Australian Rail Expeditions

002026 - W20

In a bygone era, travelling by train was a way of life in many areas of the world, and Australia was no exception. Now, it’s a relaxing, enjoyable way to see so much more of the landscape than by flying, while travelling in comfort. You can sit back and watch the passing scenery through panoramic windows.

 

 

Highlights
Details
Itinerary
Included
Not Included
Tour Notes
Map
Highlights
  • Relax on-board and watch the scenery through large, panoramic windows
  • Accommodation on trains and select hotel accommodations, depending on rail journey
  • Sightseeing attractions included on some rail tours
  • Meals and beverages on-board all-inclusive trains (select itineraries)
Details

2020-21 Dates:
Departure dates vary by rail journey, most operate between September and March

2020-21 Pricing:
The Ghan Expedition, Ultimate Outback Experience, From CA$2,715 – twin
Classic Aussie Rail Spectacular, Australia, From CA$5,179 – twin
Trans Continental Classic, From CA$4,845 – twin
Perth and Beyond, Epic Cross Country Rail Journey, From CA$2,749 – twin
Reef and Rail Cruise, Brisbane to Cairns, From CA$3,159 – twin
Island Tracks, Cairns to Fraser Island, From CA$2,479 – twin
Great Southern Rail Journey, From CA$1,685 – twin

Prices are “starting from” rates, shown in CA$, per person based on two people sharing a twin cabin. Single pricing is available, on request. Some dates will have slightly higher prices than those shown. Please inquire for the rate that pertains to your rail tour and date of choice.

Tour Code:
002026 - W20

Itinerary
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Downunder Rail Journeys

There’s a spectacular range of scenery waiting for you Downunder – outback, rugged coastlines and rolling hills, winding rivers, towering mountains, virgin bush, and untouched landscapes – much of which you’d never get to see from the road. Generally with rail travel you will avoid the responsibilities of driving and the expense of flying. You will also save on accommodation costs with sleeping berths available on some overnight services. Another saving is airport transfers, since most rail stations are centrally located. Rail travel now offers the ability to take in passing vistas while visiting, eating, reading or just relaxing.

The Ghan Expedition - Ultimate Outback Experience (4 days)

Operates Wednesdays March-October and Saturdays June-August.

You don’t have to rough it to experience the ultimate Outback adventure. Climb aboard The Ghan, one of Australia’s most iconic rail journeys and follow the trail of the country’s earliest explorers from Darwin to Adelaide.

This 4-day rail journey from Darwin to Adelaide is a coast to coast journey like no other, exploring the best of the Northern Territory and South Australia.

Consider arriving early to spend a few days in Darwin, a city packed with historic sites that few Australians ever see. Then climb aboard ready for the first leg of your adventure which takes you to Katherine Gorge. An off-rail tour lets you experience one of Australia’s most diverse national parks. You can learn about its traditional owners, the Jawoyn people, or take an optional scenic flight to enjoy the park from the air.

After a spectacular outback sunrise and a delicious breakfast, you’ll explore Alice Springs, the unofficial ‘capital’ of outback Australia. Take an optional helicopter ride of the McDonnell Ranges for a real appreciation of the desert’s vastness, or opt for an aerial view of iconic Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Sink your teeth into an authentic bush barbecue, then end your day on a scientific note, enjoying a night sky that only the Australian outback can offer.

Your next destination, Coober Pedy, is one of Australia’s true frontier towns, with a history steeped in opal mining. Explore the tunnels and caves of this underground world, including its famous Serbian Orthodox church, hollowed into the rock. Climb back aboard the Ghan for an elegant farewell dinner, then overnight to Adelaide. If you have time, consider spending a few extra days in South Australia’s culture-loving capital, or venture out to the surrounding wine country for a taste of Australia’s finest reds.

The Ghan rail trips include accommodation in a private cabin; gourmet meals including full, cooked breakfasts, lunches and 3-course dinners; splendid selections of wines and other beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic; off-train excursions in Katherine, Alice Springs and Coober Pedy.

Optional upgrades:

  • Optional upgrades to off train excursions (scenic or heli flights over Kakadu and Nitmiluk National Parks)
  • Optional upgrade to experience Uluru/Ayers Rock
Classic Aussie Rail Spectacular (12 days)

Operates on Wednesdays from Sydney and on Fridays from Cairns.

Explore the Australian outback aboard a luxury train, then round off your journey at the Great Barrier Reef.

This 12-day adventure starts in Sydney, then takes you to the best of South Australia before going on to Ayers Rock and the Great Barrier Reef.

Depart Sydney in comfort aboard the Indian Pacific, Australia’s most famous rail journey. Though the service extends all the way to Perth, you’ll disembark in Adelaide, a cultural hub surrounded by terrific wine regions. If you have time, visit one of its galleries or museums, or take in a performance at one of the city’s famous cabaret venues. Just to the south, you’ll spend a night at Kangaroo Island, one of Australia’s most unique wildlife areas. In addition to seeing plenty of the namesake marsupials, you’ll visit a sea lion colony, a honey farm, and Flinders Chase National Park, home to many of the Island’s geological icons such as Remarkable Rocks and Admiral’s Arch.

All aboard the famous Ghan train for your second perfectly appointed journey into the outback! Enjoy superior service with all the amenities as you travel into Australia’s red centre, channelling the spirit of the country’s early explorers. Your destination is Alice Springs, the gateway to Central Australia. Rest for a night here, then go on to Uluru – also known as Ayers Rock. This is not a short drive, but it is a spectacular one, passing through the MacDonnell and James Ranges.

Accommodation here offers you superb views of Uluru, ideal for enjoying Australia’s most impressive sunset over cocktails. On your second night, experience the Sounds of Silence – a unique chance to dine under the desert stars. With a full day here, you’ll have the option to either climb Uluru, or take a tour of its base to gain an insight into the monolith’s tremendous cultural significance. Keep in mind, Uluru is sacred to the local Aboriginal people, and as such, they respectfully ask tourists to opt for the base tour, rather than climbing.

Fly to tropical Cairns, where the Great Barrier Reef awaits. You’ll visit the Agincourt Reef, a well preserved section ideal for snorkelers and divers of all skill levels. If you’d rather not get wet, watch the fish from the comfort of an underwater viewing platform. Back on dry land, climb aboard the train to Kuranda, situated in the North Queensland rainforest. From here, you’ll be guided deep into the bush, where you’ll enjoy an Aboriginal dance performance, BBQ lunch, and the chance to throw a boomerang. Visit the Koala and Wildlife Park before you depart aboard the Skyrail. This impressive 7.5 kilometre gondola takes you over the trees back to Cairns, ready for departure.

This rail journey may also be done in reverse, starting in Cairns and ending in Sydney. If departing from Cairns and extra night of accommodation is required in Adelaide at an extra cost.

Trans Continental Classic (13 days)

Departs Thursdays from Sydney, September-November and January-March.

Travel from the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean (or vice versa). Visit Sydney and Canberra, spend time aboard the ‘Indian Pacific’ train, and explore Adelaide and Kangaroo Island.

Australia’s most iconic rail journey, the “Indian Pacific” takes you across the mighty Nullarbor Plain on this 13 day itinerary from Sydney to Perth – or vice versa.

This trip incorporates our popular Three Capitals Classic itinerary to give you an introduction to three of Australia’s most exciting cities. Sydney greets you with its glistening harbour and iconic sights including Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Canberra is the purpose-built national capital of Australia, with many historic and noteworthy sights including Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial. Meanwhile, Melbourne is a leisure traveller’s delight, as Australia’s undisputed centre for sports, shopping and culture.

Adelaide is your gateway to South Australia. With 4 days to explore the history, wine and wildlife of this vibrant state, you’ll visit the Barossa Valley, Australia’s oldest and most famous wine making region. You’ll also spend a night on Kangaroo Island, home to the famous sea lions of Seal Bay and spectacular natural landmarks like Admiral’s Arch and Remarkable Rocks. The island is also home to other natives including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, echidnas, platypus and over 250 species of birds.

Board the “Indian Pacific” for your journey to Perth. Spend two nights and a full day onboard this historic train, which allows you to take in the incredible vastness of the Australian outback from the comfort of your seat. Finally, arrive in Perth to enjoy a half day sight-seeing tour, including a Swan River cruise and a visit to neighbouring Fremantle.

Perth and Beyond, Epic Cross Country Rail Journey (11 days)

Operates Thursdays from Sydney, September-November and January-March.

Discover the highlights of the most remote capital on the planet with this exploration of Perth and beyond. Start in Perth, where you’ll explore the coastline and venture into the Pinnacles Desert. Then board the Indian Pacific train to venture east to Sydney to enjoy two days in Australia’s largest city.

This 11-day Australian vacation takes you to Perth to explore the highlights of Western Australia before riding the Indian Pacific railroad east to Sydney. It features economy, moderate, or first-class accommodations in Perth and Sydney depending on preference, deluxe accommodations on board the train, shared tours, and is an ideal introduction to Australia.

Your journey begins in Perth, Western Australia’s capital and the most remote capital on the planet. Get to know this sunny city on the west coast with a city tour of its highlights and nearby Fremantle. Venture through King Park Botanical Gardens, stroll along the forest canopies of the Tree Top Walk, and feel the sand beneath your feet at Cottesloe Beach before cruising along the Swan River to see Perth’s swankest suburbs. The next day, swing by the lobster fishing town of Cervantes and learn about Australia’s lobster industry before venturing into the Pinnacles Desert to gaze upon the rocky limestone formations that transform the desert into an alien landscape. Cap off the day with a sandboarding adventure. On your final day in Perth, explore the tranquility of Rottnest Island with a 90-minute tour, seeing Wadjemup Lighthouse and strolling along the boardwalk of the rugged West End.

You’ll then board the Indian Pacific, a breathtaking train that transports travellers back to the golden age of travel during its journeys across the Outback. Enjoy the comforts of a luxury hotel and gourmet cuisine as you journey east towards Sydney. On your first day, pass through the rolling hills of the Avon Valley on route to the wild west township of Kalgoorlie. The next day, watch the sunrise over the Nullarbor Plain before spotting bounding kangaroo herds on the way to the ghost town of Cook, travelling along the longest single stretch of railway in the world. Reach Adelaide and head on a walking tour through the capital of South Australia. Later, stop off at Broken Hill, Australia’s silver capital. On your final morning aboard, wake up to sights of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales before reaching Sydney to disembark.

You’ll have two full days in Sydney to explore Australia’s largest city and one of the most naturally gorgeous cities in the world. An optional morning tour will showcase some of the world-famous landmarks, such as the Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, and the surf paradise of Bondi Beach. Consider taking advantage of the Hop On Hop Off Explorer pass to cruise between landmarks and get access to the Taronga Zoo, where you can see kangaroos, koalas, and other marsupials. On your final day in Sydney, consider a trip into the Hunter Valley to visit popular wineries, go on a hike through the Blue Mountains, or discover Australia’s Indigenous history with a tour through Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

At the end of your stay, connect to the airport to return home.

Reef and Rail Cruise, Brisbane to Cairns (9 days)

Departs from Brisbane on Thursdays and from Cairns, reverse itinerary, on Saturdays.

This fabulous tour features a journey on-board the Spirit of Queensland train, in an innovative RailBed seat, an eco-cruise through Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and a rainforest and Aboriginal experience.

Travel along the beautiful coast of Queensland on the Spirit of Queensland, a great way to see regional Queensland

Relax in a comfortable RailBed seat during the day that converts to a fully flat bed at night on your way to Cairns, where you’ll board the famed Coral Princess for 3 nights exploring the Great Barrier Reef. This unique environment is home to over 1200 species of fish and 500 species of coral. You’ll also cruise through Hinchinbrook Channel, keeping an eye out for sea life including crocodiles, dolphins, turtles and dugongs.

Return to Cairns for a full day exploring the nearby rainforest, including a trip on the Kuranda Scenic Train and a ‘Dreamtime’ walk with an Aboriginal guide, for an authentic taste of Queensland’s indigenous culture.

Island Tracks, Cairns to Fraser Island (11 days)

Operates from Cairns on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Also does a reverse itinerary from Sydney on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Enjoy riding the new Spirit of Queensland Train as you travel from Cairns to Fraser Island stopping at Hamilton Island before heading to Sydney to see the incredible sights.

Couple the best of Queensland’s tropical island escapes with iconic Sydney on this exquisite 11 day trip, taking in the best of Australia’s East Coast

The Spirit of Queensland is an innovative new train, launched in 2013. Jump aboard in Cairns for your journey to the Whitsundays, passing through breathtaking coastal hinterland. On arrival, transfer to Hamilton Island. Perfectly situated on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island offers an experience like no other: glorious weather, azure waters, brilliant beaches, awe-inspiring coral reefs, fascinating flora and fauna, fine food and wines, and activities almost too numerous to mention.

Continue south to Hervey Bay and Fraser Island. The local Aboriginal people call Fraser Island K’gari, meaning paradise. And that it is, particularly for those who love a destination rich with natural beauty, abundant wildlife and endless activities – or the opportunity to relax on the beach, doing just as little as possible. A guided 4WD Safari will take you to see many of the island’s shipwrecks, lush forest areas and famous coloured sands.

Diverse and historic Sydney greets visitors with its sparkling harbour, iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Sydney Opera House. Your included ferry ticket allows you to enjoy all three, including entry to Taronga Zoo, where you can say ‘G’day’ to kangaroos, koalas and other natives as well as many international guests. Your guided tour of The Rocks area offers a fascinating insight into Australia’s convict past. An afternoon tour then takes you to the Botanical Gardens and famous Bondi Beach for a more modern slice of Sydney.

Great Southern Rail Journey (3-4 days) **New**

Departures from Adelaide and, in reverse, from Brisbane on select dates in December and January.

Be among the first travellers to experience the all-new journey aboard the Great Southern connecting Adelaide and Brisbane. Starting in either city, you’ll skirt rugged coastline, stop off at sun-kissed beaches, and visit exhilarating capital cities while enjoying the best on-board service and comfort.

This 3-4 day Australian rail journey takes you across Australia’s southeast aboard the brand-new Great Southern. It features first-class accommodations, shared tours, and is a classy way to see the region.

Your trip to Australia takes you aboard the Great Southern, Great Southern Rail’s newest 4-star star train that connects Adelaide to Brisbane. With on-board dining and all the great attention-to-detail consistent across all Great Southern Rail journeys, this trip aboard the Great Southern ensures that you ride in comfort and style as you pass through the southeastern Australian heartland.

You can begin your journey in either Adelaide or Brisbane. If you start in Adelaide, you’ll spend 3 days aboard the train. From Adelaide, you’ll venture into the Grampians to explore a rugged landscape known for its Indigenous rock art sites. Continue to the capital Canberra, where you’ll tour the city to see the Parliament House as well as the National Portrait Gallery and the Australian War Memorial. Close out the journey with a lunch on Coffs Harbour Beach while enjoying views of the water before reaching Brisbane.

From Brisbane, the train journey becomes a 4-day trip. On your first evening, enjoy dinner along the northern New South Wales coastline. The next day, venture into the Hunter Valley to tour vineyards and wine cellars and sample some of Australia’s best Shiraz. The following day you’ll follow the Great Ocean Road and gaze out upon the Twelve Apostles, massive rock outcrops that jut out of the surf along the Victorian coastline. On your final day, you’ll reach Adelaide and disembark.

Included
  • Train transportation and accommodation, either onboard or in hotels, for duration of trip chosen
  • Transfers from arrival airport to hotel for some journeys beginning in Perth and Sydney
  • Hotel accommodation pre/post train trip on some programs
  • Transfers from train station to accommodation, for tours with land-based components pre/post train trip
  • Local sightseeing included on certain trips
  • Meals and beverages on All-inclusive, Gold Service Cabin journeys (eg. Perth and Beyond)
  • Actual inclusions will be provided for the rail journey of your choice at the time of your inquiry
Not Included
  • Airfares, international airfare to/from Australia to starting point in Australia and from end point
  • Domestic Australia airfares to
  • Meals and drinks unless specified as included
  • Travel insurance
  • Park fees and entrance fees to attractions
  • Gratuities to train staff
  • Passport and visa fees or vaccinations, if required
  • Items of a personal nature
Tour Notes

Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operators.

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