Great Victorian Rail Trail
The Great Victorian Rail Trail is the new name! It replaces Goulburn River High Country Rail Trail – the name that was used while the trail was under construction. It is the longest continuous rail trail in Australia traversing 134 kilometres through north, north east Victoria. Set on a former railway easement, this trail can be cycled, walked or ridden in either direction. If a shorter trip is more your style, there are loads of sections accessible from carparks and villages dotted along the rail trail, all with their own personality from which to choose.
The rail trail meanders through farmland, along the Goulburn River and in the foothills of the magnificent Victorian High Country.
The completed rail trail traverses the Mitchell, Murrindindi and Mansfield Shires, connecting towns and communities including Tallarook, Trawool, Kerrisdale, Homewood, Yea, Yarck, Molesworth, Cathkin, Alexandra, Koriella, Kanumbra, Merton, Woodfield, Bonnie Doon, Maindample and Mansfield.
The Rail Trail promises many exciting adventures as it winds along the heritage-classified Goulburn River, through the Trawool Valley, classified by the National Trust for its scenic beauty, crossing over Lake Eildon at the Brankeet Arm, on its way to the magnificent High Country and Mts Buller and Stirling. Towns and settlements along the way offer unique experiences and places to explore, including historic landmarks and buildings, art galleries, museums, food and wine, shopping and markets.
The gradients are mostly gentle which makes walking or riding the rail trail suitable for all levels. In saying this, there are some long climbs that the not so fit may find a bit challenging. The highest point is 397 metres at Merton Gap and the steepest climb is from Alexandra to Eglington Cutting – well worth the view once you reach the top.
The surface is either chert (a compacted black stone that looks like bitumen) or granitic sand. A bridle path meanders beside the trail where there is chert and is marked with blue posts or where there is granitic sand it is a shared pathway. Bike wise, the rail trail is best suited to mountain bikes, hybrid and touring cycles.
The Rail Trail was officially opened by Simon Crean MP in June 2012. Funded by Federal Government, State Government and the Shires of Mansfield, Murrindindi and Mitchell, it has been a collaborative partnership over three years of planning and construction.
Check http://www.mansfield.vic.gov.au/railtrail.aspx for updates regarding Phase 2 New Rail Trail Branding.
Mansfield – Tallarook 121 km Tallarook – Mansfield 121km
Alexandra Spur Line 13 Alexandra Spur LIne 13
Mansfield – Bonnie Doon 22 Tallarook – Trawool Resort 11
Bonnie Doon – Merton 15 Trawool Resort – Yea 27
Merton – Yarck 19 Yea – Cheviot Tunnel 9
Yarck – Cathkin 6 Cheviot Tunnel - Molesworth 8
Cathkin – Alexandra 13 Molesworth - Cathkin 4
Cathkin – Molesworth 4 Cathkin – Alexandra 13
Molesworth – Cheviot Tunnel 8 Cathkin – Yarck 6
Cheviot Tunnel – Yea 9 Yarck – Merton 19
Yea – Trawool Resort 27 Merton – Bonnie Doon 15
Trawool Resort – Tallarook 11 Bonnie Doon – Mansfield 22
Mansfield – Yea 83 Tallarook – Yea 38
Mansfield – Alexandra 75 Yea – Alexandra 34
Yea – Tallarook 38 Alexandra – Mansfield 75
Originally there were 73 bridges along this disused rail line and many of them have been repaired or replaced. The Goulburn River Bridge at Molesworth is a highlight now that it is fully functional again, as is the King Parrot Creek Bridge which is one of the highest and longest bridges that has been restored. Some of the bridges have not been replaced as regulations on bridge heights have changed since the original train line was laid. Where it was not possible to rebuild these bridges, low level crossings or culverts have been used. The timber heritage bridges have been maintained with a sympathetic refurbishment.
While out on the trail please carry your own water.
Don’t forget if you are walking your dog it must be on a leash at all times and please collect and remove any of its droppings.
Toilets & shelters
There are twelve new toilets along the trail plus public toilets in the towns and villages. Also several shelters with tables and chairs. The Eglington Cutting shelter has the most magnificent view overlooking the town of Alexandra and beyond to the Cathedral Range. Another lovely shelter stop along the trail is beside the Goulburn River approximately 6 kms from Tallarook.
It is possible to walk, cycle or ride through this 200m railway tunnel built in 1889. To reach the tunnel, take Limestone Road (on the right after leaving Yea, traveling towards Mansfield). After a couple of kilometres there is a signpost to the tunnel on Cheviot Road to the left. This is the longest rail trail tunnel in Victoria.
NB: Cheviot Tunnel is now closed to motor vehicles.
|Environment Leave all flora and fauna undisturbed. Take your rubbish home or use bins provided. No firewood collectionread more…||Your Safety Take care at road crossings. Observe all signs and local regulations. Check weather conditions before travelread more …|
|Trail Etiquette Respect the rights of other users at all times. Keep left and do not obstruct the trail. Cyclists give way to walkers. Alert other users of your approachRead more…||Dogs and Horses Ride horses off the bike/walking track unless signage indicates otherwise. The horse must be ridden at a walking pace when on the track formed for walking and bike ridingread more…|