Calling all outdoor adventure types who don’t mind getting a little dusty.
Whether you like long walks exploring the countryside, pedalling your way along off-road tracks or trotting on horseback – we’ve got three rail trails you need to know about in the South Burnett region.
Passing through Southern Queensland Country region, the South Burnett Rail Trail, Link Route and Brisbane Valley Rail Trail create over 300 kilometres of off-road, traffic-free adventure through our region’s country towns.
If this sounds like your type of day (or weekend) adventure, read on.
What is it?
The South Burnett Rail Trail (aka Kingaroy to Kilkivan Rail Trail) is the latest extension to the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail and covers a distance of 88 kilometres.
While the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail may hold the title as Australia’s longest rail trail, covering a total of 161 kilometres from Wakaraka to Yarraman, the South Burnett Rail Trail includes Queensland’s longest sealed rail trail with a 44 kilometre section of sealed pathway between Kingaroy and Murgon.
Connecting both of the main trails is a small 56 kilometre link route, aptly named the Link Trail which connects Kingaroy to Yarraman.
As well as the three main rail trail sections, there are additional circuits which cyclists can navigate, including the 32km NAN1 which loops through Nanango town centre, NAN2, as 22km ride following Greenwood Creek Road or the 126km which travels both north and south sections of the rail trails from Linville to Nanango.
What to expect?
Sealed pathways, rugged roads and quiet country roads – you’ll find it all as you explore the rail trails.
If your transport of choice is two wheels, make sure you choose a mountain bike or gravel bike with thicker tyres to navigate the terrain – you’ll want to leave your road bike at home for this adventure.
The trails are used by horse riders, walkers and runners as well as cyclists, so be aware of other trail users along the way.
While the farmland vistas and country towns provide the playground for the ultimate nature escape, each section of the trail also offers travellers a taste of the region’s history – from the remains of the original Brisbane Valley Railway to cattle and farmland equipment.
Of course with multiple towns to stop along the way, expect your experience to be paired with good ol’ hospitality from the community.
Psst. Be sure to check out our guide to the best wineries in the South Burnett before you go too.
How to get there?
Depending on where you plan to start your journey, you’ll want to consider logistics for this one-way rail trail.
If you’re tackling the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail section, Out There Cycling operates a shuttle bus service stopping at any stop along the trail, helping you get to your starting point or home from your endpoint.
To navigate other sections of the trails, you may need to plan an out-and-back adventure or coordinate cars at either end of your journey.
Where to stay?
Make the most of your country location and overnight in a local pub or bed and breakfast.
Depending on how many overnights you’re putting into your itinerary, Blackbutt, Linville and Yarraman provide travellers with pubs, caravan parks or B&B accommodation.
And if you find yourself with some exploring time in between sections, be sure to read our guide to the top 10 things to do in the South Burnett.
What you should know before you go?
While all three trails weave through or close by to 20 different towns along the way, there are sections without any services or supplies for up to 20 kilometres (or more).
Make sure you always carry plenty of fluids and snacks with you and always know how far it is to your next destination so you can plan how long it will take to get there.
Don’t let the name ‘rail trail’ fool you into thinking this will be one long, flat trail to follow. Several sections of the trail have steep gradients and rough sections to prepare for.
The journey from north to south is known to be the easier direction with fewer inclines – perfect for those building their cycling fitness and abilities.