The Railway Lands and Rail Trail Walking and Cycling Path

Design Feature
Type of Project
Local Government Initiative
South Australia

The Railway Lands and Rail Trail Walking and Cycling Path project enhances Mount Gambier’s central activity spaces. It provides an easily accessible place that encourages active participation and passive recreation, through activities such as cycling, walking and playing.

Supporting active lifestyles 

The Railway Lands provides integrated spaces for public gatherings, concerts, markets and celebrations and promotes social inclusion for a growing community. The Rail Trail offers a shared cycling/walking path along a derelict section of rail corridor that runs approximately ten kilometres east-west through the City of Mount Gambier.

The Railway Lands Labyrinth
The Railway Lands Labyrinth

It is anticipated the development of the Railway Lands and Rail Trail will have a significant impact on the Mount Gambier community by encouraging the community to become active. The implementation of numerous urban and regional planning, urban design, ecologically sustainable design and water sensitive urban design techniques is evident throughout the project. The Railway Lands precinct provides a vibrant passive recreation space, targeting cultural activities and events. This promotes social inclusion and enhances the mental and physical wellbeing of the Mount Gambier community. The Rail Trail has created a genuine commuter route through the city.

Railway Lands Nature Playground

The project reflects several of the Healthy Active by Design design features:

Railway Lands, Pre-Revitalisation
Railway Lands, Pre-Revitalisation

Movement – The Railway Lands and Rail Trail provide an accessible, connected movement network that integrates walking and cycling routes, facilitates safe and convenient travel and encourages the use of destinations. The design focused on the needs of Mount Gambier residents and aimed to improve their wellbeing through public interaction, physical activity and cultural stimulation. The topography of both the Railway Lands and the Rail Trail walk and cycle path is flat and does not have any difficult level changes This allows for the space to be utilised by the whole community, regardless of age, ability and mobility. 

Community facilities - The Railway Lands and Rail Trail provide a safe corridor for users to easily access a wide number of facilities. It also provides vital links between a number of land uses, including: residential areas, sporting facilities, the Mount Gambier Central Business District, open space recreation areas, libraries, art gallery and other cultural facilities and schools.

Railway Lands Opening Celebrations
Railway Lands Opening Celebrations

Destinations - The Railway Lands is a large, four-hectare, centrally located parcel of land that separates the main retail precincts of Mount Gambier city centre from a mix of commercial, light industrial, recreational and residential land uses. The Rail Trail provides a ten kilometre commuter route through the City of Mount Gambier.

Public Open Space – the Railway Lands and Rail Trail provide a range of public open spaces that contribute to the recreational, physical and social needs of all members of the community. The Railway Lands has provided a dynamic, multipurpose public space which includes a range of unique assets like green public open space, walking trails, bike paths, outdoor learning environments and recreation spaces within a culturally significant parcel of land.

Railway Lands Nature Playground Creek
Railway Lands Nature Playground Creek

Sense of Place – The Railway Lands and Rail Trail have created a true sense of place and ownership for the community. The design and development of the projects drew apon local culture and history while integrating useable green public open space, walking trails, bike paths, outdoor learning environments and recreation spaces which are accessible to the entire community.

Buildings – The built form of The Railway Lands and subsequent Rail Trail were specifically designed to promote increased physical activity, stimulate incidental movement, enhance social and emotional well-being while also facilitating natural surveillance and improving environmental conditions. The Railway Lands retains much of its original character, through the retention and/or refurbishment of key buildings and significant items such as platforms, tracks, fences and telegraph poles. The use of these items collectively ensures that the site continues to be interpreted as a former railyard.

Project Team

  • The City of Mount Gambier
  • Government of South Australia
  • Local Community

Project Cost

Approximately $5.7 Million

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