Colquhoun State Forest near Metung and Lakes Entrance offers visitors a picturesque bush drive through to the century old Stony Creek Trestle Bridge and picnic area near Nowa Nowa.
The Gunai indigenous people lived and travelled through the Colquhoun State Forest and surrounding lands going back 25,000 years. In the early 1900's a tramway was built to transport granite to Lakes Entrance which was used to construct a new permanent entrance into the Gippsland Lakes.
The tramway was used until the 1930's. In the year 2000 work commenced to reopen the old tramway route, which is known today as the "Gippsland Lakes Discovery Trail".
Colquhoun Forest Discovery Drive
The Colquhoun Forest Discovery Drive begins at the Forestech building on the Princes Highway near Kalimna West. Brochures and maps of the route are available from Forestech and Visitor Information Centres in Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance. Site markers and interpretive signs guide you along the way.
Download the Colquhoun Forest Discovery Drive Map
Flora to be seen throughout the Colquhoun forest include White Stringybark, Silvertop Ash, Mountain Grey Gum, Manna Gum, Blue Box and Gippsland Blue Gum.
Be on the lookout for a broad variety of Australian wildlife including Swamp Wallabies, Wombats, Brushtail Possums, Ringtail Possums, Crimson Rosellas, Eastern Rosellas, Goannas and the beautiful Lyrebird.
Highlights include the Log Crossing Picnic Area, the historic Mississippi Creek Granite Quarry, Costicks Weir and the century old Stony Creek Trestle Bridge where there are public toilets and a picnic ground.
Stony Creek Trestle Bridge
The Stony Creek Trestle Bridge was built in 1916 when the rail line from Melbourne to Bairnsdale was extended further east through to Orbost. This 97 kilometre extension through rugged bush terrain was reputed to have been the most difficult rail project ever undertaken in Victoria.
Damaged by bushfire in 1980, the railway bridge remained in service for over 60 years, with the last train crossing in 1988.
Now listed on the Register of Historic Sites, at 247 metres long and 20 metres high this is the largest standing trestle bridge of its kind in the state. Built of red ironbark and grey box timber, it is a fine example of the early engineering skills that utilised the resources and materials available around on site.
The Colquhoun Forest Discovery Drive ends when you exit onto the Princes Highway, 2 kilometres short of Nowa Nowa.