This content was provided by Destination Gippsland as part of a partnership with Bicycle Network for the Great Vic Bike Ride.
Here are five epic rail trails that you can walk or cycle – pick a section to get the blood pumping for a few hours, or give yourself a challenge and master the whole thing across a few days. These trails are punctuated by warm villages, and the wide open spaces between them showcase the diverse landscapes of Gippsland. It beats the view from your living room any day.
Bass Coast Rail Trail
Anderson - Wonthaggi | 16km one way
This is Victoria’s only coastal rail trail and the journey sets high expectations, surpassed with an ovation-worthy ride at the meeting of land and sea.
- Journey through bucolic farmland until the panorama opens to the roaring ocean
- Replenish your energy reserves at one of Kilcunda’s warm cafes or the iconic Killy Pub (bookings only)
- Marvel at the heritage listed Kilcunda Trestle Bridge and enjoy the views towards rocky outcrops
- Enjoy a well-deserved meal at one of Wonthaggi’s home-away-from-home cafes.
East Gippsland Rail Trail
Bairnsdale to Orbost | 96km one way
Cycle from Bairnsdale to Newmerella through frolicking hills and the whispering Colquhoun Forest, taking in grand old trestle bridges.
- Delight in historic bridge crossings across the Nicholson River, the majestic Stony Creek Trestle Bridge and wooden trestle bridges near Newmerella
- Enjoy lunch with a picturesque view on the generous and breezy deck at
- Bullant Brewery (bookings only), where regionally-sourced food is paired with the brews made on site
- Visit the artsy town of Nowa Nowa and check out the sculpture trail, or pop into welcoming Mingling Waters (bookings and takeaway), a three-in-one cafe, accommodation and gallery joint.
Gippsland Plains Rail Trail
Traralgon - Stratford | 63km one way
This journey weaves through the idyllic countryside, with handsome mountain vistas of the Great Dividing Range punctuated by warm and quirky villages. Make your way over gently undulating plains that dip through patches of native vegetation and take in river crossings and old railway relics.
- This is almost as much of a foodie journey as it is a bike ride, with the knockout destination restaurant, Tinamba Hotel, warm cafes at Heyfield and Stratford, and Vines on Avon all en route
- Immerse yourself in quirky Maffra exploring the Gippsland Vehicle Collection with its ever-changing display of unique and vintage cars
- Discover green spaces, wetlands and water at Cowwarr Weir, Heyfield Wetlands and Dawson Flora Reserve
- Get your culture fix in Stratford by wandering the Shakespeare-themed Stratford Arts Trail.
Great Southern Rail Trail
Leongatha - Port Welshpool | 72km one way
This epic trail passes South Gippsland’s infamous verdant hills, with 360 degree panoramas interrupted only by welcoming villages. This trail can easily be achieved in shorter sections if you don’t fancy the whole slog and there are ample access points along the route.
- Warm village feels are easy to come by with humming cafes, galleries and streets worth wandering at Koonwarra, Meeniyan and Fish Creek
- While you may need to give your thighs a pep talk, the climb through the Hoddle Range is rewarded with magnificent ocean views towards Wilsons Promontory on the descent and a visit to nearby Gurneys Cider helps the recovery effort
- The section between Toora and Port Welshpool is a family favourite due to the short and very flat 5km ride
- Take a cruise from Port Welshpool to see the wondrous Wilsons Promontory.
Grand Ridge Rail Trail
Mirboo North - Boolarra | 13km one way
Swing through enchanting hilly countryside and eucalypt forest to a background track of birdsong. This gently descending trail, complete with two arch bridges, makes for a scenic bushland ride.
- Start your journey by filling your energy reserves at one of Mirboo North’s warm country kitchens. Admire the colourful murals adorning the town’s heritage buildings, or browse the fashion, craft, textiles and jewellery at the butter factory-turned-gift store, The ARTSpace
- Marvel at the Big Tree at Darlimurla, a remnant of the exquisite tall trees that used to grow in the area
- Cycle through emerald green bush that has rebounded in lush abundance after the 2009 bushfires
- Celebrate your arrival in Boolarra with a cheeky treat from the bakery, or a visit to the rustic pub (open for dinner Fri - Sun, bookings only).