Published: 2 Aug 2021
One of Victoria’s most popular recreation and outdoor activity regions is receiving a boost with the construction of the new shared walking and cycling trail.
The Blue Gums to Eildon Rail Trail will start at the Blue Gums Caravan Park and the adjacent Outdoor Education Group (OEG) Centre and extend north-eastwards to the Pondage and finish at Eildon’s town centre. The trail will encourage greater use of the area’s facilities, parks and playgrounds and increase visitor access to local businesses.
Creating a link between communities
Construction of the 2.6 kilometre trail will commence in April 2022, with completion due within 12 months. It will provide a safe, off-road, thoroughfare for day and overnight visitors along the Back Eildon Road and Goulburn River. The trail will form part of the proposed broader Alexandra to Eildon Trail, and has been designed following extensive consultation with community and other local groups.
The project concept was initially raised as part of the Murrindindi Shire Council's work with community over the last 8 to 10 years and raised again in the Activating Lake Eildon 2020 report and is now being brought to life thanks to a partnership between the local council and the Victorian Government.
At a total project cost of $1.96m, the Victorian Government has committed $1.77 million through the Regional Tourism Investment Fund - Stimulus Round, with the remainder coming from the Murrindindi Shire Council.
A number of benefits for the region
The Blue Gums to Eildon Rail Trail will be constructed on a combination of Goulburn Murray Water land and Government Road Reserve, with the Murrindindi Shire Council coordinating and managing the development process in consultation with the Taungurung Land Waters Council.
The project is committed to supporting local jobs, and its procurement policies apply a weighting towards local supplier submissions. In addition to providing locals and visitors with a new cycling and walking track, the trail promises to bring social, cultural and economic benefits to the region, including growing and attracting private sector investment in quality tourism initiatives and maintaining a varied mix of attractions.
The project includes the possibility for development of more nature-based activities, in addition to the current water-based activities of the lake, to meet increasing demand, with a flow on effect to accommodation and produce providers, as well as the opportunity for development of authentic Aboriginal experiences operated by the Taungurung community.