The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail wends its way over 106 kilometres of sealed off-road track from Wangaratta to Bright – through north-eastern Victoria and to the foothills of Australia’s alpine country. We cycled here as part of our tour of the Great Alpine Road.
The gradient of the Rail Trail is gentle, and suitable for all ages and levels of fitness. You can do the whole thing or just a section or two. Side trips take you to holiday villages such as Beechworth, and even Glenrowan (site of bushranger Ned Kelly’s last stand). Another popular aside is the Milawa gourmet loop.
As the name suggests the Rail Trail has been established along historic and disused railway lines and still retains a railway flavour.
‘Stations’ with cafes are a feature of this lovely Australian biking trail, like this one at Porepunkah:
We cycled from the charming town of Bright (where we hired bikes from CyclePath) and I enjoyed it most when the trail moves away from the road and long avenues of trees shade the path. Then there were great views of the imposing bulk of Mount Buffalo national park, where we had already enjoyed going walking and swimming the day before.
We had a very favourable impression of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail – it’s very family friendly and cycling is always a pleasant way to get around, especially when there are vineyards to visit en route!
For the foodies among you, we enjoyed fabulous al fresco dining at Boynton’s Feathertop Vineyard, which also enjoys views of Mount Buffalo across the vines. I had a delicious steak and although we weren’t blown away by the wine (a chardonnay and a merlot) the service was excellent and it was a very convivial experience! They seem to welcome Rail Trail riders. It was another positive experience of Victoria’s excellent wine regions.
By Natasha von Geldern
Have you cycled the Rail Trail in Victoria? What were your highlights?