Travellers have been taking this historic journey from Bendigo to Heathcote since 1888, when the train service was a Victorian Railways timetabled Wallan - Bendigo schedule. Trains stopped running in 1958, and the route lay largely dormant until the first section of the O’Keefe Rail Trail opened in 1993.
The history of the O’Keefe dates back to the pioneer Andrew O’Keefe who is recognised for his construction of many local railway lines. He migrated to the goldfields from Ireland in the wake of the great potato famine, finding his fortune in iron track. This line, including 50 bridges, took 21 months to complete at a cost of 88,409 pounds, and two derailments in the process.
Today the recreational trail which is located on the site of the old railway line, again allows users to journey the full 49 kilometres, albeit at a slightly slower pace. It’s just as well too, as there’s lots to take in.
The safe, mostly-level walking and cycling trail is one of Victoria’s great family-friendly journeys. It passes through some spectacular natural bushland, past waterways and recreation reserves, perfect for picnics, wildflower or platypus spotting.
Whether you are preparing for a short or long journey along the O’Keefe Rail Trail, or even an overnight stay, there are numerous experiences, attractions and tourism operators awaiting your visit. If you choose to ride or walk a shorter section of the trail, you may choose to complement the experience by staying at some local accommodation, located just off the trail. The half-way point of Axedale features the beautiful Campaspe River Reserve, ideal for re-charging by the water. You may also consider packing your bag for a stopover in the Heathcote Region, where superb restaurants, wineries and bed and breakfasts await.
The rail trail between Bendigo and Heathcote was completed in 2015, with funding from the Victorian Government and the City of Greater Bendigo. Passionate community group The Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail Inc, continue to be instrumental in the development, care and promotion of the trail, for the enjoyment of locals and visitors.
Please click here to download and view the latest O’Keefe Rail Trail brochure which provides:
• A detailed map of the trail
• Access points
• Experiences available along the trail
• Trail history
• Trail etiquette
O'Keefe Rail Trail – What did you think?
The Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail are keen to gain valuable feedback from users of the O'Keefe Rail Trail. Your feedback will assist with trail improvements and ongoing trail development.
Take the short survey now: www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/okeefetrailsurvey
The O’Keefe Rail Trail passing through Lake Eppalock - Nov 2016
Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail
The Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail Inc. are a passionate community group who recognise the potential of a long distance trail on or near the route of the former Wandong, Heathcote, Sandhurst Railway.
This group acts as a specialist trail advisory body to local governments, actively assists in providing O’Keefe Rail Trail facilities and enhancements, plus cares about community health relating to cycling and walking. Without the support of the Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail group, the Rail Trail would not be where it is today.
For further information please visit the following websites:
Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail: