This lovely trail starts @ 200 metres East of Moe Railway Station. It passes through Moe’s wonderful Botanic Gardens nestled along Narracan Creek and follows a fringe of bush to the splendid Latrobe River where the awesome cooling towers of the Yallourn Power Station are a reminder of the unity of mature and artifice. Begin just past the two railway bridges you can see from the station at the corner of Narracan Drive & Bennett St.
(@ 10 km – 2.5 hours)
The trail begins…
Wiltshire Horn ewes and lambs no more than 200 metres from Moe Railway Station.
Within 100 metres you are in another world. On the right are the beautiful Moe Botanic Gardens; on the left a small paddock full of sheep – which is extraordinary.
Moe is a large country town (pop 15,000) a little over 1 hour by train with services approx hourly. You will be able to see a large Woolworths Supermarket on your left as you come up to the railway bridges. The shopping centre has at least one other supermarket and many other shops. The Botanic Gardens nestled along pretty Narracan Creek are worthy of a little exploration before you head off towards Walhalla. Then, on to the rail trail.
Being an old railway line it is obviously dead flat all the way to the Yallourn Power Station on the beautiful Latrobe River. So very easy, pleasant walking. Two retirees can (& did) easily make it to Yallourn North in 2 ½ hours.
Obviously there are toilets and water at the Railway Station before you set out, again in Sullivans Rd halfway to Yallourn PS (signposted), then at the picnic area behind it (signposted on the Yallourn North Rd Bridge crossing), and finally in the main street of Yallourn North.
The sights are varied. Surprisingly for almost the entire length of the walk to the power station you are enclosed in a curtain of native vegetation (of varying width) with abundant wildlife (birdlife especially). There are always some beautiful wildflowers in bloom.
The concrete foundations of the old railway telegraph poles make excellent seats every 50 metres or so. Just great for a picnic lunch – perhaps a sandwich and a glass of wine bought back before leaving Moe. Here and there park benches are thoughtfully provided as well. The track has distance markers (which can be used as references for making emergency calls). Telstra NextG works fine the full length of this section.
In places the trail is fringed with forest.
Often there are glimpses of distant paddocks or beautiful Lake Narracan.
I see no reason you could not camp along the sides of the track (there are little flat spots here and there a tent could be erected), or along the banks of the Latrobe or in Sir John Monash Reserve. You would have to carry any water needed to them.
After Petits Lane (above) there is the opportunity to divert to the left and walk along the banks of the Latrobe River to Sir John Monash Reserve opposite the awesomely beautiful cooling towers.
The cooling towers are great works of art.
The diversion is worth it, what you are seeing is the lower reaches of Lake Narracan sometimes glimpsed earlier through the trees to the North, but it is also worth backtracking along the ‘proper’ route when you get there a bit and viewing the wonderful towers through the frame of the underneath of the Yallourn North Road Bridge.
Sir John Monash Reserve
From the ancient pines of Sir John Monash Reserve you can continue along 3-400 metres of riverbank track to the Latrobe River bridge. Thence it is an easy 2 km on grassy verges till you come into the township of Yalourn North (Reserve Rd on your left). The town has a café (pm), a small Foodworks supermarket (open every day from @8-9am till 7pm) visible at the end of the street, and a hotel with counter meals about 100 metres up the hill past the supermarket.
Next stop: Wirilda Wildlife Park at the delightful Tyers River Weir…
Announcing The Upper Yarra Cycling Track: Watch this space. As I noticed you could cycle the Moe-Yallourn Rail Trail, the idea also occurred to me that I could complement the Upper Yarra Walking Track with a cycling route which would share much of its route – except perhaps the Wirilda Track and the path along the Baw Baw Plateau and along the Ada and Little Ada valleys. I will give this some more thought, and will indicate it on the maps I will prepare shortly (I promise!) It will be able to share the same camping sites and water points, for example, but would take only 3-4 lovely days, I imagine – or one for the super-fit, I have no doubt!
I will also be doing a post soon about public transport to the track. For example, there is a regular weekday bus service to Noojee (about halfway), http://www.warragulbuslines.com.au/Timetables.htm#4 and obviously there are almost hourly trains/trams to Moe, Warburton and Lilydale. Mountain Top Experience provides a bus service from (eg Moe) to eg Walhalla/Mushroom Rocks Car Park etc, for those who might wish to shorten the trip a bit: http://www.mountaintopexperience.com/tours/
The Vicmap for this section is Moe South: T8121-1-S
Mobile Phone works beautifully all the way to Yallourn North.