Rail Trails & Country Lanes 2019
Spring is in the air
Sunday 08 September, 2019 to Saturday 14 September, 2019
|The tour at a glance|
|Dates:||8-14 Sep 2019 (Sun-Sat)|
|Duration:||6 nights. 6 ride days|
|Ave. Daily:||53 km|
|Bike Type:||Hybrid preferred, MTB ok. BYO or hire.|
|Surface:||Hard-packed gravel trails, dirt and bitumen back-roads|
|Terrain:||Flat to undulating, 1 optional climb|
|Group Size:||Small group tour, usually 10-20|
|Accom:||3-4 star country motels and unique properties|
|Meals incl:||6 bfast, 5 dinners, 1 lunch + most morning teas|
|Price:||See PRICING tab for options|
|Experts:||No short-cuts! Famous for extensive experience, preparation and organisation|
|Service:||Our owners are usually on tour with you. Renowned for good old fashioned service|
|Quality:||From great accom & meals to our lovingly prepared home-made biscuits and slices|
|Support:||Our awesome crew & support vehicles are never far away if you need a pick-up or a mechanic|
|Camaraderie:||AllTrails cyclists are fun, positive and supportive – and waiting for you to join the community|
Check out more of our up-coming rides:
Two Beautiful Rail Trails Linked by Quiet Country Lanes
Road, Rail and Sea – these were the traditional modes that comprised an integrated transport system for the movement of people and freight. And for a small state with a history of gold rushes, manufacturing, fertile soils and condensed population, economic prosperity gave rise to an extensive rail and road network to support the seamless transport of people and goods to market. Over time, our reliance on these modes waned and their purpose reassigned. And just as Victoria is now truly blessed when it comes to outstanding Rail Trails, so too is the availability of a plethora of minor roads and country lanes…
Welcome to the Rail Trails & Country Lanes cycle tour.
We have combined two wonderful rail trails into one tour. The first part of the tour will see you riding the High Country Rail Trail downhill from Shelley to Albury, a beautiful trail that hugs the shoreline of the majestic Lake Hume. From here we have picked out a route that winds through bike paths and country lanes, where you will be fully supported by our crew and safety vehicle on the road, through to Rutherglen – one of Victoria’s ultimate wine and food destinations – then on to Wangaratta. Next, we head toward our second rail trail and overnight stop at Milawa in luxurious accommodation located across the road from Brown Brothers Winery. From here we continue to the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail taking in overnight stops at historic Beechworth and beautiful Bright.
You can experience all the wonderful highlights of this region with hardly an ounce of organisational effort on your part. Discover cafes, restaurants, breweries and cellar doors where internationally lauded wines flow freely and chefs are inspired to create menus utilising the fresh abundance of early spring produce. Enjoy the re-emergence of beautiful warm sunshine in Albury and the Murray River region which boasts more sunshine days than the Gold Coast!
The route is roughly 2/3 on rail trails and bike paths and 1/3 on country lanes, meaning most of the time there will be little or no vehicle traffic. Rail Trail surfaces are either on hard-packed gravel or bitumen. There is just one hill heading up to Beechworth, but this is an optional section with our support bus available here if required (and for any section you may choose not to ride). Throw in plenty of stunning scenery, native wildlife and farm animals, stylish accommodation, great local food, and the famous AllTrails home cooked goodies and top-class service.
We arrange all the logistics, luggage transfers, breakfasts, dinners, advice and guidance (including the best lunch stops and picnic spots), maps, vehicle support, mechanical help, transport and great camaraderie. Your only job is to turn up and enjoy yourself as you cycle through nature, experience the local townships and meet some other wonderful people in the AllTrails community.
Come with us and experience this lovely spring-time ride in a wonderful part of Victoria all in one easy package.
Six days of relaxed and beautiful cycling with some of Australia’s finest gourmet produce, great wines and craft beer.
Book it, you will love it.
- Group of 3 or more cyclists = $130 discount pp
- Families with children = substantial savings contact us for a quote.
TestimonialsEnjoyed the Rail Trail ride very much. Outstanding job of organising EVERYTHING whilst always remaining calm and happy. Highlight for me was riding alongside the river, it was so peaceful and the scenery was beautiful. Weather was sensational too. Also great to meet new cycling friends. Thanks again.
Just a short note to let you know how much we enjoyed ourselves. Helpful, knowledgeable and such good company. Great cycling companions. Friendships resumed and new friends made. From the scrumptious devonshire tea in amongst a beautiful garden setting to a meandering echidna, it was all just fantastic. Looking forward to more trips.
As usual, AllTrails ride is extremely well organised keeping the standard high and looking after the participants. The friendly atmosphere generated makes us all feel important and welcome…On the whole a most enjoyable ride with great people and lots of laughing and only one snake and echidna sighted.
We are back home as of yesterday and just wanted to say Thankyou both, we really enjoyed the trail, company and your smooth running of the trip. Looking forward to seeing some more rail trail trips in the future.
I had a wonderful time, thank you for all your help and fantastic organisation. Such a lovely group of people also, which combined with the most perfect weather and gorgeous countryside was a lovely way to spend a few days. Thank you again for a really well run and most enjoyable bike ride.
Had a great time on the Rail Trail ride over the long weekend. Professional, friendly, helpful, fun, unflappable, and knowledgeable! Icy frozen sticks were a real treat, muffins where super yummy, and little surprise bags of treats were fun too. Thanks for a great weekend and we will look forward to riding again one day!
Arrived home yesterday – the Rail Trail experience was fabulous. Thank-you for your detailed coordination, and also for the birthday card – that was quite a surprise. We wish to thank the AllTrails team for hosting and supporting us – we couldn’t have asked for a better host.
You, Jo and Richard do a super job with all the organising etc. pre and during rides. Well done. Everyone really appreciates all your hard work. Thanks.
Thanks for a great ride on the AllTrails Six Pack Rail Trails – as usual well organised and a great bunch of people to enjoy the camaraderie of other cyclists as we pedalled the varying trails. Accommodation and meals were great. Congratulations to you all for your expertness in planning and organising pleasurable rides. Looking forward to another trip in the future.
Was a great experience, fun group. Richard and Jo deserve 6 stars for their service.
A past AllTrails Rail Trail tour featured in the Herald Sun Weekend Travel Editorial. Read Here
You push off along the rail trail and come across a small town or a clearing in the trees for some morning tea. After a chat and refilling your water bottles you head out again for a good ride, stopping in eventually at one of the small villages dotted along the trail for a cafe lunch with some great choices of local produce, and enough sustenance and energy to take you through into the afternoon. The last leg of the day takes you through more lovely scenery and spectacular cycling while the AllTrails support vehicle is not far away with water refills, bananas, home-baked goodies and advice on the best places to go and the best places to stop.
You will arrive at your overnight accommodation with plenty of time to explore another interesting town, enjoy the afternoon with a cuppa & biscuit, a wine in the garden or a craft beer at the local brewery. Later on we share a few stories at the evening briefing followed by a delicious dinner, then it’s off to bed for a well-deserved slumber so that we can do it all again tomorrow.
Meal and accom inclusions noted as B, L, D, A (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Accommodation)
It’s here that we hit the foreshore of Lake Hume – our companion for the rest of today and again tomorrow. The lookout at Old Tallangatta takes you on a trip back in time, to a town relocated in the 1950s when Lake Hume was flooded. A beautiful off-road shelter at the lookout provides the perfect place to stop and enjoy a drink and a snack and interpretive signage provides further insights into the story of the town that moved. Enjoy a fast 8km finish on a beautiful asphalt path to our overnight accom in Tallangatta – a simple, friendly and welcoming motel with true country hospitality. Tonight, we meet for our evening brief, recap the day’s activities and a run-down on tomorrow, followed by dinner and bed.
What a beautiful day’s ride. Tonight, we have something very different for our overnight accommodation – an urban, industrial and art-inspired modern hotel with dynamic open-plan spaces. It is a funky escape from the predictable and something quite contrasting to the country vibe of the last couple of days.
Tonight, we have another treat as we stay at the best location in Rutherglen known for its fine wining and dining. Visit the onsite cellar door, check out the art gallery, enjoy a spa in your room or a swim in the pool – it’s all right here. Rutherglen is a pretty little town and as hard as it will be to leave our enclave, try to make some time to explore before a special group dinner back at the vineyard restaurant tonight.
This community includes a luxury accommodation property and a world-class winery for you to explore if you wish. There is plenty to enjoy again as we are spoilt with class and quality out here in the country.
After refuelling and recharging it’s time to head back to the trail for the steady climb to Beechworth (of course this is optional – feel free to jump in the bus if you like!). The reward for effort is certainly worth it as Beechworth is a pretty town with an interesting history, a legendary bakery, a great brewery and a lovely motel where AllTrails cyclists have been staying for over a decade. Said to be Australia’s best-preserved gold mining town, sunset in the town centre illuminates the timeless architecture like the set of a Hollywood Western. Tonight is a ‘get-your-own’ dinner night allowing you to fly solo or head out with fellow AllTrails cyclists to explore the main street and variety of eateries from fish and chips to pub meals to fine dining.
You will notice the iconic silhouettes of the region’s tobacco kilns along this section of the trail which are an interesting piece of High Country history and provide great photo opportunities. Passing by the retired saw mill town of Porepunkah, it’s easy riding with Mt Buffalo National Park on the right and the trail meandering alongside the river past vineyards, hop producers and orchards. In Bright we have a great motel in a great location – close to the rail trail and town centre. Bright is a cyclist mecca for mountain, road and trail riding – it won’t be long before you notice and feel the cyclist-friendly vibe in the people and businesses all over town. Tonight, we have our final briefing and celebratory dinner to share the great memories of the ride.
Or stay around for another night or two if you wish – it’s still only Saturday morning!
|PRICES IN AUD||Before 6 Jun||Before 9 Jul||Before 8 Aug||From 8 Aug|
|TWIN SHARE PP
(double bed or two beds)
|$2835 pp||$2885 pp||$2935 pp||$2985 pp|
(one person with own room)
Families with children: Great savings on a family package. Contact us for a quote
Travelling on your own: Book the Single Room rate, or early bookers can book a Twin Share rate and we will partner you up with somebody else of the same gender travelling on their own. This offer closes 2 months before tour departure (8 July) – after this date contact us to see if we can match you, if not, the single room price will apply.
Optional ExtrasTransfers to start and from end of tour (see ‘Getting There’ tab for more info):
- Melbourne (Southern Cross Station) to Shelley, 8 Sep, ETD 6:30am, approx 5hrs $50
- Wangaratta Station (for those driving cars) to Shelley, 8 Sep, ETD 9:45am approx 1hr $20
- Bright to Wangaratta (to collect cars), 14 Sep, ETD 8:15am, ETA approx 9:30am $20
- Bright to Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, 14 Sep, ETA approx 12:30pm $50
- Bright to Melbourne Southern Cross Station, 14 Sep, ETA 1:15pm $50
- Bike Hire. Let us know if you need to hire a bike and we can put you in touch with our local contact.
- Transfer of hard case bike box from start of ride to finish, $10/day (if space available) $60
- Transfer of soft FOLDABLE bike bag from start of ride to finish $3/day $18
A ‘Merchandise Kit’ is included in the cost of this tour, including an AllTrails cycling jersey, cycling cap, drink bottle and day bag. Link to AllTrails Merchandise PDF
AllTrails t-shirts (not included in merchandise kit above):
- Older stock, limited sizes $20
- New style tee $30
- Raglan style (3/4 sleeve) $35
Feel free to contact us at any time through our website ‘Contact Us’ page, phone or email. We love what we do and want to get you on the best bike ride for you. Speak to us about what’s on your mind and we’ll help you make your decision.
Cycling always has risks but in general rail trail cycling is very safe. There is very little chance of getting lost, you can cycle at your own pace with friends two or even three abreast and if you do need support, our bus is never far away. Rail trails can be inconsistent in their surface with alternating patches of compacted dirt, gravel, sealed sections and sometimes also grass, however rail trails also have no vehicle traffic to worry about other than small sections of road, usually around overnight towns. Check the tour webpage for specific descriptions of cycling surface for your tour.
Our support bus is there to support the tour and also pick up riders who need to jump in for any reason. The bus is also sometimes used for part-time riders who only ride certain sections of each day – these are often partners of someone else on the ride. This vehicle can be quite popular on some days – especially long days or days with big hills! There is no shame in riding in this bus so if you are considering a tour and are ‘in the ball-park’ in terms of your fitness and preparedness, but not 100% sure if you will be up to it on the toughest days, just go for it – our vehicle and staff will be there to help out. It’s better to give it a try than to miss out all together. If you feel that you are extremely far off the fitness level required and cannot commit to enough training that will get you fit in time then you may be better off booking a later ride or a different type of tour – just give us a call or email to discuss.
Obtaining appropriate insurance is your (very important) responsibility
IMPORTANT: Travel Insurance – even for trips within Australia
- When you consider the cost of cancelling your tour if something goes wrong before or during your travel, insurance is good protection.
- Domestic travel insurance is usually considerably cheaper than international.
- Purchase your travel insurance as soon as you have booked your tour and your travel – don’t wait until just before you go.
- Some credit card travel insurances do not apply to domestic Australian travel – check with your provider.
- There are lots of travel insurance providers – cyclists should do their own research to ensure they are covered adequately.
- Here are two options as an example:
- International travellers should always have a comprehensive travel insurance.
IMPORTANT: Cyclist insurance for accidents & medical:
Cyclist Insurance is different to Travel Insurance and is often included as part of cycling memberships such as Bicycle Network or Bicycle Queensland or can be bought separately. Cycling can be a dangerous activity and you should be prepared for the worst. If you have an accident in training for the tour or on the tour itself cyclist insurance can help with medical, income protection and third party coverage. Check out the benefits here:
A staff member with good bike mechanical knowledge will be part of our crew and will have a stand pump for different valves. The mechanic will often be able to help you with a safety check, general tips and advice about your bike and its upkeep, as well as fixing mechanical problems. We will have limited parts available for replacement which will be charged at shop prices. Labour is free for the first fifteen minutes, there after costs may be incurred at the mechanic’s discretion. Cyclists with rare or different bikes are asked to contact us at AllTrails as parts can often be very difficult to obtain.
You really need to be a reasonably fit person, however not necessarily a fast or a highly experienced ‘cyclist’. If you can sit on an average speed of 15-20 km/hr on a flat road, you will be fine. Try to build your distance in training to gradually ride about 40km a day for 2 days straight. Remember there is no rush with this ride, and there is always a backup vehicle not too far away.
On the online entry form you can nominate any travelling companions who you would like to share a room with and/or be accommodated close to so that couples or friends can be grouped together. This can be in a double bed or twin beds. If you are travelling alone like many of our riders, a Single Supplement price is available for those who would like their own room for the whole trip. On some tours you can also choose to ‘twin share’ where single riders are paired with other riders of the same gender (often changed during the tour to allow solo travellers to meet other solo travellers). On other tours you may need to put your name down on a Twin Share Request List and we will try to match you up. If you are a snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we ask that you book your own room at the Single Supplement price. If you are coming on your own and have booked in as twin share, this usually means that you will share a room with one other single twin share cyclist or crew member, however in some cases we may have larger rooms (eg. two bedroom apartment or a B&B/house with multiple bathrooms) where we may have 3 or more single twin share travellers together.
Not a problem! You’ll find other like-minded cycling companions taking part in our rides. If you’re a solo traveller we can pair you with other solo travellers of the same gender in twin share accom (early bookers only) or you can opt for Single Supplement (additional cost) to receive a room of your own.
If you are a chronic snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we suggest booking your own room (single supplement cost). This is not just a courtesy to your fellow travelling companions, but will also give you the space & privacy you need to enjoy your sleep after a long day on the bike.
We suggest you carry a spare tube, a full water bottle and your own personal goods such as camera, wallet and rain gear, on your bike with you. We transport your luggage, drawstring day bags, food & extra water. A more detailed list of things to bring and not bring is on our ‘Tour Preparation Guide’ which is sent out to you before the ride.
Always a big part of any cycling holiday! Check tour details for meal inclusions on your ride. Our emphasis is on fresh food and balanced diet with plenty of carbohydrates, proteins, fruit and vegies catering for a cycling holiday. We successfully cater to most dietary requirements, however feel free to contact us with any questions. Most meals are included as part of our tours, however you may be required to purchase some meals. See the ‘Day to Day’ tab for more details, or click the ‘Download Itinerary’ button.
We realise that often our riders want to spend their holidays with loved ones who may not be a keen cyclist as they are – we are happy to accommodate non-riding partners and part-timers who only want to ride part of each day, or only certain days. We will generally try to allocate pickup points along the route every day. The entry price will be the same for part-time riders and usually non-riders as well depending on their tour plan.
We will be happy to give you the names and telephone numbers of people who have participated in the ride or a similar ride to the one which you are considering. Where possible we will provide you with the details of someone within your city or state.
Another good place to look is our ‘Testimonials’ page.
Bring your friends and save some money! Many of our tours have group discounts for 3 or more entrants. Check out the ‘pricing’ tab on each ride page to see if group discounts apply to that tour. This generally excludes any optional extras such pre and post tour accom, cycling jersey, t-shirt etc. Contact our office for more details and information.
Should you wish to change your booking with AllTrails to a different tour, there will be a very reasonable service charge. We try to keep this figure as low as possible to allow flexibility where we can as we want to make sure that you get on the right tour for you. For cancellation and refund policies for your tour click the ‘T&Cs’ tab on the relevant tour page of our website.
If you need to cancel your tour, a travel insurance policy will cover cancellation fees due to most unforeseen events. This is why we provide links to travel insurance options and highly recommend that you investigate and purchase travel insurance for all our rides (including Australian domestic tours) at the time of deposit and ensure that it includes coverage for cancellation fees if for some reason you are not able to travel (see Travel Insurance FAQ). For our international tours we require all participants to have Travel Insurance to assist you in the event of a medical emergency, lost baggage, personal liability, cancelled tour or other trip related issues.
People from all parts of Australia and also some overseas guests. Ages generally range from 35 – 75 with the average age about 50-60 years old. Adventurous cyclists usually about 40% women & 60% men with a mix of singles, friends and couples.
We recommend you bring a soft bag or backpack. We advise against bringing a suitcase as they are bulky, difficult to stow on board vehicles or trailers and heavy. You may be required to lift or carry your own luggage from time to time, e.g. into accommodation. We expect your bag to be no heavier than 15kg, making it easy to manage for you and the staff. Any excess luggage may need to be stored or forwarded on to your final destination at your own expense. Information about what to pack is included as part of your Pre-Departure information. Generally we advise that you pack as light as possible.
If you want to hire a bike for one of our tours just let us know on your online booking form and we will get the ball rolling for you. You can also bring your own seat and/or pedals to give you that little bit of ‘home comfort’.
The Skybus goes from Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport and goes to Southern Cross Station. You can take your bike on the Skybus and it also has free shuttles to CBD hotels. More info at www.skybus.com.au.
We only run approximately 10 tours per year. This makes every tour as special to us as it is to you because we are not repeating the same rides over and over again week-in week-out. Every tour is meticulously planned and we are just as excited to be there as you – there is no bulk production-line here! On most occasions the owner-operators of the business will be on tour with you looking after everyone on the ride. The safety and confidence that comes with that is one of many great reasons to book your cycling holiday with us.
AllTrails is a proud Australian owned company with a great reputation in the bicycle tour industry. We have earned that reputation through hard work and dedication and we sincerely care about every person on every tour. Our large community of loyal AllTrails riders that keep coming back year after year are testament to the high standard of tours that we provide. We consider ourselves the best in the business and we always make sure that our tours represent great value at a fair price.
We pick the most welcoming and cycle-friendly properties for our tours. This tour has a great range of accommodation from 3 star country motels that are simple but clean and friendly, to luxurious up-market tourism award winners. The locations are great and we have always had good experiences with their lovely staff – we are sure that you will enjoy the experience at the properties on this trip.
The first part of the tour is on the High Country Rail Trail with mostly good, hard-packed gravel. The country lanes section of the ride alternates between bitumen and well graded dirt roads. The final section on the Murray to Mountains trail is a fully sealed bitumen path. The best bike for this tour would be a hybrid or mountain bike with semi off-road tyres. Road bikes are NOT recommended.
Getting to and from the tourWe will take our bus from Melbourne Southern Cross Station to the ride start at Shelley on Sun 8 Sep (depart 6:30am) – approximately a 5 hour trip including stops. We will also do a pickup at Wangaratta railway station on the way through for those who may wish to drive their car (depart approx 9:45am). At the end of the ride we will travel back from Bright, departing Sat 14 Sep at around 8:15am, stopping at Wangaratta railway station (ETA 9:30am) for cyclists to collect cars. We then continue on to Melbourne, stopping at both Tullamarine Airport (ETA 12:30pm) and Southern Cross Station (ETA1:15pm).
All of these transfers are an optional extra cost. The price includes transport for you, your bike and luggage. Note that we will not be doing a pick-up at the airport at the start of the tour on Sun 8 Sep so we suggest arriving into Melbourne the day before. We suggest the Vibe Savoy Hotel across the road from Southern Cross Station, or contact us for other Melbourne hotel recommendations if required. On the way home we estimate arrival at Melbourne Airport at around 12:30pm so we suggest booking flights AFTER 3:00pm. Please make sure that you have travel insurance in case of unexpected delays that could cause you to miss your flight, or book a flight for the following day.
Conditions of contract : Please read carefullyAgreement:
I have read and understand the terms and conditions of this event (see instructions below) and wish to enter this ALLTRAILS BICYCLE TOURS Pty Ltd event at my own risk. I understand that participation in this ride involves riding on public roads used by other traffic, and in doing this, I am aware of the potential dangers, both on and off public roads. In my judgement, I am capable and competent to participate safely in this ride. I hereby release, exempt and indemnify AllTrails and any of its contractors, local guides, officers, directors, employees, agents, staff, sponsors, volunteers and all other persons involved in the organisation of this event, from all actions, costs, demands, proceedings, and claims whatsoever made or taken by any person, arising out of my participation in the ride.
I accept that I am to wear a helmet, abide by road laws, and understand the organisers have no responsibility for my property damaged or stolen. I agree to take responsibility, and make appropriate payment if necessary, for any damage to others property that I cause including motel rooms, motel property, AllTrails property or other cyclist’s property.
I agree to carefully consider my insurance options and take note of AllTrails’ policy strongly recommending Cyclist Insurance and Travel Insurance to all cyclists on Australian tours, and the compulsory Travel Insurance policy for international tours.
AllTrails reserves the right to change the advertised ride and itinerary due to road works, bad weather, unsafe conditions, or any unforeseen circumstances. I declare I am 18 years of age or older or am the legal guardian of persons under 18 years old in my care. I consent to publication, for promotional purposes, of any photos or video footage taken of myself or others in my group, while taking part in this event without recourse or compensation to me.
I consent to AllTrails processing personal information about me and other members of my party. AllTrails may hold my name, address and other details supplied on their database. This information will be used to make my tour arrangements and to send me information about AllTrails and its tours. In order to make my tour arrangements AllTrails may need to pass on my details to companies and individuals inside and/or outside Australia, where less stringent data protection controls may be in place. I understand this and agree to the passing of necessary information to required third parties such as hotels and local tour companies.
Full terms and conditions for each ride are available via our booking system (directions to find them are below). These terms and conditions will also be sent to you with your confirmation email after booking.
To find the terms & conditions of this ride:
- Click any ‘Book This Ride’ button on this webpage such as the one below (right click ‘open in new tab’)
- Enter at least 1 participant on any package, then scroll down and click ‘BOOK NOW’
- Click the ‘SKIP’ button
- Scroll to the bottom of the questions page and click ‘terms and conditions’ hyperlink