Victoria funds $500,000 for Kerang-Koondrook rail trail

In Community, Featured Home Page News, Tourism Routes, Victoria
The Victorian government has provided over $500,000 to start the planning and design work for a cycling and walking trail between Kerang and Koondrook.

The trail will follow parts of the former Kerang-Koondrook Tramways route, which delivered supplies to Kerang from the Koondrook Wharf, transported downriver by paddle steamer

“We do focus a lot on nature-based tourism, and with the new wharf in Koondrook, glamping and the new all-abilities playground, Koondrook and the Gannawarra are going places,” Cr Gillingham said.

Loddon Murray Cycling Club president Brent McKnight said that once completed, the Kerang-Koondrook Rail Trail would be great for local cyclists and tourists alike.

The Tourism News Related Stories

Victoria to host 2026 Commonwealth Games

Locals Featured In New Tourism Ad

Queensland tourism revival continues

from ABC 

What was once an important supply chain for early colonialists living on the Victorian-New South Wales border is set to become a popular outdoor adventure attraction for the Gannawarra Shire.

The Victorian government has handed over $500,000 to start the planning and design work for a 22-kilometre cycling and walking trail between Kerang and Koondrook.

The trail will follow parts of the former Kerang-Koondrook Tramways route, which delivered supplies to Kerang from the Koondrook Wharf, transported downriver by paddle steamer.

Built and operated by the Shire of Swan Hill (later the Shire of Kerang) from 1889 until 1952, when Victorian Railways took over, the tramway was privately owned, had no signalling and had rails of lighter construction.

A small wooden train station in the township of Koondrook with a replica steam train on what remains of the rail lines.
Koondrook Tramway station has a long history in the Murray River township.(ABC Central Victoria: Jo Printz)

Gannawarra Shire Mayor Charlie Gillingham remembers the tramways running when he was a child.

Victorian Railways operated passenger services on the line until 1976, and freight services ended in 1978.

The Koondrook Wharf was dismantled by the Marine Board in the late 50s, and in 1975 the rail turntable was removed, but a replica steam train is located at the old Koondrook station, just across the road from the wharf today.

From supply chain to eco-tourism adventure trail

In recent years, redevelopment of the wharf and an emphasis on eco-tourism and outdoor adventure along the Murray River have created new opportunities for the region.

A warning sign and flotation device located at the Koondrook wharf.
Safety signage at the redeveloped Koondrook wharf.(ABC Central Victoria: Jo Printz)

The Kerang and Koondrook Rail Trail will eventually extend from Kerang out to the Ramsar-listed Lake Charm and Reedy Lake.

It will form part of the wider Murray River Adventure Trail — a multi-sport adventure trail that runs the length of the Murray River from Lake Hume, near Albury-Wodonga in the east to Mildura and Wentworth in the west.

That trail takes in river red gum forests and major sites along the Murray, providing visitors the opportunity to experience the iconic river in its natural environment through active recreation.

The land-based trail is about 1,040 km, while the water-based trail (for kayakers and other craft) is 1,390 km.

State MP Mark Gepp said it was a real asset for northern Victoria and would turn the Murray River into a “magnificent” tourist opportunity.

“It’s about connecting all these different projects, these different amenities and infrastructure in the Gannawarra, which aren’t done in isolation with each other but are designed to connect up to all the wonderful things going on here.”

Off-road cycling trails safer for riders

Loddon Murray Cycling Club president Brent McKnight said that once completed, the Kerang-Koondrook Rail Trail would be great for local cyclists and tourists alike.

“A lot of our members do, when they go off and visit different areas, take on the rail trails,” he said.

“But unfortunately, we’ve got to travel a fair way to do that, so this will be new for us. It’ll be fantastic.”

He said it should be a good way to connect people who might not be avid riders, with the 22-kilometre length easily achievable in a little over an hour “depending on which way the wind is blowing”.

“Most rail trails are not so much a sealed surface but made of a compacted gravel which does make it difficult to use a proper road bike, ” Mr McKnight said.

“However, the introduction of a lot of mountain bikes and what we call gravel bikes, which is a bit of hybrid bike, is ideally suited to a rail trail.

Region recovering after pandemic border restrictions

Gannawarra Shire Council’s chief executive Tom O’Reilly also has high hopes for the project.

“Once completed, this project will drive economic growth to the region through increased visitation and expenditure, while enhancing community wellbeing and livability, and employment opportunities for local trades and indigenous workforce through construction and new product development,” he said.

The state government has fast tracked the funding for the project to support recovery in the Gannawarra shire and northern border region, which was heavily impacted by travel restrictions during the first two years of the pandemic.

You may also read!

Ali Thompson appointed as Visit Sunshine Coast’s new Business & Leisure Events Manager

Ali Thompson, a highly experienced business events and tourism executive, has been appointed Business & Leisure Events Manager for

Read More...

Travelex announces creation of 1,200 new international jobs

FX leader wins new contracts across Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East and UK as travel industry continues to recover; new

Read More...

Domino impact of flight cancellations

With airline schedules still not fully back and last minute flight cancellations a frequent occurrence, more and more Australians

Read More...

Mobile Sliding Menu