The BVRT is an adventure trail to tackle either by horse, bike or foot that follows the former Brisbane Valley railway line from Wulkuraka in Ipswich to Yarraman. The gravelled trail has a gentle gradient that offers a more enjoyable downhill run heading south-east from Yarraman to Wulkuraka or a more challenging uphill run the other way. All ages and fitness levels can explore the various sections of the trail or you can do it all at once, you get to decide what the perfect adventure is for you!
Downloadable trail brochure and map
Download the trail brochure and map
Choosing a trail
- Check each trail's difficulty before starting your journey. The trail offers perfect sections for individuals, groups and families with wheelchair accessibility where assistance may be required. You can choose an uphill battle or take an easier gradient south, and you decide how far you can travel in a particular amount of time.
- Ensure you have a good understanding of the distance you could ride over 5-6 hours during the day and plan your stops to suit.
- Yarraman to Wulkuraka is the easiest option with the slight downhill run. Park your car at the southern end of the trail at your accommodation or car parks and get a shuttle up to Yarraman and ride home to your vehicle.
- Depending on your skill and fitness level, riding north from Wulkuraka to Yarraman is the greatest challenge with an uphill gradient. Linville to Benarkin, in particular, is a challenge for the highly skilled and fit individual.
- Parents with kids should consider Blackbutt to Benarkin, which provides the smallest section along the trail with many interest points to keep children entertained. If children can ride longer distances, the Benarkin to Linville section has a fantastic downhill run. Coominya to Moore is perfect with a stay overnight in Linville for those who wish to make an overnight trip. Another option is Coominya to Fernvale with camping in Lowood.
Time on the trail
- The time taken to complete any trail section depends on your individual fitness level. The average walking speed is approximately 5km/h or 20km/h for bike riders.
- We suggest working out the distance you can travel by foot, bike or horse each day and matching that with the town distances to work out the best places to start, stay and finish.
Wulkuraka to Fernvale
Your journey can start at Wulkuraka train station, tackling the challenging route north towards Yarraman or take a shuttle service north to your desired starting point and enjoy the downhill gradient south, finishing back where you started. On this section, keep an eye out for the Fernvale Murals, Fairney View bridge, an outhouse and the historic station sites of Muirlea, Pine Mountain, Borallon, Wanora and Fairney View. Start or finish your trip in Ipswich's beautiful and historic town and visit the award-winning Workshops Rail Museum *.
Trail difficulty: An easy to moderate section. Initial surface is part concrete before the trail returns to a more natural gravel surface where some minor rough spots may appear.
The first half of this section is good for summer with tree cover lining the trail.
- There are no facilities at the Wulkuraka starting point or between towns to Fernvale.
- Fernvale offers a range of amenities and water stations.
- Parking is available at Ipswich, Borallon or Fernvale (see brochure map).
- Borallon also provides an exceptional parking area for horse riders wishing to start their journey with large, safe parking and horse hitching rails.
Fernvale to Lowood
This section is a lovely, short and flat run that has the convenience of the main town of Fernvale. Along this journey, you can see the Fernvale Murals, amazing scenic views of the Brisbane River before taking in the incredible mountainous backdrop where the historic Lowood station train tracks still exist today.
Trail difficulty: An easy section of the trail that is very flat. The trail surface is relatively smooth.
- Food, toilets and water stations are available in Fernvale and Lowood with nothing in between.
- Parking is available at Fernvale and Lowood.
Lowood to Coominya
This section is a historic adventure waiting to happen! Your journey starts with passing through the beautiful native gardens lovingly cultivated by the local community. From here, you will soon pass over the heritage-listed Lockyer Creek bridge while taking in the beautiful open farming landscape before reaching Coominya. Coominya is the home to the beautifully retained train station, charming old St Francis Xavier church and the heritage-listed Bellevue Homestead.
Trail difficulty: An easy to moderate section that is relatively flat. This section may have some rough areas.
- Food and toilets are available at Lowood and Coominya.
- Water stations are available at Lowood.
- Parking is available at Lowood.
Coominya to Esk
From Coominya the trail begins to show many more signs of the railway line that once was. You will pass 5 old bridges, all offering a different experience with some fun to go under, and around or perfect for a photo opportunity. This section provides various landscapes as you meander past farms that kiss the trail's edges and through areas that feel like rainforests. As you enter Esk take in Pipeliner Park's beauty where the historic railway station rests with the towering Glen Rock in the background. Don't miss St Mel's Church, historic Lars Anderson's house, the old Trading Post and the stunning old brick Esk Dairy.
Trail difficulty: A moderate to advanced section that has one of the trails first major uphill gradients. This section will require a medium to high level of fitness considering the distance.
- Food and toilets are available at Coominya and Esk.
- Horse watering points are available at Cooragook and Sandy Creek Bridge.
- Water stations available at Esk.
Esk to Toogoolawah
Another 5 bridges await you along this section of the trail with a bridge perfect for your Instagram and another offering the more adventurous riders a fun rough ride underneath. The journey is surrounded by fresh open air before entering Toogoolawah. You cannot miss the station history museum, the unique St Andrews Anglican Church and Hall, the old Alexandra Hall building and The Condensery Art Gallery, formerly home to the Nestlé Condensed Milk Factory packing facility.
Trail difficulty: A moderate to advanced section with a minor uphill gradient. This section will require a medium level of fitness.
- Food, toilets and water stations are available in Esk and Toogoolawah with nothing in between.
- Horse watering points are located at Coal Creek Bridge and Morden Road (just south of Toolgoolawah).
- Parking is available at Esk and Toogoolawah.
Toogoolawah to Harlin
This section of the trail is home to a highlight feature on the trail. The heritage-listed Yimbun Tunnel is the only railway tunnel along the trail and provides you with an opportunity to journey directly through the centre of a mountain. If you have it to yourself, you can enjoy the eery dead silence from the middle of the dark tunnel.
Trail difficulty: An easy section that is relatively flat although there is one major steep gradient approaching Harlin. The trail surface is relatively smooth.
- Food and toilets are available in Toogoolawah and Harlin with nothing in between.
- Water stations are available at Toogoolawah.
- Parking is available at Toogoolawah and Harlin.
Harlin to Moore
This section of the trail is full of interest points as you wind your way through creek crossings and pass through some higher scenic viewpoints. Not only that, but you will have eleven bridges on this journey with some passing through farmland with farm animals hanging around and others providing fantastic photo opportunities. There's a unique old signal tower that still stands in its original position before you reach Moore where you'll find the heritage-listed Colinton War Memorial.
Trail difficulty: An easy to moderate section with some steep gradients. The trail surface is relatively smooth. Be prepared for some major highway crossings along this section – take care and give way to traffic.
- Food and toilets are available in Harlin and Moore with nothing in between.
- There are no water stations available.
- Parking is available at Harlin and Moore.
Moore to Linville
This section of the trail provides a short journey that offers scenic river views along the way. The star of the show is the Linville station precinct, which holds old artefacts in the station, displays a few historic carriages that once ran along the railway line and a Memorial Park. You can't miss the incredibly refurbished hotel that sits centre of the town.
Trail difficulty: An easy to moderate section that has minor gradient changes. This section may have some rough areas.
- Food and toilets are available in Moore and Linville with nothing in between.
- A water station and outdoor shower are available in Linville.
- Parking is available at Moore and Linville.
Linville to Benarkin
After leaving the quiet country town charm of Linville, more interesting train heritage begins to appear. You will see an old Magazine Hut, culvert and a couple more fun creek crossings. You will also discover a beautiful scenic viewpoint through the mountains and a loop trail that will appeal to advanced mountain bikers or hikers.
Trail difficulty: Advance section as you head up the range. This section may have rough areas.
- Food, toilets and water stations are available in Linville and Benarkin with nothing in between.
- MacNamara's Camp between Linville and Benarkin provides a good mid-way resting stop with shade, seating and an environmental toilet for trail users.
- There are some mobile phone blackspots along this section. If travelling by yourself, be sure to alert others of your whereabouts, or consider carrying a personal locator beacon in case of emergency.
- Parking is available at Linville and Benarkin.
Benarkin to Blackbutt
This section of the trail leads into the beautifully maintained Blackbutt Railway Station, home to one of Australia's greatest tennis players. Inducted into the international tennis hall of fame in 1982, Roy Emerson is one of Australia's greatest tennis players. There is a museum at the station site with a fantastic bronze statue that celebrates his accomplishments. The Benarkin area also boasts several other trails for those seeking alternative adventures.
Trail difficulty: A moderately difficult section that has several gradient changes. This section may have some rough areas.
- Food, toilets and water stations are available in Benarkin and Blackbutt with nothing in between.
- The First Settler's Park rest area in Benarkin is a free overnight campsite with public toilets, barbecues and picnic amenities plus hot showers and power facilities (for a small fee).
- Parking is available at Benarkin and Blackbutt.
Blackbutt to Yarraman
The final leg of the BVRT is a relatively shaded section with a couple of fun moderately difficult creek crossings along the way. Yarraman boasts the picturesque Weir Park, where camping is available, and the old station area, where you can admire the old fuel tanker and station masters house. Complete your trip with a visit to the Yarraman Heritage Museum on the way home which houses the old Railway Station and many other historical relics from the Brisbane Valley railway line.
Trail difficulty: A moderately difficult section that has several gradient changes. This section may have some rough areas.
- Food, toilets and water stations are available in Blackbutt and Yarraman with nothing in between.
- Parking is available at Blackbutt and Yarraman.
Once you've decided what sections of the BVRT are going to suit you, your group or fitness levels, it's time to sort out your accommodation, food and beverage and specialty services like bike hire, shuttle services and tours. You can ask for advice from any of our specialty service providers or plan your own adventure but get started now before the best things book out.
Plan your trip now!
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