making history on guildford to strangways trail walk…booked out
CMRT has partnered with the Great Dividing Trail Association (GDTA) to offer a unique opportunity to walk along the former historic railway line between Guildford and Strangways. The rail corridor runs through Dja Dja Wurrung country.
What it’s all about
This special-permission, 9km walk on 22 May will mark ‘where it all began’ when CMRT’s campaign to repurpose the corridor into a world-class trail is successful. This section through bushland and beside waterways will be one of the trail’s most scenic.
100 people have booked for the walk starting 09:15 Sunday 22 May that will be led by local ecologist and historian, Barry Golding, and CMRT member, Mick Evans. The walk starts at the former Guildford railway station and follows the picturesque valley of the Loddon River, framed to the north by the Guildford volcanic plateau.
Other walk features include The Big Tree in Guildford, sacred to the Dja Dja Wurrung, the historic township of Guildford, important remnant native vegetation, and the area’s extensive gold mining and railway heritage and geology.
This fertile part of the Loddon Valley was for millennia a well-trodden Aboriginal ‘highway’, later followed by Major Mitchell, the invading squatters, and alluvial and deep-lead miners. For 130 years from 1874-2004 a railway service crossed the Moolort Plains connecting Castlemaine and Maryborough.
GDTA and CMRT have negotiated special access from the landholder, VicTrack, to explore this historic railway easement which is otherwise rarely seen.
The walk will conclude with a community picnic lunch in celebration, with gold panning opportunities, on the banks of the Loddon River just north of the intersection Strangways School Road with the Newstead-Guildford Road. GDTA and CMRT members, cyclists and the local community who are not taking the walk are warmly invited to join us here.
Several local residents, historians, naturalists and geologists will be providing interpretations along the way, consistent with the GDTA’s heritage theme for all monthly walks in 2022.
A mini-bus will be available at walk’s end to shuttle people back to the starting point of the walk in Guildford.
Day / Time
Sunday 22 May // 09:15 start
Meet at site of old railway station, Guildford Vic 3451 // eastern flank Midland Highway, northern entry to township
Due to a recent rise in the Loddon River, the walk will be starting at the site of the old Guildford railway station – not at the the Guildford Big Tree. The station site is accessed via a short dirt road rising up from the eastern flank of the Midland Highway about 50 metres north of the Guildford railway bridge that crosses the highway on the northern outskirts of the town. Coming from Castlemaine, the turnoff is marked via the “Welcome to Guildford” sign. There is ample space for car parking at the station site.
What you get / what it costs
Special access to a key section of the future Castlemaine-Maryborough Rail Trail which cannot be seen from the road, and is rarely open to the public. Plus expert know-how about the area’s history and geology.
Fabulous by-the-Loddon-River lunch picnic spot (priceless) but please BYO your picnic lunch
$5 per person for non-GDTA members (payable in cash on-the-day to ensure you are covered by GDTA’s mandatory walker’s insurance policy)
You must be up-to-date with your COVID vaccinations to participate in this event and proof of vaccination status will be requested when you arrive.
Bookings via GDTA closed when participants reached 100 – https://www.gdt.org.au/may-walk-rego