The Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail is an iconic  38 km recreation trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders in Victoria. The trail starts at the Lilydale Railway Station, then follows the route of the historical railway line through the beautiful Yarra Valley, before finishing in Warburton.

To get the full ride gpx, select the "Route Sheets" tab above, and click on the download button.

Easy gradients on the trail, which is separated from the traffic, with stunning scenery, makes this a sensational ride. Follow the 'Warby Trail' through vineyards, scenic bushland, open river flats, passed beautiful alpine scenery, farmlands and forests, and cross the many restored rail bridges. There are also plenty of refreshment stops along the way.

The 2 minute video of our Feb 2017 ride is here:

The first 34 km of the trail (between Lilydale and Millgrove) is a compacted gravel surface, which is very cycle friendly. The surface of the last 4 km between Millgrove and Warburton is sealed. Most of the original timber bridges along the route have been restored and have safe handrails with a timber deck.
The trail passes by the townships of Mount Evelyn, Wandin, Seville, Woori Yallock, Launching Place, Yarra Junction, Wesburn and Millgrove.

Getting there: We caught a train to Lilydale from Flinders St station. On a weekday, in rush hour, they go about every 15 minutes, but during the day and on weekends, they go a lot less frequently. An all day train pass cost us $9.50 each

We used Pedals Australia (pedalsbikes.com.au). They met us at Lilydale train station, fitted us up with bikes, helmets and maps, pointed us in the right direction (the trail starts at Lilydale train station), collected us when we finished at Warburton and returned us to the train station. The package we selected even included lunch. The price was very reasonable for such a customised service - we highly recommend them.

History: The Warburton railway line, just outside Melbourne, was a railway branching off from the Healesville line at Lilydale. It was constructed to carry fruit and vegetables from Wandin to Melbourne, as well as timber from Warburton and Powelltown. The 37 km route to Warburton was opened in November 1901, after only taking 18 months to build by pick and shovel - remember that when you ride through some of the large cuttings and over embankments!  The last train ran in August 1965. By the 1980's, locals had identified the line as being ideal for use as a rail trail. Construction began in 1996, and the Trail was opened in 1998.

The trail begins in Lilydale, a large town 35 km north-east from Melbourne's CBD in the Yarra Valley. It is also notable as the burial site of Dame Nellie Melba (at Lilydale Cemetery). Some prefer to believe the town was named after an 1852 song "Lilly Dale" but evidence shows it was named after an early settler, Lilly de Castella, who settled in South Yarra in 1848.
The trail starts very close to the train station - look for the markers as you exit directing you to the start.

First Aid Post in just off the Trail. Now a reserve it was originally owned by the builder of the Exhibition Buildings and the Richmond Town Hall. In 1944, the land was donated to Victorian Railways to host competitions amongst their first aid division. Even after the rail line closed, the site was used up until 1992 when Victorian Railways closed their first aid division. However, it was passed to a local conservation group, who cleaned up the area.

Mount Evelyn railway station opened in 1901 and was originally named 'Olinda Vale'. This was changed to 'Evelyn', possibly as part of an attempt by the Victorian Railways to shorten names of stations. By 1913, "Mount" was added to the name to promote this healthy mountain area to visitors. This is the highest point on the rail trail, at 225m. It was a popular holiday destination between the two wars. The township, with all its's amenities, is close to the train station.

Wandin East was first surveyed as the township of Wandin Yallock in 1866, however the town centre moved north (now known as Wandin North) when the railway opened in 1901. Wanda Post Office opened in 1892 but was soon renamed Wandin South (later Silvan). Later, a Post Office called Peacock's Jam Factory opened in around 1902 and was renamed Wandin around 1908 (closing in 1964). Wandin East itself does not have any shopping centre. The area is set on fertile red soil that suits the many fruit orchards in the town. Major crops include raspberries, cherries, strawberries, apples and more recently, wine grapes.

Not far from Seville platform, the Carriage Cafe is inside an old train carriage right next to the trail. Constructed in 1910, the carriage originally was used along the Albury to Seymour line, before being repainted red, white and blue to become a tourist train in S.A. In 2009 it was brought back to Victoria and repainted to its original Indian Red colour, then in 2010 the Carriage Café Seville opened its doors.

The Woori Yallock Post Office opened in July 1886 as Woori Yalloak, changing its name to the current spelling in around 1911. This location is on the valley floor, and we have already crossed the long bridge used to manage the flooding.  The station has has one of the many water points along the Trail.

Launching Pad  Post Office originally opened in July 1865 before finally closing in 1994. It is believed that town's name is from the spot on the Yarra River where the freshly cut logs harvested from the the valley were floated down the river to be milled in Melbourne (this was prior to the construction of the Upper Yarra Reservoir). The pub backs on to the Trail. It is also home to the Derelict Aircraft museum, a collection of planes a local has saved from the scrap yard.

Yarra Junction Post Office opened in November 1901, a week after the railway arrived. The former Richmond premiership ruckman Jack Dyer, also known as Captain Blood, grew up in the town before moving to Melbourne in his late teens.
Yarra Junction was the junction station for the Powelltown Tramway between 1913 and 1945. The tramway was owned by the sawmill at Powelltown. It's primary role was to move sawn timber from the mill, but it operated a timetabled service for passengers, and carried goods as a common carrier. The tramway also operated a number of logging lines into the forest east of Powelltown. The tramway has since been converted into a walking-only rail trail. Yarra Junction was claimed to have the second largest volume of timber passing through it, after Seattle USA.
The railway station is now the Upper Yarra Museum (open Wed & Sun 11am- 4pm). It was built in 1888 and moved from Lilydale to its present site in around 1915. The museum opened in 1972, with displays in porters cottage, goods shed, guards van and in a relocated police station, police cell and display sheds,

The name Wesburn is derived from its original name of West Warburton. Warburton West Post Office opened in February 1893, was renamed Wesburn in 1925 and closed in 1993.

Millgrove is located beneath the forested mountains of Donna Buang (a 1,250 metres mountain, which is the nearest snow field to Melbourne), Ben Cairn and Mount Little Joe, near the Yarra River. Millgrove's Post Office opened in November 1906, four years after the opening of the town's railway station (of which there are no remains) in November 1901. Millgrove remained a timber-milling and agricultural town, with occasional tourism and fishing, until the 1960s and 1970s. After the railway closure, cars placed Millgrove within acceptable commuting distances of larger towns. Millgrove Saw Mill is clearly visible from the Trail, and still manages the selective harvesting of trees and logs or using recycled timber. They mill the logs and create product of varying sizes and configurations as well as turning sawmill waste into firewood, mulch and other useable materials.

The former gold rush town of Warburton is one of the most picturesque places in the Yarra Valley. The Yarra River meanders through the township, just behind the main street,  and is lined with walking tracks and beautiful picnic spots. It is enveloped in lush bushland with majestic stands of Mountain Ash. The Warburton River Walk is a very pleasant stroll along the River, easily accessed from the Swing Bridge just off Main Street. Although a 5 km walk, you don't have to walk far to see the river change from swirling rapid pools to meandering waterholes.
Warburton used to be a honeymooners town.
The name "Warburton" has been shared between the mining town of "Yankee Jim's Creek", located on the gold-bearing slopes of Mount Little Joe, and "Old Warburton". 
The track after Warburton station extended 600m along the "La La extension" which was opened in May 1909, later closing with the line in 1965. We looked for the La La train turntable, but we couldn't find it. Apparently, it is unrestored and a bit over grown, so I suppose this is understandable. The nearby La La Falls were named after a past landowner Leila Ward, whose guesthouse, 'La La' (meaning Welcome Welcome), was located in the area.

This page is the property of Follow My Ride, a website detailing off road cycle tracks in Western Australia. This page is on the Warby Rail Trail, Victoria.