Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail

Linking central Victoria via the old railway line

Category Archives: Marketing

Needing a reason to escape to the country?

Planning a trail ride or walk over Easter with friends? Or wondering where to next explore rural Victoria that combines some exercise with enjoying food and refreshments at a cafe, a restaurant, winery or boutique brewery?

Of course there is the option to just chill out at a country B&B or hotel, after riding the popular O’Keefe Rail Trail!

Trails to Explore in Central Victoria

Thinking about cycling or walking a rail trail, yet wondering which one? Wanting to know what other trail users comments are about a trail that you are considering?

The Uncool Cycling Club is one such reference that shares the experiences of author Helen Dominish, for trails located in most Australian States. The review of the O’Keefe Rail Trail in June 2017, as posted, shows a number of aspects and points of interest of this increasingly popular trail.

O'Keefe Rail Trail. Photo: Helen Dominish June 2017

O’Keefe Rail Trail. Photo: Helen Dominish June 2017

As well as this positive trail experience, the Uncool Cycling Club also posts reviews of other trails in the central Victorian area, such as the Castlemaine to Maldon Trail, the Murchison (Waranga) Rail Trail,  Ballarat Skipton Rail Trail, and the Great Victorian Rail Trail. 

Unreviewed trails in the Bendigo city urban area, to be considered for inclusion when selecting trails to explore, are The Bendigo Creek Trail, the Back Creek/Spring Gully Trail, the Long Gully Trail, as well as the Bendigo Bushland Trail and the Goldfields Trail (Victoria). Of course as Victoria has the most rail trails of any Australian state, its not to hard to add other trails to the above options!

Events focus on the O’Keefe Rail Trail

The launch of both the Cycle the O’Keefe event and the O’Keefe Rail Trail Marathon event for 2017 took place in Bendigo on 9 February. The well attendance audience was provided with information about the overwhelming success of the 2016 marathon events, plus the inclusion to the 2017 marathon of a number of cycling events, by Event Director Sandra Slatter.

O'Keefe Rail Trail Users - Lake Eppalock. Photo: from City of Greater Bendigo Council

Families enjoying the O’Keefe Rail Trail at Lake Eppalock.

With the launch of the newest event focused on the O’Keefe Rail Trail, ‘Cycle the O’Keefe’, this is sure to benefit from the popularity of cycle tourism and cycle events as well as encouraging event participation by individuals, families and the communities of Heathcote, Axedale and Bendigo. Combined with the already successful initial O’Keefe Rail Trail Marathon, these two events have the potential to be major flags on the event calendar for central Victoria plus highlighting the O’Keefe Rail Trail as an iconic trail.

WIN TV News Bendigo article

The Bendigo Advertiser news web article

Event dates are:

22 April – Cycle the O’Keefe events

23 April – O’Keefe Rail Trail Marathon events


Space on your public notice board?

Do you know of a public notice board in your location, which has space for information related to the O’Keefe Rail Trail and the Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail? Want to know more about trails in central Victoria?

The Friends group is keen to inform the public, walkers, cyclists, those interested in natural environments or railway history, about the O’Keefe Rail Trail and the positive experiences that can be had while using this off-road trail.

O'Keefe Rail Trail information displayed on notice board, Kennington Reservoir, Bendigo. Photo: G.Long

O’Keefe Rail Trail information display, Kennington Reservoir, Bendigo. Photo: G.Long


Suitable information is available to download directly from the Friends web page ‘Brochures, Maps, Apps, Files, Rides’ or from Bendigo Tourism’s web page O’Keefe Rail Trail. Also printed material may be made available by contacting Bendigo Tourism on 1800813153 or Otherwise a request can be emailed to, yet an allowance for processing this last method of request will be required.


O’Keefe Rail Trail – What did you think?

The City of Greater Bendigo Council and the Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail are keen to gain valuable feedback from users of the O’Keefe Rail Trail. A survey has been set up seeking feedback from those who have recently used the whole or sections of this trail.

Were you a visitor to Axedale, Bendigo or Heathcote specifically to experience the O’Keefe trail over one or more days? While also enjoying the trail, did you visit other attractions in the area, such as Heathcote wineries, Bendigo wineries, cafe-restaurants-hotels like the Axedale Tavern, rode on a ‘Talking Tram‘, or shared time with family and friends? You may live in the local community, and use the trail on a regular basis, so your input will also be welcomed.

Your feedback will assist the trail’s improvements and ongoing trail development, as well as other local linked off-road trails and facilities. All such information will also help the marketing of outdoor recreation and other related attractions.

O'Keefe Rail Trail feedback survey sign. Photo: Garry Long

O’Keefe Rail Trail feedback survey sign. Photo: Garry Long

There are feedback signs located at various locations along the trail, which include a QR code (reader app required) and stating a html link. Or the survey can be accessed via other web pages such as Bendigo Tourism, Heathcote Tourism, City of Greater Bendigo, Rail Trails Australia, and the Friends of the Bendigo Kilmore Rail Trail.

O'Keefe Rail Trail feedback survey request. Photo: Garry Long

O’Keefe Rail Trail feedback survey request. Photo: Garry Long

So either while out on the trail, or later when relaxing from the experience, please take the short survey:

Tourism connects with Bendigo Cycling

Bendigo hosted about 350 tourism leaders, professionals and operators from the state’s tourism industry, attending the Victorian Industry Tourism Conference in Bendigo on 25-26 July.

The two-day conference was held at the Ulumbarra Theatre in Bendigo, with nearly 30 local, national and international speakers. This year’s theme, “Experience Evolution”, encouraged reflection on where the industry had come from and what it needed to do into the future to respond to changing desires.

Friends of Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail's Colin Campbell and Greg Ralton promote cycle tourism in Bendigo. 26 July 2016

Friends of Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail members Colin Campbell and Greg Ralton promote cycle tourism at the VTIC Confernece in Bendigo. 26 July 2016

The Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail volunteers took the opportunity to provide information and a display at the conference, to show case various cycle tourism attractions that focussed on the Greater Bendigo. The O’Keefe Rail Trail, Great Rides of Bendigo, Bendigo Mountain Bike Park, Goldfields Track (Victoria), Bike Bendigo, were some of the cycling attractions highlighted, which created a deal of interest from attendees at the conference. It was all about Bendigo, ‘the City of Greater Cycling’!

Launch O’Keefe Rail Trail TV

Would you like to know more about the O’Keefe Rail Trail, for planning a ride or walk, wanting to share information about this trail, seeking the latest news from the Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail? The O’Keefe Rail Trail TV is now a feed on YouTube, with the first posting of this episode 1.

O’Keefe Rail Trail TV

This episode touches on some of the brief history relating to this rail trail, plus highlighting community involvement through the Friends group with the upgrade of this trail, are topics of Episode 1.

Have an item of interest or question needing to be answered on O’Keefe Rail Trail TV? Send an email request to or the contact link on