Search 58,412 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

Murray to Mountains Rail Trail

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Has anyone walked this trail from Bright to Wangaratta? I am looking to do the walk in the next month. I need a regular walking fix until the world opens up again and I can walk the Kumano Kodo that I wanted to do in 2020 before too much physical decrepitude sets in. I have done a few itty bitty day hikes in the Grampians and around Mildura, but they don't satisfy my craving.

The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail is about 83km walking and there seem to be reasonably convenient stops for accommodation without having to camp. It has the advantages of wonderful scenery, and the historical context of this abandoned trail line (one of so many in rural Australia - and indeed the world) and other aspects of local history interest me. Wineries as well!🍷

The route is also easily bikeable if I choose that option as a new experience. You can rent bikes (incl eBikes) in Bright and there are bus connections from Wangaratta to Bright for the return journey if my starting point is Bright (that's the downhill direction to Wangaratta :)). With a bit of planning it is also possible to go by train to and from Melbourne and avoid having to take a car at all.

Anyway, I would love to hear the experiences of previous walkers.

All the best for 2021

Bob M
Murray to Mountains Map.jpg
 
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
What a great idea. Big plus you will know what the locals are saying in the Pub.
I have already discovered that the locals are not big fans of the Melbourne lockdown and assorted border closures affecting their COVID-free livelihoods. I will have to disguise my Melbourne accent in the pub.

Bob M
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@BobM Im very interested as a local make-do until the Camino in Spain becomes possible again. Obviously not now (I’m in greater Sydney) but if we get back to no community transmissions. I’ve always thought the distances between stops would be too difficult for walking unless with car backup support or camping. Can you tell us what stages you plan; distances, stopping places and accommodation possibilities? And definitely report back once you’ve done it. I think lots of us Australian Camino addicts would be interested.
I’ve looked at the Heysen trail and the ones in WA but they all seem to need a lot of planning or carrying tents and supplies.
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
@BobM Im very interested as a local make-do until the Camino in Spain becomes possible again. Obviously not now (I’m in greater Sydney) but if we get back to no community transmissions. I’ve always thought the distances between stops would be too difficult for walking unless with car backup support or camping. Can you tell us what stages you plan; distances, stopping places and accommodation possibilities? And definitely report back once you’ve done it. I think lots of us Australian Camino addicts would be interested.
I’ve looked at the Heysen trail and the ones in WA but they all seem to need a lot of planning or carrying tents and supplies.
Will do. But first up, all the best with your COVID lockdown. It's not an easy thing for us, but I cannot imagine what our friends in Europe (I still include the UK in Europe as well) must be going through at the moment.

I was surprised to find out how much accommodation there seems to be on the MMRT, but over summer it is heavily booked. I was of your view that hiking in Australia generally required camping because of long distances.

This route seems to have a well-established hiking/cycling infrastructure. You can hire bikes, get luggage etc transfers. See this MMRT website for more info.

Anyway, I have just started planning today, assuming I will walk or maybe cycle. I have never done any long distance touring cycling, so that would be a first.

I will keep you posted.

Bob M
 
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.

GraemeHall

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés 2017/18; Portugués 2019
@BobM Im very interested as a local make-do until the Camino in Spain becomes possible again. Obviously not now (I’m in greater Sydney) but if we get back to no community transmissions. I’ve always thought the distances between stops would be too difficult for walking unless with car backup support or camping. Can you tell us what stages you plan; distances, stopping places and accommodation possibilities? And definitely report back once you’ve done it. I think lots of us Australian Camino addicts would be interested.
I’ve looked at the Heysen trail and the ones in WA but they all seem to need a lot of planning or carrying tents and supplies.
You could also consider the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. It is 161km, from Yarraman to Wulkuraka (near Ipswich). I walked it in 7 days, but it's doable in 6. Most of the users are cyclists but it works well for walkers. I had no problems with accommodation - 4 country pubs, 2 B&Bs and 1 country motel.
Best of all, fully accessible at both ends and most intermediate stops by public transport from Brisbane.
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
I have discovered that rail trails are far more common than I had realised. Here is a quote from someone who walked the MMRT in 2019:
"19 trails now completed, only 8 to go for my 2019 challenge is to ride every rail trail in Victoria this calendar year to promote organ donation. You can follow my rail trail exploits on FB Warwick Duncan - The 2nd Chance Man or Insta @warwick_rides."

Railways were built along the easiest gradients available (often improved with cuttings and tunnels), so they make for gentle walking and cycling.

Steam trains of the day required plenty of water for their boilers, so railway lines were often built close to rivers. The MMRT for example, follows the Ovens River. In outback Australia, artesian water was often used, sometimes requiring rudimentary desalination plants, whose remnants can still be seen in some places.

It's an interesting sub-obsession in the broader class of pilgrimage obsessions.

Bob M
 

julie

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
You could also consider the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. It is 161km, from Yarraman to Wulkuraka (near Ipswich). I walked it in 7 days, but it's doable in 6. Most of the users are cyclists but it works well for walkers. I had no problems with accommodation - 4 country pubs, 2 B&Bs and 1 country motel.
Best of all, fully accessible at both ends and most intermediate stops by public transport from Brisbane.
Hi Graeme, would you mind giving us your stages and where you stayed? A friend and I were looking at the BVRT and there seemed to be a couple of stages where accommodation was an issue. We are in Sydney so closed borders put an end to our plans but it is something we would like to do, hopefully later this year.
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
I have attached two contrasting photos from short walks I have done since being freed from COVID lockdown in Melbourne. Our European friends may find the starkness of the landscape somewhat forbidding, but I find it appealing and there is a feeling of almost euphoria in some cases.

But parts of Australia present dangers for the unwary and unprepared walker, and I would like to share with you the desperately tragic story of Gabriele Caroline Grossmueller. It raises all sorts of questions about human behaviour and how we interact with our surroundings in a given situation, and make decisions that seem inexplicable. Perhaps the optimism and over-confidence of youth played a part in this tragedy.

Gabriele has two monuments, one where her body was found and the other in the small park in William Creek. Her story affected me a great deal when I visited these monuments set in a stark land far from the beautiful countryside of Austria, and too far for any of her family to come and mourn her.

If you are ever in the area, please make a pilgrimage to the monuments and say a short prayer for Gabriele.

Bob M
 

Attachments

  • Winton-Wetlands.jpg
    Winton-Wetlands.jpg
    852.7 KB · Views: 34
  • Trail-beside-Kings-Billabong.jpg
    Trail-beside-Kings-Billabong.jpg
    842 KB · Views: 24

Farmer Col

Aussie Col
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi Bob, I haven't walked the trail, but I have cycled it. It was an easy 2 day ride with a stopover in Beechworth. When I did it, there were not a lot of people either cycling or walking, except around Beechworth and Myrtleford, where there were a lot of families enjoying the fresh air and mountain scenery. Walking would be good as there is a lot to explore off the trail as well as things to see along the way. You would need to plan carefully for accommodation as it is a very popular area and can book out in busy times. I camped, so it was not a problem. One thing you should not miss is the bakery in Beechworth, it is well worth the wait for a table.
 
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Hi Bob, I haven't walked the trail, but I have cycled it. It was an easy 2 day ride with a stopover in Beechworth. When I did it, there were not a lot of people either cycling or walking, except around Beechworth and Myrtleford, where there were a lot of families enjoying the fresh air and mountain scenery. Walking would be good as there is a lot to explore off the trail as well as things to see along the way. You would need to plan carefully for accommodation as it is a very popular area and can book out in busy times. I camped, so it was not a problem. One thing you should not miss is the bakery in Beechworth, it is well worth the wait for a table.
I agree about accommodation. I was hoping to do my walk in late January, but all the places to stay are booked out; and anyway they are not as conveniently located for 20-km stages as I had first thought. Now I am thinking of arranging taxi pickups and dropoffs when required. That option would mean I could base myself in accommodation in say Myrtleford.

But I am becoming more attracted to the cycling alternative. How did you find the ride up to Beechworth? Some people say the ascent from Everton (15km?) is not so easy.

Bob M
 

Farmer Col

Aussie Col
Past OR future Camino
2021
Live is not meant to be easy! If you take your time, rest when needed and enjoy the scenery, it is quite manageable. If you do not regularly ride, it would be difficult. I don't like the idea of an electric bike, too much to go wrong when you are away from help. I don't like your taxi idea, very expensive and would probably ruin the experience, you would be better off just staying in Bright, Myrtleford or Beechworth and doing day walks.
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
. . . If you take your time, rest when needed and enjoy the scenery, it is quite manageable. If you do not regularly ride, it would be difficult. I don't like the idea of an electric bike, too much to go wrong when you are away from help. I don't like your taxi idea, very expensive and would probably ruin the experience, you would be better off just staying in Bright, Myrtleford or Beechworth and doing day walks.
More excellent advice, especially as I agree with you!

There is another problem with ebikes: They are heavy, which is no problem when all goes well, but if you have to physically move the bike over obstacles, or carry it up steps, then an ebike is not such a blessing.

I did some quick numbers on the taxi option and it is costly.

More to think about.

Bob M
 

markf_syd

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2014, Portuguese 2017, Podiensis 2019
Im very interested as a local make-do until the Camino in Spain becomes possible again. Obviously not now (I’m in greater Sydney) but if we get back to no community transmissions. I’ve always thought the distances between stops would be too difficult for walking unless with car backup support or camping. Can you tell us what stages you plan; distances, stopping places and accommodation possibilities? And definitely report back once you’ve done it. I think lots of us Australian Camino addicts would be interested.
I’ve looked at the Heysen trail and the ones in WA but they all seem to need a lot of planning or carrying tents and supplies.
I‘m also very keen to find a local make-do that doesn’t require the complications of camping or transport . Avoiding camping means a lighter packs which also tempts more friends/family to participate. Avoiding transport means fewer interruptions to the simplicity of pure walking. I tried two multi-day alternatives in 2019 due to Covid.
- I did the first week of the Heysen Trail (https://heysentrail.asn.au/event/south-coast-week-2020/) with a mate. Each day is well-planned. Everyone (approx 50) booked their own accommodation at different places. My mate and I stayed the week in Victor Harbour and drove to the end-point of the walk each day where a bus collected everyone and delivered us to the start for that day. Everyone walked in one group with leaders at the front, middle and back. The leaders were fantastic and experienced Heysen walkers. The people were all very friendly too. There was one night when we all met together which was more reminiscent of the Camino. One highlight was the scenery .... the first week of the Heysen Trail is amaaaazing!
- I did the 5 day walk in the Blue MOuntains (Penrith to Blackheath) with the Blue MOuntains Camino Support Group, staying at Glenella guesthouse with many of the others. We caught the train each morning to the start for that day. It was very reminiscent of the Camino. Each breakfast/afternoon/evening some might meet at a pub or cafe. Some would make their own meals at Glenella and some evenings we made them together. We had such fun each night include some Zoom meetings (eg. Guidebook author John Brierley; Suzi from Casa Suzi albergue). There were several walking routes (a direct one which was shorter and technical one which went more bush) to choose and people could walk in groups or by themselves. We’d often meet at a pub/cafe at the end of the walk. Glenella owners, Margaret & Rowan have done a brilliant job of replicating the Camino albergue atmosphere and the BM Camino group are highly dedicated to replicating other crucial Camino elements too.

I’ve also been looking at options around the Great North Walk.

So far the Blue MOuntains variant most closely represents the essential Camino elements for me. I’ll be booking in to that one again for sure and will be exploring these rail trails as well so thanks for this @BobM etc

Cheers, Mark
PS. I rode my bike on the Murray rail trail 7 years ago but did it as day trips staying in one caravan park. I have fond memories of some of the scenery especially around Beechworth and Bright. I’d be interested in doing it again as a multi-day walk though (if I can get a few others to come along).
 
Last edited:

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Just a quick update on my preliminary plan to walk the MMRT.

There are doable stages for those like me who prefer to walk about 20km/day. As usual, accommodation is the issue for hikers who do not wish to carry camping gear. If you are happy to walk 30km+ per day, then accommodation would not be a problem.

Here was my first rough plan until a show-stopper arose (more on that later).

Day 1: Bright to Eurobin (16km). Accom available at GG's By the River.
Day 2: Eurobin to Myrtleford (17km). Plenty of accommodation available.
Day 3: Myrtleford to Everton (26km). Accommodation at Everton Caravan and Tourist Park.
Day 4: Everton to Wangaratta (28 km). Plenty of accommodation. An alt route is along the Alpine Highway (22km)

You could also leave the MMRT after Everton and stay at Milawa (accom avail, winery also), then continue on roads to Wangaratta. Leaving the MMRT does not appeal to me - that's the whole point of the hike for me.

The show stopper is that 'GG's By the River' is heavily booked into April, charges $400/night and does not like single night stays anyway.

So I am tweaking my stages, maybe:
Bright to Porepunkah (9km) in an easy walk. Plenty of accommodation.
Porepunkah to Myrtleford (24km).

Taxi transfers are too expensive, but one transfer company in Bright is less expensive (charges an hourly rate, not per km) and my contact seems helpful. More on that later, if I choose that option.

Bob M
 
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Here is an OpenStreetMap that shows the MMRT route. You can zoom into any level of detail you want. Various facilities are shown and a few places to stay. The map first displays at Bright, but just zoom and scroll and eventually the label "Murray to Mountains Rail Trail" will pop into view.

BTW, I use the LocusMapPro nav app on my phone (android only) for my walks and the Locus map of Victoria also shows the MMRT.

Bob M
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
This is really beginning to excite me Bob. I'm thinking that autumn, when the weather starts to cool a bit, and when I'm usually walking in Spain, would be a good time. I'm bookmarking your posts. Keep the updates coming!
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
If you walk in the autumn, try to time it with the wonderful autumn colours. Just google for images eg "autumn foliage bright". Of course, everyone else wants to see the leaves so accommodation may be problematical. There may be a website that forecasts 'peak colour' as is the case for Japan and the NE USA.
Autumn leaves Bright.jpg
Another impossible dream for me is to walk in Cherry Blossom Time in Japan.

Ah well. After my COVID jab and the world pulls back from its craziness.

Bob M
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
BTW, Open Street Maps can be downloaded free to various devices eg phones, Garmin GPS units. The process can be clunky and non-intuitive, especially for Garmin devices. Various websites can help getting the maps.

You can always use Google Maps, but that depends on the signal and can also chew up your data allowance. A dedicated phone nav app accesses GPS satellites and is totally independently of the internet - but not your phone battery!

Bob M
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
I am getting a little off-topic, but I want to preach a bit more about the virtues of dedicated phone nav apps vs Google Maps.

You can record your track in great detail , which is fun. Plus, a dedicated nav app will give altitude profiles and a bunch of other data (I trained as an engineer, BTW - we love data!).

Bob M
 

Attachments

  • Walk at King's Billabong.jpg
    Walk at King's Billabong.jpg
    266.1 KB · Views: 25

jl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Since seeing your query Bob I have done some research too. A friend and I might attempt it, if borders remain open. Having come from Adelaide we would not want to go all the way without going to Beechworth and so this is a possible itinerary including that leg. We are governed by the fact that we would have to catch the Overland to Melbourne, which only operates 2 days a week - hence the Friday Vic travel start! The distances may be a bit off (I was doing a guess on how far the accom. was out of town), but they are near enough for preliminary planning. I went on Booking.com to choose most of the accom. and the prices are for 2 people for a twin room, all with free cancellation except for Milawa. There are other options as well on the trail website.

Friday – train to Wangaratta, dept 7.05 am arr. 9.53 am
V line bus to Bright, dept 10.05 am arr. 11.15 am
Saturday 1st May – Bright to Porepunkah – approx. 7 kms
Stay at – Porepunkah Buffalo Motel & Country Retreat$147 twin
Sunday – Porepunkah to Myrtleford – approx. 23 kms
Stay at – Railway Motel Myrtleford$126 twin
Monday – Myrtleford to Everton – approx.
Stay at – Everton Caravan and Tourist Park $130 twin cabin
Tuesday – Everton to Beechworth – approx. 15kms
Stay at – The Old Priory$100 twin
Wednesday – Beechworth to Milawa – approx. 23 kms (retracing steps for 15kms, but could catch bus @ 9.15 to Everton on M. W. F.. Could then walk direct from Everton to Wangaratta – could then stay an extra night at Beechworth or Bright.)
Stay at – Milawa Motel – $145 twin (only partially refundable)
Thursday – Milawa to Wangaratta – approx. 15kms
Stay at – Meraki House – $149 3 Bedroom house
Friday – Wangaratta to Melbourne dept. 13.39 pm arr. 16.40 p.m.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014
CP 2016
CdelN, Fin/Muxia 2018
? CF 2022
Will do. But first up, all the best with your COVID lockdown. It's not an easy thing for us, but I cannot imagine what our friends in Europe (I still include the UK in Europe as well) must be going through at the moment.

I was surprised to find out how much accommodation there seems to be on the MMRT, but over summer it is heavily booked. I was of your view that hiking in Australia generally required camping because of long distances.

This route seems to have a well-established hiking/cycling infrastructure. You can hire bikes, get luggage etc transfers. See this MMRT website for more info.

Anyway, I have just started planning today, assuming I will walk or maybe cycle. I have never done any long distance touring cycling, so that would be a first.

I will keep you posted.

Bob M
Thanks Bob,
This is a very interesting topic for a thread. You mention in your above post, the possibility of luggage transfer on the MMRT. We have had a look at the website but can't see anything about it. We would be walking not cycling and probably would arrange accommodation etc ourselves, just wondered if you knew anything more about the luggage transfer side.
Since seeing your query Bob I have done some research too. A friend and I might attempt it, if borders remain open. Having come from Adelaide we would not want to go all the way without going to Beechworth and so this is a possible itinerary including that leg. We are governed by the fact that we would have to catch the Overland to Melbourne, which only operates 2 days a week - hence the Friday Vic travel start! The distances may be a bit off (I was doing a guess on how far the accom. was out of town), but they are near enough for preliminary planning. I went on Booking.com to choose most of the accom. and the prices are for 2 people for a twin room, all with free cancellation except for Milawa. There are other options as well on the trail website.

Friday – train to Wangaratta, dept 7.05 am arr. 9.53 am
V line bus to Bright, dept 10.05 am arr. 11.15 am
Saturday 1st May – Bright to Porepunkah – approx. 7 kms
Stay at – Porepunkah Buffalo Motel & Country Retreat$147 twin
Sunday – Porepunkah to Myrtleford – approx. 23 kms
Stay at – Railway Motel Myrtleford$126 twin
Monday – Myrtleford to Everton – approx.
Stay at – Everton Caravan and Tourist Park $130 twin cabin
Tuesday – Everton to Beechworth – approx. 15kms
Stay at – The Old Priory$100 twin
Wednesday – Beechworth to Milawa – approx. 23 kms (retracing steps for 15kms, but could catch bus @ 9.15 to Everton on M. W. F.. Could then walk direct from Everton to Wangaratta – could then stay an extra night at Beechworth or Bright.)
Stay at – Milawa Motel – $145 twin (only partially refundable)
Thursday – Milawa to Wangaratta – approx. 15kms
Stay at – Meraki House – $149 3 Bedroom house
Friday – Wangaratta to Melbourne dept. 13.39 pm arr. 16.40 p.m.
Thanks JL,
This is a very good itinerary.

All the best to you both,
Anne & Pat
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Since seeing your query Bob I have done some research too. A friend and I might attempt it, if borders remain open. Having come from Adelaide we would not want to go all the way without going to Beechworth and so this is a possible itinerary including that leg. We are governed by the fact that we would have to catch the Overland to Melbourne, which only operates 2 days a week - hence the Friday Vic travel start! The distances may be a bit off (I was doing a guess on how far the accom. was out of town), but they are near enough for preliminary planning. I went on Booking.com to choose most of the accom. and the prices are for 2 people for a twin room, all with free cancellation except for Milawa. There are other options as well on the trail website.

Friday – train to Wangaratta, dept 7.05 am arr. 9.53 am
V line bus to Bright, dept 10.05 am arr. 11.15 am
Saturday 1st May – Bright to Porepunkah – approx. 7 kms
Stay at – Porepunkah Buffalo Motel & Country Retreat$147 twin
Sunday – Porepunkah to Myrtleford – approx. 23 kms
Stay at – Railway Motel Myrtleford$126 twin
Monday – Myrtleford to Everton – approx.
Stay at – Everton Caravan and Tourist Park $130 twin cabin
Tuesday – Everton to Beechworth – approx. 15kms
Stay at – The Old Priory$100 twin
Wednesday – Beechworth to Milawa – approx. 23 kms (retracing steps for 15kms, but could catch bus @ 9.15 to Everton on M. W. F.. Could then walk direct from Everton to Wangaratta – could then stay an extra night at Beechworth or Bright.)
Stay at – Milawa Motel – $145 twin (only partially refundable)
Thursday – Milawa to Wangaratta – approx. 15kms
Stay at – Meraki House – $149 3 Bedroom house
Friday – Wangaratta to Melbourne dept. 13.39 pm arr. 16.40 p.m.

More good ideas. You would cover all the highlights. The Old Priory at Beechworth seems a great place to stay. I am also thinking of doing a short stage to Porepunkah to lessen the next day's walk to Myrtleford as per your plan.

Peter at Bright & District Leisure Tours is worth contacting re transfers. (eg if you don't want to trudge uphill all the way to Beechworth) All his contact details are on the website. He seems flexible and you could discuss whether his hourly rates are suitable.

I may end up walking to Everton and calling Peter to pick me up, take me to Myrtleford and then back to Everton next morning to resume my walk. Peter would also be a back up for me in an emergency eg bushfires (I hope to walk in a few weeks, in peak fire season, alas).

Bob M
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Thanks Bob,
This is a very interesting topic for a thread. You mention in your above post, the possibility of luggage transfer on the MMRT. We have had a look at the website but can't see anything about it. We would be walking not cycling and probably would arrange accommodation etc ourselves, just wondered if you knew anything more about the luggage transfer side.

Thanks JL,
This is a very good itinerary.

All the best to you both,
Anne & Pat
See my comments about Peter in a post above. He seems very flexible and might be able to help out with luggage. He is the only service I found. Bus-a-Bike could not help.

Bob M
 
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
I have pretty much worked out a plan, but it involves one very short stage and three a bit longer than I would prefer:

Day 1: Drive to Bright.
Day 2: Local sightseeing and prep for walk.
Day 3: Bright to Porepunkah (9 km). Accom no problem.
Day 4: Porepunkah to Myrtleford (24m). Accom no problem.
Day 5: Myrtelford to Everton (26km). Everton Caravan & Tourist Park (only accom avail).
Day 6: Everton to Wangaratta (28km). Accom no problem.
Day 7: Bus back to Bright to collect car. BTW, parking at Bright is free but there are time limits. I am checking out the parking at the end of Burke St which was suggested by the Tourist Office for MMRT hikers. You can see it on Google Street View.
Day 8+: Become a tourist! I will drive to Beechworth (stay at Priory and eat at the wonderful bakery suggested by Farmer Col) and Milawa (hic!🍾) for a couple of days before returning home to Melbourne.

My backup transport if I get sick of walking a long stage will be Peter as mentioned a few posts above.

Here is the best website I have found that walks you over the MMRT: MMRT

I will be walking in the bushfire season and it is only sensible to monitor emergencies and the like. Here is the website: Emergencies. There is also an app for androids and apples.

Enjoy!

Bob M
 

P Rat

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino VDLP/Sanábres April 2019
Camino Mozárabe when we can again...(2021?)
You could also consider the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. It is 161km, from Yarraman to Wulkuraka (near Ipswich). I walked it in 7 days, but it's doable in 6. Most of the users are cyclists but it works well for walkers. I had no problems with accommodation - 4 country pubs, 2 B&Bs and 1 country motel.
Best of all, fully accessible at both ends and most intermediate stops by public transport from Brisbane.
The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail is petty awesome! Cycled twice and walked once. Just be sure to pick the right time of the year, as it can be a bit exposed (we finished the walk in 42 degrees C, it was murder) and yo'll want to avoid the maggies (Magpies for any non-aussies) in the breeding season. Our friend is missing a tiny piece of his ear now. The best bit was when we walked and a local in the park where we stopped for a pick-nick lunch and heat escape said: 'you walked all that way and no-one offered a lift? That's bad'. :) And then informed us that 'there is a bus you know and we wouldn't have had to walk...'.
 

Farmer Col

Aussie Col
Past OR future Camino
2021
Sounds good Bob, keep us posted while on your walk. As a firefighter, it is good to see that you are going to be monitoring the Vic Emergency web site, however, please remember that your eyes and nose are probably the best early warning signal, particularly in that area where phone signal is very patchy.
Have fun and enjoy your walk.
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Sounds good Bob, keep us posted while on your walk. As a firefighter, it is good to see that you are going to be monitoring the Vic Emergency web site, however, please remember that your eyes and nose are probably the best early warning signal, particularly in that area where phone signal is very patchy.
Have fun and enjoy your walk.
You are spot on about fire and not to be too reliant on the phone. Also, one should be vigilant about wind direction and changes and think about places of safety when walking in the fire season. I owned a small farm near Kilmore for some years, and I was (still am) a little edgy about fire. A grass fire with no danger to people, stock or buildings may not seem a big deal to city folk watching the TV news, but burning pasture is the sheep or cattle farmer's livelihood going up in smoke.

Anyway, when I have done my walk I will post an 'after action' report.

Bob M
 

taigirl

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Has anyone walked this trail from Bright to Wangaratta? I am looking to do the walk in the next month. I need a regular walking fix until the world opens up again and I can walk the Kumano Kodo that I wanted to do in 2020 before too much physical decrepitude sets in. I have done a few itty bitty day hikes in the Grampians and around Mildura, but they don't satisfy my craving.

The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail is about 83km walking and there seem to be reasonably convenient stops for accommodation without having to camp. It has the advantages of wonderful scenery, and the historical context of this abandoned trail line (one of so many in rural Australia - and indeed the world) and other aspects of local history interest me. Wineries as well!🍷

The route is also easily bikeable if I choose that option as a new experience. You can rent bikes (incl eBikes) in Bright and there are bus connections from Wangaratta to Bright for the return journey if my starting point is Bright (that's the downhill direction to Wangaratta :)). With a bit of planning it is also possible to go by train to and from Melbourne and avoid having to take a car at all.

Anyway, I would love to hear the experiences of previous walkers.

All the best for 2021

Bob M
View attachment 90462
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store
John Brierley 2022 Camino Guide
The most selling Camino Guide is shipping November 1st. Get your today and start planning.

taigirl

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Sounds interesting. I belong to a group called Take a hike NE Vic.
Has anyone walked this trail from Bright to Wangaratta? I am looking to do the walk in the next month. I need a regular walking fix until the world opens up again and I can walk the Kumano Kodo that I wanted to do in 2020 before too much physical decrepitude sets in. I have done a few itty bitty day hikes in the Grampians and around Mildura, but they don't satisfy my craving.

The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail is about 83km walking and there seem to be reasonably convenient stops for accommodation without having to camp. It has the advantages of wonderful scenery, and the historical context of this abandoned trail line (one of so many in rural Australia - and indeed the world) and other aspects of local history interest me. Wineries as well!🍷

The route is also easily bikeable if I choose that option as a new experience. You can rent bikes (incl eBikes) in Bright and there are bus connections from Wangaratta to Bright for the return journey if my starting point is Bright (that's the downhill direction to Wangaratta :)). With a bit of planning it is also possible to go by train to and from Melbourne and avoid having to take a car at all.

Anyway, I would love to hear the experiences of previous walkers.

All the best for 2021

Bob M
View attachment 90462
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Sounds interesting. I belong to a group called Take a hike NE Vic.
Great name :). Your motto should be "it's my way or the highway."

Bob M
 

taigirl

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Great name :). Your motto should be "it's my way or the highway."

Bob M
That was only half the post before it disappeared!! Check us out on FB, you might find some that would be interested in joining you. Some have done Camino and at least on has done KK.
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Check us out on FB, you might find some that would be interested in joining you. Some have done Camino and at least on has done KK.
I have an eccentric confession to make, alas: I am possibly the only person on the planet who does not use FB.:eek:

BobM
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@BobM that's great. I and a friend will follow in your footsteps in autumn, Covid restrictions allowing (I've given up concrete planning anything!).
 
2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little, most of them by the end of 2021. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
@BobM that's great. I and a friend will follow in your footsteps in autumn, Covid restrictions allowing (I've given up concrete planning anything!).
I hope to start walking on Sunday, 31 Jan - if the weather is not too hot. I should get an idea of the forecast next week. BTW, we are in a la Nina year, which often makes SE Aust cooler and wetter than usual.

Fed up with my usual over-planning of walks - I just want to hit the road now.

I will post text and pics as I go along if the spirit moves me, otherwise it will be after the event. Hopefully that will be useful.

Best wishes for 2021. Full speed ahead and damn COVID.

Bob
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Just a quick update.
Mon 1 Feb Bright to Porepunkah.
I started my walk today. I will try to peck out a brief update on my phone each day, with a detailed report and pictures when I get back home.
Dist 9.4km accom to accom. I am staying the night at BIG4 Porepunkah. Great cabins. Nice staff. Basic food items for sale. More in my full report later.
Alt 331m down to 272m. Flat tarmac cycle path all the way . Quite attractive scenery.
Overcast and humid. Brief light rain shower. 13 to 23 degrees.
A good training and shakedown stage.
Bob M
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Tues 2 February Porepunkah to myrtleford 26.1km. Flat. Excellent bitumen cycle path all the way. Took me 6.5hrs but I had a long chat with a cyclist at Eurobin station and a long lunch at the Owen's Hotel.
No hikers but lots of cyclists.
Beautiful scenery.
Staying at Myrtleford Holiday Park at the entrance to town. Very nice and convenient.

More later.

Bobm
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Loving the reports, Bob. When we walked the Canal du Midi in France, which is more cycleway than pedestrian way, we were constantly having to jump off the path to make way for the cyclists. Is that something you are finding tiresome?
 
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Loving the reports, Bob. When we walked the Canal du Midi in France, which is more cycleway than pedestrian way, we were constantly having to jump off the path to make way for the cyclists. Is that something you are finding tiresome?
The MMRT is a cycle path and a very good one. There have been quite a few cyclists, but couples and solo riders, no big groups. Some call out 'Passing' or some such normal cycling courtesy but most overtake me without even a bell. I walk on the side or on the verge where it exists. So no dramas for me other than bemoaning the general rudeness of humanity.
Bobm
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Myrtleford to Everton wed 3 Feb.
Nice cool weather. Beautiful scenery up to Taylor's Gap,where the trail crosses the Alpine Highway. Ascent no big deal about 220m in 6km, but I felt it. Rest area under cover with tables and drinking water just over the hwy. Explanatory placard,quite interesting.

Typical Aussie bush from there to Everton. Very open, little shade. A bit boring. Tough on a very hot day.

I called a taxi for the last 6km to Everton. More on that arrangement in a detailed report later . The total stage dist was 27km.

Nice cabin in the Everton Caravan Park. Lovely people running it. Shop nearby sells takeaway, basic groceries,drinks,icecceam etc.

That's it. Fingers tired with pecking at my phone. Excuse typos.
Bob
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Everton to Bowser Thursday 4 Feb. 22.4km and 6.2hrs incl quite a few 5-10minute breaks.
Cool to start and about 27degrees at Bowser.
I started walking at 6:45am to get the job done by about 1pm before it got too hot.
Open farmland but good tree cover on the mmrt. Wide trail, excellent tarmac, with wide verges in most places for more comfortable walking.
Magpies, so beware walking in the spring nesting season.
Beautiful stations eg Everton,Tarrawingee. Excellent for breaks. Pics in my full report later will clarify.
Attractive scenery. Trail dead straight and totally flat after a gentle ascent from Everton caravan Park to the old Everton station.
A few cyclists yesterday and today.
Took a taxi for the final 7.5km from Bowser to my hotel near the train station.
That's it until I return home in about a week to post photos and more info on the stages.
Bobm
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
I just found that the Bright Autumn Festival from April 26 to May 5 has been cancelled due to COVID. You can still enjoy the foliage colours and it might be less busy for accommodation.

On another subject, the photo was taken at the Bowser Station shelter. On the left of the map is a device for you to arrange a pickup to Wangaratta or to fix bike problems. I did not use it and simply called Wangaratta Taxis.
Bob M
 

Attachments

  • 1120438.jpg
    1120438.jpg
    880.6 KB · Views: 11

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
As promised, over the next few days I will give more details and add some pics for my walk on the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail (MMRT) – with an interesting suggestion for the stop at Everton.

Accommodation is not easy for convenient walking stages of say 20 - 25km /day. I stopped at Porepunkah the first night to avoid a 33km hike from Bright to Myrtleford, which was my second stop. Intermediate accommodation near Eurobin, such as the Kilnhouse and GG’s by the River, don’t accept single night stays. My third stage was from Myrtleford to Everton and the latter is pretty much the only option between Myrtleford and Wangaratta for hikers on the MMRT. My last night was at Wangaratta.

Next day I took the bus back to Bright to collect my car, which I had left at the John Bright Motor Inn at the invitation of the owner. There is a safe parking area in the street if the motel happens to be full. Then I became a tourist and made a trip to Beechworth.

Bright

I stayed at the John Bright Motor Inn, Wood Street. It is close to the Bright Railway Museum and the start of the MMRT. Very convenient for shops as well. No traffic noise.

If you get one of the first-floor rooms you will have a view over the Bright Croquet Club, which has been “running hoops since 1904”. They play on Sunday afternoons and you could sip tea, watch a game from your balcony and see if you can work out the rules. I am thinking of taking it up.

The Bright Museum in the old train station is a great place to visit before your walk. Apart from displays in the buildings, there is an economy class carriage as well.

The start of the MMRT has explanatory placards such as the one pictured. These signs appear at various places on the walk, notably at some of the old stations.

More tomorrow on the stage to Porepunkah.

Bob M
 

Attachments

  • Bright-Station.jpg
    Bright-Station.jpg
    716.6 KB · Views: 9
  • Croquet-Lawn-Bright.jpg
    Croquet-Lawn-Bright.jpg
    827.9 KB · Views: 7
  • Economy-Carriage.jpg
    Economy-Carriage.jpg
    644.2 KB · Views: 5
  • Economy-Compartment.jpg
    Economy-Compartment.jpg
    744.5 KB · Views: 5
  • Inhabited compartment.jpg
    Inhabited compartment.jpg
    618 KB · Views: 5
  • Trail Sign.JPG
    Trail Sign.JPG
    605.1 KB · Views: 7
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Stage 1: Bright to Porepunkah

Not much to add to my first post about the stage some days ago. Very pleasant walk and wonderful scenery.

I have also shown a few of the signs you will encounter on the MMRT, including an emergency marker post with the location to give if you have a problem. They are not very frequent, so the problem would be to remember the number of the last marker you saw. If you had a heart attack you might not want to crawl back to the last post to check the number.

There were blackberry bushes with some of the fruit just ripening. Very nice snacks – but navigate gently among the sharp thorns.

I had a snack at the takeaway store at the Caltex service station in Porepunkah. There is also The Pantry and a hotel, but I did not visit either. The BIG4 campsite is about 2km further on, so you might want to buy food here. The campsite does sell basic food items (see pic), drinks and dairy products. There are various standards cabins you can choose.

There is a very nice rest area on the river with BBQ and drinking water (pic).

It rained during the afternoon, but I was snug in my cabin listening to the rain on the roof.

Tomorrow I head to Myrtleford.

Bob M
 

Attachments

  • Approaching-rest-area.jpg
    Approaching-rest-area.jpg
    749.4 KB · Views: 6
  • Emergency-marker.jpg
    Emergency-marker.jpg
    805.7 KB · Views: 6
  • Food-items-for-sale-at-BIG4-caravan-park.jpg
    Food-items-for-sale-at-BIG4-caravan-park.jpg
    578.6 KB · Views: 5
  • Just-admire-it.jpg
    Just-admire-it.jpg
    679.3 KB · Views: 4
  • More Trail.jpg
    More Trail.jpg
    852.3 KB · Views: 4
  • My-track-to-Porepunkah.jpg
    My-track-to-Porepunkah.jpg
    876.6 KB · Views: 4
  • Rest-area.jpg
    Rest-area.jpg
    649.3 KB · Views: 4
  • Trail.jpg
    Trail.jpg
    452.3 KB · Views: 6

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Perils in the bush

Eucalyptus (gum) trees are iconic to Australia and they have found their way to many other countries; but they shed leaves, twigs and small branches with wild abandon, even when it is not blowing a storm.

There are two rules for camping in the Australian bush: Rule 1: Don’t camp under a gum tree; Rule 2: Don’t forget Rule 1.

I noticed that tree litter builds up beside the MMRT in many places and it may hide 🪱 SNAKES! 🪱 They are something else to watch out for – apart from falling branches.

Bob M
A survivor
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Magpies

Okay, you know about FALLING BRANCHES dropping suddenly from the sky and deadly SNAKES slithering into your bed while you sleep :eek: – but now we have to talk about MAGPIES in the spring nesting season.

If magpies dive bomb you with their BIG SAVAGE BEAKS and MERCILESS TALONS, shield your face and neck and press on as quickly as possible past their nesting tree. The natural instinct is to look up when attacked and to watch the magpie, but that exposes your face and eyes.

Apart from all that, magpies have a wonderful warbling song when quietly chatting among themselves during the rest of the year. What better companions could you want, warbling to you as you walk?

Bob M
 

Attachments

  • Magpies.jpg
    Magpies.jpg
    677.2 KB · Views: 6

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Stage 2: Porepunkah to Myrtleford

I hit the road at 7:30am. The mornings are surprisingly cool and I like to get all my walking done by early afternoon. There was a good tail wind all day – and on the other days as well.

Bright to Myrtleford and onto Taylor’s Gap next day is the prettiest section of the MMRT.

Today the trail passed the Boynton Winery, a large hop farm with the green hops still strung up on their high wires, as well as hop drying sheds.

I stopped at the ‘reconstructed’ Eurobin Station, where there is shelter, tables and water.

I saw large, misshapen white fungi bursting out of the ground by the side of the track.

There were also a few apple trees, presumably the result of apple cores flung out of a long-ago train window. The apples were small, green and juiceless, no good for eating. Lots of them had fallen and lay crushed on the track.

Culinary tip (experimental) for the evening meal: Collect some apples, peel them, mash the flesh and microwave to a mush. Add cream liberally, sprinkle with sugar and enjoy for dessert. You could toss in a few blackberries if you come across any ripe ones on the many blackberry bushes I saw today. The bushes are a rural pest, but hopefully they won’t all get sprayed to death on the MMRT.

The trail crossed quite a few small rail bridges today. Railway engineers have an obsession with flatness and avoiding washaways of the track.

My large lunch of fish and chips at the excellent Ovens Hotel was not a good idea. Hard to make a start on the last few km into Myrtleford on a full stomach.

There is a short path from the Myrtleford Holiday Park, over the pretty river, and into the CBD of Myrtleford. Shops, including a good Coles Supermarket, are close by.

Tomorrow will be a long slog to Everton over Taylor’s Gap.

Bob M
 

Attachments

  • Cabin-at-Myrtleford.jpg
    Cabin-at-Myrtleford.jpg
    305.6 KB · Views: 6
  • Eurobin-Station.jpg
    Eurobin-Station.jpg
    668 KB · Views: 6
  • Hop-Drying-Sheds.jpg
    Hop-Drying-Sheds.jpg
    404.9 KB · Views: 6
  • Myrtleford.jpg
    Myrtleford.jpg
    589.6 KB · Views: 6
  • Porepunkah-to-Myrtleford.jpg
    Porepunkah-to-Myrtleford.jpg
    819.5 KB · Views: 7
  • Trail_pic1.jpg
    Trail_pic1.jpg
    832.3 KB · Views: 9
  • Trail_pic2.jpg
    Trail_pic2.jpg
    837.9 KB · Views: 11

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Stage 3: Myrtleford to Everton

I found a wild peach tree growing beside the bridge over the river soon after leaving Myrtleford – another discarded seed had taken root - but the abundant fruit were still green. There were no apple trees or blackberries today.

The first section of the MMRT was close to the busy Alpine Highway, full of noisy trucks. I would not want to walk along it. That was my initial fall-back plan for tomorrow’s 28-km stage from Everton to Wangaratta, which would have saved 6km of hiking on that stage.

The route up to Taylor’s Gap was well-shaded and very pleasant. The MMRT from Bright to Taylor’s Gap was the most attractive section of the MMRT. Gapstead Winery was particularly beautiful, with serried ranks of vines on a sloping field and soft hills behind, and it would be more so in Autumn. After Taylor’s Gap the country was open farm land, with not a lot of shelter for hikers.

Taylor’s Gap is a total non-event if compared with the high-altitude St Bernard Pass on the Via Francigena, or Route Napoleon over the Pyrenees on the Camino Frances. Still, it is the only section of non-flat terrain on the MMRT other than on the spur line up from Everton to Beechworth.

The explanatory sign at Taylor’s Gap explains a vanished world; not only of the railway, but also of the people who lived and worked here. Not a trace remains of those vanished lives. Further along the MMRT, there is a nondescript roadside rest area, not far from where I met my taxi, at the Burgoigee Creek Crossing established in the 1850s - 60s. The explanatory sign here describes its history. An old cemetery for the settlement is several hundred metres away on the opposite side of the Alpine Highway. Another vanished world. Today the creek is nothing remarkable, but it was obviously a more formidable crossing in the 19th century when the local climate was wetter and seasonal stream flows were higher.

There were no traces of the original train stations on this section of the MMRT: Gapstead, Bowman or Brookfield. One wonders why those stations were ever built, given the sparse population today. The timber industry was big then, requiring workers and a means of getting timber to markets. The same may have applied to farmers sending wool to city markets. When the Alpine Highway was built and improved, motor transport essentially killed the railway. One more technological evolution displacing another.

Earlier in time, the coming of the railways spelled the demise of the extensive Cobb and Co coach network that, in its day, was one of the largest and most innovative transport networks in the world. Some regional towns, such as Glenrowan, grew up because they were horse changing stations on the coach network. Change is inevitable and hopefully for the better, but I feel a little regret that the workers of a bygone era and their labours are largely forgotten. Only their ghosts remain to whisper among the sighing gum trees in the cool stillness of eventide.

I called a taxi from Bright Myrtleford Taxi (Mob: 0427 553 330) for the last 6km to Everton. They are based in Myrtleford and the taxi arrived about 15 minutes after my call. The cost was $35. I could have walked some more, but I had arranged the pickup yesterday and the driver called me this morning to see how I was going.

My cabin in the Everton Caravan and Tourist Park was very comfortable and convenient for the local store and Everton Hotel. The hotel was being refurbished and was closed during my stay.

Tomorrow will be the final hike to Wangaratta. It is too long (28km), and I will take a taxi when I don’t want to walk anymore.

Bob M
 

Attachments

  • Cabin-at-Everton-Caravan-Park.jpg
    Cabin-at-Everton-Caravan-Park.jpg
    491.8 KB · Views: 11
  • Gapsted-Winery-on-RHS.jpg
    Gapsted-Winery-on-RHS.jpg
    595 KB · Views: 10
  • Leaving-Myrtleford.jpg
    Leaving-Myrtleford.jpg
    736.4 KB · Views: 10
  • Myrtleford-to-Everton.jpg
    Myrtleford-to-Everton.jpg
    772.1 KB · Views: 8
  • Taylor's-Gap-history.jpg
    Taylor's-Gap-history.jpg
    749.7 KB · Views: 8
  • Taylor's-Gap-rest-area.jpg
    Taylor's-Gap-rest-area.jpg
    710.4 KB · Views: 7
  • Trail-after-Taylor's-Gap.jpg
    Trail-after-Taylor's-Gap.jpg
    607.5 KB · Views: 7
  • Trail-under-gum-trees.jpg
    Trail-under-gum-trees.jpg
    745.5 KB · Views: 8
Pilgrim Pouch carry bags with different designs
A lightweight carry bag handy for walking, biking, traveling, & Caminos
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store

Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Past OR future Camino
2019
Magpies

Okay, you know about FALLING BRANCHES dropping suddenly from the sky and deadly SNAKES slithering into your bed while you sleep :eek: – but now we have to talk about MAGPIES in the spring nesting season.

If magpies dive bomb you with their BIG SAVAGE BEAKS and MERCILESS TALONS, shield your face and neck and press on as quickly as possible past their nesting tree. The natural instinct is to look up when attacked and to watch the magpie, but that exposes your face and eyes.

Apart from all that, magpies have a wonderful warbling song when quietly chatting among themselves during the rest of the year. What better companions could you want, warbling to you as you walk?

Bob M
Does the ol' sunglasses-worn-on-the-back-of-your-head trick work?...I believe its quite effective against maggies & that other serial swooping offender...plovers.
And you're right...the Magpie song (of the feathered variety, not the Sherrin...🤭 🐯) is still one of the most beautiful bird songs in the world IMHO. 🤗
What impact is the snap state-wide lockdown going to have on you Bob?
👣 🌏
 
Last edited:

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Does the ol' sunglasses-worn-on-the-back-of-your-head trick work?...I believe its quite effective against maggies & that other serial swooping offender...plovers.
And you're right...the Magpie song (of the feathered variety, not the Sherrin...🤭 🐯) is still one of the most beautiful bird songs in the world IMHO. 🤗
What impact is the snap state-wide lockdown going to have on you Bob?
👣 🌏
The sunglasses trick is a good idea - like those big butterflies that have fake eyes on their wings to scare off predators. Hikers could also wave their hiking poles over their heads.

Re the Victorian COVID lockdown, thankfully I had completed the MMRT and other sightseeing just in time. COVID dramas can hit so suddenly that we must try to do what we can in 'windows of open-ness', otherwise precious time passes.

Bob M
 

Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Past OR future Camino
2019
The sunglasses trick is a good idea - like those big butterflies that have fake eyes on their wings to scare off predators. Hikers could also wave their hiking poles over their heads.

Re the Victorian COVID lockdown, thankfully I had completed the MMRT and other sightseeing just in time. COVID dramas can hit so suddenly that we must try to do what we can in 'windows of open-ness', otherwise precious time passes.

Bob M
Timed to perfection... 👍 👏
👣 🌏
 

Farmer Col

Aussie Col
Past OR future Camino
2021
The Sherrin variety of the magpies song is very pleasant too, especially in September. (Footy finals time for non believers)
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Stage 4: Everton to Bowser, taxi to Wangaratta

There is a very slight upward climb from the caravan park to the actual Everton station. The small hamlet there is called Upper Everton and has only a few houses. Just before you arrive, there is a sign showing the MMRT spur line to Beechworth.

A few crows cawed as I passed. I heard the melodic warbling of magpies again and the rasping chorus of cicadas. There were many horrible-looking brown toadstools bursting out of the hard ground beside the trail. Some had been broken, releasing powdery brown spores like cocoa, which would spread widely on the wind to seed other sites. Hodgson Creek and Reedy Creek had small flows of water and sandy beds with tree cover. They were quite pretty, with a couple of water birds that flapped off as I passed.

There was a welcome following breeze, which makes quite a difference to hikers. Who among us has not had to press on into an unpleasant headwind on our hikes? There was a welcome high haze that softened direct sunlight. Although the trail passed through open farmland, the MMRT itself had quite a good cover of trees in many places – important for shade if you plan to hike on a hot day. Much of the trail had a wide verge that was comfortable underfoot.

Near Tarrawingee station you can see the Federation Tree, planted in 1901 to celebrate the Federation of Australia. Another Federation Tree is located at Everton Station. There is only a sign marking the original site of Londrigan Station.

It is worthwhile stopping to read these signs to get a sense of the human presence that once existed in these now-abandoned locations. It adds an element of reflection to what would otherwise be a mundane hike. In that respect, hikers on the MMRT can enjoy a different experience than cyclists if they choose. Hikers can also see and enjoy small close-up aspects of the glories of nature that cyclists may often miss. They are two different ways to experience the MMRT.

Each of us has a unique experience as we hike the same route; our individual journey is unlike the journey of even the person walking next to us. We see things differently; we have different thoughts and our emotional states may not coincide. Is that not true of the great journey of life itself?

I met quite a few cyclists, but no hikers, alas. I found an unexpected spiritual connection between the MMRT and my hikes on the pilgrimage trails of Europe and Israel, triggered in large part by the human history of the MMRT.

I took a taxi for the final 7.5km from Bowser to the Hermitage Motor Inn near the train station. It was built on the site of a house where Sir Edward (‘Weary’) Dunlop was born. You should google the story of this remarkable and inspirational man if you don’t already know it.

As an aside, I had hoped to stay at Wangaratta North Family Motel near Bowser and hike the short distance to Wangaratta next day in time to catch the bus back to Bright. But the motel was closed and seemed to be abandoned. No one answered the phone, but their website was still live.

Tomorrow I will wrap up with some details of a worthwhile side trip from Everton to Beechworth.

Bob M
 

Attachments

  • Everton_1.jpg
    Everton_1.jpg
    625.6 KB · Views: 2
  • Everton_2.jpg
    Everton_2.jpg
    847.9 KB · Views: 2
  • Everton-to-Bowser.jpg
    Everton-to-Bowser.jpg
    802.3 KB · Views: 2
  • Hodgson-Creek.jpg
    Hodgson-Creek.jpg
    753.9 KB · Views: 2
  • Shelter-at-Reedy-Creek.jpg
    Shelter-at-Reedy-Creek.jpg
    793.6 KB · Views: 2
  • Tarrawingee_1.jpg
    Tarrawingee_1.jpg
    852.7 KB · Views: 2
  • Tarrawingee_2.jpg
    Tarrawingee_2.jpg
    614.9 KB · Views: 2
  • Trail_1.jpg
    Trail_1.jpg
    731.1 KB · Views: 2
  • Trail_2.jpg
    Trail_2.jpg
    824.4 KB · Views: 2
  • Bowser.jpg
    Bowser.jpg
    654.5 KB · Views: 2
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Beechworth

You could stay an extra night at the Everton Caravan Park, get a transfer to Beechworth and cycle back to Everton as a day trip, continuing your hike to Wangaratta next day. It is about 16km and the elevation falls by 300 metres, making for an easy ride. See route details at: Beechworth to Everton Rail Trail. Several cycling companies in Beechworth will pick you up from Everton. The Bike Hire Company (Mobile: 0400 345 648) is just one I found by googling that offers a transfer service.

Another option would be to hike from Everton to Beechworth and end your MMRT hike there instead of at Wangaratta. You could then catch a bus from Beechworth to Wangaratta, Myrtleford or Bright to suit your travel plans. Not all V-Line buses go through Beechworth, so check the schedule.

It would be a pity to miss Beechworth, which is one of the most interesting and picturesque towns in the region, replete with history and famous Australians. Some key sites (Court House, Prison, Museum) are all very close to the Information Centre, located in an historic building well worth seeing in its own right. There are other historical sites a little way out of town, such as the former Beechworth Asylum on Mayday Hills and sites associated with the controversial Chinese presence on the goldfields of the day.

You could ‘do’ Beechworth in an hour or so; then have a nice lunch at the Bakery in the main street before riding to Everton – or wrap up your journey in Beechworth.

One of the things that struck me about this small town was the number of large, impressive stone churches. Religious sectarianism has largely vanished from cultural and political life in Australia, but that was not always the case. Settlers from the UK in the 19th century brought religious fervour with them and the consequences of sectarian rivalry persisted well into the 20th century. I had wanted to stay at the Old Priory to immerse myself a little in the spiritual history of Beechworth, but it was fully booked. See: Our History (oldpriory.com.au)

The original train station at Beechworth still exists, but has been re-purposed as a shop of some sort – it is not a modernistic reconstruction like the stations at Everton and Tarrawingee.

That’s it from me. I hope my information has been useful, but other aspects of hiking are equally important: mindfulness, getting in tune with the land, and the plants and creatures that share it with us – together with remembrance and respect for those who have gone before us. I am simply a bearer of witness: the MMRT (past and present) is the main subject of my posts. Having said that, a keen observer will find two images of me among all the photos. Happy hunting!

If anyone has questions, I would be happy to help. If you hike the MMRT in autumn, I hope you will post a few photos of the foliage in colour. That’s an experience I missed.

Bob M
 

Attachments

  • Beechworth-Sign_1.jpg
    Beechworth-Sign_1.jpg
    850.1 KB · Views: 1
  • Beechworth-Sign_2.jpg
    Beechworth-Sign_2.jpg
    817.3 KB · Views: 2
  • Beechworth-Station.jpg
    Beechworth-Station.jpg
    638.1 KB · Views: 4

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I'm just back from walking the MTTM rail trail, after reading @BobM s account. I had my dearly beloved with me, he hates to walk but wanted to come for the holiday so drove our car. Initially we planned to stay at accommodation spaced out along the route, but it was Victorian school holidays and accommodation was unobtainable. We managed to get one night in Bright, and one night in Myrtleford, but the remaining nights we had in Wangaratta, with Ian ferrying me to and from the trail each day.

I absolutely hate to drive along a route I will be walking, so instead of taking the main Alpine Highway to Bright, we left the Hume Motorway at Tarcutta, stayed the night there, and then drove to Bright the next day via Tumbarumba - the back route! A bit of dirt along the way but fun. Arrived at Bright just after lunch so I followed in Bob's footsteps and only walked that day as far as Porepunka. Next day to Ovens Hotel just before Myrtleford, then Myrtleford to Taylors Gap.

The following day dearly beloved drove me to Beechworth and I walked the spur line down to Everton. That day was quite hot and, of course, I developed a blister on my baby tender, had not walked for ages, left foot. So the following day was touristy delight, with visits by car back to Beechworth where I joined a walking guided tour of the town ($5 very well spent imo). Then some culinary tourism around the area - Beechworth bakery, Millewa cheese factory, olive farm, pumpkin seeds, smokehouse - and finally the delights of Brown Bros winery and superb restaurant.

The next day I completed the loop by going back to the main trail and walking from Taylors Gap to Everton, and a bit past towards Bowser, but by then we were having to pack up and head back to Sydney.

Some general comments. My biggest disappointment was that all the rail trails are sealed, ie hard. I had thought they might be crushed gravel, but they all have a bitumen surface. In some places it is possible to walk along the verge, and where I could, I did. Also, from Bright to Everton is right beside the road, from Bright to Porepunka it is a minor road, but after Porepunka it is the main Alpine Road, and very busy. At times the trail is further away from the road, but it always comes back. There is a nice section going up to Taylors Gap and down from Taylors Gap which is away from the road. I did see a cyclist come from a dirt road just after Myrtleford, and I almost took it, but did not know if it would join up again (I think it did and next time would take it as it is away from the main road and soft dirt).

My favourite part of the walk was the spur line from Beechworth to Everton because it is through the bush. No roads Beautiful. Going gently downhill all the way was not bad either! But still, sadly, hard bitumen (hence the blister. I also, stubbornly, insist on always carrying my full pack, for authenticity, even though there was absolutely no need with Ian tagging shotgun in the car!)

I will post a few pictures on the "where I walked locally" thread.
 
Last edited:

GraemeHall

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés 2017/18; Portugués 2019
Unfortunately this seems to be a trend....pave the rail trails with either bitumen or concrete, to pander to the suburban cyclists. Caboolture to Wamuran, Kingaroy end of Kingaroy to Kilkivan, and worst of all increasing sections of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. All making the trails walker unfriendly.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Yes, plenty of cyclists but not a single other walker. I laughed at the signposts along the way with The Rules. Bikes are supposed to give way to walkers. Fat chance!
 

taigirl

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Are you a local? I live in the area and there are a few walking groups, lots of walkers and a many pilgrims who live in the surrounding area. I'm sure if we had known about you journey you would have had many fellow walkers. I often walk Whorouly to Taylor's gap and yes bitumen is hard on the feet.
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Are you a local? I live in the area and there are a few walking groups, lots of walkers and a many pilgrims who live in the surrounding area. I'm sure if we had known about you journey you would have had many fellow walkers. I often walk Whorouly to Taylor's gap and yes bitumen is hard on the feet.
That would have been fun! No, not a local, I'm from Sydney. But if you have a pilgrim's group, please post details in this section of the forum. It's very helpful for other members and prospective new Camino walkers.
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
That would have been fun! No, not a local, I'm from Sydney. But if you have a pilgrim's group, please post details in this section of the forum. It's very helpful for other members and prospective new Camino walkers.
That's a good idea! Prospective Camino walkers (like I was back in the day) could do a nice training walk and get camino insights from experienced hikers at the same time.

Bob M
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
I'm just back from walking the MTTM rail trail, after reading @BobM s account. I had my dearly beloved with me, he hates to walk but wanted to come for the holiday so drove our car. .... accommodation was unobtainable. .....Ian ferrying me to and from the trail each day.

I also, stubbornly, insist on always carrying my full pack, for authenticity, even though there was absolutely no need with Ian tagging shotgun in the car!)

Ferrying is a good idea, because it takes a lot of the stresses and unknowns re accommodation out of the equation. You could do it on the MMRT with local taxis, but the cost would mount up. You could check with the two operators I used on two sections of the MMRT.

Maybe a few local pilgrims could act as 'Trail Angels' as on the Israel National Trail. Trail Angels will pick up and drop off and provide accommodation in their homes.

Carrying a pack helps keep the mind focussed, and also it refreshes your packing skills and daily routines. I would feel naked and a bit of a fraud without one.

BTW, the Ballarat to Maryborough Heritage Trail is another rail trail worth looking at.

Bob M
 
Last edited:

taigirl

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Our group is a mix of Camino pilgrims and others who love walking. Check out 'Take a hike NE Vic' on Facebook.
 

Did not find what you were looking for? Search here

Popular Resources

“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
  • Featured
“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
4.95 star(s) 101 ratings
Downloads
15,269
Updated
A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
4.83 star(s) 35 ratings
Downloads
7,933
Updated
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings
Downloads
7,731
Updated

Similar threads

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

Top