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  • Denise Vicente-Woods

Northern Rivers Rail Trail - Tweed Section is now officially open!



 

Something exciting has happened in the Tweed Coast!


The Tweed section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail is now officially open!


This endeavour has been in the works for years, and was spearheaded by the Tweed Shire Council primarily; community residents of the Tweed, as well as various cycling organisations in the Tweed area.


What is it?

The Tweed area is now home to 24km of rail trail that now forms part of the 132km Northern Rivers Rail Trail starting from Murwillumbah to Casino.



In time, the Northern Rivers Rail trail will continue on through Crabbes Creek, pass through Mullumbimby and Byron Bay, and then take visitors inland through Lismore before ending in Casino.


This 132-km rail trail is being constructed in four stages, with a 13-km section at the western end between Bentley and Casino currently under construction and scheduled to open in mid-2023.


A 32-km section between Eltham and Bentley has been partially funded and is in the planning phase, while a feasibility study is underway on a 63-km section between Yelgun and Eltham.


Tweed Section:

The 24km Tweed section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail was officially opened in a ceremony at the heritage-listed Murwillumbah Railway Station on 1 March 2023, with NSW Deputy Premier Paul Toole MP, Lismore MP Janelle Saffin - Member for Lismore, Tweed MP Geoff Provest MP, Mayor Chris Cherry and Northern Rivers Rail Trail Supporters President Pat Grier AM doing the honours. The Rail Trail was officially opened with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony performed by the Biren Cultural Group.


The Tweed section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail starts at the Murwillumbah Railway Station and going all the way to Crabbes Creek, and is packed with many natural wonders and also features 26 bridges and 2 tunnels. Of the 26 bridges, you will cross 16 of them along the trail and pass through both tunnels. The 2 tunnels are Hulls Road Tunnel (50 m, pictured) and the Burringbar Range Tunnel (500 m).


It includes 6km of sealed asphalt in the more urban areas of Murwillumbah Railway Station to the Tweed Regional Gallery and between Burringbar and Mooball. The rest of the Rail Trail, a total of 18 km, is made of compacted gravel suitable for mobility devices.





Path Slope:

As a former rail line, the Northern Rivers Rail Trail follows a relatively flat path with no hills or mountains. For the majority of the Tweed section, the Rail Trail has a maximum grade of slope of 4.5% making it suitable for all types of users, transport and fitness levels. Some shorter and steeper sections where pathways bypass bridges have a slope of up to 15%.



Dogs:

Are dogs allowed on the trail? Short answer. Yes!


Please note, dogs must be under control and on a short lead at all times. -- just like any other public space in the Tweed. Don’t forget to bring your own pet poo bags too, and consider bringing water for your furry friends, as water bubblers with dog bowls for our furry friends to drink from, have not been installed yet.


Horses:

Horses too are welcomed to traverse this amazing rail trail; however, please note that horse owners must apply for a permit to ride the 2.2km section designated horse-riding area north of Burringbar, heading towards Upper Burringbar.


The 2.2 km section is half compacted gravel and half sealed asphalt Signs along the Trail indicate where this section starts and ends and advises all users to take caution and give way to horses.


To ride a horse in the designated horse-riding trial area you must first obtain a horse-riding permit from Council.


Happy Days:

The local community is extremely excited about this new venture, and there have been heaps of positive feedback from trail users thus far.


We believe the Tweed section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail will be an asset to the community, and will help the townships along the rail trail thrive with the onslaught of visitors, and locals alike.


Accommodation:

Fig Tree Retro Studio is a mere 10-minute drive by car to the town of Mooball, where the Mooball Station is located, and can serve as your starting point on the rail trail. Alternatively, you can use the back roads from Fig Tree Retro Studio, and either bike or drive over the Burringbar range to get to the town of Burringbar, which is another stop along the rail trail.



Please visit the https://www.northernriversrailtrail.com.au/ to find out more about the Tweed section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, and to answer any questions you may have.


Photos courtesy of Northern Rivers Rail Trail


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