First Camino Training Hike
This is my first training hike to get ready for my ‘Walk 1,000 Km for the World‘ walk across France. My flight to the UK is now booked for the 4 July 23 so I am committed now and the pressure is on.
The current plan is to walk 1000 km across France following the Camino Vezelay from Vezelay France to Spain as it is away from the tourist areas,
First Camino training hike. A 30.2 km hike along two sections of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail from Toogoolawa to Harlin and Harlin to Moore. At 30 degrees also provided significant hot weather endurance training.
Today the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail provided a pleasant walk through the Queensland country side passing by green fields, well fed cattle and flowing creeks. The walk through the tunnel before Harlin was great cool breeze and some welcome shade.
The murals on the bridge walls with a bench to rest on was another highlight of the walk.
The Brisbane Valley Rail
This 162 km trail follows the route of the former Brisbane Valley railway line, which was decommissioned in the 1990s. Today, it’s a popular destination for hikers, cyclists, and horse riders alike. One of the most scenic sections of the trail is between Toogoolawah and Moore. This 30 km stretch of the trail takes you through some of the most picturesque parts of the Brisbane Valley, including rolling hills, farmland and along the way, you’ll also pass several interesting landmarks including the Yimbun tunnel.
Starting in Toogoolawah
For this walk I started in Toogoolawah which is is a charming town located about 100 km north-west of Brisbane. Toogoolawah Railway Station is a station built in 1904 when the railway from Ipswich was extended. The small building is now home to the Toogoolawah History Museum which is open Thursday to Saturday, 9:30am to 2:30pm. The museum provides a fantastic display of Toogoolawah’s rich history.
If not on an end to end ride or hike then this is an great starting point for your Brisbane Valley Rail Trail adventure. The town has plenty of amenities, including cafes, restaurants, and accommodation options.
From Toogoolawah, the trail heads north-west towards the town of Harlin. The first few kilometres of the trail are relatively flat and easy-going, with wide-open spaces and sweeping views of the surrounding countryside.
In the hills not far before Harlin is the 100m long Yimbun Tunnel, the only tunnel on the rail trail. The heritage-listed Yimbun Tunnel is situated between Yimbun and Harlin and was built between 1909 and 1910 and remains a hidden treasure of the BVRT. Yimbun Tunnel is significant as a highly intact example of a concrete-lined railway tunnel constructed for Queensland’s narrow-gauge railway lines.
Harlin is a small village on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail about halfway between Toogoolawah and Moore. There is a welcome service station where I bought some lunch and sat for a while.
The Nurinda Underpass is located where Nurinda Rd crosses the BVRT about 2 km from the D’Aguilar Highway. There is now a remote art display in the middle of almost nowhere that comes as a complete surprise. Two outstanding murals paying homage to the origins of the BVRT as an important railway line transporting timber, food and people to and from the growing cities of Brisbane and Ipswich and beyond.
The steam locomotive depicted in the mural on the northern side of the underpass is a Queensland AC16 class locomotive known locally as ‘The Yank’. The proximity of Japanese forces in the Pacific islands to the north of Australia during WW2 placed Queensland under threat of imminent attack. Queensland urgently needed more trains to move wartime supplies and troops. In 1941, twenty AC16 class locomotives were procured from the United States under Lend-Lease arrangements and later purchased by the Australian Government.
The Budd Rail Diesel Car depicted on the southern wall is a self-propelled diesel railcar primarily intended for passenger service in rural areas with low traffic density or in short-haul commuter service
There are several creek crossings where you can cool off your hot tired feet.
Exploring the Historic Railway Station
At the 11 km mark, you’ll reach the historic railway station at Linville. This is one of the highlights of the trail, and well worth a visit. The station was built in the early 1900s and has been beautifully restored. It now houses a museum, which is open to the public on weekends.
Final Stretch to Moore
The final stretch of the trail to Moore is about 9 km long, and is steady gentle climb. Brisbane Valley.
If you’re looking for a great way to explore the beautiful Australian countryside, the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail is an excellent choice. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker, a keen cyclist, or just looking for a leisurely stroll, this trail has something for everyone. So why not pack a picnic and head out to Toogoolawah to start your adventure today?
Map provided by DTMR