Together we can build an iconic tourism experience and local transport corridor



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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 for fun and transport between towns.

Converting the long disused railway line from Launceston to Billycock Hill in north-east Tasmania into a shared recreation trail for riders and walkers has been a dream for locals and cycle tourists for years.

With the popularity of mountain bike trails in nearby Derby, there is huge potential for riding trails for other riders, such as family members of the mountain bike riders. 

Scottsdale Rotary and volunteers have created Stage 1 of the North East Recreation Trail, a 26 km trail from Scottsdale to Billycock Hill.

This stage is set within impressive state forest, through 20 m high granite cuttings. In some sections the cuttings rise up 260 m, providing dramatic changes in vegetation and scenery.

On a clear day, unique vistas of the Furneaux Islands can be seen. 

Other news


The North East Rail Trail should be extended from Scottsdale through to Lilydale Falls and then to Launceston if the rail group can’t get trains running in the next few years. 

North East Rail Trail appeals dismissed

An appeal against the Launceston Council’s approval of the extension of the North East Rail Trail has been dismissed, paving the way for the full...

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.

The solution

Use the rail corridor to create Tasmania’s first multi-day rail trail.

A completed North East Recreation Trail will be a leading experience for the region, showcasing the natural and cultural heritage values of the area.

A trail will provide a safe and more enjoyable off-road route for the summer touring cyclists who are currently forced to use the risky (and hilly) road network to access the east coast of Tasmania. 

It will provide an attractive new active recreation opportunity for locals and importantly, it will activate the local visitor economy by attracting the many rail trail loving riders from interstate and overseas.

We support the Tasmanian Government’s compromise allowing rail on the first leg of the corridor, but if a passenger train does not get up and running then the rail trail should be extended through to Launceston.


  • Dorset Council includes the project in its priority projects for 2023-25. 
  • Dorset Council was suspended on 2 August 2023. The final report due on 28 February 2024 has been extended to 30 April 2024.
  • Appeals against the Launceston Council application where heard by the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal in early August 2023.
  • Launceston Council approves the development application to extend the NE Rail Trail through its land and enlarge the car park at Lilydale Falls in February 2023.
  • Dorset Council lodged a development application with Launceston Council but it was withdrawn in October 2022 to conduct more consultation at Launceston Council’s request.
  • The Tribunal dismissed the appeal in November 2021. The Minister for Infrastructure needs to approve the lifting of rail before work can start.
  • Dorset Council’s approval of the rail trail has been appealed to the Resource Management, Planning and Administration Tribubal, with a final hearing held on 18 October 2021.
  • Member for Bass Bridget Archer announced on 2 September 2020 she had re-secured $1.47 million in federal funding to allow the project to proceed. 
  • The Tasmanian Parliament passed legislation in late 2019 to permit Dorset Council to become the corridor manager to enable the rail trail. 
  • The Legislative Council reported in late 2019, supporting the government’s compromise plan for the corridor. 
  • The Legislative Council announced an inquiry into the rail trail in October 2018. 
  • The Dorset Council has been informed the rail trail will end at Lilydale Falls and a train will operate from Lilydale Falls.
  • The Tasmanian Government released a Treasury report in July 2018 recommending that the corridor be used for a rail trail between Scottsdale and Lilydale or Lalla.
  • 2015 – Dorset Council receives $1.47 million grant from the National Stronger Regions Fund to build a rail trail between Scottsdale and Launceston.

Support more Tassie rail trails

Together we can ensure Tasmania’s first multi-day rail trail gets built and more like it. 

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