhead out of Tumbarumba. Once we found it and looked more closely at the maps we saw the off road options for cycling to the trailheadfrom the caravan park.
After that, it was just a breeze. The best provisioned railtrail we had ever seen, with repair stations and pumps at strategic points.
2 heavily advertised options for coffee and food in Rosewood, and both looked great. We chose the one the tradies were going into, the Gone Barny Cafe. Great coffee, friendly service and yummy food.

Did the round trip ride from Tumbarumba to Rosewood and back in early November just after weeks of rain. The trail was in good shape with just a few soft spots in the bitumen. If you ride slowly, and choose your route carefully, you can ride through these spots. Otherwise, walk through them. There were toilets halfway along and bike maintenance tools halfway and at the Tumbarumba end. Not sure about Rosewood end. We are seniors, new to Rail Trails and we have e-bikes. The gradual grades were a nonevent for us. We had a nice lunch at the Rosewood end. There is parking at each end. It was a beautiful ride. We stayed at an Airbnb in Tumbarumba and drove to the start of the trail. Tumbarumba is a sleepy little town and there isn’t much going on there. Apparently, there is supposed to be a good restaurant, but is was closed the nights we were there. An easy, pretty ride.

Rode this trail on 19 April 2022. There are always improvements each time we visit. On this trip, the picnic seats and table at Glenroy are now installed – with Men's Shed rebuilding the platform and now toilets there as well, the whole site is a perfect stopping point.
Enjoyed a coffee at the Rosewood rail trail cafe, then rode back to Tumbarumba in drizzling rain – but no problem, minimal dirt on the rear end due to the trail surface.

The first of our rail trail rides on our trip to the Flinders – Tumbarumba to Rosewood return. A wonderful ride with nearly ideal conditions! If you are considering a rail trail, put this one on your list for a day ride perhaps with a picnic or lunch stop at either end.

Kudos to those who worked so hard to make this happen, I know it was neither easy or quick! It will be wonderful to see the rest of the way done and this becomes an overnight ride.

Sorry for the lack of pics but there are many on the Rail Trail sites already.

Pro tip #1: E-bikes are not essential with this sort of gradient but it is a great ride to try one and apparently easily arranged for in Tumba.
Pro tip #2: Take a picnic or morning or afternoon tea break at the many spots along the way.
Pro Tip #3: Look at the gradients. If starting from Tumbarumba it’s a quick downhill and a longer but less steep ride back up to Rosewood. The return will mean you need to leave something in reserve in the tank (or battery!) especially if the wind comes up.
Pro Tip #4: There are shady areas but a lot of the ride is in the open so slip-slap, carry sufficient water and be mindful to avoid the hottest part of the day in warmer months.

Final words: Do this ride!

We travelled this trail on a perfect November spring day on touring bikes, starting with the steep climb out of Tumbarumba and lunch at Rosewood, where there are a couple of cafe options. What a magnificent trail through pretty farmland and with some nice interpretive signage at points. We loved the bitumen surface but also noticed that it was a bit "sticky" in parts, which we put down to being a warm day. There were lots of birds and a brown snake hiding out in one of the underpasses.
We stayed the night either side in an Airbnb behind a shop in Tumbarumba – which was a great location with quite a few options to eat out or buy food in the IGA.

My wife and I have had the pleasure of riding the Tumbarumba – Rosewood Trail a few times over the past couple of days. The scenery was amazing and the track layout has been well done
My wife rode the track on a road bike and got her first puncture on a raised edge on the Bells Creek Bridge. Fortunately we had a spare tube we were able to use
but on the return trip my wife got the second puncture at the Mannus Creek bridge so she had to walk back to the Tumbarumba railhead. The track is not suited for road bike tyres and I have written to the council suggesting that small ramps be placed at any points where there are sharp rises likely to cause punctures.
There are no water refilling stations at either end of the track. As other reviewers have reported the track had several soft spots where our tyres sunk into the surface – not sure if this is always there or as a result of the recent heavy rains or hot days. Ian

Hi Ian – sorry to hear about your wife's experience with punctures. I will ensure the local rail trail group is made aware of your comments.
I will also add wording to the trail description about risks for road bikes.

Will Owens – Rail Trails Australia representative.

Loris Cassar
23rd November 2021
Myself and a group of cyclists from Victoria cycled the new Rail Trail and found it to be a wonderful Rail trail, easy gradient and suitable for hybrid bikes. Lovely scenery along the way and as it was a warm day there was a welcomed stop in the shade at Woseley Station . Lovley cafe in Rosewood and as the day was warm 25deg C the asphalt started to melt on the way back to Tumbarumba, creating a dragging sensation on the tyres,feeling like your tyre is flat. Saw 2 snakes and one echidna. Very enjoyable ride.

Definitely a high quality rail trail – great rural and mountain scenery, and fun to ride or walk. The Tumbarumba trailhead is a short distance from town, but quite easy to find. The trail has really good interpretive signs about the history of the railway line, and there are toilets at Glenroy station site and at Rosewood.

Stage 1 of this trail, from Tumbarumba to Rosewood, is set to open on 3 April 2020.
This will be the first rail trail in NSW constructed on abandoned ex-government tracks.
Look out for Jolly Berries, 247 Tumbarumba Road, adjacent to the trail! Excellent blueberries.

Background Information

Traditional Owners

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

Rail Trail development 

The Riverina Highlands Rail Trail will develop in four stages to a full length of 129km:

  • Tumbarumba to Rosewood (21km) – Stage 1, open
  • Wagga Wagga to Ladysmith (19km) – potential next stage
  • Rosewood to Tarcutta (56km)
  • Ladysmith to Tarcutta (33km)

The Riverina Highlands Rail Trails Steering Committee was formed in 2004 under the Riverina Regional Development Board to promote the development of two trails.

Extensive consultation with local communities saw concerns from some but generally great support for the proposals. All four local shire councils involved also expressed support, along with the NSW Lands and Transport Ministry.

Development looked close to starting in 2009 with $220,000 of federal funding, but legislation to close the line was not passed.

In 2012, the Riverina Highlands Rail Trail group was formed to continue the process of getting this rail trail established.

Given reservations about constructing rail trails in NSW, Rail Trails Australia suggested the establishment of one or two shorter ‘pilot’ trails to demonstrate the benefits of a rail trail on a disused government rail corridor.

This resulted in support from the NSW Government and the Tumbarumba to Rosewood section of the railway was officially closed by state parliament in June, 2017.

Former local MP Greg Aplin was instrumental in obtaining $5.7 million in funding to construct the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail. Construction began in 2019 and the trail was opened in April, 2020.

Wagga Rail Trail Inc is working to develop the trail between Wagga Wagga and Ladysmith. It is envisaged that this section would become a commuter path between the city centre and Forest Hill, 10km from Wagga.

Railway history

The railway branched from the Main South Line at Wagga Wagga and passed through Tarcutta to Tumbarumba, rising to 800m above sea level as it approached the Snowy Mountains. It opened in stages from 1917 to 1921. Operation beyond Ladysmith stopped in 1974 after significant flooding, and all operations ceased in 1987.

Most of the line is not officially closed but little infrastructure remains. The line has been cut by construction of the RAAF base at Forest Hill, near Wagga, and the Hume Fwy at Tarcutta. Significant sections of track and other infrastructure have been illegally removed.

The only stations remaining on the line are at Ladysmith (maintained by the Tumba Rail historical group) and Borambola.

50,000th person on the Tumbarumba rail trail

Posted: 07/02/23

Rail Trails Australia congratulates Ray Davies, who became the 50,000th person to go past the ...

More...

Another Triobike for Tumbarumba

Posted: 21/04/22

Triobikes are great for mobility-limited people to visit rail trails - and with two triobikes ...

More...

Riverina Highlands Rail Trail (Southern NSW) Feasiblity Study starts

Posted: 31/01/06

Funding for a feasibility into the proposed Riverina Highlands Rail Trail was announced by the ...

More...
Trail descriptions are maintained by volunteers. Please consider a donation to help improve this website. Rail Trails Australia gets no government funding.
Share

Nearby Trails

Batlow – Tumut Rail Trail

Batlow – Tumut Rail Trail

400 km southwest of Sydney

 
Murrumbidgee Valley Rail Trail

Murrumbidgee Valley Rail Trail

380 km southwest of Sydney

 
High Country Rail Trail

High Country Rail Trail

300 km northeast of Melbourne

80 km
Culcairn – Corowa Rail Trail

Culcairn – Corowa Rail Trail

520 km southwest of Sydney

2 km

Nearby Trails