We’re often asked to recommend a self-guided itinerary for completing the entire 161 km length of the BVRT. All the information you need including maps, a distance chart, and recommended accommodation and catering options is available on the www.brisbanevalleyrailtrail.com.au website. There are so many different abilities and options that it’s difficult to recommend a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
This is the way I would approach it cycling over three days from north to south (the preferred route because the general trend is downhill and the sun is generally behind you).
Day 1 (42 or 49 km depending on whether you stay overnight in Linville or Moore)
Take the train to Wulkuraka Station or leave your car in the new BVRT Wulkuraka trail head at Grace St in Wulkuraka where there is some security provided by CCTV (163 Grace St, Wulkuraka, QLD). Catch an early morning shuttle with Out There Cycling up to Yarraman (needs to be pre-booked). Arrive at about 9.30 am.
Cycle to Blackbutt and stop for a mandatory pie in Blackbutt Bakery.
Free camping in both Linville and Moore (you can safely ignore the ‘No tents’ signs – the rule is not enforced unless you overstay your welcome).
Day 2 (52 or 42 km depending on whether you stayed overnight in Linville or Moore)
Next destination Esk. Start with breakfast at Kai Lounge (temporarily closed) in Moore. Lunch at the Exchange Hotel in Toogoolawah or The Picnic Society cafe (only open at weekends). Then on to Esk where you’re spoilt for choice for accommodation options, but be sure to check out the unique Brisbane Valley Roasters, right beside the rail trail on north edge of town, for a coffee made from fresh beans roasted on site and a gourmet toastie if you fancy a bite.
Esk Caravan Park has two excellent motels, but the minimum stay at weekends is 2 days. Grand Hotel Esk is also recommended and has no minimum stay. Supper at Esk Grand. Please note, there is nowhere open to eat in the evening on a Sunday evening at Esk, but the Esk IGA has plenty of pre-prepared meals, so perhaps a picnic in Pipeliner Park would be a good option.
No free camping in Esk, but good camping facilities at Esk Caravan Park.
Day 3 (67 km)
Breakfast in Nash Café to set you up for the longest day. Lunch at the Club Hotel in Lowood or morning tea at Rudy and Ada’s Café if you’re early, followed by a pie at the Fernvale Bakery and Patisserie in the Fernvale Shopping Centre (best pies in Fernvale). Barbs Kitchen and Tree Change café are also good. Continue on to the trailhead at Wulkuraka to complete your achievement.
For a two day tour, Yarraman to Toogoolawah (closest town to the halfway point) on Day 1, stay overnight at the Exchange Hotel which also does good pub food, and then continue on to Wulkuraka. Food options as in the 3-day tour above.
Free camping also available in Toogoolawah opposite the old station or camping with showers in the paid camping at the show grounds.
Whatever you decide for your itinerary, I hope you enjoy your BVRT experience.
Bike hire is available.
Paul Heymans (Updated 30/9/2023)