Barrimoon Tunnels to Builyan

Barrimoon Tunnels to Builyan
Route length: 28km
Difficulty: medium. From the top of the range riding down is easy, but the surface can be taxing.
Surface Type: Gravel, some sandy sections, some rocky sections.
Suitable for: Anyone with a mild sense of adventure.

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First instalment for a magnificent new rail trail

The Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail is a fascinating mix of Queensland history and current day interpretations of that history.

Barrimoon Tunnels to Builyan is the first section of the BBIRT to be open. It covers about 27-28 km. The best way to ride is down the Dawes Range, starting from Kalpowar. A short section of gravel road links Kalpowar to Barrimoon Siding, and off you go. There are toilets at Kalpowar (at the community hall), but once you set out on the rail trail there are no services until you get to the other end.

The Gayndah-Monto-Gladstone branch railway scribes a massive 270km arc away from the main coastal railway line through the North Burnett region. It left the main line at Mungar Junction, about 10km south of Maryborough, and rejoined at Byellee, just outside of Gladstone.

The section from Monto down into the Boyne Valley was the last section built, in the 1920 and 30s. Close to the top of the range are the six tunnels that make this such a spectacular ride.

From Barrimoon siding down to Golembil is the spectacular initial section of the new trail. And it is worth every last bit of the time, effort or money it takes to get you there.

Your writer of this guide has ridden plenty of rail trails in Australia. And this is (potentially) the best one. A little more work on the surface and it will be the best one.

There are six tunnels in the 5km from the top of the Dawes Range at Barrimoon. And the trails rolls through each of the tunnels, and in between there are views of the range all around. Just down the valley from here is a town called Many Peaks. And you can see why, as you cruise on the 11 km downhill to Golembil bridge.

From Golembil, the trail continues along the valley towards Many Peaks, and eventually Builyan, where there are toilets (at the community hall) and a shop (Kirsten’s Cottage, not always open, check before you ride).

The trail along here has plenty of rough and sandy sections. Wide tyres are a must, and this correspondent cannot help but think it would have been easier without our touring load.

The first stage of the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail has opened up the possibility of linking up to other rail trails, for a truly epic adventure. See the Great Queensland Rail Trail Adventure website or Facebook page for more inspiration.

Barrimoon Tunnels to Builyan

What’s In the Area?

FOOD: Monto and Calliope have cafes and grocery stores, depending on which way you are approaching this ride. But they are some distance (60km and 70km respectively) from the start and finish of this ride. Kirsten’s Cottage (left) is the only food outlet on the route, as mentioned above.

THINGS TO DO: Glassford Chimneys and Mines would make a fascinating side trip for this ride, giving a window into the copper and gold mining past of the region.

BIKE SHOP:  M1 Cycles and Gladstone Bicycle Centre are the nearest bike shops, and they are both excellent.

AMENITIES: Locations of toilets and water are listed on the RideWithGPS map for this ride.

ACCOMMODATION: Behind the Pines is a campground at Kalpowar, and there is also the Boyne Valley Discovery Centre at Ubobo, which has cabins and camping.

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