In recent times there has been a trend in Australia to turn disused railway lines into a cycling and walking track known as rail trails. This one in Dookie is one my family and I frequent regularly as it is within an easy commute of home, is short at 9.4kms return, suitable for all ages and offers great rural scenery in this farming district.
The trail has been open for several years now and continues to grow in popularity. It is especially popular on weekends with families, with many making the trip out from Shepparton on a regular basis.
The trail begins opposite the Gladstone Hotel, better known as the “Dookie Pub”, where you will find the information board above. The entire track is sealed and is suitable for all ages.
St Mary’s Catholic Church sits on the side of Mount Saddleback, in perhaps one of the most picturesque Church settings in the Goulburn Valley.
The trail is surrounded by farmland, with crops of wheat, oats and canola popular. In late winter and early spring the farmland is a patchwork of green and gold, much different to the dry summer landscape pictured above.
Do keep an eye out for wallabies at the end of the path near the olive grove and in warmer months be careful of brown snakes sunning themselves on the path. They are not seen often but have been spotted.
Mount Major guides us home to Dookie.
Once you have finished your walk or ride, stop off and say G’day to the friendly publicans at the Gladstone Hotel and enjoy a bite or a beverage. Alternatively, the Dookie Harvest Café is open Fri – Sun at the Dookie Emporium offering coffee and a small menu. Otherwise treat yourself or the kids to an ice-cream and cold drink at the Dookie Shop (milk bar).
Notes: There are no toilets, bins or water fountains on trail. These are all located in the CWA gardens at the beginning of the trail. Plenty of car parking is available in the main street and opposite the Pub.
Getting there: Dookie is about a 2.5 hour drive from Melbourne either via Shepparton or if travelling the Hume Highway taking the Violet Town exit. Dookie is approx. a 25 minute drive from Shepparton and is easily accessed from Benalla, Wangaratta, Cobram or Echuca.