East Gippsland Rail Trail
The East Gippsland Rail Trail starts at Howitt Park on the east bank of the Mitchell River at Bairnsdale , past farmland for 10 Kms to Nicholson (sealed surface) with its spectacular bridge over the river. Then 22 Kms on to Bruthen and across the Tambo River, up into the Colquhoun forest en route to Nowa Nowa and Lake Tyers at the 59 Km mark. The section east from Nowa Nowa opened on 28 January 2006 completing the trail to its the final destination at Orbost on the iconic Snowy River. This completes a nearly 100 Km rail trail.
About our on-trail information signs.
When you visit this rail trail you will see a variety of signs. Signs can be intrusive and annoying if not carefully designed and located. The management committee has a responsibility to assist visitors stay safe and adequately informed about potential hazards like road crossings, and essential direction information but also about points of interest along the way.
Large destination and distance (Kms) signboards have been erected recently at key major road crossings and along the trail at some minor roads. These are intended to help potential or new visitors find convenient access points to the rail trail, and to otherwise advertise that the rail trail exists.
Small international symbol signs are used to indicate who or what is allowed to use the trail. For example motor vehicles and motor cycles are prohibited. Caution signs at road crossings serve to remind users to exercise special caution. At Bumberrah (between Nicholson and Mossiface) there is a shelter fitted with a notice board where information about the trail is provided and also a display giving information about the important remnant grassland at that location.
Kilometre distance markers and name boards at bridges, tunnels and minor road crossing points have been installed to aid visitors check just where they are on the trail. Interpretative signs will also be progressively installed to highlight significant features and information about local fauna and flora. This former railway line has a very interesting history and significance for the region. Sharing that knowledge can be done through careful use of signboards.
When a management work crew or working bee is on the trail it is a requirement that a Caution -works in progress type sign is displayed. Where electric fences are used on the reserve land beside the actual rail trail (as part of licensed stock grazing arrangement authorised by the management committee) warning signs must be attached to the fence at frequent intervals. This is a very long rail trail - 97 kilometres when it is completed - and covers such a diverse range of country side and other features, carefully designed and located signs are an important part of trail management and visitor enjoyment. These might be a caution, a You are here indicator, or guides along the way to local facilities such as shops, toilets, etc. If you have a comment about our signs or other suggestions please use the email comment facility available on this web site. Go to the Contact us page and fill in the form.
Our Rail Trail is a valuable habitat for many plants and animals
If you take some time out along the Trail you can discover some of the birds which nest and feed beside the Trail. Look out for signs of wombat burr ows, especially at the base of embankments. We have grasslands which are exceptional and rare. A little homework before your visit can add a lot to the experience of explo ring 100 kilometres of forest and farmland environments which make up the patchwork of the Trail.