Following an abandoned railway line connecting Scottsdale and Billycock Hill, the 26-km North East Rail Trail traverses lush forest vegetation while offering spectacular mountain views. For the first 10km, the trail weaves through picturesque farmland in Scottsdale, and then climbs steadily to Tonganah, passing some of the most beautiful cuttings and forests till it reaches Billycock Hill for the final 16km.
North East Rail Trail is perfect for family as a one-way ride. With quaint valley views and numerous interpreted history signs on the side of the track, everyone will love it! This ride can also be an out-and-back for those willing to accept a bit of challenge.
The trail surface is divine. It’s a hard smooth gravel ride that suitable for all kinds of weather and best to be ridden on a mountain bike. The first 10-km section is a little rough since some parts still being worked on.
Be aware of several road crossings, especially when you’re riding with your kids since vehicles traveling at 100km/h and there are exposed rails which could trip young kids up.
North East Rail Trail can be accessed from both ends and many spots in between. However, the most common starting point is in Scottsdale. The trail starts at the old Railway Station in Ellenor St which can be accessed between the Mitre 10 Store and the railway crossing on the road.
If you’re looking to hire a bike, the recommended starting point is from Scottsdale Art Gallery Coffee Shop on King Street.
You can also start at Tonganah. The starting point is just off Tonganah Road (signposted from highway), 7km east of Scottsdale.
The other end of the ride currently starts 18km from Scottsdale along the A3. The best place to park is in the large car park on your left, just before you see the Billycock Hill Sign.
If coming from the East Coast, then the Billycock Hill car park turnoff is just over 7km past the river crossing in Branxholm, 3kms past the turnoff to Legerwood/Ringarooma.
Food and drink
Scottsdale offers everything that you need from cafes, Woolworths supermarket to pubs and bakeries. However, once you leave Scottsdale, there’s hardly any service along the ride. So make sure you’ve prepared enough food and drink for the whole trip.
Scottsdale to Tonganah (10km)
Starting from Scottsdale rail station parking lot, head south, crossing Ellenor and King Streets. You’ll be greeted by the farmland landscape before crossing the Tasman Highway at Tonganah. The trail continues behind some big sheds and wood yards and then runs parallel to the road through bushland for some kilometers before another highway crossing which leads to Lings Siding and the lowest point of the trail at the river.
Tonganah to Tulendeena (Billycock Hill) (16km)
Say hello to breathtaking forests with tree fern-lined cuttings away from traffic. The trail gently climbs all the way from Taonganah up to the former station of Tullendeena then to Snake Track where you can head down to Legerwood. However, this is a busy gravel road and some sections are pretty steep.
Scottsdale offers a range of facilities and services for tourists. It has free camping (North East Park), a supermarket, a bicycle shop as well as accommodation and eateries.
Nonetheless, Tonganah, Tulendeena, and Legerwood have no facilities. But you can find toilets and a souvenir shop operating most days from a former rail wagon at the station site. You can also buy soft drinks here.
The information on this page is sourced from:
Photo credit: Rail Trail Australia
25.342 km / 15.747 mi
399 m / 1,310 ft
261 m / 855 ft
351 m / 1,150 ft