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4
Introductory to Moderate
Activities
  • 6 days self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • 7 nights hotel/motel accommodation

Price

8 daysfrom

$1950AUD

 
 
Trip Code: BVK

Brisbane Valley and Kilkivan Rail Trail Combined Cycle Trip highlights


  • Enjoy the independence of self-guided cycling with all logistics taken care of for you
  • Hassle-free cycling on the dedicated cycle path on the Brisbane Valley and Kilkivan Rail Trails
  • Appreciate the views of rural Queensland with sweeping valleys and rugged mountains
  • Sample beer and bakery treats along the route
  • Visit historic towns and villages
  • Cycle through classic Australian farming communities

The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, BVRT, and the Kingaroy Kilkivan Rail Trail, KKRT, in southern Queensland are two of Australia’s very best rail trails. Cycling a ‘link route’ between these two iconic rail trails creates an amazing cycle journey of over 300 kilometres. Although the ‘head’ of both rail lines came to the same region, these two lines never meet with the BVRT branching out from Wulkuraka near Ipswich and the other branching out from Gympie to the north of Brisbane. The steam locomotives along these lines have long gone, replaced by cyclists following the same path powered not by steam but pedal power. Through the dedication and hard work of locals keen to showcase these regions combined with a commitment to cycle tourism and rail trails more generally these two great rail trails stand as a benchmark for other communities with similar aspirations. The cycling is on mixed surfaces of gravel, dirt and asphalt and is achievable for anyone of reasonable fitness and cycling ability. Along the route you'll pass through prime agricultural land, a rugged mountain range and forests of Blackbutt, Hoop Pine and Cedar. With regular stops at historical townships with good coffee and bakery items plus interesting museums and galleries, there is so much more to the trail than the cycle experience. At night, stay in comfortable accommodation and soak up the atmosphere of country Queensland towns. With all your logistics taken care of including transfers, bike hire, luggage transfers and accommodation, all you need to do is enjoy the cycle day and take in the expansive scenery of this truly outstanding route.

Itinerary

On arrival, make your way to your hotel in the centre of town. Ipswich is easy to reach by train from central Brisbane with regular services taking around 60 minutes. The remainder of the day is free to explore Ipswich. To set the mood for your rail trail experience, why not visit the Workshops Rail Museum with its exhibits of locomotives and impressive interpretive displays set in huge former railway workshops. You may like to take a stroll through historic Queens Park which hosts the Ipswich Nature Centre and view wombats, emus, quolls, bilbies, dingos and other Australian native animals or perhaps take in the cafe's, restaurants and shops at the 'Top of Town' on the historic part of Brisbane Street. Unknown to many Ipswich was part of New South Wales before Queensland was a state and before Brisbane was a city and as you walk around you get a sense of this history. Ipswich is currently going through a revival and the new vibrancy of this city has much to recommend.

Meals:  Nil

This is your first day of cycling and you’ll be leaving from the Ipswich suburb of Wulkuraka which is an Aboriginal word meaning either red flowering gum tree or plenty of kookaburras. You’ll be picked up from your accommodation in Ipswich and transferred to the northern side of the Wulkuraka Train station. It is a pleasant ride out along the first section as you slowly leave suburbia behind you and quickly find yourself in the semi rural areas of Fernvale and Lowood. Either of these towns and the small town of Coominya are all great locations to stop for morning tea and lunch depending on your progress down the trail. As the rail follows a former rail line the trail passes right through the centre of these towns making it easy to stop for a break, food and refreshments. It is an easy ride along this section of the trail being fairly flat and well maintained. You will find a lot more ‘cycle traffic’ here as many locals utilise this end of the trail for return day rides as well as a steady flow of those coming full distance from Yarraman at the head of the BVRT. From Lowood the ride changes from outer urban to distinctly rural with patches of bushland. You will end your day in the small town of Esk which has become popular with day trippers from Brisbane, Ipswich and surrounding areas. This is the gateway town into the region and as such many people stop for a bite at one of the great cafes, browse the range of shops or simply take a break before heading north. Just west of the town are the eastern slopes of the Great Dividing Range rising to the Ravensbourne National Park and a number of cyclists and others have reported deer sightings in their travels which explains some of the deer paraphernalia you may see in this town. Overnight Esk. Ascent: 499m, descent: 420m

Meals:  Nil

Esk is the gateway to the Brisbane Valley and has embraced the whole rail trail enterprise which is warmly welcomed by businesses in the region who have seen not only the economic benefits of rail tourism but also how it has raised the profile of the region more generally. Today you’ll be cycling north to Linville passing though the towns of Toogoolawah and Moore and a number of sign posted locations that were once rail stops but now stand as little more than punctuation marks on a rail history long gone. The township of Toogoolawah is just 19km from Esk so maybe a little early for lunch but it is a great breakfast stop after sharpening your appetite on the rail trail. Check out the ‘Have a Chat’ café for great coffee and breakfasts. There is also a well stocked IGA supermarket (the last on route supermarket until the evening of day 5). From Toogoolawah you’ll pass through the heritage listed Yinbun Tunnel, the only tunnel constructed on the entire line and a classic photo opportunity. The next and last town along the trail today is Moore. There are a couple of great options for lunch here, try Tilies Café or Kai Lounge. Both have a great café lunch menu and the Kai Lounge has a leafy outside area resembling a Bali garden. After lunch you might like to check out the Old Church Gallery (Thur-Sun 10-4) which is located right alongside the rail trail just to the north as you leave town. From Moore it is a short 7km cycle to Linville which is perhaps the quietest and smallest town on the whole journey but your hotel and accommodation at the Grand Hotel for the night has a lot of charm and a grand hotel indeed considering its location. Ascent: 341m, descent: 319m

Meals:  Nil

Today you pass through two towns on your way to Yarraman, Blackbutt and Benarkin. Although you will be cycling up the Blackbutt Range thankfully you’ll be cycling along a rail trail with a significant yet manageable gradient. There are some great views along this section as you climb out of the Brisbane Valley region into the Blackbutt Ranges which are part of the Great Dividing Range. As you climb you’ll notice the climate, soil and vegetation is markedly different from the plains. By the time you reach the higher parts of this region the primary reason for the rail systems construction is on display. This is timber country with huge hardwood trees, one species giving its name to the town of Blackbutt but there is also huge stands of hoop pine, cedars and other quality hardwood timbre here. In fact the early colonial houses of Queensland many call 'the Queenslander' built of timber with huge verandas and standing on tall wooden posts were built by timber sourced from this region, milled then transported along the rail system we now call the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. The steam locomotives have long gone and now replaced by cyclists following the same path. The first town of the day is Benarkin which is fairly small but it does have great public conveniences in the park right alongside the trail and there is a small store for drinks and snacks as well. Then Blackbutt is a great lunch stop with cafes and probably the best bakery on the BVRT with a huge selections of cakes, slices, snacks and coffee. After Blackbutt it is a further 19km to our destination for the night in Yarraman and the completion of the first rail trail of the two. BVRT down, KKRT to go. Ascent: 478m, descent: 182m

Meals:  B

Yarraman was the ‘head’ or terminus of the old Brisbane Valley Railway line. Interestingly it was also the final town on the New England Highway (track/trail) stretching from Newcastle to Yarraman back in early colonial times. Today your cycle journey is along the ‘link route’ connecting the two rail trails. These two rail lines were never part of the one rail line with the BVRT heading out from Wulkuraka west of Ipswich and the KKRT heading out from Gympie some 170km north of Brisbane. You will cycle down a number of quite rural backroads and along forest trails arriving in Nanango today just 28km from Yarraman. As this section is a link route rather than a rail trail you will definitely notice a difference from the gentle gradients of the previous three days. You will pass through some prime agricultural land with great views across the range and cycling though shady sections of a hoop pine plantations before arriving through the backdoor into Nananago. There are no towns between Yarraman and Nanango but being just 28km away it is fairly easy to make Nanango your lunch stop then spend a leisurely afternoon strolling around town and resting up for the following two days ahead of 65km and 60km of cycling. There is a well-stocked supermarket here to stock up on trail snacks as well as a number of short sign posted loop rides if you feel you need a little more cycling. Ascent: 313m, descent: 463m

Meals:  Nil

You’ll spend the first half of your journey today cycling from Nanango to Kingaroy (33km) then connect with the KKRT right in the middle of town in Kingaroy at the old train station then cycle a further 30km to Wondai for the night. The first part of your cycle today is along the link trail from Nanango to Kingaroy. There are some great long stretches of road along this section that sweep across broad horizons distinctly different from the cycling you have done on previous days. You’ll travel through fertile farming areas with deep red soil where the area is particularly noted for growing peanuts which are particularly suited to the slightly cooler climes and rich soil of this area. In fact Kingaroy is considered the peanut capital of Australia and you might like to stop off at the peanut wagon as you pass by on the left of the road right in the middle of town. Another claim to Kingaroy’s fame is it was the hometown of the Queensland Premier, Joh Bjelke-Peterson who remained premier for almost two decades from 1968 to 1987 and like him or loath him he was certainly a colourful character and had a big influence not only on state politics but the national political agenda during this period. You’ll find many streets, parks, the airport, a dam and other places named after Joh or his wife Flo who was known for many activities and community engagements but probably best known for her infamous pumpkin scones. The second half of the cycle begins your journey down the KKRT. If cycling with an ebike you will need to make a battery recharge stop of at least 90-120 minutes at the town of Wooroolin so it may be worth holding off on lunch until you arrive here. The Grand Hotel is happy for you to recharge your bikes there, speak to Robyn. They do lunch there from Thursday to Sunday and are open 7 days. Wooroolin is a small but interesting little town right on the edge of a great wetland area so it is easy to spend of bit of time here on a short walk or exploring the local shops. From Wooroolin it is a short 15km ride to your accommodation for the night in Wondai. Ascent: 562m, descent: 595m

Meals:  Nil

This is the last day of cycling but you still have 60km of great cycling ahead. It is a short ride of 15km to the first town of the day, Murgon which derives its name from an aboriginal word meaning lilypond. Murgon has a high indigenous population and is the closest major town to the famous Aboriginal reserve, originally known as Barambah Aboriginal Reserve and today known as Cherbourg. Murgon has an indigenous population of around 19 percent opposed to the national average or around 2.7 percent. The Dairy and Heritage Museum is not a bad place for a quick stop 9.30 am -12 noon daily except Mondays and some public holidays. From Murgon you will notice the rail trail is not as well used as you have found it so far over the previous six day with less cycle traffic, but it certainly doesn’t lack in appeal and its own character. There are a couple of creek and other bridge replacement crossings where it is advised to dismount and push you cycle the short distance until you pick up the trail again on the other side. These crossings are few and don’t take away from the cycle experience and are often a good place to take a short break in the shade of the trees by the river. After Murgon it is another 15km to the township of Goomeri and an ideal place to have lunch with a number of great cafes and hotel serving pub meals. In the warmer months of the year a quick dip in the local swimming pool right in the centre of town may be a great way to cool down and refresh for the afternoon ride. After lunch head out for the final section of your amazing cycle journey which began all the way south beginning in Wulkuraka almost six days ago. It is a further 29km to Kilkivan with a couple of dismounts required but it is fairly level riding down this end of the trail, so you’ll find the kilometres pass quickly before arriving in the township of Kilkivan and your final nights accommodation. Ascent: 339m, Descent: 498m

Meals:  Nil

This is the final day of your tour with a transfer to where your journey all began yet it is still a pleasant trip of around 250 road km returning to Ipswich. Sit back and recount the days you spent cycling as you pass though locations and places you now have a real connection to.

Meals:  Nil


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 1 breakfast (continental style)
  • 7 nights accommodation in hotels and motels on a twin share basis with private facilities on most nights
  • Mountain bike hire including a helmet and bike lock (on request), Hand pump, repair kit (electric bikes and tag-along bikes can be hired for an additional supplement)
  • Luggage transfers on cycle days - please ensure you have no more than one piece per person weighing 15kgs max (excess luggage charges apply for additional bags and/or weight)
  • Route notes & maps available to download and use on your phone
  • GPS information
  • Transfer Kilkivan Ipswich
  • Bike return on last day

  • Travel to/from Ipswich
  • Accommodation before or after the trip
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals
  • Phone handlebar mount

Bike information


Trail Surface


Accommodation


Grading

Introductory to Moderate  
4

This self guided trip involves 6 days of undulating, dedicated cycle trails. Daily cycling distance varies from 28 km to 67km. The Rail Trail is mostly gentle, with a few longer ascents that on completion you are rewarded with stunning views. The Rail Trail path is shared between walkers and horse riders, but is free from road traffic except for the link route which has very traffic The trail surface is made up of either gravel or dirt which can sometimes be soft and therefore requires care. Where rail trail bridges have been decommissioned and a side track replaces a bridge it may be worth demounting for a short section if you don't have higher level skills. The section between Yarraman and Kingaroy along the 'Link Route' follows rural roads and forest trails. The trail is best suited to mountain bikes - we provide hard tail mountain bikes, or you can pay a supplement for an e-bike.


Departure dates

Daily departures Thursday to Saturday (other days on request - supplement applies)

Notes

DN1
Prices are based on standard category rooms. Supplements may apply where the standard category is not available or an upgraded room is required.
DN2
Please note, when we book your accommodation some hotels may request a deposit/full payment to secure your booking. This amount will be payable, in addition to the Australian Cycle Tours deposit. Any extra payments, along with the $400 deposit, are non-refundable.
DN3
Departures from Sunday to Wednesday are possible but a supplement applies

Want to organise a customised tour?

School groups, friends, family trips, corporate events or just tailoring a trip to suit your own needs - learn how you can tailor your own Customised Tour.

Total Priceper person from

$1950AUD

Options & Supplements*
  • Discount to remove bike hireAUD$-371
  • Upgrade to ebike 6 daysAUD$300
  • Single supplementAUD$600
  • Single Traveller SurchargeAUD$770
*Prices listed are per person and also from

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Brisbane Valley and Kilkivan Rail Trail Combined Cycle trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Frequently Asked Questions

Ipswich is approximately 31 kilometres from Brisbane. The drive will take approximately 30 minutes.

There is a direct train departing from Brisbane Central station, platform 5 station, and arriving at Ipswich station, platform 1 station. Services depart every 15 minutes, and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 58 min and costs $5-7.

Alternatively, there is a direct bus departing from Brisbane and arriving at Ipswich. Services depart twice daily, and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 42 min and costs $5.

Visit https://translink.com.au/seq for further information.

At the end of the trip you can take a train back to Ipswich or Brisbane from Wulkuraka.

The train from Wulkuraka to Ipswich departs hourly and takes 5 minutes.

The train from Wulkuraka to Brisbane departs hourly and takes 75 minutes.

Visit https://translink.com.au/seq for further information.

Yes, you need to be a capable cyclist. You will cover between 43km to 67km in a day. Most of the cycling is along the dedicated cycle path. The Rail Trail path is shared between walkers and horse riders, but is free from road traffic. The trail surface is made up of either gravel or dirt which can sometimes be soft and therefore requires care.

The trail is best suited to mountain bikes - we provide hard tail mountain bikes, or you can pay a supplement for an e-bike.

Yes, you can use your own bike if you prefer. Let us know at the time of booking and a small discount will be applied.

We use a range of luggage transfer options which can vary depending on your journey location on the trail on weekend days. Our tours begin from Thursday to Saturday yet others days are available with a surcharge.


Brisbane Valley and Kilkivan Rail Trail Combined Cycle Videos

Experience the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail

Brisbane Valley and Kilkivan Rail Trail Combined Cycle Trip reviews


Why cycle with us

SELF GUIDED EXPERTS

As the pioneers of self guided active travel in Australia you can expect a seamless experience. Our quality tour notes and logistical expertise sets us apart and ensures a quality experience for you.

TRUSTED LOCAL ADVICE

Our team is passionate about cycling and their extensive knowledge and experience means you get the very best advice - every time. We will help you tailor the right cycling itinerary for you.

Quality services

Expect first-class and flexible support both on and off the trail. We've sourced the highest quality bikes and most authentic accommodations so you can enjoy a stress free cycling trip.


Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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