Toowoomba Grammar School

Adventure Club: Overnight Trip -Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (BVRT) 1-2 June 2019

A chilly morning greeted the group as we loaded bikes, tents and equipment ready for a weekend cycling the upper sections of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.  Now the longest Rail Trail in Australia, the original line was commenced near Ipswich in 1884 and eventually completed to Yarraman in 1913.

The line followed the picturesque Brisbane Valley.  The final steam trains ran on the line in 1969. Some Railmotor passenger services continued with the line finally closed in 1991 and the line pulled up.  From 1996, local councils and Queensland Rail commenced negotiations to develop the rail corridor into a trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders, with the final sections opened last year to complete the trail.

Our group enjoyed a glorious first day, riding from Yarraman to Moore.  Grass trees and magnificent valley views make for a great trip.  The section from Benarkin to Linville is almost all downhill (3 to 5 % slope) making for a causal, gravity assisted ride.  It also includes the Benarkin viaduct and its historic culvert.  These are amazing engineering feats for their day.  After a casual lunch in Linville, the group rode onto Moore.  This leg of the trail provides some spectacular views of the upper reaches of the Brisbane River.  After 50km of riding, the group reached Moore in good time and went about establishing camp.  An early dinner saw the boys bed down for a well-earned sleep.

A slight overnight shower did little to dampen the boys’ spirit and enthusiasm for day 2.   The ride to Harlin is over the newest sections of the trail, making for easy riding over a good surface.  Again, there are vantage points to take in the scenic views along the valley. Intermittent light showers added to the challenge as we moved onwards towards our final goal.  The Yimbun tunnel (1910), the only tunnel along the entire trail and 100m in length, again reminded us of the engineering feats evident along the ride. The old Toogoolawah Station building provided a well-earned shelter for lunch.  While some boys chose to end their trip here, there were a couple who were keen to complete the journey, especially as the skies had cleared.  The final leg to Esk was done in good time, before all again boarded the bus for the trip home.

The overall trip was close to 100 km.  The boys showed great perseverance and resilience, never complaining as they completed the ride.  No mechanical problems or flats topped off a great weekend.

Images and trail map available from:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ciKkvEsSVWIH3McXsF1y2u1-V8Nl_nda?usp=sharing