POTENTIALLY up to 30,000 people a year will visit the Boyne Valley to walk, cycle or horseride sections of the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail once it is built.
BBIRT president Mark McLachlan said the success of the Brisbane valley rail trail demonstrates what could occur in our region.
“There are local communities waiting for the trail to come,” he said.
“Our studies show conservatively that 30,000 people will visit the trail each year.
“That’s a lot of tourists beating a path to businesses in the local communities lining the old train tracks.
“The trail can be developed in sections and it’s going to be as good as anything else in the world.
“It has the potential to really open up the valley.”
Mr McLachlan said the majority of people won’t travel the full length of the 270km trail.
“Most of them will pick a favourite stage to see what they want to see,” he said.
“The main difference between our trail and Brisbane’s is our offers a much more unique experience.
“We have magnificent concrete arched bridges, six tunnels and the steel bridges over Awoonga Dam.”
Mr McLachlan said the group have been assessing the potential for future cruise ship passengers to visit the rail tunnels.
“A big part of our feasibility study is the possibility of bussing cruise ship tourists to Many Peaks and showing them through the tunnels,” he said.
“There’s so much interesting stuff to look at and the grade is so gentle it’s like walking down a street.”
The Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail Inc. will be holding a meeting on Saturday at the Boyne Valley Community Discovery Centre in Ubobo from 10am to midday.
Members of the public are welcome and morning tea will be provided for a gold coin donation.