A key part of Hepburn Shire Council’s tourism offering is the enjoyment of the natural world through off road cycling and walking trails. Hepburn Shire is fortunate to be located within an area of beautiful forests, rich mineral springs and established bush walking and cycling trails.
In 2021, Council undertook feasibility work and engagement looking into new ways to use the heritage rail corridor that spans from Daylesford to Tylden (within Hepburn Shire) and then onto Woodend and Hanging Rock (in the Macedon Ranges Shire). The study was presented to Council in December 2021. The complete Feasibility Study is available to view in the Document Library (to the right of screen).
Council is currently investigating grant funding opportunities to undertake the next stages of planning for two potential projects for the Shire:
- a walking and cycling rail trail connecting Daylesford to Hanging Rock in partnership with Macedon Ranges Shire Council.
- extending the existing heritage tourist rail from Bullarto to Trentham.
For more information or to be added to the mailing list for this project, please email email@example.com
Daylesford to Hanging Rock Rail Trail
The Daylesford to Tylden Rail Trail project proposes a shared use trail for walkers, cyclists, trail runners and other suitable trail activities along the existing rail corridor connecting Daylesford to Woodend, Kyneton and Hanging Rock for an experience that engages the trail user with rural landscapes, towns and heritage. The Rail Trail will link to events, local food and contribute to comfortable and enjoyable trail use.
Like all Rail Trails, it proposes to reuse the old, decommissioned railway tracks and, where required, establish new trails adjacent to the old track preferably within the corridor. The Rail Trail will create a shared-use pathway and will eventually cross over two municipalities, Hepburn Shire and Macedon Ranges Shire. This project is looking at the section within the Hepburn Shire from Daylesford to Tylden and will be approximately 26.5 km (or 61.5% of the entire distance) and is proposed to connect into a similar trail in Macedon Ranges Shire.
This project would build on the region's wellness brand and encourage participants to explore the natural landscape and take pleasure in the magnificent vistas along the route. It will be sustainable, accessible and promote physical activity and social connection for community members as well as be an additional drawcard for visiting cyclists and adventure tourists.
Daylesford Spa Country Railway Extension
Daylesford Spa Country Railway, a local community organisation staffed by volunteers, currently operates a tourist train experience from Daylesford's Sunday Markets to Bullarto Station and back, using a selection of restored railway carriages and highlighting the beauty of the local area to visitors.
Daylesford Spa Country Railway, who lease the land that was once part of the Carlsruhe-to-Daylesford line from VicTrack, have investigated the potential to improve the service by extending their operations to Trentham, a distance of 9.15 kilometres.
The proposed extension would connect Daylesford with the Trentham heritage town experience, including local food and produce together with the other unique visitor opportunities along the line. The additional track would be completed using new concrete sleepers, salvaged rail made available by VicTrack and new ballast being purchased locally. Trentham would be the terminus and would connect with visitors from Melbourne and elsewhere. The route for the Railway extension may look to share sections of the rail corridor with the proposed Rail Trail.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the engagement that informed the feasibility work Council is undertaking regarding two possible projects for the Shire – a walking and cycling rail trail connecting Daylesford to Hanging Rock in partnership with Macedon Ranges Shire Council and extending the existing heritage tourist rail from Bullarto to Trentham.
The survey was useful in gaining an understanding on how people in the community value the rail corridor and how we can maximise the benefit from this unique feature within the remarkable Hepburn Shire landscape. With almost 800 respondents we can now develop the vision that ensures the very best management of the sites that reflect community values, aspirations and need.