Northern Rivers Rail Trail (Feb 2024)

The Northern Rivers Rail Trail will ultimately run from Murwillumbah to Casino, 132 kilometers. The first 24 km section from Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek featuring 26 bridges and 2 tunnels opened in March 2023. It cost $14 million to develop this section.

Wednesday 28 February 2024: Numinbah Valley

We drove via the Numinbah Valley to Murwillumbah, walking a 13 kilometers circuit of the beautiful Waterfall Creek. Wikiloc track here.

Waterfall Creek
Waterfall Creek track
Goanna ran up a tree when it saw us coming
Waterfall Creek ford
We enjoyed the 8 wet creek crossings
Return via Tagablum Break required a steep climb

Natural Bridge, formed by the force of the waterfall over the basalt cave, is about 10 klm further along the Murwillumbah road

Thursday 29 February 2024: Rail Trail to Klm 11 & Return

Today we walked 11 kilometers from Murwillumbah, about halfway along the current Rail Trail, and back (22.3 klm). It’s a well made trail and we liked that parts of the old railway have been left in place. There’s 10 bridges in this section. Wikiloc track here.

Murwillumbah Railway Station
The water tower was erected in 1894, a rare example of a steel tank on top of a brick tower. It was used until the 1960s
Train turntable was turned by hand
The cargo shed stored bananas, cream and pigs for the Sydney market
Beautiful Tweed Valley
Wollumbin/Mt Warning, 1157 meters above sea level
The Rail Trail is very popular with bike riders
There are distance markers every kilometer
Jeff walking on the old railway line
An old Valley house beside the rail line
Dunbible Creek Bridge – very few bridges used steel trusses
Most were simple wooden constructions
We stopped at a wayside stall to buy pomegranates and passionfruits
The old Stokers Siding station is now the town Post Office and store
Kilometer 11 bridge where we turned around, a convenient parking place for tomorrow’s start
We spent 2 nights glamping at Hosanna Farmstay just off the Rail Trail, about 8km from Murwillumbah

Friday 01 March 2024: Rail Trail Klm 11 to End & Return

We started today where we finished yesterday at Kilometer 11. It’s about 13.5 kilometers to the end, and the same back. The highlight was walking through the two tunnels especially the 524m long Burringbar Range Tunnel with glowworms shining on the roof. Wikiloc track here.

Burringbar Range Tunnel is 524m long, opened 1984 and closed to trains in 2004
Since then glow worms and microbats have moved in
The Burringbar Range is cool and shaded forest
There is a rare group of wrought iron, web plate girder railway bridges
Native bees nesting on the bridge
East of the Burringbar Range is more open, less shade
This is what it used to be (photo of a 1964 photo)
The effort that’s gone into making the Rail Trail – this timber bridge has been constructed specially for the Trail, replacing the unserviceable Railway Bridge
Hotel Victory at Mooball was built in 1932 after the nearby Burringbar village pub burnt down
Second tunnel on this section, Hulls Road Tunnel
Fig tree has a grip on this bridge
Today was the first anniversary of the opening of the Rail Trail so the Council employed Pedals and Picnics to go along handing out Rail Trail water bottles and orange ice blocks
We made it to the end of the Tweed Section of the Rail Trail
Then had to walk 13.5 kilometers back!
Beyond The End – glimpse of what’s to come