Past front page items
A group of 12 recently did a 4-day ride
Day 1:Bairnsdale to Nowa Nowa Day
Day 2: Nowa Nowa to Orbost for lunch and back
Day 3: Nowa Nowa to Metung via the Rail Trail and Gippsland Discovery Trail
Day 4: Metung to Bairnsdale via local roads and Rail Trail
Click on this image to see the full slide show
Green Army works at Burn Rd removing Box thorn.
The team of young people worked 3 days (one day off through wet weather) and have done wonders with the Box Thorn. They have also planted lots of Acacia maidenii, both on the 'Box Thorn' hill and on the bottom side of the trail and also removed quite a few weeds. Thanks for a job well done.
New signs link Orbost CBD with Burn Road
Drive / Ride to Cure Juvenile Diabetes On March 21st 2015
18 people set off in horse and cart or on horseback from Bairnsdale to travel up the Rail Trail to eventually get to Newmerella 96kms away. We were assisted by a support team of 5 people who carried all our camping and horse gear and followed us via the road. We were met at the Princes Hwy by the wonderful police who made sure we crossed safely. We travelled at a reasonable trot until we got to the Nicholson Bridge where we all assisted each other across safely . Read The full story with lots of photos here
When visiting Orbost over the next month check out the Historical Society's exhibition in the main street.
The DELWP is undertaking a fuel reduction burn which includes a section of the East Gippsland Rail Trail. The below map shows the affected location as a blue dashed line.. Approximately a 4km length will be burnt on probably just the North side of the trail. Between NOWA NOWA and RAIL CROSSING RD. The trail may be closed during and after the burn for safety precautions. The date is weather dependant, but likely to be: Sunday 29th or the following week and ongoing until deemed safe from hazard trees etc.
19 March 2015:I haven't been able to confirm that the trail is fully open but it is likely that the below detour is no longer needed. I will leave the map here for a week or so just in case it is needed.
The DELWP is undertaking a fuel reduction burn which includes a section of the East Gippsland Rail Trail. The attached map shows the location. Approximately a 1km length will be burnt on both sides of the trail. The trail will be closed during and after the burn for safety precautions.
The date is weather dependant, but likely to be: DATES: Possibly Friday 6th, Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th and ongoing until deemed safe from hazard trees etc. The trail in this section remains closed as at Monday 9 March although the burn has been completed.
The affected section is between Waygara and Simpson Creek. A detour via the highway for a few kilometers is available. The blue dash line indicates closed section The green dash line indicates detour.
Snowy West Landcare Field Day at Burn Rd Rail Trail Orbost
May leatch, Mayor Mark Reeves, Ben Pyatt and Amy with Chairman of the East Gippsland Rail Trail Committee of Management Michael Oxer during the planting of an extra 500 trees and grasses inside the rail trail reserve. Over 3000 plants have been added in and around the Burn Rd start of the rail trail by Snowy West Landcare Group.
Around 30 people attended the field day. Chairperson of the Snowy West Landcare May Leatch said she was extremely proud of the work done by the group over the past two years.
Allen Trumball-Ward a specialist in the local flora environment points out to the group some of the plants used in the revegetation of the embankment. Rohan Bilney also informed the group about the fauna to be found in the area.
A group of 12 older age bicycle riders, women and men, all from NSW, set off on a multi day visit of this rail trail with Orbost as their destination. A significant number of interstate visitors to the East Gippsland Rail Trail are coming from the ACT and NSW. With them comes a much needed money flow into local businesses.
However, this volunteer managed public asset has no assured funding to keep the entire length of 97 kilometres fully open and in good condition. It is proving to be an important destination experience but for how much longer?
An example of the new trail direction signs format which will gradually be rolled out. This set has been funded as part of the Nicholson River Landcare group projects on the east side of the Nicholson River trail bridge.
30.000 copies have been printed and are now being distributed. It features the former Bairnsdale 'homing' signal and highlights bridges not least being the Wairewa Road example ( Past Nowa Nowa towards Orbost ) which should be returned to use in the future..
The production of the brochure was supplemented by the support of 18 local businesses who bought a small add on the map page. Each of these businesses is also listed on this website in the appropriate friends category accessible from the vertical menu to the right
Hospital Creek Signboard
A new signboard has just been installed at the site of the old Hospital Creek Bridge which was destroyed in the 2011 bushfires.
The sign was sponsored by members of the Orbost Community. This completes the set of 9 signboards between Nowa Nowa and Orbost. It is hoped these signs add interest for travelers with information on some history as well as information on flora and fauna.
The signed was installed By Friends of East Gippsland Rail Trail Committee members. This photo is of Geoff Preston and Marlene Robb with the newly installed sign board. The area around Hospital Creek has experienced substantial weed regrowth after the bushfire. Black Wattle regrowth is a particular problem with dense patches of young trees dominating the area.
The area around Wombat Creek and Tostaree which experienced the worst of this rather intense bushfire still shows the impact. In this area you can see the Eucalypt tree's response to this bushfire which would have destroyed most other species. Eucalypt trees have extensive epicormic buds which sprout following a fire thus allowing the vegetative regeneration of branches from their trunks.
Rail Trail Restoration Grants
Eleven East Gippsland Landcare groups will each receive grants for environmental projects on public land. Two of these were: Nicholson River Landcare Group, rail trail restoration at Nicholson, $14,800;and Snowy West Landcare Group, rail trail restoration at Newmerella, $22,700.
Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Ryan Smith and Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull announced the funding on Monday March 25. “These grants give Landcare groups across East Gippsland the support they need to lend a hand on public land,” Mr Smith said. “Each project will assist in protecting and enhancing their local environment. “The grants will be used to improve 15 public land reserves across East Gippsland and will focus on improving accessibility and the appearances of public places and recreational reserves, as well as enhancing habitat for plants and animals.”
Mr Bull said around 300 volunteers would be involved in a range of projects including restoring some of the region's popular rail trails, planting indigenous vegetation, restoring rainforests and controlling weeds and pests.
This photo shows Mr Tim Bull inspecting the Newmerella site with Snowy West Landcare members Dawn Parker, Keith Law and Marlene Robb.
Historic signal mast gets armed!
On the last day of 2012 the signal mast at the Trail entrance in Bairnsdale was fitted with a replica 'home' signal arm and top capping. These had been fabricated and donated by Trail supporter Robbie Fraser, one time steam engine driver on this line. Committee member John Nelson and another great Mitchell River Rotary Club supporter Leigh Venables (Venables Precast - Crane Hire P/L), under Robbie's watchful eye, used a 'cherry picker' lift to reach the top of the mast and bolt on the new components.
The mast had been retrieved from near the Bairnsdale railway station several years ago and installed beside the Trail pathway and now forms one of the few remaining railway artifacts from the steam train era. This was the 'home' signal which was used to give the engine driver permission to leave the Bairnsdale yard and proceed towards Nicholson. A similar mast has been installed at the Burn Road end of the Trail, forming the 'book ends' for this long rail trail.
The Bairnsdale mast also carries the bronze plaque which was unveiled at Nicholson on the occasion of the formal opening of the first section to Bruthen in December 1998.
The next phase of an upgrade for the western entry area is to review present vegetation in preparation for another round of planting and in readiness for the anticipated installation of a new visitor shelter which will have a roof profile modeled on an old goods shed located at Rosedale. The intention is to also replace the pine post and rails at the entrance with a traditional white picket fence.
Snowy River Cycling Sponsor Story Board at Partelli's Crossing
Liz Mitchell of Snowy River Cycling not only sponsored a story board about the impact of fire on the Hospital Creek area of the Rail Trail she also helped in installing the board.
Marlene Robb and Liz Mitchell with the Story Board. There are now 8 story boards installed on the Nowa Nowa to Orbost Section.
The East Gippsland Rail Trail is fully open
Trail access has reopened at Newmerella. Visitors to the rail trail can now again use the Preston Road to Burn Road section at the eastern (Orbost) end of the trail. This part had been closed following serious damage caused during the June storms. Thanks to the huge efforts of volunteers and with local equipment there has been sufficient repair to the trail embankment to allow safe passage, but be aware that there is still a dip in the pathway. Warning signs will be erected to advise visitors. Considerable work has yet to be done to avoid the culvert being blocked again. An estimate of the cost so far is several tens of thousands of dollars. A great community effort by all concerned.
The newly-formed Snowy West Landcare Group has successfully received funding for their first project to protect and enhance the vegetation at the Burn Rd start of the EGRT. There will be selective professional weed eradication and volunteer planting of endemic plants including acacia maidenii an endangered species of wattle.
Members of Snowy West Landcare group meeting with Rail Trail Committee of management discussing proposed work.
The work has now been carried out with extensive weed spraying and removal of blackberry. Thirty new advanced trees have been planted and 400 other plantings have been completed.
This series of images show the growth at Burn rd since the original plantings in 2009.
Rebuilding habitat for native birds and animals on the Trail Reserve. The Nicholson River Landcare Group has been working on a 100 m section of the Reserve at the eastern end of the Trail's Nicholson River bridge since early 2011. Several hundred indigenous shrubs, trees and grasses have been planted. Thanks to good rains last year and regular weeding, this effort is being rewarded with excellent plant growth. A seat and new paths have been added, providing extra walking path options near Nicholson. Well worth exploring.
Don't let weeds beat you; Nicholson River Landcare remove yet another trailer load of invading ferals from the new planting.
Thanks to a very generous farmer and Landcare member in the Nicholson area, the Trail Committee and Landcare now have access to a 4x4 ute on long term loan. With 420,000 kms on the clock this 1988 Landcruiser is no pretty face but with some TLC from very helpful DSE people at Nowa Nowa some of its deficiencies are being fixed. It will reduce the need to use private vehicles for maintenance work and add a high level of flexibility for tackling some of the tougher jobs. Many thanks, Leo!
This very bright addition to the Trail Committee's resources is thanks to a generous donation more than two years ago of a part built but very solid 4'x4' trailer, by a member of the Bayside Touring Club (cycling; metro Melbourne) and more recently an amazing welding fit-out by Archie Sutherland (of Nicholson River Landcare) aided by Committee member John Nelson. The 200 litre 12V spray tank with hose reel purchased in 2010 thanks to a grant from the Federal Department of Families, Housing, Community Service & Indigenous Affairs ($1751), has been installed, with various carry boxes for tools and equipment. We look forward to the addition of some colourful 'artwork' from a budding graphics designer. This trailer will provide an invaluable addition for use with the Landcruiser ute. Thanks Archie and John!
Another view of the new work trailer. It even has a spare wheel slung under the tray and considerable floor space for extra water drums, tools etc. The tank and spray will be used for weed control.
Santos sponsored Story Board at Newmerella. From the left: Kathryn Mitchell and Sue Rayner from Santos, Kerry Seaton from DSE and Committee of Management and Marlene Robb from Friends of the EGRT.
This story board describes the flora in the remnant rainforest area between Newmerella and Burn Rd. This is the 5th board installed with a further three in production.
A seat installed at Sarsfield Road, Nicholson, in memory of Jan Martorana-Cleeland, a cousin of Michael Oxer and Marg Holt. A similar seat is located near the Nicholson Bridge in memory of Marg's late husband Barry, a former President of Railtrails Australia.
Updateon Trail closure at Newmerella.
On Monday July 23rd, work began on clearing the fallen trees in the area of the collapsed embankment which has led to the closure of the Preston Rd - Burn Rd section. The work has been progressing well but more work is needed. Until the work has been completed and the Trail is declared safe for visitors, the Preston - Burn Rd section is a construction site and out of bounds to the general public. This short section can be bypassed via Preston Rd and the Princes Highway for about 1 km on a wide sealed verge. Turn left into Burn Rd just past the service station. The rest of this farmlands-forests-and rivers rail trail is OPEN to visitors. The Wattle is blooming, the Heath plants are abundant and there is so much to see and explore, in Naturally Magic East Gippsland.
This slideshow shows that work is underway to fix the the damage to the rail trail in the Orbost to Newmerella area. As well as a large wash out there were a lot trees down between Burn Rd and Prestons Rd. This section remains closed until restoration work is complete.
A long serving member of the Committee of management Michael Oxer has been acknowledged by having a nature reserve on Nicholson River named after him . The Committee and Friends acknowledge Micheal's commitment to our cause and congratulate him on this honour.
The East Gippsland Art Gallery has in May 2012 a two part exhibition. An in situ ephemeral sculptures along sections of the East Gippsland Rail Trail. These images are in the section between Burn Rd and Prestons Rd Newmerella. The second part is artwork inspired by the sites and visual project documentaation at EGAG 2 Nicholson St Bainsdale 3875 website Link
Sarsfield CFA get fired up
Volunteers from the Sarsfield CFA Brigade have provided valuable assistance with controlled burns over the last year, dealing with trash heaps prepared as part of fuel reduction clean up work conducted by the Trail volunteer management committee assisted by crews from Bairnsdale Community Correctional Services. Without this sort of local support it would be very hard to keep this Trail in reasonable shape.
First of many Story Boards to enhance the East Gippsland Rail Trail
Four new story boards have been installed on the link trail between Orbost township and Burn Rd Trail Head. These boards have been funded by generous donations from the Orbost Community.
1. "End of the Line" at the old station site sponsored by Orbost & District Historical Society.
2. " Our Longest Timber Rail Bridge" near the viaduct sponsored by the Orbost & District Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
3. "Buiding The Line" at Burn Rd trail head sponsored by Orbost Visitor Information Centre.
4. " A 20th Century Tussle" at Burn Rd Trail head sponsored by the Friends of Orbost Op Shop.
The East Gippsland Shire has installed these sign boards with out cost to the East Gippsland Rail Trail.
Giles St Upgrades
There are a number of story boards in planning and production. This photo shows a meeting of the residents at Giles St Wiseleigh near Bruthen who are planning to upgrade the area around Giles St with picnic facilities and story boards.
We are pleased to see such a strong community involvement in improving the facilities along the rail trail.
The little things you can miss
There is more to this Trail than an easy pathway, big trees and wonderful rivers. Take the time to look at the ground, move quietly and keep a sharp look out and some amazing little critters can catch ones attention. This small lizard was spotted taking in the morning sun near a vegetation clean up site. It was about 12 cms long and quite unfazed by a close up camera. This Spring there are many small flowing plants to be found so it is worth pausing along the way.
Great spot for a seat
The Nicholson River Landcare Group has carried out a major planting of indigenous species on the north side of the Trail immediately east of the Nicholson River bridge. A new side track has been installed with access under the bridge abutment. Part of the project included this seat, which has views across the river. Bird nesting boxes have been installed to complement the already high variety of birds at this locality. The additional paths are part of the Nicholson Walks Project.
This Trail is now fully open to visitors
Following the very fierce fires which swept through the Tostaree to Waygara sections on February 1-2,further work will take place during March to improve and protect the pathway surface. Grading and rolling will take place but this should cause only brief delays of the sort often encountered with maintenance work. The major loss has been the Hospital Creek bridge. It was not in use but an outstanding landmark. A toilet unit at Partellis Crossing also burnt down. With the mild weather and approaching Autumn the countryside will be looking less blackened as plants and trees begin regenerating. This is a great time to visit. Biking or walking. Come and enjoy magnificent Eastern Victoria!
New pathway near Bairnsdale entrance
The Shire Council has recently replaced a rough pathway near the Hadfield Street link with a new concrete surface. It is part of a wider linking pathways upgrade for the East Bairnsdale area.
Volunteers repair a vandalised gate
Incidents of wanton vandalism of infrastructure on the Trail leave damage which diverts effort from other important work. Recently several gateways have been damaged on the newer (since 2006) Nowa Nowa to Orbost section. A gatepost at Joiners Road (western crossing) has been repaired by volunteer members of the Friends Association. Thanks to them and all the other helpers who pitch in to help keep the Trail in good shape.
The East Gippsland Rail Trail launched into cyberspace with its first site with those exact words on June 29th 2004. Way back then. And so much has happened thanks in the most part to persistent and dedicated volunteers who keep this Trail a going concern.
Thanks also to a Federal Government grant in 2005 it was possible to complete the route almost to the banks of the iconic Snowy River. Then with funding from the Victorian Government, great assistance from the Shire Council and support from the Trail Management Committee we saw the off road link from Burn Road established right into Orbost.
Several issues of the brochure and map (thanks to Railtrails Australia and assistance from Bicycle Victoria) have been launched since 2004. And most recently the Shire Council has provided funding to help our marketing efforts. So we move forward, dedicated to making sure this Trail justifies the claim - 'There's nothing like the East Gippsland Rail Trail!'
Now come visit, and keep checking here for news updates.
Getting the chips flying
A small volunteer grant late last year from the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (Community Investment Program - and thanks Jill) enabled the Trail Committee (with some extra funds added by the Committee) to purchase a heavy duty chipper machine. It will be used to turn green vegetation being removed as part of the regular fuel reduction works into mulch to support tree planting projects. This reduces the amount of material that would otherwise be burned, so it also helps our 'carbon footprint'.
The Hansa C13 can be seen in action in a video clip at here
Melbourne Ausbike Bicycle Expo
Volunteers on the Rail Trail stand at the Ausbike Expo on Saturday August 21. Michael Oxer (RT Committee), Mike Ryan (Mingling Waters), Andrew Sharpe (RT Committee), and Liz Mitchell (Snowy River Cycling). The fluro vests and caps are new attire for volunteers, and made it easy for visitors seeking information.
The enlarged map of the Trail was a constant focus of attention. The new Perry's Bus Service shuttle information got a lot of attention; The 6 metre x 1 metre stand was part of the current promotional project, thanks to support from the East Gippsland Shire Council, and a number of local businesses and organisations.
Liz explains some details while Mike helps another visitor.
Mike talks up the Trail while Han Oxer explains some
details from the Trail brochure.
Bus Service 3rd Sunday of each Month
A regular bus service on the 3rd Sunday in each month has been introduced to support bike riders and walkers on the East Gippsland Rail Trail.This is a shuttle service: Orbost , Nowa Nowa, Bruthen, Bairnsdale and return. It has facility to transport bikes as well as passengers.
- 2.00pm Orbost (depart)
- 2.30pm Nowa Nowa
- 3.00pm Bruthen
- 3.30pm Bairnsdale (arrive)
- 3.45pm Bairnsdale(depart)
- 4.15pm Bruthen
- 4.45pm Nowa Nowa
- 5.15pm Orbost (arrive)
The first run of the shuttle bus on June 20 was supported by 5 passengers despite the inclement weather. Plan your next ride for 19 September 2010 to take advantage of this service.
Kathryn Thomson waits for the shuttle bus out of the rain at Nowa Nowa.
Mike Ryan describes the Nowa Nowa Mountain Bike facility at the May meeting of the Friends of the Rail Trail . Visit their Website for more information
Burn Rd Update
In June 2009 a shelter plus planting and mulching was made at the Burn Rd car park at the Orbost end of the trail. This small image shows how it looked in June 2009.
Over the last 10 months and particularly over summer the growth of the plantings and the weeds has been greater than we expected. On April 13 a team from corrective services and a few friend volunteers weeded and remulched the area. This photo shows the difference 10 months growth and a day's labour can achieve.
COUNCIL BACKS PUSH TO MARKET RAIL TRAIL
Following a submission from the Rail Trail management committee seeking funding for a marketing and promotion position, the Shire Council has accepted a recommendation from the Economic Development Advisory Board and allocated $25,000 to assist with a marketing drive. 'The Trail committee is greatly heartened by Council's support for a more professional marketing program' said Michael Oxer, Trail committee chairperson, following the Council vote on Tuesday night. 'Virtually all efforts so far to promote the Trail have depended on community volunteer effort, especially in development and management of the trail's web site, and preparation of the information brochure and map' Mr Oxer added.
Oversight of this new marketing program will be a partnership between the Council's Major Projects and Economic Development Unit and the Trail committee. A number of activities and projects were suggested in the committee's submission, including targeting schools, cycling, walking and equestrian groups, enhancing the web site, revising trail notes, and special events which attract new visitors to East Gippsland. 'Decisions have yet to be made on details for carrying out this exciting new development for the Trail'
Would you like to help?
The Rail Trail Management Committee is keen to have more assistance and invites expressions of interest from anyone interested in joining the team. The salary is outstanding - zilch! 'Hours' are very flexible. The tasks and issues involved are very interesting and often even challenging, with plenty of variety. Formal meetings are bi-monthly. Email is a primary way to share information, etc. Representation from the Orbost end of the Trail will be an advantage. Interest in marketing and promotion matters would be highly valued.To learn more just email a note via this web site, to the Chairman.
A group of four students Joanne Rogers, Nathan Dubbeld, Nathan Young and Emma Clark walked the railtrail from Saturday through Tuesday. They had initially hoped to finish the entire walk but had to finish at Bruthen on the last day because of blisters. They did the walk as their final adventurous journey for the Gold Duke of Edinburgh that they're hoping to be presented with at the end of this year.They are all year twelve students at the Warragul Regional College and have been doing Duke of Edinborough for several years now.
The walk began with mild weather and they walked all the way through to Partellis Crossing Road. Day two began ok but started to get really wild and a lady from Parks Victoria told them that it was too dangerous to be walking so by 12 o'clock they had to pack it in and went to Lakes for the afternoon. Day three was still quite cool and windy but barely a drop of rain. There were several fallen trees that were too heavy to be moved. Day four was beautiful blue sky as they walked into Bruthen.
There are several excellent sites already considered as suitable 'rest and landscape view' locations, typically about mid point between road crossings or special vantage spots.
We will be delighted to discuss the details.
Bullant Beer Boost 4 Bruthen
A new colorbond steel clad building overlooking the Trail next to the unique former railway tunnel is set to reshape Bruthen as a 'must visit' destination. Housing the soon to be opened Bullant Brewery complete with bar and restaurant and outside decking with views across the Tambo valley, it is simply a stand out.
Plans are forming to establish a pathway off the Trail to the adjacent foot bridge for easy access by Trail visitors. Landscaping along the top of the Trail cutting will enhance the precinct which should become a major attraction for all visitors to Bruthen.
More Bruthen area upgrades
The access ramp west of the tunnel has been rebuilt thanks to a special grant from DSE. This on/off point connects to a pathway listed for sealing thanks to the Shire Council. Drain lines have been cleared of debris and the embankment will be planted with appropriate indigenous grasses and rushes. With help from a Bairnsdale Community Correctional Services crew a track from the Trail to the Tambo River 'Bridge to Bridge' walk has been cleared. There will be ongoing upgrades to various sections of the Trail in the Bruthen area.
Tambo Upper Road entrance blockade
Illegal vehicle traffic (which degrades the pathway and endangers the safety of visitors) is being blocked by use of large rocks. This type of treatment has been adopted at several locations where wire fences have been knocked down by vandals. (Funding by a DSE grant)
Let's tell them!
Thanks to the promotional funding from the Shire Council (Economic Development Advisory Board) the Trail management Committee has subscribed to block advertisements in several wide circulation publications. To date these include: East Gippsland Visitor Guide; Youth Hostels Australia 'Backpacker Essentials'; the Bruthen Rambler; Orbost town and locality map. Other outlets will be added to the list, with the aim of taking the name of the Trail to a wide audience.
Ride the Trail, then explore the hills.
The Rail Trail is easy riding but it also gives visitors a chance to venture into the high country and explore the sights, smells and vistas of East Gippsland's forests. One of the Friends Association recent activities was a ride through hills North East of Orbost amongst the big trees and over clear running streams. A great boost to the spirit. Give it a go. Skip the city for a few days, discover eastern Victoria's secrets.
CFA help with fire management
Bumberrah and Sarsfield CFA brigades have assisted with fuel reduction trash heap burns between Bairnsdale and Stephensons Road. This volunteer help is greatly appreciated.
Places to take care
There are several places where visitors do need to take special care. The access points each end of the Stony Creek bridge are steep, especially the eastern side but that was last year treated with a roughened concrete screed to ensure stability and stop erosion. It should be obvious to any visitor that these inclines are to be taken with care. The other potential 'problem' location on this section is at Drivers Break, a large cutting just west of Nowa Nowa which had collapsed several years ago following the laying of the interstate gas pipeline. A great deal of cost and effort has been expended to try and halt the erosion and provide a reasonable path. It is just a couple of hundred metres long. At times here it can mean walking bikes rather than riding.
At any time if a problem is encountered on this Trail the details can be reported to the Committee via the email Comment facility on this site.