The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail is a 161 km recreation trail from Wulkuraka to Yarraman. It follows the old Brisbane Valley railway line and provides walkers, touring cyclists and horse riders with an opportunity to experience the history and landscape of the Brisbane Valley.
The 12 km Lowood to Coominya section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail is northwest of Ipswich and Brisbane along the Warrego and Brisbane Valley Highways. The township of Lowood is located on the Brisbane River and is 65 km from the Brisbane CBD.
The most significant part of this section is the Lockyer Creek Rail Bridge which was built in 1910. Other sites of interest along this section of the trail are the various historical sites in the township of Lowood such as the Jubilee Theatre and the old Royal Bank of Queensland. In Coominya itself the Bellevue Homestead, Coominya Station Grounds and a number of historical buildings are worth paying a visit.
The trail is for walking, cycling and horse riding only. The trail surface is gravel and unsuitable for road bicycles or personal mobility vehicles. No motorised vehicles of any type are allowed.
The Jagera, Yuppera and Ugarapul peoples are the traditional owners of the Brisbane Valley district. Prior to European settlement in 1824, the landscape of South East Queensland (as elsewhere is Australia) was influenced and protected by millennia of Aboriginal stewardship.
Indigenous use and management of the landscape maintained a balance between the land and human needs. In the 1880s it is believed that approximately 300-400 Aborigines lived and had corroborees in the Lowood area. The name Coominya means 'view of water' and is an adaptation of the Yugarabul Aboriginal name 'Kung-i-nya' - 'Kung' meaning 'water' and 'nya' meaning 'to see'.
The original railway line through the Brisbane Valley was built in the 1880s and was used during the early years of the last century to transport supplies to the growing number of small farmers in the valley and milk products, timber and stock to the Brisbane markets. The last rail motor service on the line occurred in 1989 and the railway line was finally closed later that year. Brisbane Valley Heritage Trails Inc. has a wealth of old photos from the early days of the Brisbane Valley Line as well as stories of working people including the railway men.
Explorers first navigated the upper reaches of the Brisbane River and parts of the Lockyer Creek from 1824–1825. In the 1870s European immigrants, namely German, settled and introduced their culture, farming techniques and language to Lowood. The town became the first terminus for the Brisbane Valley Branch line in 1884. Lowood soon became the market distribution centre for the district. From the 1890s to the 1950s tonnes of local produce were despatched every day by trains to Brisbane.
The line was extended to service a beef cattle property known as Bellevue Station in 1886. Later the name was changed to Coominya to distinguish between the railway station and the homestead. Timber was the main industry in the area which later saw the development of three local sawmills.
Lowood Station Grounds – Clarendon Station Road: 3 km
Clarendon Station Road – Lockyer Creek Bridge: 5 km
Lockyer Creek Bridge – Coominya: 4 km
Public toilets, picnic facilities, post office and convenience stores are located in Lowood and Coominya. Trail users have limited accommodation options in Lowood and Coominya. Horse accommodation and facilities are available at the Lowood showgrounds.