Together we can build an iconic tourism experience and local recreational path


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The problem

The disused rail corridor is not being used to its potential

Converting the rail corridor to a recreational trail opens up opportunities for tourism businesses and locals to get more regular exercise.

The Derwent Valley is one of the most beautiful in Australia. Destinations include Mt Field National Park, Tyenna River and cafes and farm gates in Westerway, Bushy Park and Plenty, including Ashbolt Farms2 Metre Tall Brewery, Reid Fruits and Salmon Ponds.

Mt Field National Park is a popular tourist destination year-round, and the Maydena Mountain Bike Park is attracting large numbers of new bike-loving visitors.

There is great potential for cycle tourism in the valley from New Norfolk to Maydena but the roads are narrow and unsafe for riders.

Trains have not run on the line since 2005 and the local heritage rail group has struggled to get a regular operation up and running along the line as TasRail is not maintaining the tracks. 

Other news


Tasmania has the chance to develop two multi-day rail trails that would attract tourism to regional areas and also benefit locals wanting to ride or walk for recreation and transport: the North East Rail Trail and Derwent Valley Rail Trail.   

NE Rail Trail on the final stretch with DA tick

Launceston Council has given the tick of approval to the extension of the North East Rail Trail on its land, paving the way for work...

Final approval of NE rail trail gets moving

The next stage of the North East Rail Trail is underway, with a development application now before the Launceston Council and public comments accepted over...

North East Rail Trail extension a step closer

The extension of the North East Rail Trail is a step closer following a recent ruling from the Resource Management Planning and Appeals Tribunal.

North East Rail Trail starts moving

Dorset Council has advertised a development application to create the North East Rail Trail on the section between Scottsdale and Wyena, with all public comment...

The solution

Use the rail corridor to create a rail trail in three stages.

The disused Derwent Valley railway line runs alongside the River Derwent between New Norfolk and Maydena. 

Conversion of this line to a rail trail would give  tourists the chance to walk or bike from the mouth of the Derwent, through farmland, to Mt Field national park and mountain bike park at Maydena.

The Derwent Valley Rail Trail would be a leading tourism experience

The project could be undertaken in several stages, which would give the train group enough time to show whether they are a viable tourism operation.

The first stage could be to connect Maydena with Westerway via the rail corridor and/or other trails to expand the popularity of the mountain bike park and give families other options.



  • Labor leader Rebecca White calls for government to fix the rail and crossings to Mt Field but does not put a dollar amount on what that will cost.
  • The Tasmanian Government gives the Derwent Rail group a short section of rail line between Third Avenue and Back River Road in New Norfolk. 
  • Tasmanian Government announces $600,000 to cover Tasmanian rail groups’ public liability insurance costs on a tapering basis, so 90% of costs covered in first year, gradually declining over the next 9 years. 
  • The Derwent Rail group in a Derwent Valley Gazette article in May 2019 called for government funding and community support to help the train group get back on the rails. 
  • An investigation into the tourism potential of a Derwent Valley rail trail, conducted by University of Tasmania masters student Ruolin Wang in 2016, included a survey of current and potential users of the national park. A majority of people surveyed supported a rail trail.
  • The Derwent Valley Council is allowing the Derwent Valley Rail group more time to prove their case and the Tasmanian Government promised $25,000 to the group in 2018 for planning work to get the trains running again.

Bicycle Network is seeking:

– funding for a feasibility study into development of a rail trail and assessment of tourism benefits
– in principle approval from the Derwent Valley Council.

Take action

Collective action makes a difference. Join the campaign – together we can ensure Tasmania’s rail trails get built. 

Write to Derwent Valley councillors

Contact Derwent Valley Council members to let them know you support a rail trail.


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