Victoria's most accessible and well-used rail trail winds its way through the gorgeous Yarra Valley, nestled between the Dandenong Ranges and the Great Dividing Range, and only an hour from Melbourne. Following the historic railway from Lilydale through varied bushland, rich farmland, world-class wineries, trailside cafes and verdant forests to Warburton, the trail is much loved by Melburnians.
Historic railway stations along the way
Climb from the Lilydale train station car park to Mt Evelyn and encounter the first of the trail's historic disused train stations. Descend through shady bushland to Wandin, listening to the mesmerising sound of bellbirds until you reach the renovated Long Bridge at Woori Yallock.
Once you cross the floodplain the increasing gradient of the trail takes you through Launching Place – and the famous Home Hotel – to Yarra Junction, where the old railway station has been converted into a museum. The hills begin to gain height as you pass the operational original sawmill in Millgrove, the thickening bush offering glimpses of the Yarra River before arriving at Warburton and the welcome sight of its many cafes.
Cafe culture along the trail
While sections of the trail give the sense of being deep in the bush, you're never far from an access point at any stage, and the trail is very well supported by cafes at conveniently-spaced points.