Stretching over 70 kilometres from Leongatha to Port Welshpool, the trail traverses lush farmland, historic bridges and native vegetation. Take the full journey and retrace the rail line or choose shorter segments for a more leisurely outing. Be sure to stop and explore the towns and villages dotted along the trail.
The rail trail comprises seven distinct sections:
Leongatha to Koonwarra (7.8km)
Start at the beginning of the trail with a gentle descent from Leongatha to Koonwarra, past farmland, lowland forest and wetlands. Spot heron and ducks before arriving in pretty Koonwarra, known for its love of food and fine local produce, sustainable living and a regular farmers market.
Koonwarra to Meeniyan (8.2km)
The history of the trail and the original railway comes to life as you cross the original 1880s trestle bridges, which span the Black Spur creek surrounded by lush fern gullies.
The trail meanders close to the main street of Meeniyan. A quick detour takes you into town and its gallery, shops, cafes and restaurants.
Meeniyan to Fish Creek (18.3km)
The trail diverts south from this point to avoid the steep Foster Hills. You'll pass green pastures, towering gum trees and flowing creeks. The trail's gradient rises gently as you leave the park at Buffalo for Fish Creek, a quirky artistic town with plenty of options to eat and restock supplies that's just reward for your efforts.
Fish Creek to Foster (12.4km)
Follow the trail through a valley and up an elevation of 140 metres along the west side of the Hoddle Range for spectacular views of Corner Inlet and the peaks of Wilsons Promontory National Park.
Keep an eye out for the kangaroos, wallabies and birdlife that thrive in the dense forest along the side of the trail, before detouring into Foster, a small regional town that caters well for visitors and offers plenty of accommodation options.
Foster to Toora (10.2km)
This leisurely section is perfect for young families to explore, and features an ever-changing view – from dairy farms and gum tree glades to rivers, rolling hills and wind turbines.
Toora to Welshpool (10.2km)
Perfect for families and all fitness levels and boasting views right to Cornet Inlet, this flat section of the trail travels through rugged bushland and past lush dairy farms.
Welshpool to Port Welshpool (5km)
This short, flat section brings you to the end of the Great Southern Rail Trail. You'll wind through the streets of Welshpool before continuing along to the coast and soaking up the last views of Corner Inlet, as well as Snake Island and the northern section of Wilsons Promontory National Park. Allow yourself a cheer as you roll into the coastal fishing village of Port Welshpool for some well-deserved rest and relaxation ensconced in truly breathtaking coastal scenery.
Location: Leongatha to Port Welshpool
Distance: 72km one way
Track: Compacted gravel surface
Grade: Level 1–2
Level 1 – No experience required, suitable for beginners and children
Level 2 – Suitable for most ages and fitness levels, some riding experience recommended. Fish Creek to Foster is level 2.
Start/Finish: Leongatha and Port Welshpool
Accessibility: Accessible sections of the rail trail include: Koonwarra to Meeniyan, Foster to Toora, Toora to Welshpool, Welshpool to Port Welshpool.
For further trail details, visit railtrails.org.auContent: Visit Victoria
- Accessible sections of the rail trail include: Koonwarra to Meeniyan, Foster to Toora, Toora to Welshpool, Welshpool to Port Welshpool
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