Howdy all. Blog time again and today, well, I’ll tell you the story of heading to Noojee’s famous Trestle Bridge. This is an historic rail bridge in Gippsland, not far from (you might have guess) the little town of Noojee. It’s a charming little town, there’s an old railway station there with some old steam engines permanently stationed there for the kids and rail enthusiasts. As I mentioned last week, Gippsland is a great area to travel to from Melbourne with so much to see and do.
The Little Red Duck Café is perhaps the best known place to eat, and provides pastries and toasted sandwiches, drinks and more and is also connected/part of the local post office. There is also a pub, not a lot of accommodation options, a creek, and it’s sort of situated at the joining of three roads surrounded by hills.
Not long before you hit Noojee when coming from Melbourne you find the Trout Farm, which is a place I used to visit with Dad and my brother back in the day. It’s got concrete pools filled to the brim with trout and you pop your line in and catch what you can, and then they weigh what you caught and you take it home and eat it, I guess. Not exactly the hardest place in the world to catch a fish. If, like me you are not a fan of fish you can just throw them back in. But really, it’s pretty cruel all in all and I wouldn’t choose to do it today.
But it’s the Trestle Bridge that is undoubtedly the main thing tourists come to see in the area, and that was my main focus when I was there in late 2021. I drove towards Noojee and to the main access road, only to find it was closed for construction, with a large, impassable gate there stopping anyone from going in. However, the Trestle Bridge is on a trail from Noojee – where the railway used to go – so I thought I would head up to Noojee and see how close I could get to it.
I parked in Noojee and found the trail there – I believe it continues on to the old station in the opposite direction – and it didn’t have a barrier or a sign saying you couldn’t use it. So I walked along. Around 1.5 kilometres from the bridge there was a sign informing me that the bridge was closed. The path was open so I had no idea how close I could get to the bridge, so I decide I’d walk all the way and see what I encountered when I got there.
The path is definitely picturesque, all of Gippsland was green, green GREEN! At this stage of the year as we’d had plenty of rain. The weather was low-20s and sunny too, so it was pretty much perfect. There was the wonderful sound of birds chirping in the air as I walked along, and before too long, well after 20 minutes or so, I was at the bridge.
There was a sort of barrier tape attached to a post, but it was flapping in the wind and it was unclear which path it was supposed to be blocking. The main path went right up to the bridge. There was a small path to the side that led to the foot of the bridge. I decided to risk the path down, and down I went where I could see this amazing edifice from below, allowing me to shoot and take photos. I felt like there might be a workman around, but I didn’t see any.
I was told the company employed to restore the bridge had moved an historic marker or something at the foot of the bridge, which had angered the local council who had ripped up the contract and now it was just sitting, waiting to be completed but they hadn’t contracted anyone else. This was from the guy at Glen Cromie camping ground. The guy at the Little Red Duck Café had said they were just finishing up now. I don’t know. I didn’t go on the bridge, I just admired it and photographed it.
The original bridge was completed around 1919 and burnt down in the 1939, then rebuilt in the same year. The bridge is 100 metres long and 21 metres high.
Not far from Noojee, a little further up the road and past the town, are the Toorongo Falls, which I visited on the next day, but as they are close by Noojee fit best with this post. I drove about fifteen minutes from Noojee in the Mt Baw Baw direction to get there. It was a tricky turn off and apparently people get lost or in people’s driveways all the time. Actually it’s a tricky region to navigate all up.
I was one of two cars in the car park – other people had been a rare sight on this trip (which I really don’t mind). The walk to the falls is a loop and includes the Amphitheatre Falls as well, but due to limited time (I had spent most of the day lost looking for the Ada Tree, but that’s another story!) I only had time for the 15 minute walk (one way to the Toorongo Falls) and back. So, that’s what I did.
Again, it’s another delightful walk and it goes around and over the Toorongo River, which flows quite briskly. As you can see in the photos, they’re not the most amazing falls, but they are pretty enough and the sound of fast flowing water is hard to beat. There are great spots on the walk for photos, including a nice bridge, and if I had had the time I would have loved to have done the whole loop. To the Falls it was basically all uphill, but it wasn’t too bad.
Gippsland is full of nature, greenery, the sounds of the Australian bush and history. I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you are headed to Victoria one day, you might consider exploring this part of the state! Next week I’ll be bringing you the story of getting lost looking for the Ada Tree. Thanks for popping by – May the Journey Never End!