Victorian Rail Trails - Camping Options

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Victorian Rail Trails - Camping Options

Postby 2WheelsGood » Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:29 pm

My wife and I have never bike toured before but would like to try it. Oh and I haven't camped before either :oops: (well not in a tent anyway)

Anyhow, I was planning to do Wangaratta to Bright along the rail trail and stop off to have a look at Beechworth etc. We have relatives in Bright to stay with.

Alternatively (or in addition) I would also like to do the Gippsland Rail Trail.

I would like to camp somewhere along the way instead of staying at a motel - just for the novelty of it :D

So as a complete newbie to this, what are the best places to do this - is it OK to just find a place in the bush away from the rail trail and camp there (is that legal / is it dangerous?) or is it better to find a designated camping site accessible by road etc. (are there safety issues involved with not having a car to make a getawat of need be)?

Are there recommended books to get regarding bicycle accessible camp sites in Victoria?

Cheers!

P.S. So far I have got a light 2 person tent, light sleeping bags, 3/4 size self inflating mats and looking at cooking options - oh and 2 hybrid bikes, rear racks, Ortlieb panniers - really looking forward to it - in a few months time :D
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by BNA » Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:06 pm

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Re: Victorian Rail Trails - Camping Options

Postby il padrone » Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:06 pm

2WheelsGood wrote:I would like to camp somewhere along the way instead of staying at a motel - just for the novelty of it :D

So as a complete newbie to this, what are the best places to do this - is it OK to just find a place in the bush away from the rail trail and camp there (is that legal / is it dangerous?) or is it better to find a designated camping site accessible by road etc. (are there safety issues involved with not having a car to make a getawat of need be)?

The railtrail passes through mostly rural farmland, small towns and scattered bushland pockets. The options for free camping in this sort of country are limited, water would need to be carried from towns and it would certainly not be a wilderness experience. It may be possible to camp at some of the station sites like Everton and Eurobin, where there is some shelter, a table and toilets.
Facilities are listed here

Amenities. Toilets have recently been constructed at Tarrawingee, Everton and Eurobin in a joint venture between the State Government, the councils involved and the Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE. Two water points have also been established, one at Taylor's Gap, between Myrtleford and Everton Station, the other half way on the spur line between Everton Station and Beechworth.

Users are requested not to defecate in the reserve, rather use toilets in towns along or near the rail trail - noting that people who ask rather than demand, generally get what they want - and customers even more.


The main towns of Beechworth, Myrtleford, Porepunkah and Bright have good campgrounds/caravan parks with better facilities and are probably the better option to use. The major attractions of the trail are in or near these towns anyway.

2WheelsGood wrote:Are there recommended books to get regarding bicycle accessible camp sites in Victoria?

Your best guide would probably be 'Camping in Victoria' by Boiling Billy Publications

There's also this general guide from Parks Victoria. Their website has more specific details in pdf leaflets for each park.
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Re: Victorian Rail Trails - Camping Options

Postby elantra » Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:15 pm

I think Il Padrone has answered your query.
I did the most of railtrail Murray to mountains May 07

Loved most of it but for me the Everton to Beechworth stage is the highlight.

This is a long but gentle to moderate climb mostly through bush.
It might be a bit drought affected these days. Avoid hot weather for this section

About two thirds of the way up there is/was a small cleared patch with a water tank.
But it is probably technically illegal to camp there and the water tank might be empty
At the absolute summit of this climb, a few km before Beechworth there is a lovely winery
I have a feeling they might offer budget accomodation

I cannot remember the name of the winery but it is only about 100 metres away from the trail
Don't miss visiting this winery :D :D :D
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Re: Victorian Rail Trails - Camping Options

Postby 2WheelsGood » Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:35 pm

Thank you Il Padrone and Elantra!
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Re: Victorian Rail Trails - Camping Options

Postby il padrone » Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:08 pm

Photos of our tour - two pages of them. We toured without any vehicle support (as always), but as it was July, we stayed in caravan park cabins.

It had snowed well down on Buffalo when we were in Beechworth

Image

These are the sort of facilities at Eurobin Station. Everton Station is similar. You could make a nice campsite here I guess - don't know whether it's allowed though.

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Re: Victorian Rail Trails - Camping Options

Postby JustinS007 » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:24 am

2WheelsGood wrote:I would like to camp somewhere along the way instead of staying at a motel - just for the novelty of it :D

FWIW I live in Wangaratta.

Rail Trail from Apex Park (Start) to Beechworth is 45km. About 350m climb.

There is a caravan park at Everton that you could stay at. You could even drop your gear there before making the ride to Beechworth to save some weight.

Wang to Everton ~30k, Everton to Beechworth ~15k each way. Leave Wangaratta 8am, drop stuff in Everton, go to Beechworth for lunch / look around, back to caravan park for the evening.

Everton to Bright ~57km. Do this the 2nd day? 2 caravan parks in Bright.

Bright to Wang ~85k. 3rd, longer day back to Wang?

Good luck with it and let us know if we can help.
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Re: Victorian Rail Trails - Camping Options

Postby banjo » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:20 pm

I haven't done the rail trail yet up there, but if you have no experience with camping I would advise you to start out in caravan parks where you have a good supply of water, hot showers and a more controlled environment. Caravan parks are a great place to test your gear away from home before you start getting in to more remote sites.
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Re: Victorian Rail Trails - Camping Options

Postby 2WheelsGood » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:54 pm

Cheers - Thanks for all the detailed advice and pictures!
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Re: Victorian Rail Trails - Camping Options

Postby hartleymartin » Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:11 pm

Looking forward to travelling the rail trails in Victoria when the opportunity presents itself. Next 4 years of university means I have to figure out very cheap holidays.
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Re: Victorian Rail Trails - Camping Options

Postby L'iota » Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:11 pm

The Mountains to Murray Rail Trial is 'Bicycle Heaven'. I used the caravan/camping parks at Everton and Myrtleford. Take lights and ride at night on a moonlight night. Fantastic!
I used the Caravan park at Tallangatta for the High Country Rail Trail and the Caravan park nearest the trail at Bairnsdale on the East Gippsland Trail while I can recommend the Snowy River Motel at Numerella at the Orbost end of the East Gippsland Trail. This trail has more remote sections in it and I'm sure nobody would even know if you picked a good spot alongside the trail to camp. I've also ridden the Bass Coast Trail and parts of the Gippsland Plains Trail. The mountains to Murray Trail is sealed but has a very fine gravel capping which proved no problem on a road bike with with 700 x 25 tyres. The other trails are all unsealed and I would recommend a mountain bike with slicks or intermediate tyres as some parts are quite soft or sandy. I thoroughly enjoyed riding on all of these Rail Trails and I'm sure that once you've done one you'll want to do them all. Have a great trip.
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Re: Victorian Rail Trails - Camping Options

Postby il padrone » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:52 am

L'iota wrote:while I can recommend the Snowy River Motel at Numerella at the Orbost end of the East Gippsland Trail. This trail has more remote sections in it and I'm sure nobody would even know if you picked a good spot alongside the trail to camp.

The eastern section (Nowa Nowa to Orbost) runs mainly through State Forest, so there is no problem at all with bush camping, as long as you follow sensible campsite standards.

L'iota wrote:The other trails are all unsealed and I would recommend a mountain bike with slicks or intermediate tyres as some parts are quite soft or sandy. I thoroughly enjoyed riding on all of these Rail Trails and I'm sure that once you've done one you'll want to do them all. Have a great trip.
L'iota


The Skipton Rialtrail has recently been upgraded and now has a hard-packed surface that would be quite OK with tyres down to 28mm.

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