Villages of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail

Visit Murwillumbah on the Northern Rivers Rail Trail
Visit Murwillumbah on the Northern Rivers Rail Trail

Villages of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail

Thanks to the Northern Rivers Rail Trail team for this great article.

Located on the New South Wales Far North Coast, the Northern Rivers Rail Trail is in the heart of a thriving region that offers visitors a kaleidoscope of activities. The main start of the Rail Trail at Murwillumbah is 36 km from Gold Coast Airport and 74 km from Ballina airport, with daily flights from all capital cities.

Starting at the heritage-listed Murwillumbah Railway Station, the open 24km Tweed section of the Rail Trail meanders gently southwards through the Tweed Valley, connecting the villages of the Tweed Valley through the rolling hills and spectacular scenery of the region.

The Tweed section features 26 bridges and 2 tunnels, including the 500m Burringbar Range tunnel which features micro-bats and glow worms. It is the first completed stage of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, which will eventually stretch 132 km to Casino, traversing through Byron, Lismore and Richmond Valley.
You can cycle the Northern Rivers Rail Trail as part of our self-guided tour that also explores the greater Tweed Valley.
Wollumbin lookout on Rail Trail |  <i>Kate Baker</i>

The Tweed

Boasting 37 km of pristine coastline, verdant wetlands and forests, expansive pastoral and farmland, and the entire Tweed River basin, Tweed is a nature lover’s paradise. The mountainous regions of the area contain 3 of Australia’s World Heritage-listed national parks, adding to the region’s natural charm. It is a truly stunning region that showcases the first rays of sunshine to touch the Australian continent, centered around the breathtaking Wollumbin / Mount Warning.

Tweed is situated in one of the world’s largest natural erosion calderas, making it a truly unique destination. The area is renowned for its rich biodiversity, which is the highest in New South Wales, making it an internationally significant environment that’s perfect for exploration and discovery.
Enjoy remarkable views of Mount Warning while cycling along the Tweed Valley region.


In the local Bundjalung dialect, Murwillumbah is thought to mean the place of the bleeding big nose.

In the 1880s, Tumbulgum was the principal town in the Tweed Valley with an active commercial sector. After the rail line to Lismore opened in 1894, followed by the Murwillumbah Bridge in 1901, Murwillumbah became the major centre on the Tweed.
Today over 9,000 people call Murwillumbah home and enjoy its art deco architecture, the vibrant arts community,cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops. Murwillumbah remains the centre for dairying, sugarcane and banana growing.
Murwillumbah is also home to the Tweed Regional Museum in town, and the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre which you can travel to via the rail trail.
Visit Murwillumbah on the Northern Rivers Rail Trail


Dunbible means the black apple tree in the local Bundjalung dialect. In the late 1880s, the area was home to a very small community, predominantly farmland for dairy, pigs and cattle.

Dunbible was quite isolated, and before the railway, travel was done on horseback. The railway brought prosperous new opportunities to the area, particularly in agriculture. Cream gathered from cows in Dunbible in the morning could now arrive at the NORCO butter factory in Murwillumbah in the blink of an eye.

Today there are almost 400 community members of Dunbible and the small town features the beautiful heritage Dunbible Creek Bridge.
Cycle the beautiful Northern Rivers Rail Trail

Stokers Siding

When the railway was constructed in 1894, Stokers Siding was known as part of Dunbible Creek. In 1903 it was renamed Stokers Siding after local landholder Joseph Stokers.
The once predominant farmland has evolved and Stokers Siding is now home to over 600 people and boasts a thriving arts community.

Stokers village has a number of popular attractions including the Community Printmakers Murwillumbah. Housed in the historic Stokers Siding Pottery Building, the community organisation is a working print studio with art gallery. The General Store/Post Office with a verandah tearoom is located in the old railway station.

The village also has a vibrant public school and is known to host regular events at the community hall known as the Stokers Siding Dunbible Memorial Hall.
Cycling the Northern Rivers Rail Trail


Burringbar is thought to mean the place of the non-returning fighting boomerang in the local Bundjalung dialect.John Ewing purchased the land that is now Burringbar Village in 1888 and erected the first built structure just off the main street.

Burringbar became an overnight stay for Cobb & Co coaches, bringing mail, newspapers, and supplies from Murwillumbah and Brunswick Heads. With the railway and road development, the village became a thriving district centre and is now home to over 1,100 people.

Burringbar still retains its small village charm and is a great stop-off point with a general store and craft, along with roadside fruit stalls. A pretty park with a historic monument marks the centre of the town.

The Burringbar Range tunnel connects the villages of Stokers Siding and Burringbar. The tunnel closed to rail services in 2004 and since this time, bats and glow worms have claimed their habitat inside.
Discover the Northern Rivers Rail Trail


Mooball (pronounced Mow-ball) is thought to mean big swamp, big lake, or the cane of a lawyer vine in the local Bundjalung dialect.
After European settlement, the town grew into a small farming community and now has over 190 residents. The town features the original 1930s pub and post office buildings. Mooball is a great place to stop for a coffee to rest and recharge.

You can’t move through town without missing the black and white cow prints painted on the electricity poles throughout the village.
Discover the Tweed and the Northern Rivers Rail Trail

Crabbes Creek

Crabbes Creek runs from Yelgun ridge down to Wooyung. This is a very significant area for local Bundjalung who acknowledge it as the pathway of the sun. It is where the Ancestral beings created some of the first ceremonies for all of the Bundjalung.

Crabbes Creek got its name after landholder Robert Crabbe, in the late 1800s. Before this, the local area was known as “Pimble” by the local Aboriginal people of the Moorung Moobar Clan of the Bundjalung Nation.
Sand mining, cane and dairy farming, and growing bananas were common at Crabbes Creek. The area has the distinction of having the first Macedonian Orthodox Church in Australia, built in 1949, which is still standing and is now the community hall.

Today Crabbes Creek is home to almost 300 people who form a vibrant community.
Cyclists at the end of the first stage of the Rail trail at Crabbes Creek |  <i>Kate Baker</i>

Thanks to the Northern Rivers Rail Trail team for this great article.

Is cycling the Northern Rivers Rail Trail on your travel wish list yet? Which town are you most excited to explore? Let us know in the comment section below.


Comment (0)

Your comment will be visible after the administrator's approval.

b i u quote

Save Comment
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips