Developed in 2016, the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail Enhancements Project, which includes the development and installation of public art, landscaping, improved amenity options and new commercial opportunities along the trail, looks to effectively establish the region’s rail trail network as an authentic, iconic tourism product, central to delivering strong outcomes for the local visitor economy including increased visitation and yield.

The M2M Rail Trail Enhancements Project will see the introduction of a series of world-class installations, experiences and infrastructure improvements designed to increase visitation by offering one of a kind, “must-see” moments that are engaging, shareable and repeatable.

Through a curatorial lens, the Trail will be transformed into a seamless journey that celebrates local stories and provides meaningful creative opportunities for Victorian artists and First Nations peoples to share their work on a world stage.

The project aims to:

  • Make the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail the pre-eminent rail trail in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Drive repeat visitation and advocacy for the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail through enhancing the visitor experience.
  • Inspire, delight, encourage talkability and social shareability to position the Murray to Mountains Trail as a ‘must do’ accessible cycling experience to domestic and international audiences.

New visitation from the initiative is expected to generate 17,500+ additional visitors and $12.3 Million in output per annum. The project is also expected to support the creation of 65 ongoing jobs.

In 2022, the Victorian State Government announced $8.5 million in funding to support the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail Enhancements project. To support the delivery of the project, Tourism North East is the lead agency, working closely with the Rural City of Wangaratta, Indigo and Alpine Shires.

Project Update 31.1.2024

Artist Expressions of Interest

Expressions of Interest for artists for The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail Enhancements Project will close on Friday 1st March, 2024

The EOI has been open since October 2nd 2023, and we thank everyone who has registered their interest in participating in the project.

Cultural Symposium

The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail Enhancements Project has completed extensive engagement with the local community, which culminated in a Cultural Symposium on 25th & 26th November. 

Thank you to all community members who participated in the symposium and offered their thoughts and local knowledge. Some fantastic insights were gained through this process, and this valuable interaction has helped to form the creative direction of the project.

Artist Briefs

The appointed creative agency, DAE Global, are developing creative briefs for each large format installation that capture the creative aspirations of the work, desired experiential elements and role within the larger curated journey.

The briefs are based on a combination of the Cultural Symposium findings, independent research, additional consultation with project stakeholders (including First Nations people) and original creative ideas. The briefs will aim to strike a balance between providing solid creative guidance grounded in the stories of the region whilst still enabling artistic freedom.

In addition to the creative intent and experiential guidelines, the brief will contain technical, budgetary and legal details.

DAE will thoroughly review the Artist EOI submissions and identify 2-3 suitable artists to be considered for a particular location.

DAE will finalise creative briefs and select a recommended artist per location whose work is best able to realise the creative aspirations and strategic objectives.

Creative briefs will be issued to selected artists in mid-February, 2024.

As there is a strong desire to include emerging artists in this project, smaller commissions may be directly awarded for selected pieces.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Where did the funding come from?

A. The Victorian State Government announced $8.5 million in funding for the Murray to Mountains Enhancement project in the 2022 State budget.

Q. Why is this money being spent on a rail trail, rather than on critical infrastructure or repairs?

A. Tourism is a critical industry across North East Victoria. Funds spent investing into tourism infrastructure supports a $2.3 Billion industry by providing better experiences for visitors, meaning more reasons to visit and stay longer.

Q. What will the actual outcomes of the project be?

A. New visitation from the initiative is expected to generate 17,500+ additional visitors and $12.3 Million in output per annum. The project is also expected to support the creation of 65 ongoing jobs. Physical outcomes include the development and installation of public art, landscaping, improved amenity options and new commercial opportunities along the trail, establishing the region’s rail trail network as an authentic, iconic tourism product, central to delivering strong outcomes for the local visitor economy including increased visitation and yield.

Q. When will it be completed?

A. The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail Enhancements will roll out in phases beginning in the second half of 2024 with anticipated completion by mid-2025.

Q. Where will the enhancements be exactly?

A. The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail Enhancements will be placed along the trail at sites in the Alpine Shire, Indigo Shire and the Rural City of Wangaratta. A full precinct map and details of each site will be released with Artist Briefs in early 2024.

Q. Who is responsible for the project?

A. The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail Enhancements managed by Tourism North East (TNE) in consultation with the Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Alpine Shire, Indigo Shire and the Rural City of Wangaratta. The project is curated by DAE Global, producers of White Night Melbourne, Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong from 2017-2019.

Key dates

  • Artists Expressions of Interest platform closes: 1 March 2024
  • Creative briefs issued to selected artists: Mid-February 2024
  • Art installation to commence: July 2024-onwards

* Subject to change.