Project Status

The Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail (BBIRT) is a unique recreational and visitor economic opportunity spanning across two regional council areas, Gladstone Regional Council and North Burnett Regional Council.

BBIRT is designed to attract active families, avid hikers, rail trail and adventure enthusiasts to experience the scenic landscapes and historic rail heritage of the Gladstone and North Burnett regions. Once complete, the combined trails will be the longest rail trail in Australia at 270 kilometres.

The current owner of the trail is the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) with a license issued to the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail Incorporated (BBIRT Inc) to work and make improvements within the rail corridor. As the trail also runs into the Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB) controlled Awoonga Dam area, GAWB have also been issued a sub-lease from DTMR over its portion of the rail trail and as such are a key stakeholder in this project.

Since 2018, Council has supported the BBIRT Inc’s vision to establish and promote the BBIRT as a one-of-a-kind rail trail destination as part of the Queensland Inland Rail Trail Network.

After securing 100 per cent funding through the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads Rail Trail Local Government Grants Program, Council engaged consultancy group JFP to prepare Concept Designs for the three distinct sections of the rail corridor located between the hinterland townships of Calliope and Gayndah, known as:

  • Awoonga Lake Rail Trail
  • Kalpowar Tunnels Rail Trail; and
  • Burnett River Bridges Rail Trail.

The Kalpowar Tunnels Rail Trail officially opened in September 2021 and has since enjoyed significant patronage.

Next Steps

The constraints to delivering this project are predominately related to the cost of the trail construction, development of supporting trail amenities and ongoing maintenance.

The delivery of Concept Designs to key stakeholders will assist them in delivering improvements included within the designs.

Council will continue to promote the BBIRT as it is proud to support this community-led initiative.


  • In 2018, Council resolved to undertake a Feasibility Study for the BBIRT, with findings establishing the potential for the project to add to Gladstone Region’s growing overnight tourism expenditure and forecasting an injection of around $6.2 million annually across adjacent communities once the full rail trail is operational.
  • In 2019, Council resolved to lead the development of Concept Designs for each of the three rail trail sections.
  • In 2021, extensive community engagement was undertaken on the draft Master Plan with over 76 per cent of those surveyed supportive of the continued development of the trail.
  • In September 2021, BBIRT Inc. officially opened the first section of the trail, the Kalpowar Tunnels Rail Trail which runs from Golembil to Barrimoon and includes six heritage tunnels located in the Dawes Ranges.
  • In March 2022, Council received a Concept Design Report which has subsequently been delivered to BBIRT Inc and other key stakeholders to continue progressing their development of the trails.