Status: In progress

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Draft O’Keefe Rail Trail Plan

The Rail Trail is a well established nature destination for both locals and tourists. We have invested in significant infrastructure to develop it to what it is today.

The draft O’Keefe Rail Trail Plan is a service and action plan. We developed it to:

  • guide ongoing development and management of the O’Keefe Rail Trail
  • promote increased use by locals and visitors to the region

Significant community engagement was first undertaken in 2020. The draft Plan was developed in 2021. The plan was refined in partnership with the Friends of the Bendigo Kilmore Rail Trail (FBKRT) in 2023. We asked for your feedback to help us finalise the plan between February 27 and March 22, 2024. The plan will now be finalised and presented to Council. Please follow the project for updates.


Key actions and elements of the draft Plan include:

  • Improving amenities along the Rail Trail

    Amenities include toilets, drinking fountains, wayfinding signs and seating

  • Better safety along the Rail Trail

    Safer road crossings at high traffic areas

    Reviewing areas of shared use with motor vehicles

  • Rail Trail management

    How the City will manage and maintain the Rail Trail

    Confirming a commitment to continue working with the FBKRT

  • Marketing and promotion

    Promoting the trail as a destination for locals and tourists

  • Defining service standards

    Defining the level of infrastructure and maintenance service standards helps clarify expectations for the Rail Trail

Have your say

What can't change

The City used to have more money available to fund new projects. Unfortunately, over the last few years there has been a big difference between how much our income has grown, and how much our costs have increased. This means:

  • we have limited ability to deliver significant capital works projects
  • the maintenance and services standards in the plan are non-negotiable

What you can influence

  • New actions, if they address issues that have come up since the initial engagement
  • Proposed actions, where we heard incorrectly in the initial engagement

Frequently asked questions

The plan aims to make sure that the trail can achieve its full potential.

It intends to improve the way the rail trail is:

  • governed
  • managed
  • maintained
  • promoted
  • funded
  • activated
  • and evaluated

The the draft plan will help create clarity with the City and the O’Keefe Rail Trail’s key stakeholders. The plan also reaffirms the City’s commitment to working with the Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail group.

Having a plan will ensure that we take a a clear, proactive and planned approach is to the ongoing development and management of the O’Keefe Rail Trail. This will help promote increased usage by local residents and visitors to the region.

Significant community engagement was first undertaken in 2020. The draft Plan was developed in 2021. The plan was refined and finalised in partnership with the Friends of the Bendigo Kilmore Rail Trail (FBKRT) in 2023.

Engagement included:

  • 7 written submissions from individual community members or groups
  • 290 completed community surveys
  • 4 surveys from tourism operators located near the rail trail

22 participants involved in key stakeholder meetings (FBKRT; City of Greater Bendigo staff; Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA); Parks Victoria; Sport and Recreation Victoria; Department of Transport and Planning and Coliban Water).

The plan was formed based on the feedback received. Main themes of the feedback:

  • Positive aspects of the rail trail, e.g. safe off-road cycling and walking experience away from cars; bush environment; relatively flat surface; and opportunities for short loops
  • Suggested infrastructure upgrades, e.g. toilets and drinking water
  • Mapping and signage
  • Promotion, marketing and development of packages / experiences
  • Potential safety issues, e.g. Bobs Street and McIvor Road crossings
  • Potential realignments and extensions to the trail
  • Usage data
  • Potential governance, management and maintenance improvements.


  • Timeline item 1 - complete

    Community engagement opens

    February 27, 2024

  • Timeline item 2 - complete

    Community engagement closes

    March 22, 2024

  • Timeline item 3 - incomplete

    Draft Plan presented to Council for approval

    June 2024

Contact us

Have questions or want to learn more about this project, contact us:

Name Matthew Kerlin
Phone 1300 002 642