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. Here is the bush that surrounds it, the Stony Creek Trestle bridge stand the test of time.
Where is the Stony Creek 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 sometimes mistakenly spelt Stoney Creek Trestle Bridge.
When was this wooden trestle bridge built?
The wooden railway 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.
Due to high infrastructure costs and low passenger numbers, the last train crossed the historic wooden 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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What is the Stony Creek Railway bridge made of?
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.
What facilities are at the Stony Creek Trestle Bridge Reserve?
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.
Safety at the Stony Creek Trestle bridge
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.
We really enjoyed wandering around under and around the Stony Creek Nature Reserve. 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 on our Travels in Gippsland.
What else is there at the Colquhoun State Forest?
There was so much to see out at the Stony Creek wooden trestle bridge in the Colquhoun State forest. 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.
Where to stay near the historic trestle bridge
Lakes Entrance may be the best place to stay near the Stony Creek Trestle Bridge. There are plenty of places to stay in Lakes Entrance from campsites to luxurious apartments. Find our recommendations below and book your stay now.
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 hope this article from us here at Travels in Gippsland has you inspired to visit Lakes Entrance in East Gippsland. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Gippsland click through to our Gippsland Attractions page for more brilliant inspiration.
Please find 2 more articles from Travels in Gippsland below for your reading enjoyment. Just click on the description to read.
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About the Author
Mark has grown up and lived in the Gippsland area all his life. Being born and raised in Gippsland he knows a thing or 2 about this amazing region. When Mark is not working he is out exploring the best of Gippsland with his wife and kids