Bicycle Network: Ride a Trail
Maps & trail notes
Leongatha to Koonwarra (8km): a gentle descent to Koonwarra through open farmland. Koonwarra has craft and coffee shops and a farmers market on the first Saturday of the month.
Koonwarra to Minns Rd (3km): on-road highway cycling is required. Past Koonwarra the trail goes through an underpass of the South Gippsland Highway. The high-quality trail finishes in 200m oposite the Koonwarrra Recreation Reserve, but you can go another 500m pararell to the highway on the old cleared ballast stretch to another side gate that takes you on to the highway (and avoids the unsafe trestle bridges that are closed to the public). Once on the highway it's a 1.5km ride to Minns Rd.
Minns Rd to Meeniyan (6km): on-road highway cycling required. When you reach Minns Rd you can get back on the trail through a gate and along a short track. This is not sign posted yet. Continue along the rail trail and across the new bridge over the Tarwin River and ride into Meeniyan. Meeniyan has restaurants, craft, picnic and free BBQ facilities.
Meeniyan to Buffalo (11.5km). This is a fairly flat section of trail that starts from behind the petrol station and passes through lowland forest and swamp scrub.
Buffalo to Fish Creek (8km). The trail enters the foothills of the Hoddle Range and rises 40m in elevation through this section. There are a number of cuttings and embankments and the scenery ranges from blue gum forests to open farmland. Fish Creek has toilets, accommodation and cafes.
Fish Creek to Foster (13.5km). The trail climbs a valley on the west side of the Hoddle Range and passes Mt Hoddle (visible to your right). At the road bridge, 0.5km from Lowry's Rd, the trail takes a sharp bend to the north and starts the descent to Foster along the steep eastern side of the Hoddle Range, via a series of cuttings and embankments. The trail emerges from dense forest to offer views of Wilsons Prom and Corner Inlet. Foster has accommodation, cafes and toilets.
For descriptions of the Great Southern rail trail, try these references:
The Wilsons Promonotory and Surrounds website (www.promcountry.com.au) has a detailed route description here.
The Rail Trails of Australia website (www.railtrails.org.au). Click here to go to the relevant page.
Bike Tours Around Melbourne: Exploring Regional Victoria by Bike and Train. By Julia Blunden (Open Spaces Publishing, 2004)
Rail Trails of Victoria and South Australia: Walking, Cycling and Horse Riding Trails. (Railtrails Australia, 2007.)