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Q1. Is it easy to get to the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail, and home again?

Yes. If you are travelling by car/4x4/RV, there is easy all day off-road parking at both Glengarry (the first town on the trail after Traralgon, at the western end), and Stratford (at the eastern end of the trail).

However, Gippsland Plains Rail Trail is Victoria's only rail trail connected at both ends by rail services. So getting to the trail from either direction on the train is a breeze!

Travelling from Melbounre, simply catch the train to Traralgon. From the station it is a relatively short ride eastwards through the city to the intersection of Princes Highway and Traralgon-Maffra Road (take the Heyfield turn off to your left). Then ride to Glengarry, where the trail's western trail head is currently located. The Distance between Traralgon and Glengarry is 7.97 kilometers, but the approximately estimated travel/road distance can be around 9.17 km to 9.96 km. Traralgon is a major commercial centre, and traffic can be busy at times. Therefore, this method of reaching the trail is not recommended for children under 15 years of age, persons suffering from nerve or heart related conditions, disabled persons, and persons of advanced senior years.

Travelling from the east, simply catch the train at Bairndsdale and disembark at Stratford. The trail's eastern trail head is located only a few hundred meters from the station, in Apex Park (on the banks of the Avon River). From this direction, access to the trail is suitable for all users.
 
For details about travelling on V-line train services with your bicycle, visit www.vline.com.au/journey/whatyoucantake/bikes

 

Q2. Why should I visit Gippsland Plains Rail Trail?

The Gippsland Plains Rail Trail is alive with native flora and fauna (some of which is unique to the area). You will also discover much of Victoria's rich history, from the early settlers, a once thriving manufacturing industry, early farming, to the odd gold rush or two. There are also many surprises along the trail, such as the Maffra Vehicle Collection, the Heyfield Vintage Machinery Shed, excellent wineries, restaurants, and breathtaking views of the Great Dividing Range. There is plenty to see, and there is plenty to do in Gippsland. So there is no doubt you'll be pleased you came!

 

Q3. Where is the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail?

Glengarry, at the western end of the trail, is located approximatley 170kms southeast of Melbounre (C.B.D.), with a broadly estimated travel time (by car) of 2 hours. The Trail Head is found at the Old Glengarry Railway Station, with the trail terminating (or begining, if your travelling from the east) on the picturesque banks of the Avon River, at Apex Park in Stratford,  

 

Q4. How long is the trail, and what are the distances between townships along the way?

The overall distance of the trail (Traralgon to Stratford) is 67kms. Distances between townships are as follows:

  • Traralgon - Glengarry: 10kms
  • Glengarry - Toongabbie: 9kms
  • Toongabbie - Cowwarr: 9kms
  • Cowwarr - Heyfield (via Dawson): 11kms
  • Heyfield - Tinamba: 10kms
  • Tinamba - Maffra: 8kms
  • Maffra - Stratford (via Powerscourt): 10kms 

 

 Q5. What provisions should I take?

There are many places along the trail where you can purchase food and refreshments ranging from charming rural general stores, typical country pubs, elegant restaurants, and picturesque wineries. However, drinking water and a light snack should be carried as a precaution. It is also advisable to wear appropriate clothing to protect you from the sun, and sturdy footwear. You should also apply sunscreen lotion and insect repellent. It is wise to carry a small but well equipped first aid kit with you. If cycling, several towns on the trail host businesses that can repair your bicycle in the event of a breakdown or puncture, but regardless, a pump and properly equipped repair kit should be carried. 

There is excellent mobile phone coverage right along the trail, so we recommend you keep your mobile phone with you at all times.

 

 Q6. What is the condition of the trail surface?

Having undergone major works in 2013/14, the trail is in excellent contition. The surface is constructed of fine packed gravel, with clearly defined shoulders. The going is predominantly flat, although there are a few gentle undulations close the the western boundry of Heyfield including one very short, but quite steep hill at Racecouse Road and care should be taken when descending. Several resting benches have recently been installed in scenic locations along the trail, so you can take a leisurley break (and a snapshot or two). On-going maintenance and beautification works ensure the trail remains in top condition, but please be aware that seasonal flooding is possible, and certain sections of the trail may be effected. Details of these events, and any damage caused will be posted in the Trail News section of Contacts and Links on this website. Therefore, it is advised that you check that section of this website prior to using the trail.

 

Q7. Is the trail safe?

Yes. The trail is very safe. However, as with any outdoor bush activity, caution and common sense should be excercised at all times.

 

Q8. Is the trail suitable for children, the elderly, and/or disabled persons?

If the user is in reasonable physical condition, the trail is suitable for almost any age, ranging from about three years to seniors. Young children should be accompanied at all times by a responsible adult, whilst disabled persons would be wise to travel with a carer. Note that the trail is not suited to mobility aids, and disabilty facilities are not available.

 

Q9. Will I have access to medical services while on the trail?

There are no medical services available on the trail itself. However, hospitals and/or medical services are available in Traralgon, Heyfield and Maffra.

  • Latrobe Regional Hospital Emergency Dept. - 5173 8222
  • Heyfield Bush Nursing Hospital - 5148 2201
  • Johnson Street Clinic, Maffra - 5141 1889
  • Maffra Medical Group - 5147 1011
  • Gippsland Base Hospital, Sale - 03 5143 8600

Pharmacies are located in Traralgon, Heyfield, Maffra, and Stratford.

 

Q10. What facilities are avilable on the trail?

To accentuate its natural beauty, the Committee has maintained the trail in as pristine and natural condition as possible. Therefore, user facilities on the trail are minimal. There are, however, seveal resting benches, and Point-of-Interst and scenic locations are highlighted along the route. All turns, road crossings, deviations and/or detours are clearly signposted. Public toilets and drinking water are locted within townships, but are not available on the trail itself.

There is excellent mobile phone coverage right along the trail.

 

Q12. If I decide to stay overnight, is there accommodation along the trail?

Yes, there are many accommodation options available in townships along the trail, and all budgets are catered for. Traralgon is the only city on the trail, and offers a more cosmopolitan experience than the smaller towns. There are motels, hotels and caravan parks in Traragon, and you will find plenty to keep you busy and entertained in the restaurants, nightclubs, and many specialty stores.

However, for those wishing to slow down and take things a little easier, there are numerous quiet, charming, clean and friendly accommodation houses located in beautiful rural settings between Glengarry and Stratford, all just waiting to extend to you a very warm 'Gippsland' welcome. For full details, look in the Accommodation section of the 'Stay and Explore' menu on the home page.

 

Q13. What will I see on the trail?

On the trail, you will find sweeping vistas of the Great Divinding Range (Victoria's famous High Country), scenic crossings over babbling brooks and streams. some of Victoria's richest farmlands, native flora and fauna, many 'Plants of Significance' (Dawson Flora Reserve), old railway relics, charming rural towns with surprisingly diverse shops, quaint coffee shops and elegant eateries. You will also find real country pubs, lots of Victoria's history, charming people, and vibrant communities. Who knows; you might even find yourself (or lose yourself, if you prefer!).

 

Q14. What should I do if I encounter wildlife on the trail?

By most standards, the trail is very safe. However, as with any outdoor bush activity, caution and common sense should be excercised at all times with regard to snakes, spiders and insects. Snakes may be present on the trail, especially in warmer weather. If a snake is encoutered, keep children and pets well away and do not try to touch it. Almost all snake bites occur when people try to handle, kill or harm a snake. If you leave it alone, a snake will likely move away from you. Livestock can find its way on to the trail from time to time and in this situation, do not make any sudden movements or loud noises. Cattle will simply be curious about you. Gently and slowly continue along the trail towards the animal whilst at the same time quitely and calmly 'shoo-ing' it away. Once the animal has moved, keep an eye on it and proceed past with caution. Foxes, too, can be seen on the trail from time to time, but do not generally pose a threat. They are timid, and prefer to avoid human contact.

 

Q15. Can I leave the trail, and enter private property?

No. It is an offence to enter private property without permission, and if you do so, you may face prosecution. If you wish to enter private property, you must first gain the consent of the owner/s. Should you find youself inadvertantly on private land, vacate as soon as possible remembering to always leave farm gates as you find them, opened or closed. Also, do not leave any litter and do not cause any damage to fences, livestock, crops, buildings, or equipment. 

 

Q16. How should I behave on the trail?

Gippsland Plains Rail Trail Code of conduct:  

  • All users must remain on the trail.
  • Do not enter private property.
  • The rail trail can only be used by walkers, cyclists, equestrians and wheelchairs - unauthorised motorised vehicles of any kind are not permitted.
  • Dogs are permitted, but must be kept on a leash at all times. Droppings must be removed in the usual way (plastic bag), and discarded thoughtfully at the next town.
  • Camping is not permitted anywhere on the trail.
  • Fires are not pemitted on the trail, unless authorised by the proper authorities.
  • Keep to the left of oncoming traffic.
  • Do not disturb livestock and/or wildlife.
  • Cyclists: Approach horses with care, alert others to your approach, overtake on the right at reduced speed.
  • Equestrians: Slow down approaching other users, dismount and lead horses over bridges. In some sections an equestrian trail is separate from the gravel pathway and is suitable only for horses.
  • Public toilets are locted in all towns along the trail. Please do not use the trail or the bush. This a community asset; please keep it clean and respect other users, farms and towns alongside it.
  • Take your rubbish home or discard it thoughtfully at the next town.
In addition to the above, we recommend you:
  • Travel with at least one other person.
  • Maintain a comfortable pace, within your level of fitness.
  • Travel at the pace of the slowest person in your group.

 

Q17. Can I use the trail at night?,

For your own safety, and the general wellbeing of all concerned, it is not recommend to use the trail at night. Many obstacles, such as fallen branches, water across the trail, and livestock, which would easliy be seen in daylight hours, would be difficult to identify in the dark. There is also the increased possibility of nocturmal animals appearing on the trail, such as wombats, wallabies and foxes. Addtionally, torches, bicycle lights and other illumiators may potentially distress livestock.

 

Q18. Should an emergancey occur, who do I contact?

There is excellent mobile phone coverage right along the trail, so we recommend you keep your mobile phone with you at all times.

 In the event of an emergency you should phone 000. If the incident is not life thereatening, but you still require assitance you can contact
  • Latrobe Regional Hospital Emergency Dept. - 5173 8222
  • Heyfield Bush Nursing Hospital - 5148 2201
  • Johnson Street Clinic, Maffra - 5141 1889
  • Maffra Medical Group - 5147 1011
  • Gippsland Base Hospital, Sale - 03 5143 8600
  • Wellington Shire - 1300 366 244
  • Latrobe Shire - 1300 367 700 

To report a bushfire phone 000 or contact the CFA (District 10 Headquarters, Sale) on 5149 1000

 

Q19. Am I permitted to hold special events on the trail?

Yes, but you must gain written permission from the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail Committee, and any necessary permits from the relavent Shire Council.

Gippsland Plains Rail Trail Commitee - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Wellington Shire - 1300 366 244
Latrobe Shire - 1300 367 700 
 
Note that you will be required to have relevant and adequate current inurance/s policies in place, and you must comply with any related O.H. & S. regulations. Depending on your activity, a CFA permit may also be required. Any prevailing fire bans in force on the day/s of your event will apply, regardless of permits issued. 
 

Q20. How do I become a sponsor of Gippsland Plains Rail Trail, and what benifit will I receive?

Gippsland Plains Rail Trail is a valuable commuity asset to be enjoyed now, and for generations to come. However, its longevity can only be preserved through the generous support of our sponsors. In return you will receive:

  • Acknowledgment as a sponsor on this website for twelve (12) months (logo or name placed in Sponsor section).
  • Four (4) x quarterly news letters (via email).
  • An invitation (or invitations where appropriate) to any Rail Trail Committee functions that occur within your sponsorship period.
  • Acknowledement for twelve (12) months on our Trail Head signs (at Cowwarr and Tinamba) if relevant.
  • Joy in the knowledge that you have played a significant part in preseving this wonderfull asset.

Sponsorship enquiries should be emailed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Q21. How do I become a friend of Gippsland Plains Rail Trail?

Please refer to the Become a Friend section under the 'Contacts & Links' category on this website.

 

 

 

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