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Victorian High Country Trail

Victoria is a national leader in converting old railway lines to community use, bringing joy to bikers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts. One of the more popular converted lines is the Victorian High Country Rail.

The main feature of the Trail is the way it hugs Lake Hume almost the entire length, providing a totally safe and scenic ride surrounded by natural beauty. The Trail length is variable as you can ride from Wodonga to Shelley for about 80 kms or any part in between. I chose to do the 70kms return version from Bonegilla to Old Tallangatta, thus avoiding the Albury-Wodonga urban sprawl.

I joined the Trail at Bonegilla which winds around the Lake, passing several old railway stations. The gradient is gentle, it’s totally quiet, there is a vast amount of open space, and everywhere you look, Aussie country colours are rich and varied.

1 Bonegilla start

Bonegilla entry to the Trail

2 overhead bridge

3 Ebden station

Former railway station converted to rest shelter

4 Aussie colours

5 Aussie colours

7 open space

A great riding surface the whole way

6 lakeside

You pass many derelict trains, trucks, and buildings from a bygone era. It’s great to see former railway structures restored or converted for community use.

8 train relics

Train relic as reminders of a bygone era

9 homestead relics

Old Tallangatta

14 railway relics

Restored railway shed near Tallangatta

A visually interesting architectural structure is the Sandy Creek Rail Bridge. At 600metres long, it is purpose-built for bikers and walkers and very impressive. Take a quick ride across the Bridge via this short video:

https://youtu.be/yoYUiYy3w4g

10 sandy creek bridge

11 sandy creek bridge

Sandy Creek Rail Bridge

12 sandy creek bridge

Sandy Creek Rail Bridge Lookout

The Trail crosses a few smaller bridges and goes through several cuttings (where the original rail line cut through a hill). The view changes constantly, making this a very enjoyable ride.

15 railway cuttings

16 floodplain bridge

18 lake path

19 lake hume

Lake Hume

This version of the High Country Trail is 70kms and took a bit over three hours. There is only one town along the way that has any retail centre, which is Tallangatta with a very nice bakery/café. This is definitely a rail trail to put on your bucket list.

Image-1

 

https://strava.app.link/ZuLsWeViL1

 

6 replies »

  1. Thank you for whetting my appetite Richard! We are planning to do the HCRT in January, bushfires permitting. It’s worth noting that the15km missing link to the east opened last month, so the trail is now in one single stage all the way from Wodonga to Shelly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lovely to hear from you Rosanne; I will definitely be back, maybe do the whole Wodonga to Shelley next time. Then on to the Mountain to Murray Trail on my way to the Gippsland Trails. You Victorians have done very well; shame NSW is so slow in converting old railways for community use.

      Like

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