Retrace Australia’s most southern mainland rail line
LOCATION AND RAIL TRAIL SUMMARY
The Great Southern Rail Trail is located in Prom Country (South Gippsland) 90 minutes south east of Melbourne.
Walk, ride or cycle the Great Southern Rail Trail, mainland Australia’s southernmost rail trail. The trail stretches just over 70km from Leongatha to Port Welshpool across lush farmland, over bridges and through native vegetation. Take the full journey and retrace the rail line or choose shorter segments for a more leisurely outing.
As you ride the trail, make sure to stop and explore the towns that are linked along it. You will be amazed at the unique stories and experiences they offer….as well as the terrific coffee, shopping and dining opportunities.
The rail trail comprises seven unique sections:
Location: Leongatha to Port Welshpool
Distance: 72 kilometres one way
Track: Compacted gravel surface
Start/Finish: Leongatha and Port Welshpool
Leongatha to Koonwarra (7.8km)
The trail begins in Horticultural Park, 1 Young St, Leongatha. It is a gentle descent to Koonwarra, past farmland, lowland forest and wetlands.Seasonal wetlands near Gwythers Siding and permanent wetlands at Koonwarra begin 1km past Hogans Rd. Vegetation includes swamp scrub and wetland plants; heron and ducks may be seen. As you enter Koonwarra, you are welcomed by an avenue of trees, this picturesque village is known for its local produce, sustainable living and monthly farmers market.
Koonwarra to Meeniyan (8.2km)
Travel along the trail, this takes you through an underpass, where the trail continues to Meeniyan. The history of the railway is brought to life as you cross the trestle bridges originally built in the 1880s.
This section of the trail winds its way through the Black Spur, named after the creek that flows beneath. Pass through lush fern gullies before taking in expansive views of the flats surrounding the Tarwin River.
The trail continues to Meeniyan where it meanders close to the main street. Access this friendly town through Tanderra Park and explore its gallery, shops, cafes and restaurants.
Meeniyan to Fish Creek (18.3km)
Here the trail begins the long diversion south that the railway took to avoid the steep Foster hills. This diverse section of the trail offers views of productive pastures, giant gumtrees and flowing creeks. There is a gentle rise in the gradient of the trail as you leave the park at Buffalo and head towards the artistic village of Fish Creek.
Fish Creek to Foster (12.4km)
From Fish Creek the trail climbs a valley on the west side of the Hoddle Range and crosses at an elevation of 140m just past Lowrys Road. As you travel along this section you will enjoy views of Corner Inlet and the peaks of Wilsons Promontory National Park. There is a lot of dense forest along the side of the trail, with a variety of plants including tree ferns and orchids and a range of bird life. As you complete this section of trail, you arrive at Foster Station Park. It is just a short 1.5km detour from here into the township of Foster.
Foster to Toora (10.2km)
This section is a leisurely journey with an ever-changing view. From dairy farms and gum tree glades, to rivers, rolling hills and wind turbines. This gentle section of the trail is ideal for young families to explore.
Toora to Welshpool (10.2km)
With the best of worlds, you will travel through bushland and past extensive dairy farms, with views to Corner Inlet. This section is flat, making it suitable for all fitness levels and perfect for families.
Welshpool to Port Welshpool (5km)
The trail winds its way through the streets of Welshpool before continuing along to the coast. This is a short 5km flat section as you approach the end of the Great Southern Rail Trail and the fishing town of Port Welshpool. Enjoy views of Corner Inlet, Snake Island and the northern section of Wilsons Promontory National Park.
FRIENDS OF THE RAIL TRAIL
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Friends of the Great Southern Rail Trail
Everyone needs friends and the GSRT is no exception. Friends are important in helping the volunteer Committee of Management keep the trail clear of weeds and debris and also maintain this beautiful asset for residents and visitors to South Gippsland.
Volunteers are invited to:
· Hold and/or participate in working bees
· Help the committee at specific stations
· Alert the committee of issues related to the trail
· Join the Committee of Management
For more information:
Sign up on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/GreatSouthernRailTrail/
or contact Dana Hughes 5662 9384
Updated Monday 4th April 2016