If your idea of a relaxing pastime involves moseying through Australia's picturesque landscape by foot, bike or horse, then add the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail to your must-visit list.
Spanning 161 kilometres, it runs through southeast Queensland from Wulkuraka, west of Ipswich to Yarraman in the Great Dividing Range. And, with its final stage completed and opened this month, it's now Australia's longest continuous hiking, cycling and horse riding trail — exceeding the Great Victorian Rail Trail's 134 kilometres in length.
Inaccessible to cars, the track follows the now-defunct Brisbane Valley railway line, which dates back to the 1880s. Upon closing to trains in 1991, it was converted to a recreational trail; however the final link between Toogoolawah and Moore has only just come to fruition through $3.354 million in funding from the federal, Queensland and local governments.
Visitors can now make their way through an array of scenery — including farms, country towns and bushland — across the trail's entire expanse, with the track winding through the likes of Fernvale, Lowood, Esk, Toogoolawah, Moore, Linville, Blackbutt and Yarraman, and including both coffee stops and campsites along the way.
Further work is planned along the trail, including a $4.5 million upgrade to the heritage-listed Lockyer Creek Railway Bridge.