The Camperdown to Timboon Rail Trail is nestled in the hinterland of the Great Ocean Road region in Victoria and is one of the lesser-known regional Victorian Rail Trails. An almost hidden trail and often seemingly undiscovered, it can be unusual to pass another rider at times.
The Camperdown to Timboon Rail Trail is situated two and a half hours drive from Melbourne in South Western Victoria. For a time, the Rail Trail was known as the Crater to Coast Rail Trail due to its starting point amongst ancient volcanic craters and lakes and winding its way towards the Shipwreck Coast.
The Camperdown to Timboon Rail Trail takes riders from Camperdown, around the volcanic crater lake of Lake Bullen Merri through almost 40 kilometres of dairy farms to the small town of Timboon which is renowned for its farm produce and local gourmet delights.
A peaceful ride through a combination of flat grazing country and rolling hills, the trail meanders past relics of the old railway trestle bridges and over the historic Timboon Trestle bridge and into the town centre of Timboon.
Whilst the trail officially starts at the Camperdown Railway Station, the section of trail between Camperdown and Naroghid requires riders to ride along country roads. If you are not comfortable riding on the road, the trail from Naroghid to Timboon is a scenic off-road ride which follows the original railway line through the middle of farmland, so you can simply start your ride at Naroghid. Cobden, Glenfyne and Timboon are also great starting points for your cycle.
Once you reach Timboon, the rail trail now joins up with the newly constructed 20 kilometre 12 Apostles Bicycle Trail which is a bike and walking path taking you from the Great Ocean Road hinterland town of Timboon to the coast at Port Campbell.
Camperdown to Naroghid
Due to parts of the old railway line being used as farmland, the section of trail between Camperdown to Naroghid requires bike riders to ride along country roads without a footpath, however the remainder of the trail from Naroghid to Timboon is a scenic off-road trail. If you wish to avoid riding along the road, it is recommended you start your cycle from Naroghid or another section of the trail rather than Camperdown.
Naroghid to Cobden
There is a rail trail car park on Cross Forest Road at Naroghid where the off-road section of the Camperdown to Timboon Rail Trail starts. This is a good place to start your ride. From here the trail is mostly flat, travelling in between dairy farms with an easy, almost unnoticeable descent into Cobden. Once you arrive at Cobden, the trail goes through the middle of the Cobden Golf Course, past the relics of an old rail bridge. The Cobden Golf Club is available for riders to stop in for a toilet break, drink and a bistro or bar meal. Alternatively, ride 1km into Curdie Street, Cobden’s main street for a variety of options from a sandwich to a sit down or take away hot meal.
When you are ready to continue on, there is a short detour from the rail trail at the end of the golf course to rejoin the trail. Walk along McKenzie Street towards the CFA building, along Neylon Street to Grayland Street, then rejoin the trail on Grayland Street behind the agricultural supplies business (CRT Hewitt & Whitty).
Cobden to Glenfyne
This 11km part of the trail is fairly flat and runs alongside farms, often running adjacent to or weaving across the Cobden-Warrnambool Road. There are a few major road crossings along this section of the trail, so watch for vehicles travelling at speed and please cross with care. On either side of the Cobden-Warrnambool Road at Glenfyne there are large shelters and the Glenfyne Public Hall has under cover picnic area, BBQ facilities and parking available.
Glenfyne to Timboon
From Glenfyne, the ride is approximately 12km to reach Timboon. This section of the trail is undulating and weaves through remnants of the old railway line and past historic trestle bridges. The trail drops you right into the heart of Timboon where you will find ice cream, whisky, a lolly shop, gift shops and a selection of lunch options. There is parking on the site of the old railway station, now the home of the Timboon Railway Shed Distillery and Ride With Us bike hire shed.
Trail and weather conditions
During wet weather and after heavy rain, sections of the trail can be very muddy and sometimes slippery. Winter and Spring (June to November) are generally the wettest periods for the region so please check weather and rainfall to determine track conditions. Watch out for sticks and branches which often fall onto the track from the overhanging trees. Please observe trail signage and do not enter the trail on high wind and code red fire danger days. Check weather conditions before proceeding on your ride.
Rail Trail surface
The rail trail surface is unsealed in all sections of the trail. Some sections are lightly graveled and other sections are compacted earth. The trail varies in terrain depending on the section of the trail you are riding. Horses are permitted on some sections of the trail. Please give way to horse riders.
What types of bikes are suitable for the trail?
Bicycles and electric bikes designed to go off road such as hybrids and mountain bikes with gears and nobby tyres or durable puncture-resistant tyres are recommended. The trail is not suitable for road bikes. Cruiser bikes are generally designed to be ridden on smooth surfaces and flat terrain with minimal gears so are generally not suitable for the conditions on this rail trail.
Take care crossing both gravel and sealed roads. Many of the gravel roads are still well used thoroughfares so please check for oncoming vehicles before crossing. There are several road crossings between Cobden and Glenfyne which require crossing a major road where cars and heavy vehicles will likely be travelling at up to 100kms p/h. When you approach a sealed road, please stop and check for oncoming vehicles and cross quickly with care.
If you are in need of a bike, Ride With Us has ebike and mountain bike rentals available, as well as children’s bikes, a child seat, two child tag along trailer, pet seat and a pet trailer for hire. Ride With Us also have a bicycle transport service where we can transport your cycles or ours. Transport is available for up to eight bike riders and up to nine bikes, to and from your preferred locations. For larger groups we can source rider and bicycle transport for up to 20 bikes and riders. Find out more about the Timboon Rail Trail here.
Ride With Us
Experience the Timboon and the 12 Apostles region with Ride With Us, see the icons of the Great Ocean Road. We provide transport services throughout the region including taxi and shuttle services, bike hire and more.