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Australia’s longest rail trail to boost South East Queensland tourism

Australia’s longest rail trail to boost South East Queensland tourism
September 6, 2018

The recent completion of the 161 kilometre long Brisbane Valley Rail Trail is expected to bring additional visitors to the region north west of Brisbane.

Following the disused Brisbane Valley rail line that first commenced construction at Wulkuraka near Ipswich in 1884, and which was completed at Yarraman in 1913, the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (BVRT) traverses farmland, forests, picturesque rural settings and country towns. Open all year round, the BVRT provides an off-road climb up the valley for day trippers, overnight camping or longer term adventures.

First funded by the Queensland Government’s Royalties to Regions program in 2014, the completed Trail was officially opened in August.

With 80% of the trail within its borders, the Somerset Regional Council is expecting significant numbers of visitors to the Trail to boost local tourism, with Mayor Graeme Lehmann saying that by 2023 the BVRT will increase direct tourism expenditure in the region by $1.5 million a year.

Mayor Lehmann recently told local newspaper the Gatton Star “this Trail will help put Somerset on the map, drive tourism growth and development and encourage new business opportunities which will only further support our rural communities to prosper.

"I would encourage anyone thinking about establishing a business in Somerset to have a talk with one of council's friendly planners and see what opportunities are available," he said.

"The opportunities are endless in terms of accommodation development, farm stay experiences, food opportunities and more."

Tourism in the region has already increased, with locals Sue Hudd and Craig Eastment forming their new business, Heartland Heavy Horses.

Hudd said the business was a combination of local experience and a love of horses, advising “we wanted to share our love of horses with others and offer people a unique experience along the trail.”

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