Tucked away from sight in far East Gippsland, Australia is a relic of a forgotten time. A time when trains traversed the nation moving people and goods across this huge land that we live in. Twenty kilometres east of Lakes Entrance on the Princess Highway you may notice a sign that says “Historic Trestle Bridge”.
Three Kilometres of unsealed gravel road takes you deep into the Colquhoun State Forest. Here you will find one of the most unique Gippsland tourist attractions, The Stony Creek Trestle Bridge. The Stony Creek Trestle Bridge was built in the early part of the 20th century in 1916.
The bridge was constructed when the existing rail line from Melbourne to Bairnsdale extended to Orbost. This 97km Bairnsdale to Orbost extension made its way through the rugged terrain of East Gippsland.
This section of railway was to have been the most difficult rail project undertaken in Victoria due to the surrounding dense bushland. The wooden trestle bridge serviced the line for over 60 years until damaged by bushfire in 1980. The bridge was repaired and the services resumed.
Stony Creek Trestle Bridge is a Hidden Gem
Due to high infrastructure costs and low passenger numbers, the last train crossed the bridge in 1988. At 247 meters long and 20 meters high, it is the largest standing wooden trestle bridge of its kind in the State of Victoria. The bridge is listed on the Register of Historic Sites.
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Building materials for the bridge included red ironbark and grey box timber. Stony Creek Trestle Bridge is a prime example of early engineering. Using skills and practises that utilised the resources and materials found on the site.
Things to do in Gippsland – Visit Stony Creek Bridge
You will find viewing platforms at either end of the wooden trestle bridge. You can also walk down and view the trestle bridge from underneath. The view from underneath gives you the sense of the scale and height of this relic of yesteryear.
You cannot walk on the wooden trestle bridge anymore as its top decking is in a state of disrepair and there are no guard rails on the sides. The top deck is actually fenced off to stop people getting out onto the bridge.
These days Rail Trails Victoria has the popular East Gippsland Rail Trail go right past the bridge on its Bairnsdale – Orbost rail-trail. This section of the Rail Trails Victoria section from Bruthen to Nowa Nowa is 30 kilometres long and passes the Stony Creek Trestle Bridge 5 kilometres from the finish
There is car parking available at either end of this amazing Gippsland tourist attraction. Toilets are on-site and there is a picnic table located just off to the side of the car park.
The Stony Creek Trestle Bridge is one of those finds that only happen when you take the chance to turn off the highway, to ask yourself why don’t we follow that little sign on the side of the road? Gippsland is full of little treasures like this waiting to be discovered by you!
We really enjoyed wandering around under and around the Stony Creek Trestle Bridge, it is definitely one of the places to visit in Gippsland. We plan on heading back out there for a bbq in the summer months.
There was so much to see out at the wooden trestle bridge and the wildlife out there was everywhere. There was no noise except for the calls of the birds and it was so peaceful. This is another good reason to visit Gippsland
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About the Author
Mark has grown up and lived in the Gippsland area all his life. “I think i know a thing or 2 about Gippsland”. When i am not working i am out explorimg the best of Gippsland with my wife and kids