December 12, 2018
The South Burnett Regional Council has given the thumbs up to a plan to connect the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (BVRT) to the South Burnett Rail Trail (SBRT) via Nanango.
At Wednesday’s monthly Council meeting, Councillors voted unanimously to agree to a plan put forward by Heritage Bank Nanango which will effectively create a continuous 280km trail between Wulkuraka and Kilkivan.
The “Rail Trail Link” will join the BVRT to the SBRT and the Murgon-Kilkivan trail by using an old stock route between Yarraman and Nanango, then rural roads.
The stock route was used by Nanango graziers to get their animals to Yarraman Railway Station between 1913 and the 1950s.
It is believed to follow a route railway engineers surveyed for a proposed rail connection between Nanango and Yarraman in 1913 that was promised by the State Government but never eventuated.
After the stock route, trail users will be able to travel from Nanango to Kingaroy via a second, signposted route along back roads between the two towns.
The plan to link Yarraman to Nanango was first devised by former Nanango Tourism and Development Association president Barry Green in February.
NaTDA arranged to have signs outlining the history of the stock route erected near Yarraman to encourage cyclists, walkers and runners using the BVRT to press further north.
The proposal to link Nanango to Kingaroy was put forward by Heritage Nanango Community Fund board member David Kenny, who is also a keen cyclist.
Because the original Kingaroy-Nanango railway land was sold after the line closed in 1964, he has mapped out an alternate route that would allow cyclists to safely travel the 20km separating the two towns.
David told southburnett.com.au he thought it made sense to connect the two trails, even though they’d never been connected in the railway days.
He said joining them would create the longest continuous trail in Queensland.
The BVRT had turned into a magnet for tourists over the past few years.
The South Burnett Rail Trail, which opened last October, has also seen a rapid uptake by locals and tourists.
He believed bridging the gap would encourage cross-trail tourism between the two, and also put the route at the top of every rail trail enthusiast’s “bucket list”.
The South Burnett Rail Trail Users Association (SBRTUA) also praised the decision.
SBRTUA president Dafyd Martindale said Mr Kenny had brought along Heritage Bank’s proposal to the group’s recent public meeting, where it won immediate support.
“We know how heavily used the BVRT is, and our aim is to see the SBRT get to the same level as quickly as possible,” he said.
“That can only be good for our region in the long term.
“We congratulate the South Burnett Regional Council and Heritage Bank Nanango for the far-sighted approach they’ve taken to this idea.”
The new sign-posted route is expected to open in the first quarter of 2019.
[Disclosure: Dafyd Martindale is CEO of southburnett.com.au]