Things to Do Category: Bike Riding | Cycling, Walking | Hiking, Horse Riding, and Free Activities - LandThings to Do Tags: Bike Riding / Rides - Gippsland, Gippsland, Hiking / Hikes, and Walking / Walks - Gippsland
The Great Southern Rail Trail utilises sections of the disused railway line running between Leongatha and Yarram. The 10 km section between Toora and Welshpool opened as recently as February 2015.
The western end of the Great Southern Rail Trail commences at Horticultural Park, Leongatha. The trail utilises the disused railway line running between Leongatha all the way through to Yarram at the eastern end – some 95 km total length. Whilst riding this trail, whether it be the entire trail or sections as outlined below, expect to be delighted with stunning sceneries ranging from distant mountains to river valleys, river & creek crossings, pastures & farmland, as well as the contrast of the boutique country towns to areas of lush green forests. Gippsland truly is a treasure of natural beauty.
Be sure to pack plenty of water, the sunscreen and some snacks.
We have segmented the trail into the following sections, noting that the distances are approximate:
– at total distance of some 95 km.
The cafes and conveniences located in the various town provides the perfect opportunity for users of the Rail Trail to freshen up, have a rest and enjoy a cuppa in the park areas or the community gardens that abut the historic Railway Line.
Originally, the Great Southern Railway facilitated the speedy transport of dairy products, stock, produce, newspapers, mail, fertilizer, fish, timber, machinery, groceries and passengers from South Gippsland to Melbourne and back. Opening in 1892, it sparked the growth of many townships along the railway corridor, as more and more settlers and prospectors moved in.
Overland trips which had once taken weeks, were reduced to just 6 hours. Sadly, it also contributed to the end of the era of the steamer.
The construction of the railway took 5 years to complete. Just 100 years later saw the end of rail transport – as road transport transcended . . .
About Victoria’s Rail Trails . . .
Rail Trails have become the new function for the abandoned railway corridors of yesteryear . . .
The heavy locomotives, together with the loads of coal & timber required to fire the steam engines, the carriages and cargoes meant that the early trains had to carve their way through the countryside, via the flatest, staightest, and easiest possible route (which remains the case for the railways of today). In an ideal world, a railway line should be as straight and as level as possible – as it requires, for example, five times more energy to pull a train up a gradient of 1 in 100 than for a level course. On top of that, the energy consumption also increases some 25 % for each degree of curve encountered – and then there is the significant issue of maintaining control of a long, heavy train as it traverses a downhill gradient . . .
Hence, the railway corridors were constructed as level, and as straight, as was possible – cutting through hills, under roads, over embankments and across gullies, rivers and creeks. This makes the disused railway corridors of yesteryear ideal for walking, cycling and horse riding. With the rails removed, the Rail Trails are generally resurfaced with gravel providing the user the perfect conditions to enjoy the surrounding environment.
– To obtain a List of Points of Interest along the ‘Great Southern Rail Trail’ – click here
– The Trail features:
– Walking, Cycling, Horse Riding
– Difficulty = Generally Easy to Moderate
– Gradient = Minimal to Moderate
– Unsealed Gravel, Sealed
– Car Parking is available at the various townships situate along the Trail
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