Part of the trend to rejuvenate disused railway lines and making them into cycling tracks, the Dookie Rail Trail is short* but sweet. It is 4.8km long, but as a casual round trip, it is a nice couple of hours of cycling (or a bit longer if you prefer to walk) through paddocks in this farming area. The trail has been ‘open’ for a couple of years now but I only cycled along it for the first time recently. Here is the evidence (and some information if you are interested in pedalling in the paddocks too):
Keep an eye out for: Wallabies toward the end of the trail, just before the olive groves; brown snakes on the path (not common, but have been spotted); locals with their dogs — say hi as neither will bite.
Practical notes: There are no toilets, bins or drinking fountains on the trail, but there are toilets in the CWA Gardens in the town (and a drinking fountain and bins). Plenty of car parking is available in the main street of the town, and under the shade of the trees opposite The Gladstone Hotel.
Getting there: Dookie is about a 2.5 hour drive north-east of Melbourne, either via Shepparton, or turning off at Violet Town on the Hume Highway to Albury. It is a 25 minute drive east of Shepparton, and an easy drive from Benalla, Wangaratta, Cobram or Echuca. The nearest VLine trains from Melbourne are to Shepparton or Benalla, but there is no public transport from these stations to Dookie. The Gladstone Hotel offers accommodation for those wanting a longer stay.
Printed brochure: More information (including some extra routes) is available on the downloadable Dookie Rail Trail brochure.
* The Dookie Rail Trail has hopes to be extended in the future, in the other direction, towards the Cosgrove Golf Course, and ultimately, towards Shepparton. So after you have gone for a walk or cycle, be sure to get in touch with the City of Greater Shepparton and let them know how great it would be if they could help out with stage two.