For the Steam Engine enthusiasts we have a real treat in store in South East Queensland. The Mary Valley Heritage Railway will take travellers on a trip back in time to when travel was not just a means to an end, but also an experience in its own right.
Also known as The Valley Rattler, this train journey begins at historic Gympie Railway Station. Originally built in the 1870’s it was replaced completely in 1913 and today includes a refreshment room which is open Tuesday to Sunday, a model train display, souvenir shop and an Art Gallery which is operated by volunteers of the Friends of Cooloola Gallery.
From Gympie Station The Rattler then travels downgrade and crosses Deep Creek Bridge. This Bridge spans Deep Creek some 30 metres above the creek bed which has never been flooded even throughout the many Gympie Floods.
Further on from Deep Creek Bridge, travellers will see the remnants of the many gold workings that are an integral part of Gympie’s heritage. The Rattler passes Monkland Railway Station immediately after Brisbane Road and soon makes its descent towards the Mary River.
Once the Mary River is crossed, The Rattler then weaves its way through prime dairy country with views of the beautiful Mary Valley being revealed. Dagun Railway Station is 20 kms from Gympie and on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, wine, cheese and produce from the local markets can be purchased on the return journey.
Another short hop of 23 kms brings you to Amamoor Railway Station – where (if you take the Saturday morning tour) you can enjoy morning tea and maybe pick up a memento of the local crafts available in the station precinct.
From Amamoor The Rattler takes the long uphill grade until reaching the scenic descent into Kandanga Railway Station, the views during this section of the tour are breathtaking and truly show the richness of the Mary Valley.
Kandanga was originally a timber town and now offers markets, stalls and hospitality for the Wednesday and Sunday Heritage Trains.
After departing Kandanga, the Rattler again ascends an uphill grade and rattles through Melawondi which hosts a timber products business.
Another climb brings you to the only tunnel on the line and travels downgrade to Imbil (40 kms), the terminus of the Mary Valley Heritage Railway. Imbil offers the delights of a country town with good food and country markets.
There are at least three dining establishments At Imbil, Most frequented are The Railway Hotel, The Rattler Café and Pepper’s at the Empire. These establishments can fill up quickly when the train tours are at or near capacity so bookings are essential.
For more information on timetables and bookings please clik the image below:
In 1984 the Apex Club of Gympie and District Historical Society proposed that a local steam locomotive be preserved, Locomotive No. 45 until...
History of the Mary Valley Line and Gympie Railway Station. The discovery of Gold by James Nash in 1867 brought an influx of people to...