Wodonga to Tallangatta
Make sure to take a water bottle, some snacks, a camera and a High Country Rail Trail map. The first 6km leg of the journey from the Wodonga Visitor Information Centre situated in Hovell Street, will take you to the beginning of the High Country Rail Trail in Bandiana. Follow the Rail Trail signs from the Visitors Information Centre to Thomas Mitchell Drive, then follow the marked bike path which runs along the southern[right] service road. At the Brockley Street intersection you will depart from the service road and continue on a shared, bitumen, pedestrian walkway.
Allow for at least a one hour break at the Bandiana Army Museum, the largest and most diversified Military Museum in Australia. It is truly worth a visit at a very reasonable admission price.
Continue on past the Kiewa Valley Highway intersection and before turning right into Whyte’s Road check the main sign board for Rail Trail accessibility across the Kiewa River flood plains. If deemed ‘Not Accessible’ continue on for another three kms along the Murray Valley Highway and turn right at Pollard’s Road for re-entry onto the rail trail. If there is no Rail Trail conditions report at Whyte’s Road, head down Whyte’s Road until you reach the (Middle Creek) floodway where you will find the official gateway to the High Country Rail Trail sign-posted on your left.
Bandiana to Ebden
Picnic facilities are available in a tranquil bush setting at the first river crossing from the entry gate at Whytes Road.
As you head across the suspension bridges of the magnificent Kiewa floodplains you will traverse 7km of high conservation-value bush reserve. Stop for a moment at the historic Bonegilla railway siding and imagine yourself as a new migrant in a foreign country where your only transport from the over-crowded camp where you have been placed is via a small steam train which has to be flagged down as it passes through, only at specific times of day.
A couple of kilometres past the Bonegilla railway siding you will reach the intersection of Maher Road. Consider a break for a snack at the Kangaroo General Store and a kilometre further past the store awaits a journey back in time at the Migrant Experience Heritage Park.
If instead you choose to cycle on a few kilometres further, passing under the Murray Valley Highway, you will come to Ebden Reserve, site of the former Ebden Station. Under cover picnic facilities are availble at the station site.
Ebden to the Sandy Creek Inlet Bridge
The picturesque 9km trail from from Ebden to Huon Resrve is suitable for most bikes and beginning riders. Allow time for a splash in the lake or a picnic break at either Ludlow’s Reserve or, 6kms further along at Huon Reserve. Both reserves offer toilet and picnic facilities in a naturally shaded lakeside setting.
Crossing the Bridge
From Huon Reserve, it is a 2km trip to the new Sandy Creek Inlet Bridge which was officially opened in October 2012. Having been re-constructed on the foundations of the former railway bridge, the new structure incorporates a series of undulating red poles along its 600 metre length which have been designed to symbolically replicate the trail of smoke left behind by the steam trains of a by-gone era. The bridge offers a viewing platform at the Tallangatta end where people can stop to take in the breath-taking panoramic views of the Hume Lake as it lies nestled between the gently-undulating surrounding hills, typical of the North East Victorian countryside.
Sandy Creek Bridge to Tallangatta
Heading to Tallangatta from the bridge you will once again experience a picturesque ride through patches of magnificent box woodlands.
Observe the plethora of water birds as you pedal along the lake-side and watch out for wildflowers in spring.
The track presents an easy, undulating ride suitable for both road and off road bikes.
Horse riders are asked to observe relevant signage directing riders along alternative tracks at various locations.
At Tallangatta refresh yourself with a snack and drink and explore the Queen Elizabeth Drive loop along the lake’s water front.