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Rail Trail … Here’s What’s Happening

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The South Burnett Rail Trail will be officially launched on Sunday, October 1 with community celebrations in Kingaroy, Wooroolin, Wondai and Murgon and a launch procession that will travel from one end to the other (Photo: South Burnett Rail Trail)

September 28, 2017

by Dafyd Martindale

The South Burnett Rail Trail will be officially launched on Sunday with community celebrations in Kingaroy, Wooroolin, Wondai and Murgon.

The celebrations are a centrepiece of this year’s South Burnett and Cherbourg On Show long weekend festival of events, which will be offering almost 40 events across the region from Friday evening (September 29) to Monday afternoon (October 2).

The South Burnett Rail Trail is a 43.5km stretch of the longer Kilkivan to Kingaroy Rail Trail, opened on September 22 after a two-year construction effort by the South Burnett Regional Council and Gympie Regional Council.

Because the South Burnett section crosses the tick line, the South Burnett Regional Council took a decision to seal the section between Kingaroy and Murgon and only open it to walkers, runners and cyclists; the unsealed section between Murgon and Kilkivan is open to horse riders as well.

* * *

The South Burnett’s rail trail festivities will kick off at Kingaroy’s O’Neill Square (the corner of Haly and King streets) at 6:00am on Sunday (October 1).

The Kingaroy Lions Club will be serving up breakfast as a fundraiser. There’ll also be arts and craft stalls, and South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell will give a brief speech about 6:15am.

At 6:30am, a procession of cyclists, then runners, then walkers will leave the station to cycle, run or walk the Rail Trail to Murgon.

Members of local running groups will also carry a special South Burnett Rail Trail baton for use in the afternoon’s opening service in Murgon.

Famous Australian long-distance runner Ron Grant will be part of this group.

In 1983, Ron was named Queensland Sportsman Of The Year when he ran ran 13,383km around Australia in 217 days, going on to be named Queenslander Of The Year and receive a Medal of the Order Of Australia in 1984.

For the convenience of people who join the walk, water stations will be set up along the route in Kingaroy, Crawford (5.33km away), Memerambi (5.78km), Wooroolin (4.97km), Tingoora (6.07km) and Wondai (8.39km).

In Wooroolin, morning tea will be available to buy at the CWA Hall from 9:00am; and in Wondai, the Wondai Regional Art Gallery will be supplying a barbecue lunch, toasties and pancakes for a small fee between 11:00am and 1:00pm.

There’ll also be lots of children’s entertainment in Coronation Park, as well as a performance by the Wondai Town and District Band and the opportunity to view entries in the South Burnett Art Competition and the Faces Of The South Burnett photography exhibition in the Art Gallery.

* * *

In Murgon, the focus of festivities will be the former Murgon Railway Station opposite the post office in Lamb Street..

The day will kick off at 8:00am with the Cherbourg Warrior 5km Fun Walk/Run, which will be followed by seven hours of family-friendly activities that will include billy cart races, pig races, more than 40 market stalls plus food and drink stalls, a jumping castle, face painting, an animal show, art displays, heritage displays, amusement rides and a fishing display and competition.

Entertainers including Muddy Flats, Arthur Nettelfield, Deadly Hedley Fisher and more will perform on stage from 9:30am to about 3:00pm.

In Goomeri, horse riders will gather at the Goomeri Showgrounds on the Burnett Highway to set off along the unsealed portion of the rail trail at 9:00am on the inaugural Cherbourg Horse Ride, an all-ages social ride that aims to reach Murgon in time for the official opening.

At 2:00pm, Ron Grant and the official party will arrive in Murgon in a horse-drawn carriage led by members of the Light Horse Brigade, and the entertainment will pause briefly for the Mayor’s last speech of the day.

* * *

Cyclists, walkers and runners who are concerned about returning from Murgon to Kingaroy at the end of the celebrations don’t have to worry.

Shuttle buses will be running between Kingaroy and Murgon all day for walkers and runners, and bike transport will be running from Murgon and Kingaroy at 5:00am, noon and 3:00pm for cyclists.

Bookings for the bike transport service can be made by contacting the Kingaroy Visitor Information Centre on (07) 4189-9172.

Visitor Information Centres in Kingaroy, Wondai and Murgon will also have timetables for the shuttle bus services.

* * *

The South Burnett Rail Trail attracted some criticism when it was first announced but has drawn approval from locals and visitors since the bitumen seal was completed in June.

The trail’s Facebook page has quickly attracted 1500 fans, and several local groups have announced they are planning to hold regular annual events along the trail, ranging from festivals to foot races.

Properly marketed as a regional tourist attraction, the Rail Trail has been forecast to inject more than a million dollars into the South Burnett’s economy each year, providing a lift for all the towns and villages along its length.

The Rail Trail procession is expected to arrive at Tingoora about 10:00am, but cyclists and runners will arrive much earlier (Photo: Denise Keelan)

[UPDATED]


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9 Responses to Rail Trail … Here’s What’s Happening

  1. Vicki

    Crazy to start the cyclists after the runners. Cyclists should head off before runners as a matter of safety for both runners and cyclists.

  2. Tina

    I agree, was just planning on riding from Kingaroy to Murgon hopefully, if I can make it, but not sure I will if runners are going first. Will have to see

  3. Newsdesk

    As far as we understand the arrangements, the cyclists will be leading the procession, followed by runners, then walkers. The Baton Relay will start things off, but it will be a series of lone runners on the trail who can be easily (and safely) passed by cyclists.

  4. P Trevor

    Just wondering if you thought of telling people what to do if they come across a snake

  5. Andrew

    Naysayers: if you can’t run on the left nor safely overtake someone when you are riding a bike there is something wrong with you. It is not a race but a chance to traverse a really nice part of the world with a group of like minded people.

  6. Rusty

    Bikes are starting first on the Rail Trail, then runners are then walkers. Take with care with incoming bikes and runners, watch out around road crossings and slow down

  7. Geoff

    It actually did cyclists head off first the forgot to mention all the magpie attacks awaiting everyone

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