Trail Open

Tumbarumba to Rosewood (Riverina Highlands) Rail Trail

NSW country and ACT

5 based on 2 reviews
Location: 470 km south of Sydney, 460 km north of Melbourne
Length: 21 km
Surface: Sealed
Start / End: Tumbarumba to Rosewood
Public Transport: Coach
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

Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
NSW’s first true rail trail on a government rail corridor passes through beautiful subalpine countryside and farmland.  The trail is sealed and family friendly, suitable for all kinds of bicycles, scooters, mobility scooters and prams. Interpretive signs explain the history of the rail line and the region. Since opening in 2020, the rail trail has been a very popular NSW tourist destination. 

Attractions

  • Tumbarumba is in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains 
  • Several vineyard cellar doors 
  • Tumbarumba has a great pump track and an increasing network of mountain bike trails
  • The historic Hume and Hovell Track can be reached using Tumbarumba as a base

Trail Guide

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

Tumbarumba provides all the facilities of a regional town, including accommodation, cafes, supermarkets and hotels. Rosewood has a general store and a cafe, garden centre, gift shop and post office…and a gnome garden. 

Section Guides

Tumbarumba to Rosewood (21 km)

In Tumbarumba the trail begins at Figures St, which has a large car park and historic artifacts. There is a multipurpose off-road path from the main street. Detailed directions from town to the trailhead can be found at:  

https://visitsnowyvalleys.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/SVC_T2R_Railtrail_flyer_QuadFoldDL_Nov2020_noMarks-1.pdf

The trailhead and gnome park at Rosewood is just near the general store and has toilets.

The stations at Glenroy, Wolseley Park and Rosewood have been partially recreated by enthusiastic locals and are well worth a stop to take in the information displayed there. Toilets are also available at Glenroy. 

There are bike repair stations at Tumbarumba, Glenroy and Rosewood. 

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 Trails will develop in four stages to a full length of 129 km:

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

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’ rail trails to demonstrate the benefits of a rail trail on a disused government branch line.

This resulted in support from the NSW Government and the Tumbarumba to Rosewood section of the railway was officially closed 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 a rail trail between Wagga Wagga and Ladysmith (around 21 km). It is envisaged that this section would become a commuter path between the city centre and Forest Hill, 10 km from Wagga Wagga.

Railway history

The railway branched from the Main South Line at Wagga Wagga and passed through Tarcutta to Tumbarumba, rising to 800 m above sea level. It opened in stages from 1917 to 1921. Operation beyond Ladysmith ceased 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 Wagga, and the Hume Freeway at Tarcutta. Significant sections of track and other infrastructure have also been illegally removed.

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

No services listed for this rail trail.

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

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.

Share your experience on the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail

Posted: 12/05/21

Please complete a survey on your experience on the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail to ...

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Local economy thrives since the opening of the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail

Posted: 18/04/21

Local business owners and the President of the Tumbarumba Chamber of Commerce are amongst the ...

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Tumba Tales

Posted: 17/04/21

"Cycling Without Age" Canberra visited the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail for their celebrations on 10 ...

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Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail Family Fun Day

Posted: 17/04/21

Due to delays caused by Covid, the official opening of the history-making Tumbarumba to Rosewood ...

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NSW Rail Trails Forum

Posted: 17/04/21

Rail Trails supporters and representatives from across Australia met in Tumbarumba on 9 April 2021 to discuss ...

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NSW Rail Trail Forum – Friday 9 April

Posted: 12/03/21

Hi Rail Trails Australia members and supporters Come to Tumbarumba in April and get excited ...

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Tumbarumba Rail Trail Group honoured in Australia Day awards

Posted: 01/02/21

The Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail Committee, led by Owen and Cathy Fitzgerald and Debbie ...

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Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail Officially Opened

Posted: 03/04/20

After nearly two decades of hard work by the Riverina Highlands Rail Trails Inc team ...

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Cancelled – Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail Opening 3rd April

Posted: 04/03/20

This has been cancelled. Possibly rescheduled for weekend 25-27 September. Be part of history at ...

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Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail Still on Track

Posted: 06/02/20

Sealing the rail trail is progressing as planned. (Grant ...

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Construction Starts on NSW’s Tumbarumba Rail Trail

Posted: 25/04/19

It has been a long process to finally be ...

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Federal Government Reaffirms Support for Riverina Highlands Rail Trail

Posted: 28/04/09

Railtrails Australia welcomes this federal government support and the hopes that major rail trail development ...

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Riverina Highlands Rail Trail (NSW) a step closer

Posted: 17/07/06

In June the Riverina Regional Development Board adopted the recommendations of a feasibility study into ...

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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 ...

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Riverina Highlands Rail Trail Feasibility Study EOI

Posted: 13/08/05

Expressions of Interest. Suitably qualified consultancy firms or individuals are invited to submit Expressions of ...

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