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East Gippsland Rail Trail

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This article is an itinerary.

This itinerary takes place in East Gippsland, in Victoria, Australia

Understand[edit]

The East Gippsland railtrail, runs from Bairnsdale to Orbost. The old railway line that used to extend Bairnsdale into Orbost has now been converted into a track for walking, cycling or horseriding.

Commencing from Bairnsdale, the track commences just east of the Mitchell River in Bairnsdale Park. You can see the old railway bridge across the Mitchell River, but it is only half standing and clearly unsuitable for traffic. The track starts just east of it. There is plenty of parking, and across the Princes Highway there are toilets and water fountains for filling water bottles etc. There are no facilities along the track for 10km. The first section of track from Bairnsdale to Nicholson is paved.

The track continues across mostly agricultural land for the first few kilometres, until it crosses the Princes Highway. At the point of crossing, about 200m to the left of the junction along the highway there is a mini-golf and archery centre. The mini-golf is quite unique, and they sell ice-creams, and drinks there.

Continuing on across the highway, the trail crosses some small creeks largely on the original rail bridges before coming into Nicholson. The trail crosses the Nicholson river on the original high level rail bridge, and is really quite spectacular. Cycle down just prior to the bridge along the river to a park and play area by the river. There are electric barbecues here. Across the road there is a pub, and 50m back away from the river there is a general store, selling hot food, drinks and ice-creams. There is water and toilets available in the park.

After the Nicholson River Bridge the track is no longer paved, but is a nice fine gravel well suited for cycling, but a hybrid or mountain bike would be best. The track continues another 12km onto towards Bruthen, leaving the alignment of the Princes Highway. At Bruthen the track goes through an original rail tunnel, and then crosses the original rail bridge over the Tambo River, another spectacular crossing. It is a short signposted diversion from the trail into Bruthen, the park in the centre strip of the road has toilets, water, and there is also a take-away store and a cafe on the main strip.

After Bruthen the track starts to go through the Colquhoun State Forest. It is a steady uphill gradient for the first 5km or so (or a very nice cruise into Bruthen, depending on your direction). The next section into Nowa Nowa continues through the forest, now on a gradual downhill. If cycling you can have a 2-3km stretch here with no pedalling required. The track passes a large trestle bridge over Stony Creek before Nowa Nowa - possibly one of the largest trestle bridges in Australia. Nowa Nowa has a general store and a cafe.

From Nowa Nowa the trail runs through the Waygara State forest to Newmerella. There is a service station in Newmerella. The trail follows by the side of the road and across the bridge the final 5km into Orbost.

Prepare[edit]

Get in[edit]

Go[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

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