Richmond Vale Rail Trail a step closer

07 Dec 2021

The landmark Richmond Vale Rail Trail project has reached an important approval milestone, with future work set to rejuvenate the historic rail line as a new regional shared path for the community and visitors. 

The Development Application (DA) for the design and construction of Newcastle's section of the Richmond Vale Rail Trail was approved yesterday by the Hunter and Central Coast Regional Planning Panel.

Approximately 13 kilometres of the path located within the Newcastle Local Government Area was approved. Two kilometres of the trail that goes through the Hunter Wetlands National Park will undergo further assessment in the new year. 

City of Newcastle's Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said this approval represents a major step forward for what will be a regionally significant recreational and tourism attraction that will rival the popular Fernleigh Track 

"The project will offer a great active choice for locals and visitors, passing through old railway tunnels and over bridges, amongst wildlife habitats and linking to the Hunter Wetlands Centre,” Cr Nelmes said. 

"Significant work went into preparing this DA and I want to congratulate everyone who played their part. This is an important milestone and I'm excited and very optimistic about the future of the Richmond Vale Rail Trail." 

City of Newcastle's section is part of the overall regional proposal between City of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Cessnock City Councils for a 32-kilometre cycling and walking track along the former Richmond Vale rail line between Kurri Kurri and Hexham, along the former Chichester to Newcastle water pipeline between Shortland and Tarro, and through the Hunter Wetlands National Park. 

The shared pathway will provide a link between Kurri Kurri, Tarro, Minmi and Shortland and it would mean users could avoid travelling on the Pacific Motorway, Hunter Expressway or New England Highway. 

City of Newcastle will seek approval of the two-kilometre section through the Hunter Wetlands National Park next year to ultimately move this project towards construction, as funding permits. 

To find out more about the project visit