Wondai to Kilkivan by Rail Trail
This WAS NOT A CLUB EVENT. However, we have been getting a few requests about the KiIkivan to Kingaroy Rail Trail, especially questions about the condition of the trail from Murgon to Kilkivan. Hopefully this Blog helps answer those questions. Remember there are many places to Ride in the South Burnett. So enjoy.
Wondai to Murgon- approximately 13 km
For the purposes of this Blog, I won't be focusing much on the South Burnett Rail Trail, which is the 42 km bitumen section between Murgon and Kingaroy. Other than to say that the surface is excellent (if bitumen rail trails are your preference). The edges are well mowed and there are bench numerous seats along the trail for visitors to pause. Furthermore, there are a number of small towns conveniently spaced along this section. All with great coffee and food, accommodation and some with camping facilities and toilets.
Murgon to Goomeri- approximately 17 kilometres
Once you leave Murgon the trails surface reverts to a dirt/gravel surface. There are a few soft sandy sections in the first 3 kilometres of trail after Murgon, especially when the weather is dry (which seems like all the time lately). From approximately the 3 km mark the sandy sections lessen and the trail surface is generally good. The trail at this point generally follows the main highway. There is one section of the trail at Mangung were the rail ballast remains, which is quite rough to ride over. Luckily this only lasts for about 400m, then the trails smooths out again.
There are a couple of creek crossing and the entry and exists can be steep, so select the your exit gear early. In dry weather the bottom of the creeks are dry and easy to cross. After heavy rain watch for drainage issues at water in the gullies. Heading into Goomeri the trail leaves the highway for a while, which is nice and the country views are wonderful. I must mention here, that Goomeri Bakery is one of the best bakeries I have seen. It rivals even the great Blackbutt bakery. I would highly recommend the Lamb and Rosemary pies, they score a 10/10 on the yommo metre. The Grand Hotel in Goomeri is also a great place to eat or cool off. There are also plenty of place to rest and visit , toilets are handy if needed.
Goomeri to Kilkivan- approximately 28 Kilometres
I always really enjoy this section, as the Rail Trail leaves the highway behind after about 4 km and you are really out on your own. Be aware though, this is also the least well maintained section of the Rail Trail.
Leaving Goomeri the rail ballast on the trail returns and the first 4 km are hard on tyres. The first creek crossing is subject to a bit of erosion as well. However this is easily visible. This section also has some random rocky sections, so you need to keep watching the trail. After about 5 km you pass Kinbombi Rd to the right and the trail starts to head downhill. The trails surface is generally good on the downhill section. Watch out for those random rocky sections though.
There are a number of gates on this section, that can slow your progress overall. There are also two amazing railway bridges to view and explore. Please observe the warning signs. As with previous creek crossings some of the crossings in this section are steep. In dry weather the crossing are generally dry, but this can change quickly. There is also some erosion issues on two crossing, so please be careful. Once you are down the range the countryside really opens up and the country views are amazing. The trail surface varies constantly so stay aware.
There is one creek crossing at Wide Bay Creek, that nearly always has water in it. When we rode this section the weather had been dry, so the water level was low. When wetter, this crossing can we waist deep, so be prepared. The last 6 km into Kilkivan the gates really step up a notch, hopefully into the future, some of these will get replaced with grids to improve the flow of the riding experience. Kilkivan is a lovely small town. There are a number of places to get coffee, food and accommodation and the Railway Station on entry to town is well preserved.
Despite the issues around the trail surface and some erosion, this is a wonderful section of the overall Kilkivan to Kingaroy Rail Trail and well worth the effort. You really do leave the road behind, with only the birds and the wind in the trees making noise. Knowing ahead of time that this section can be a bit rough helps the mindset. Hopefully this information helps. Enjoy the ride. Cheers.