Trail Open

Walhalla Goldfields Rail Trail

Victoria - Gippsland

3 based on 3 reviews
Location: 165km East Of Melbourne
Length: 7 km
Surface: Coarse gravel
Start / End: Erica to Thomson
Public Transport: Train
Suitable for:
  • Cycling – Mountain BikesCycling – Mountain Bikes
  • Cycling – Touring and Hybrid BikesCycling – Touring and Hybrid Bikes
  • Horse RidingHorse Riding
  • WalkingWalking

Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • Experience life as it was in historic Walhalla.
  • Once one of Australia's richest towns and home to over 4000 gold seekers, this sleepy mountainside town is now frozen in time and is home to only 20 residents.
  • Walk through the lovingly restored centre full of heritage buildings, try your hand at panning for gold, or take a tour of the surrounding area.
  • Revel in the history that followed the discovery of Cohen's Reef, a three-kilometre vein of gold running through Walhalla.
  • Learn about the tough lives of miners, pan for gold down at Stringers Creek, and then explore the old hotels, shops, school and churches built in the 19th century when the town was at its peak.
  • Take a ride on the Walhalla Goldfields Railway. Enjoy the vibrant autumn trees, the beautiful Stringers Creek Gorge and colourful spring wildflowers.
  • For something a little spookier, take a ghost tour at the old cemetery on the hill.

Attractions

  • A short rail trail in beautiful mountain countryside, featuring tall forests and the meandering Thomson River.
  • An old mining area with the historic village of Walhalla close by.
  • Ride the short tourist railway from Thomson to Walhalla
  • Walk or cycle through steep cuttings with many twists and turns along the old railway formation
  • Views of Thomson River

Trail Guide

Access points

  • At Erica, park at the recreation reserve. See the map for details; the trail can be hard to locate
  • Junction of Tyers-Walhalla Rd and Walhalla Rd
  • At Thomson, park at the restored railway station, then follow the small road between the station and the river. Follow the track at the end of the railway yard and climb steeply to the old railway formation.

Section Guides

Erica to Thomson (7 km)

Note: the section between Platina Station and Thomson Station is currently closed following a landslide

  • From Erica, follow Station Rd past the caravan park on the former station site
  • Cross the low-level bridge over Jacobs Creek and proceed to a cutting surrounded by mountain ash
  • After 1.5km at Knotts Cutting (now filled in), follow the steep track to cross the Walhalla-Tyers road and rejoin the trail
  • Follow the twists and turns alongside Nelson Creek to the horseshoe bend. This bend is so sharp that passengers at the back of the train would see the locomotive travelling in the opposite direction.
  • A replica station has been built at Platina.  After passing beneath a road bridge there are great views of the Thomson River valley

Note: Just before Thomson, detour around the site of two trestle bridges. You may need to dismount 

Note: at the site of one of the missing bridges about 1 km before Thompson, there is a steep drop-off on a sharp bend with no warning signs or safety fence.

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Rail Line History

Gold was discovered at Walhalla in 1863, and created an impetus to build a railway.  A campaign started in the 1880’s, but it wasn’t until 1910 that a narrow gauge line was built from Moe to Walhalla.  However by the time the line was finished, the gold had started to peter out, and the miners used the railway to leave the area.  The line was closed in stages, and the final section from Moe to Erica was closed in 1954.  The wonderful concrete and steel bridge at Thomson was almost used by the army for demolition training, but a campaign by the Walhalla Goldfields Railway group finally succeeded in overturning that decision.  The railway is open between Thomson and Walhalla with a collection of completely restored rolling stock, and bikes can be carried on board.

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3 reviews of “Walhalla Goldfields Rail Trail”

27/27. Dodging bushfires and high temps, I completed my challenge of riding every RT in Victoria in 2019 by doing the Walhalla Goldfields Rail Trail.on 30th Dec. This was another one I had to go back to after an attempt earlier this year failed due to track closure because of bushfire damage.
And in the nick of time too, as Walhalla is closed the next day because of the Total Fire Ban.
It’s a short trail starting in Erica. For the 1st 2 kms you can gets a bit lost due to poor signage, but once you cross the Tyers-Walhalla Rd, it is straight downhill and easy to follow except the part where it goes under a road (no signs to tell you where to go).
There are some lovely views over the Thomson River, but there is a large amount of forest debris on the track so you have to concentrate and slow down.
Unfortunately, the finish is a bit disappointing as it turns into a dangerous single-track to get past a missing bridge, which then opens up to the tourist train station.
So that’s it! All 27 railtrails completed this calendar year to promote organ donation and saying thank you to my donor. What ride it has been!

I rode this trail on 3rd December 2014, along with the Tyers Junction rail trail. This is clearly a mountain bike track – though possible on hybrids for most of the way, except around Thompson. Sadly, there aren’t any great viewing spots, though you are deep in the bush. The Erica end is signposted and easy to find, the Thompson end is more difficult. Around the maze of bike tracks – follow the red arrows.

Just did this trail and found it a bit disappointing for a ride with such great potential in spectacular country. Hard to find the start at the Thompson River end and not really ridable until you get past the old bridge deviation. Track surface quite rough and mountain bikes would have been better than our hybrids. Quite overgrown in places with some fallen trees needing to be cleared. Nowhere really possible to ride two abreast. Trail bike riders have churned up the steep access points and also in places where the track is muddy. Difficult to find our way throught the last bit of forest into Erica through the maze of trail bike tracks with no signposting to indicate the way for cycles.

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