Waanyarra and Tarnagulla Loops - Fast Facts

Trail number

There are seven loops available. The notes below relate to parts of the Waanyarra and Tarnagulla loops. I understand the other loops are of a similar nature.

Trail length

50 kilometres for the loop described (there are 170 kilometres of trail available).

Elevation variance

150 metres (between highest and lowest elevations for all loops - less for individual loops).

Trail type

Single trail, fire trail, gravel road and bitumen road.

Trail surface

Smooth dirt, fine gravel, coarse gravel, rocks.

Weather affected

All weather.

Trail condition sources

Nil.

Trail features

Nice farmland views, gold diggings, nature reserves and lots of history.

Trail obstacles

Nil.

Trail Rating

Trail rating

Easy and Intermediate. Trails are relatively easy to ride but I have rated them as Intermediate due to length of most trails. Families could readily pick parts of trails to ride.

Rating basis

Estimated

Night riding

Yes but better done during the day so you can take in views and history of the area.

Family Friendly

Younger MTBers could readily ride this course as long as they can go the distance. Note some sections are on high speed bitumen roads so pick and choose loops relative to their capabilities.

Trail Map and GPX File

Buy Trail Map at locations detailed below

 

No GPX download

Safety Notes

Please be careful if venturing off trail as there are still mine shafts and diggings in the area.

Trail Description

There are seven trails around Dunolly being:

  Trail Approximate Length Description from map
  Waanyarra 27 km return to Town Hall Moderate climb, mainly bush tracks
  Goldsborough 14 km return to Town Hall Reasonably easy forest ride
  Bealiba 34 km loop, 47 km return to Town Hall Forest ride, mostly gentle, short rocky climb on Boundary Track
  Moliagul 18 km loop, 35 km return to Town Hall Reasonably gentle ride mainly through forest
  Tarnagulla 27 km loop, 44 km return to Town Hall Reasonably easy forest ride including conservation reserve
  Laanecoorie 31 km loop, 44 km return to Town Hall Variety of features including some steep and rough sections
  Betley 19 km return to Town Hall Reasonably easy ride through farmland

 The colours of the table cells are roughly the colours of the trail signs.

There is a good map which you can pick up at the Maryborough Visitor Centre which is on the corner of Alma and Nolan Streets in Maryborough, at the Loddon Visitor Centre in Wedderburn at 24 Wilson Street or the Dunolly Rural Transaction Centre in Dunolly. Click on the links for opening times but note that the Dunolly Rural Transaction Centre has only limited opening hours on the weekend, particularly if you arrive early.

The cost of the map was $5 at the time of writing. It's worth buying as it notes some of the trail features and provides good maps of the trails and further trails nested within the loops which you can explore. In addition, there are eight trails around Maryborough shown on the flip side. From the map, these appear to be be more based around back roads rather than tracks but may be of interest if you have a beginner with you. Again the map list heritage features of the area for each of these trails.

The trails are described at the Dunolly Cycle Tracks website which also has further information on the history.

Waanyarra - Tarnagulla Loops

I have done a 45 km loop which took in the Waanyarra and Tarnagulla trails.

One thing that should be noted is that the Tarnagulla loop is only sign posted in one direction (anti-clockwise) and I presume this is common for the other trails as well so ride the trails in the order of the feature numbering on the map.

Whilst you would think it would be pretty easy following the trail backwards it's not. One example in Tarnagulla is where you go to the historic grandstand. There are a number of options for trails and it was only by careful reference to the map that I continually picked up markers further down the trail to confirm the route so it would have been a more pleasant ride if I didn't have to continually reference the map because of this.

One other thing I noticed is that, if you're an experienced rider, you get a sense of more remote and interesting trails off to the left and right of the main tracks with evidence of gold diggings, etc off in the forest so I'd probably encourage just getting "lost" a bit on the side tracks to mix it up a bit if you're confident enough to do this. The maps show these other trails and if you have a GPS it would be even better. You certainly won't get hopelessly lost as the area is well bounded by roads, farmland, etc.

The trails I followed (and from the map I'm guessing the other loops are of a similar format) varied from some bitumen to good quality gravel roads but with the majority on fire trails. The fire trails are not technically challenging but provide a good ride through the forest and the side trails get you a bit further into the bush.

The Dunolly town hall, shown below, is the starting point for all of the trails with the exception of the Bealiba, Moliagul and Tarnagulla rides which are extensions of the rides from the town hall. The approximate locations for these are shown on the map above.

The second picture shows the green and blue arrow markers at the town hall for the Goldsborough and Waanyarra rides. Arrows for the Betley and Laanecoorie rides are on the opposite side of the post. These are typical of the markers you get on the trail. It is suggested you follow the trails in the direction of the arrows as the markers are only present in this direction of travel as previously noted. Other photos above and below show some of the heritage buildings in town.

Typical route marker on post in front of post box and some old adobe ruins.

Pictures of road leading up to Laurie Track which you take to the entry of the conservation reserve. Last photo below shows remnants of gold diggings.

Above, the picture on the left is the end of the Tarnagulla Track. As you can see, there is no trail arrow when heading in the reverse trail direction so you need to navigate when travelling in the reverse direction. Other pictures show gold shafts just off the trail in the bush. Obviously take care when walking around them. Most weren't massively deep but take care anyway.

Pictures of Laurie Track heading through the Waanyarra Nature Conservation Reserve and then coming out onto the bitumen back into Tarnagulla.

Nice farmland views off to side of trail.

Yep you're 12 somethings from somewhere! Last photo above is turn off to Laurie Track from the bitumen.

Tarnagulla must have the highest per capita number of churches (and there are more).

Tarnagulla's historic grandstand which is believed to be oldest surviving one in Victoria and reservoir behind recreation area.

Trail heading out of Tarnagulla.

Gold diggings and four trunked tree.

Bush grave at the side of the road and historic Waanyarra Cemetery - lots of old unmarked and marked historic bush graves.

Coming in to end of trail.

Another road side bush grave. Picture to right shows Waanyarra Recreation Site which has good camping and picnic facilities as well as toilets.

Pictures of Wet Gully Track heading from the recreation site back to Model Farm Road in photos above and below.

Gold diggings off to the side of the road, possible sluicing area and old stone farm building..

One of the locals saying hello on way back to town.

Trail Videos

Parking and Facilities
Parking is available all along trail. Trailhead is located in front of Dunolly Town Hall.
Toilet facilities are available at Dunolly Town Hall.
No drinking water is available on trails except in townships.
Food and drinks are available in Dunolly and other towns on the trails.
Local area information can be obtained at the Rural Transaction Centre on the corner of Broadway and Bull Street in Dunolly.