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Great Southern railway travelling over a river

7 incredible overnight sleeper train journeys to take in Australia

All aboard! These lush overnight sleeper trains offer a unique way to soak up Australia’s diverse landscape

Photograph: Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions | Great Southern

Melissa Woodley

Whether it’s the Orient Express, Hogwarts Express or even Thomas the Tank Engine, trains are the backdrop of some of our favourite fictional stories – but they make for an even more impressive travel setting IRL.

If exploring Australia is on your bucket list (let’s face it, flights to Europe are exxy right now), you can’t miss the unique experience of an overnight sleeper train. Traversing every state and territory, this form of slow travel is suitable for both the young and young at heart. Plus, trains put less pressure on our environment and can allow you to hop off at your leisure (remember it’s the journey, not the destination). 

From winding through the Whitsundays and exploring the rugged red outback to getting from Melbourne to Sydney in style, we’ve rounded up the best train journeys in Australia.

RECOMMENDED: These four Aussie train trips were ranked among the best in the entire world .

Been there, done that? Think again, my friend.

Overnight train journeys to take in Australia

The Ghan

Easily the most iconic and recognisable overnight train on this list, The Ghan is all about luxury. Named after the first Afghan cameleers that arrived in Australia in the 19th century, The Ghan has been hosting unforgettable (and extremely Instagrammable) train journeys for more than 90 years. 

The Ghan Expedition, a four-day all-inclusive trip running from Adelaide to Darwin, is the train’s signature line and counts itself among the world’s greatest rail journeys . All up, it costs around $3,705, but there are shorter trips to Alice Springs starting from around $1,500 if you’re restricted on budget.

On board, passengers can unwind with a glass of chilled Aussie wine, while tucking into crocodile sausages and taking in the vast landscapes of Australia’s rugged red outback. If you can pull yourself away from the top-quality service, upgrades including scenic helicopter flights and camel rides can be added to your trip, while other experiences including gorge cruises and cycling tours are included in your fare.

Vintage Rail Journeys

Vintage Rail Journeys

Travel in 1960s style aboard a restored vintage ‘Aurora Australis’ sleeping train on one of four regional NSW tours departing from Sydney’s Central Station. Passengers can watch the spectacular scenery roll by the window in their private air-conditioned compartment, fitted with a personal vanity to freshen up before visiting the Lounge Cars for a chef-prepared meal. 

Vintage Rail Journeys’ original and most popular, four-night Golden West Rail Tour travels only twice a year and is a real regional treat, chugging along the Great Dividing Range and through the vineyards of the Hunter Valley and Orange. The hosts also run boutique tours to the Riverina region, known as Australia’s ‘food bowl’, and the beautiful North Coast hinterlands, with two bonus annual tours to Parkes Elvis Festival in January and Repco Bathurst 1,000 in October. Prices for Vintage Rail Journeys four-day tours will set you back $4,495, but you won’t find a holiday quite like this anywhere else in Oz.

https://media.timeout.com/images/106089369/image.jpg

Indian Pacific

Indian Pacific

If exploring Australia’s coastline is more your speed, the Indian Pacific will deliver you to the doorstep of cities with the best beaches in town. The greatest drawcard here is that the train journey is all-inclusive, meaning that once you’ve put your suitcases away, you can sink straight into holiday mode.

The famous transcontinental crossing whisks travellers between Perth, Adelaide and Sydney, with fabled journeys from one to four nights. If you’ve got some cash to splash, opt for the platinum experience with stylish and spacious cabins, full-sized ensuites, panoramic window views, access to an exclusive social lounge, private transfers, world-class food and even a nightcap at turndown. Prices start at $1,500 for a two-night route, or from $2,890 for the signature Perth to Sydney four-night trip.

Great Southern

Great Southern

Despite only launching in 2019, this newer addition to Australia’s sleeper train scene has quickly become a must-do – and for good reason. Cruising between Brisbane and Adelaide, the Great Southern train line is filled with breathtaking views of Australia’s southeast (think sun-kissed beaches, rugged coastlines and buzzing cities).

The only challenge you'll face on the journey is picking which off-train experiences to partake in, with all options included in your fare. You could dine under the stars at a local feast in Coffs Harbour, visit cellar doors in Australia’s oldest wine region in the Hunter Valley, and stretch your legs with a leisurely walk to Venus Baths in the Grampians National Park. The all-inclusive rail journey operates throughout the sunny months and will set you back from $2,200 or $3,200, depending on whether you pick the two or three-night route.

Spirit of Queensland

Spirit of Queensland

Whether you’re chasing the sparkling sands of the Sunshine Coast or travelling to the twinkling lights of Brisbane city, the Spirit of Queensland is a convenient and sustainable way to adventure between Queensland’s best destinations. You can jump onboard regular trips from Brisbane to Cairns each week, with stopovers at some of the state’s dreamiest destinations, including the Whitsundays, Townsville and the Sunshine Coast . 

Four routes are fitted out with state-of-the-art RailBeds – plush seats that transform into single beds (think business class on a plane). You can kick back in comfort to watch the latest blockbusters through a personalised entertainment device, while you order chef-prepped meals and drinks straight to your seat. Each seat also comes with bed linen and an amenities pack stocked with local, ethical goods. Fares for the RailBeds start from $ 389.25 , but if you’re on a budget, there are economy carriages with roomy seats (sans the beds) available.

Spirit of the Outback

Spirit of the Outback

Think of this train line as the Spirit of Queensland’s richer aunt. Run by the same parent company, the Spirit of the Outback journeys into the heart of Queensland's rugged countryside. Services run between Brisbane and Longreach twice a week, and you can travel the full line ​or stop for a few days in the many classic Aussie towns along the way. 

Dine aboard the all-inclusive Tuckerbox restaurant, decked out with white tablecloths and serving some of Queensland’s best produce, before retiring to your own private cabin – there are single and twin options available – with bed linen, amenities, a washbasin, mirror and wardrobe. Fares start at $ 427 , but if you want to save some cash, the economy carriages have roomy chairs and a dedicated area for meals, snacks and beverages (plus, you’ll get the same stellar views).

NSW TrainLink

NSW TrainLink

It might not be as glamorous, but if you don’t have cash to splash, NSW TrainLink’s sleeper class is a budget-friendly way to get around Australia. Available on long-distance overnight services, the twin sleeper cabins include bed linen, towels and toiletries, so you can arrive at your destination feeling fresh. Plus, you’ll even get complimentary breakfast, media screens and Wi-Fi.

Choose from overnight train trips between Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Newcastle, which will set you back a couple hundred dollars – and while it may not be a particularly quick journey, it’s a perfect antidote to the exorbitant prices to fly across the country right now.

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Australia's top 10 epic train journeys

Taylah Darnell

Editorial Assistant

23 February 2023

Time

From vintage sleepers to steam locomotives, see more of Australia by train with these epic rail adventures.

Forget packed flights where you don’t see anything between points A and B. Don’t even consider the drawn-out car journeys with too much traffic and not enough detours. Long gone are the days of long security lines and not enough room in the boot.

The best way to see Australia is by train, with a jam-packed itinerary and everything you need taken care of. Spread across carriages that traverse Australia’s most diverse landscapes, guests can wine and dine, rest and relax and discover somewhere new. Find 10 of the best (in no particular order) below.

1. The Ghan

Known as one of the most legendary rail journeys Australia has to offer, The Ghan traverses some of the country’s most awe-inspiring landscapes. Those choosing to travel on the tracks can pick between Darwin to Adelaide , Adelaide to Alice Springs and Darwin to Alice Springs, each trip being reversible. Both on- and off-train experiences are designed to heighten your experience, from your spacious cabin and onboard restaurant and lounge to the stops you make along the way.

The Ghan in Outback Australia

The Ghan is one of the best railway journeys on offer in Australia. (Image: Tourism NT/Steve Strike)

2. Indian Pacific

Go coast to coast on this transformative, transcontinental journey from Sydney to Perth via Adelaide or vice versa. Named after the two oceans it connects, the Indian Pacific charts 4352 kilometres across 65 hours. Enjoy a range of luxe experiences both onboard and off , from Barossa Valley wineries and The Nullabor to Australia’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains.

The Indian Pacific in Outback Australia

Witness some of Australia’s most jaw-dropping landscapes onboard the Indian Pacific. (Image: Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions)

3. Great Southern

The Great Southern takes guests from one underrated capital city to another in sleek style and comfort. Travel from Brisbane to Adelaide and uncover some of Australia’s best-kept secrets along the way; the Grampians, Hunter Valley and Coffs Harbour . Along the way, indulge in fine dining, premium wines and cosy accommodation onboard as you travel through Australia’s diverse landscape.

Great Southern train

Uncover some of Australia’s best-kept secrets on the Great Southern.

4. The Overland

If you’re down for a shorter trip, The Overland is perfect for you. This daylight service travels between two very vibrant but very different cities, Adelaide and Melbourne. Throughout the trip, enjoy visits to small yet mighty Aussie towns like Murray Bridge, Horsham and Geelong . Guests will still enjoy a range of dining options, with semi-reclining seats for your comfort along the way.

The Overland train

The Overland is a daytime service perfect for families. (Image: Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions)

5. Spirit of Queensland

Take in Queensland’s distinctive landscape on the Spirit of Queensland railway journey, running between Brisbane and Cairns. Enjoy seat service, in-transit entertainment, a galley car, showers and convertible chairs into beds, you’ll arrive at your destination relaxed and refreshed. Along the way, discover the delights of the Whitsundays , Townsville , Bundaberg , and the Fraser and Sunshine Coasts.

Spirit of Queensland train

The Spirit of Queensland traverses the landscape between Brisbane and Cairns.

6. Vintage Rail Journeys

Vintage Rail Journeys’ three rail tours showcase the diversity of Australia in vintage style. Get comfy on a restored 1960s Aurora Australis sleeping train to explore everywhere from Orange to the Blue Mountains in the Golden West; the Riverina , where you’ll get a taste of Australia’s food bowl; and the North Coast , which serves up a mix of coastal and inland beauty from Port Macquarie to the Northern Rivers.

Aerial view of the Blue Mountains

Take in the verdant views of the Blue Mountains onboard with Vintage Railway Journeys. (Image: Destination NSW)

7. Scott Mcgregor’s Railway Adventures

Join Aussie presenter, producer and writer Scott McGregor and his experienced guides on fully escorted train tours across the continent . Head down to Tassie for an 11-night circumnavigation of the island state, relive the golden age of rail and river transport in Victoria on Puffing Billy or ride the Savannahlander and other historic railways in outback Queensland.

the legendary steam train Puffing Billy passing through a mountain track

Travel onboard the legendary steam train Puffing Billy with Scott McGregor’s Railway Adventures.

8. Kuranda Scenic Railway

Immerse yourself in the heritage-listed rainforest of Tropical North Queensland’s Wet Tropics , beginning at sea level in Cairns and winding up to the pretty mountain village of Kuranda , at 328 metres. Enjoy locally sourced refreshments as you zoom through one of the world’s oldest rainforests and past waterfalls plunging into deep ravines.

a train passing through the Kuranda Railway

Journey over the scenic Robbs Monument at the Kuranda railway. (Image: Journey Beyond)

9. Puffing Billy

With four epic adventures to choose from, Puffing Billy is the perfect option for families. Whether you pick Belgrave to Lakeside, Belgrave to Menzies Creek, Lakeside to Gembrook or Belgrave to Gembrook, you’re in for a treat. Puffing Billy, known as Australia’s favourite steam train, was built in 1900 and is based in the stunning Dandenong Ranges.

The Puffing Billy train in the Dandenong Ranges

Puffing Billy is known as Australia’s favourite steam train.

10. Spirit of the Outback

The Spirit of the Outback traverses the heartland of Queensland’s outback from Brisbane to Longreach. Delve into the history and culture of the state via towns like Bundaberg and Emerald. All customers onboard can enjoy a variety of amenities. Single- and twin-cabin guests have access to the Shearers Rest lounge.

Spirit of the Outback train

Delve into the history and culture of Queensland.

Taylah has been passionate about writing since she learnt to read, spending many hours either lost in the pages of a book or attempting to write her own. When she's not immersed in the world of words, she enjoys spending time amongst nature, hunting for second-hand treasures and watching/playing a good game of soccer.

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Comments (3)

I would love to go on anyone of these rail trips.

Very informative. Please let us know more about sightseeing of Australia’s nature.

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Australia Your Way

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Australian Train Trips

Looking for the Best Australian train trips to take? There are a couple of truly bucket list worthy trips like the Indian Pacific and the Ghan and a few others that you may not have heard of that offer uniquely Australian experiences. While I have been riding the rails since I was a kid, I have also linked to work by my fellow travel writers, who have taken these journeys more recently. So get comfy, you are about to begin your crash course in train travel across Australia.

Map of Train Services in Australia

Who operates train services in australia, train passes for nsw, queensland rail passes, rockhampton tilt train, spirit of the outback, spirit of queensland, the gulflander, the prospector, the australind, the indian pacific, the overland, dubbo xplorer, broken hill xplorer, canberra xplorer, griffith xplorer, nsw interurban trains, melbourne to albury, melbourne to bendigo, melbourne to ballarat, melbourne to warrnambool, the great southern.

This post contains affiliate links. Our full disclosure policy is here .

Train travel in Australia is a bit of a missed opportunity; the landscape and distance make it a perfect place to jump on a high-speed train and explore. The only problem is our governments have never really felt the same way, and as a result, we have a bit of a mishmash of services on offer and none of them high speed sadly.

There are some bucket-list-worthy trains like the Indian Pacific, The Ghan, the Overland, and the Great Southern, but excluding those, most of our long distances services are slow and not usually the cheapest way to get around.

That said there is a romance about traveling by train that is hard to beat and some routes do make sense for travelers wanting to enjoy the Australian landscapes along the way.

Planning train travel in Australia can be complex. Other than the luxury train services, train services are state-based, each with different ticketing systems and websites. Below I have pulled together everything you need to know about Australian train trips so that if you’re a train buff like me, you can work out which trips you might like to try when you explore Australia.

Did you know that the world’s longest straight stretch of railway track, a 478-kilometre or 297 miles stretch of the Trans-Australian Railway across the Nullarbor Plain?

This map highlights the services on offer in each state and shows the best ways to enjoy riding the rails in Australia.

Australian Train Trips map

Most passenger train services are state-based.

  • In NSW there is Countrylink .
  • The Sunshine State has Queensland Rail (QR),
  • V/Line operates in Victoria.
  • TransWA provides train services in Western Australia.
  • In South Australia and the Northern Territory, train services are privatised and operated by Journey Beyond.

No passenger services currently operate in Tasmania.

The privately owned Journey Beyond operates the luxury train services in the country that often cross state borders.

Australian Train passes

Countrylink – The NSW intercity train service offers a pass valid for 14 days up to 6 months.

  • The Discovery Pass 14 days $232, 30 days $275, 3 months $298, 6 months $420

The East Coast Train Pass offers a one-way economy between Melbourne and Cairns. You can travel in either direction and get on and off the trains wherever you wish.

  • Melbourne to Cairns – $450
  • Sydney to Cairns – $370
  • Brisbane to Cairns – $280

The Backpacker Pass is only available to international travelers and offers tickets in time periods:

Queensland Rail offers two passes that are only sold to international visitors. They can be purchased with a 30 day or 60-day validity.

The Queensland Coastal Pass offers travel in one direction between Brisbane and Cairns. You can make unlimited stops and explore making unlimited stops en route. You can use the pass on the Spirit of Queensland, the Spirit of the Outback, and the Tilt Train. It also covers bus transfers to Harvey Bay and Airlie Beach from the train stations.

The Queensland Explorer Pass

This pass is valid for unlimited travel on Queensland Rail Travel Train services and adds the outback and inland trains the Spirit of the Outback, The Inlanders and the Westlander to the trips you can take.

Trains in Queensland

Overall Queensland has more train routes than the other states. The second-biggest state in the country has more than its share of epic train journeys. You could spend months exploring by rail.

Queensland Rail map

The Inlander travels from Townsville to Mount Isa, the heart of the Queensland outback. This 970km journey which stops off at Charters Towers, and Cloncurry operates twice a week and takes 21 hours.

The Rockhampton Tilt Train travels from Brisbane to Rockhampton, via Bundaberg and Gladstone.

Queensland Tilt Train

The 639km trip takes 7.5 hours and connects with transport to the Southern Barrier Reef Islands. A railbus service will get you to Hervey Bay .

If you fancy visiting the Stockmans Hall of Fame or the Qantas Founders Museum, this is the train for you. The Spirit of the Outback travels from Brisbane to Rockhampton, where it heads west through Emerald to Longreach.

Spirit of Outback Train

The full 1325km journey takes 26 hours and operates twice a week. Along the way, the views change from stunning coastal landscapes to the rich colours of the outback. The train offers a bar, restaurant, and either economy seating cars or private first class sleepers.

This train travels the length of Queensland five times per week. The 1680km journey takes 25 hours and sure beats driving it! The service offers lie flatbeds.

Rail beds, Spirit of Queensland

You can read our review of riding the Spirit of Queensland here.

The Gulflander is a tourist train that travels between Normanton and Croydon in the Queensland Gulf.  Known as the “the old Tin Hare,” the train makes its 151 kilometres journey once per week.

Gulflander Train in Queensland

The trip takes 5 hours, and along the way, the staff will entertain you with facts and trivia about the region along the way – a must for train buffs.

Trains in Western Australia

There are two long-distance trains in Western Australia. It would be great to have a service that made its way to Broome or Albany… perhaps one day!

At a top speed of 160km per hour, the Prospector makes 1-2 trips per day from East Perth to Kalgoorlie in the east of the state. The trip covers 653km and takes six hours and 45 minutes.

Trains in Australia - Prospector

The Australind travels the 2.5 hour trip between Perth and Bunbury on the coast south of Perth. Bunbury is great for a day trip with a fab pier and a bunch of really great street art to explore.

Street Art in Bunbury WA

Trains in South Australia

Journey Beyond operates three long-distance trains in South Australia . These all require advance bookings, the earlier you do it, the cheaper tickets are. It’s not uncommon for them to be booked out months in advance.

A trip on the Ghan is slow travel at its finest and a bucket list experience for many Aussies. Making the trip between Darwin and Adelaide via Alice Springs once a week. The 2,979-kilometre trip takes 54 hours, and many guests stop halfway and make a side trip to Uluru before rejoining the train or flying home.

The Ghan is named after the Afghan camel trains that used to service the Outback

The Ghan departing Adelaide

I took my first ride on the Indian Pacific in 1989 and loved it. It was quite possibly the reason I fell in love with long-distance train travel. The first leg of the trip is to Broken Hill, before moving on to Adelaide, Kalgoorlie, and finally Perth.

Gold Service Indian Pacific

The train makes the journey between the east and west coast over 3 days with stops and experiences on offer along the way. This is a holiday where the journey is very much the destination.

The Overland was Australia’s first train to travel between two state capital cities. The ten-hour trip from Adelaide to Melbourne is scheduled twice a week and is a fantastic way to travel between the two cities if you have time.

Adelaide South Australia Travel Guide

Train travel in NSW

Countrylink trains supplement the intercity trains which are part of the suburban network. A series of Xplorer services operate to main regional and rural towns.

Central Station Sydney

The Dubbo Explorer travels from Sydney via Bathurst, Orange to Dubbo. If you are thinking of visiting the Western Plains Zoo or fancy some wine sampling in Orange, this is the train for you.

Dubbo Zoo is a train ride from Sydney

More than a little less fancy than the Indian Pacific, this once-a-week trip takes a full day, but there is plenty to see along the way. Travel writer Joanne Karcz recently travelled this trip and reviewed it or us .

The 4.5 hour trip between Sydney and Canberra stops off at Moss Vale, Goulburn, and Queanbeyan. There are three trips a day, and you rarely need a booking, although an advance ticket will save you some money.

National Carillon, Canberra, Australia

I took this return trip last March, and it was an easy fuss free way to reach Canberra from Sydney, although it would be great if you could get wifi and be able to work along the journey.

There is one service a week, a 9-hour journey, that ends in Griffith in the NSW Riverina region. Designed by Walter Burley Griffith, the architect who won the competition to design Canberra , the area was settled by immigrants who developed the food and wine culture that the region is so famous for today.

Regular suburban trains include the Express services to Newcastle, The Blue Mountains , the Southern Highlands, Wollongong and Kiama. Learn more about easy day trips by train here .

newcastle is 2 hours from Sydney by train

These can be taken using your Opal card (and cost under $15 return on a Sunday!)

Train Travel in Victoria

Perhaps one of the best regional train networks in Australia you can reach most parts of Victoria by train.

A direct train operates between Southern Cross station and the border towns of Albury/Wodonga. There are usually three services a day and the trip takes just under 4 hours.

Spencer Street Station Melbourne

Services from Melbourne to Bendigo take approximately 2 hours. These trains often continue on to Echuca and Swan Hill. This service is covered by Melbourne’s MYKI card.

The trip to Ballarat only takes 85 minutes and is covered by the Myki card. A popular day trip from Melbourne, Ballarat is a great town to explore with some gorgeous architecture and the popular Sovereign Hill living history experience.

This 3.5 hour trip from Southern Cross Station via Geelong to the coastal city of Warrnambool.

Luxury Train Travel in Australia

Four luxury trains operate in Australia, taking in most of the country. The services are run by a company called Journey Beyond and they offer a lot more than just transport from A to B.

They are outstanding travel experiences and something that you might like to add to your Aussie travel bucket list.

The Ghan at Alice Springs

We have taken the Indian Pacific, but it’s been quite a while and we have not ridden the Ghan or the Overland so we reached out to our travel writing friends who have been lucky enough to have taken a recent trip.

Haley from A Lovely Planet shares her experience of taking the Great Southern between Adelaide and Brisbane

Great South Train Australia

Our friends Jarryd and Alesha shared some great photos of their time on the Indian Pacific a few years ago.

  • Helen from Differentville has recently taken the train and pulled together an impressive list of frequently asked questions about riding the Ghan
  • Michael from Time Travel Turtle took the Ghan from Darwin to Adelaide
  • Kerry from Eat, Drink and Be Kerry also rode the Ghan from Darwin to Adelaide

Got a question? Head over to our Australia Travel Tips Facebook Group and ask a local .

1 thought on “The Best Australian Train Trips”

The next time I visit people in Oz again, I’ll make more of an effort to do it by train. Flights are just so easy to book before, but next time I hope to travel slower.

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Handpicked: Here Are 10 Of The Best Train Trips In Australia

From budget to luxury, here are our top 10 picks for the best train rides in Australia. 

Journey Beyond Platinum Service rail cabin with a woman sitting on a king-sized bed while sipping her coffee

Published 2 August 2022

Flight Centre Author

Flight Centre

Key summary points

  • Take a once in a lifetime journey through the Australian outback on The Ghan
  • Hop on the Indian Pacific for a transcontinental train ride across Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales
  • Opt for a budget-friendly option across Australia on The Overland
  • The Spirit of the Outback will take you deep into Outback Queensland
  • Explore the Queensland coastline on the Spirit of Queensland
  • Board the heritage-listed Gulflander that travels through northern Queensland
  • Journey through history on the Victoria Goldfields Railway
  • and many more...

1. The Ghan - Luxury

Take a once in a lifetime journey through the Australian outback on The Ghan. With a long history, originating from 1878, this historical and iconic train ride will take you from Adelaide to Darwin through the red centre and vice versa.   

Starting at $1375 pp you can travel to the red centre for 2 days and 1 night or if you want the whole experience, at $3235 you can travel from Darwin to Adelaide for 4 days and 3 nights. Each train ride includes luxurious dining options, premium beverages, an array of private cabins and top-of-the-line service. 

Depending on which package you choose, the train rides come with an off-train experience where you can immerse yourself in the rich culture and wonders of indigenous culture and the natural surroundings. If you decide to go from Darwin to Adelaide (or vice versa), your ride will stop off in Alice Springs and the iconic Opal capital of the world, Coober Pedy.   

Journey Beyond Platinum Service rail cabin

2. The Indian Pacific – Luxury

Hop on this incredible transcontinental train ride that will take you across Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales. This all-inclusive rail holiday will leave you breathless at the glistening ocean and luscious greenery throughout the interstate routes. Starting from $725 pp you can travel between Sydney and Adelaide for 2 days and 1 night. This starting package includes meals, fine wines and beverages that will leave your stomach full, and your thirst quenched. The starter train ride will stop off in the famous and world heritage listed, Blue Mountains for an immersive experience. 

Indian Pacific Experience at Rawlinna

If you’re looking for a more boujee experience, then take the west coast to east coast trip between Perth to Sydney. This trip will set you back from $2115 pp and is over 4 days. As like the other packages, this package also comes with the included meals, fine wines, and beverages. The off train immersive experience will see 5 different locations: Broken Hill, Adelaide, and surrounds, Cook, Rawlinna and Perth. Perfect for couples and groups of friends, this transcontinental package will take you on a day trip through the Barossa valley to sip up at some of the best wineries in Australia. Finish off your last night on the trip with dinner under the stars in the remote and breathtaking Rawlinna in Nullarbor Plain.

Gold Service Restaurant Journey Beyond

3. The Gulflander – Budget

This heritage-listed railway line running from Normanton to Croydon is an iconic experience you must do at least once in your life. Going through the Gulf Savannah region in North Queensland, this train ride will leave any train lover in awe. Built in 1888, the Gulflander is an iconic train that has retained its unique appearance 

Choose from three different three different experiences. The Classic experience is great for those looking for a more relaxed ride. This five-hour trip will take you across the Savannah. The Critters Camp Excursion is a shorter, 2-hour train ride from Normanton to Critters Camp that tells the true tales of the Gulf Savannah. If you’re looking for a more immersive and special trip, then take the Gulflander Golden Sunset Tour. This 1.5-hour trip will take you to the Golden Gate and back while you get to enjoy the beautiful sunset in the outback sky. A delicious meal is provided at sunset which makes a great ending to the day. Starting from $24 and going up to $115, the varied fares make it affordable and accessible no matter how long you’re looking to ride the Gulflander. 

4. The Overland – Budget

Looking for the same rail holiday experience but at a nicer price? Take The Overland between Melbourne and Adelaide. Take either the Red Standard or Red Premium service and embark on the unique and comfortable interstate adventure.

Adventure through Australian country towns and watch the beautiful landscapes through the window while in your comfortable, reclining seats. You won’t have to worry about those stiff legs with the generous leg room each seat gets! 

There are two options of experiences: Red Service ($165 pp) and Red Premium ($275 pp). Red Premium is the option for those looking for a luxurious first-class experience. Included in this experience is an all-inclusive breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea meals and an array of beverages. If you’re looking for something more low-key, then Red Service is for you! Although there are in included meals, you still have access to the licensed café 828 carriage where meals and beverages are available to be purchased.  

The Overland Railway

5. Spirit of The Outback – Budget

Hop onboard the Spirit of the Outback and experience extraordinary scenic views. From bright blue skies to endless golden soil, this train ride is the best way to experience the parts of Australia you thought you’d never see! 

This ride takes you from Brisbane to Longreach on an incredible 1325km trip over a duration of 26 hours. This overnight train ride is perfect for the curious that aren’t yet ready for a weekend commitment on a train. Experiences start from $315, and all include tablets for entertainment, access to the Tuckerbox Restaurant, bed linen and an amenities pack. 

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Queensland Rail Travel (@queenslandrailtravel)

6. Spirit Of Queensland – Budget

Take the Spirit of Queensland from Brisbane to Cairns to experience the many desirable destinations on the way. Stop by the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays, Townsville or anywhere else in between! This train sprawls over 1681 kilometres of pure scenic views. Whether you want to stop off somewhere on the way or just want to head straight to the final destinations, you’ll enjoy the modern and comfortable experience inside this fantastic train.  

From $390 you can get the train all the way from Brisbane to Cairns. The price does get lower if you decide to stop along the way, so it’s a convenient way to enjoy travelling by train and still being able to make it your own unique holiday! 

7. Victoria Goldfields Railway – Budget

Perfect for the whole family, this historic train ride will take you through the gold mining towns of Castlemaine and Maldon. The ride is 17km and is only 50 minutes each way which makes it the perfect holiday day trip. Ride in the family-friendly compartments or step it up a notch and ride in the fancy Edwardian parlour carriages and experience the elegant art deco finishes.  

Excite the kids and take them on a special once-in-a-lifetime experience to ride with the train driver and learn how the train operates. Starting from $15 for children and $30 for adults, this is a budget-friendly way to see these historic locations and have a bit of family fun!  

8. The Q Train – Luxury

Calling all foodies! This one is for you. Hop on The Q Train for the most luxurious and delicious train ride you’ll ever take! This 3-hour train ride goes over 16km from Drysdale to Queenscliff and includes a mouth-watering six-course degustation. 

There are three experiences that you can choose from: Q Class Dining ($129pp) which has you seated in the dining car or bar. First Class Dining ($179pp) will see you in the private dining room, just for you and your loved one. Thirdly, for anyone travelling in a group of up to 10 people can dine in a private suite for $179pp. Taking a First-Class trip includes little upgrades such as matching beverages for the degustation, fine linens and complimentary tea and coffees. 

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9. Puffing Billy Railway – Budget

In the vibrant forest of Dandenong Ranges holds a magnificent train journey that is both relaxing and exciting. The Puffing Billy Railway, famously known to be the train where you can dangle your legs over the sills, is one of the train journeys you need to do at least once. 

Starting from $31 for a classic return train ride up to $150+ for a special experience, this makes Puffing Billy an affordable and varied experience that can suit anyone.  

Make your trip extra special and add on a picnic pack, dining experience or add a museum experience onto your fare! Puffing Billy is the perfect place to take the family and experience a different side of Victoria. 

10. The Great Southern – Luxury

Travel across south-eastern Australia in three or four days on The Great Southern. With a choice between Platinum Twin, Platinum Double Cabin, Gold Superior, Twin and Single Cabins, there is an option and price tag for everyone. Experience this iconic immersive experience on this legendary train. Chose to go Adelaide to Brisbane or Brisbane to Adelaide. Go through the Hunter Valley and sip on some wine, visit Coffs Harbour, Port Stephens, the Grampians and more. The locations differ depending on which direction you decide to travel but the beautiful landscapes don’t change! Unwind and relax while being given gold class service. 

If this hasn’t already convinced you, the Great Southern also has restaurant-quality dining and beverages on board that will leave you wanting more! 

Great Southern Railways Experience Coffs Harbour Dinner

Keen to jump onboard one of Australia's best rail journeys? Explore our Australian Rail deals here .

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10 Of The Best Train Journeys To Take Around Australia

By Chloe Sputore

30th Nov 2023

a train driving through the desert at sunset

In case you didn't know, Australia boasts some truly unforgettable trips that traverse every state and territory. From Perth to Sydney and up to the Red Centre, at Urban List, we're in serious awe of all the incredible train journeys available.

Read on for the best train trips around Australia.

The Indian Pacific

Spanning 4352 kilometres between Perth and Sydney, the Indian Pacific is one of Australia’s most epic train trips. You’ll journey through deserts, mountains, goldfields, savannahs and rocky valleys on the four-day expedition, including the longest straight stretch of railway in the world across the Nullarbor. If you’re not up for the full coast to coast journey you can travel on the Indian Pacific from Sydney to Adelaide and Adelaide to Perth or vice versa. Stops along the way include Broken Hill, Adelaide, Cook and Rawlinna, and all meals, fine wines and bevvies are covered in your fare.

Crossing the country from top to bottom, The Ghan traverses the expanse between Adelaide and Darwin, stopping in stunning Alice Springs and Katherine. In transit since 1929, the trip takes three days and two nights from end to end and includes a breathtaking cruise through Nitmiluk Gorge where you’ll get to witness ancient Indigenous rock paintings with your own eyes. And you’ll do it all while enjoying a carefully curated regionally-inspired menu and sipping local wines. As with the Indian Pacific, you are able to cut the journey short by travelling between Adelaide and Alice Springs or Darwin and Alice Springs—but why would you want to with a journey so incredible?

Puffing Billy Railway

With a name like Puffing Billy Railway , you know the train itself is going to be cute as heck. This three-hour steam train ride through Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges is filled with old world charm. Travelling first class, you can opt for a three-course lunch or a grazing platter to be enjoyed in the train’s heritage cabins. Departing daily the journey includes a stop to stretch your legs at Emerald Lake Park. 

The Gulflander

Don’t expect a swift, smooth train ride on The Gulflander , but do brace yourself for a whole lot of historic charm. Dubbed as “the journey from nowhere to nowhere” the train travels between Normanton and Croydon in Queensland’s gulf savannah country at the relaxing pace of 40 kilometres an hour. Built in the 1950s, the train, lovingly known as the tin hare, is used purely for tourism purposes these days, and the drivers are ready to fire at you with trivia, amusing anecdotes and fun facts at any moment. You may even stop to deliver mail to people who live in remote regions—this one’s all charm. 

Spirit Of Queensland

Travelling between Brisbane and Cairns at speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour, the Spirit of Queensland offers up a luxurious 24-hour train journey spanning 1681 kilometres. Perfect if you’re keen to explore Townsville, Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsundays, you can choose between a RailBed or premium economy and enjoy round the clock access to the licenced Galley Car. RailBeds boast a cushy seat that transforms into a flatbed, an 18.5-inch flat screen with on-demand entertainment and comfortable linens tucking you in at night. With paddock to plate eats and Queensland wines brought right to your seat, all that’s left to do is sit back and take in the scenery. If you're looking for one of the best train trips in Australia, this is it. 

You might also like:

  • Sydney's Best Hotels
  • Melbourne's Best Hotels
  • Brisbane's Best Hotels

The Overland

Servicing travellers between Adelaide and Melbourne for over 130 years, The Overland connects the two southern cities in less than a day. Journey through fields of green, gold and mallee scrub as you recline in your seat and enjoy the wonderful hospitality from the crew. Red Premium tickets get you access to more legroom, in-seat dining with breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and non-alcoholic drinks included, and a hefty luggage allowance. Plus there’s a licenced cafe on board, so there’s no going hungry as you journey from city to city during daylight hours. 

Great Southern

Australia’s newest train trip, the Great Southern journeys between Brisbane and Adelaide on a three day, two night sojourn. With excursions in the Grampians, Canberra and Coffs Harbour along the way, you’ll get to take in the beauty of regional Victoria and the New South Wales coast all from the comfort of your cabin as you make your way up to Brisbane (or down and across to Adelaide). All-inclusive, with a regionally-inspired menu and fine Australian wines, book now to be among the first to enjoy this new Australian experience. 

Kuranda Scenic Railway

One of Australia’s most incredible scenic railway journeys, the Kuranda takes travellers through The Wet Tropics, a heritage-listed rainforest in far north Queensland. Journeying from Cairns to Kuranda, you’ll rise to 328 metres above sea level on this adventure through deep ravines, and rugged mountains and past gorgeous waterfalls. Try and spot the different species of rainforest trees, flowering plants and orchids that pass by your window and lap up the guided commentary as you go. Level up and book a Gold Class ticket so you can enjoy meals in a Victorian-inspired train cart or tack a tour onto your ticket before your return journey.

Spirit Of The Outback

Marvel at just how big Queensland is while on the Spirit of the Outback , a 26-hour train journey to the centre of the state. Departing Brisbane for Longreach Tuesdays and Saturdays, the journey through historic outback towns and golden dirt expanses is 1325 kilometres. An overnight journey, you’ll want to book a first-class sleeper to make the most of your experience. Onboard you’ll find Tuckerbox Restaurant and Shearers Rest, both available only to first-class travellers. Once you reach Longreach you can soak up the gateway to the outback and visit the Stockman’s Hall of Fame, the best restaurant in town, Harry’s, and take a drive to Camden Park Station, a working sheep and cattle farm which Queen Elizabeth even visited in the 70s. 

West Coast Wilderness Railway

Another glorious steam train ride, Tasmania’s West Coast Wilderness Railway has won multiple tourism awards. Offering up several experiences, tours depart from Strahan or Queenstown and include everything from white water rafting and visits to the beautiful King River Gorge to learning how to work a steam train while onboard and taking in Queenstown’s steam hydro and lost mines. Much of the train ride journeys through Tassie’s breathtaking wild rainforest.

Keep reading for:

  • The Best Train Trips In The World
  • Everything You Need To Know About Sleeper Trains
  • Why Rail Travel Is Booming Right Now

​ Image Credit: The Ghan

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Australia is a huge country.  And the best way to appreciate its vastness is to cross it at ground level by train, in comfort.  The famous Indian Pacific links Sydney, Adelaide & Perth in 3 days, crossing the great Nullarbor Plain in the process.  Don't miss out on a visit to the 'red centre' of Australia around Alice Springs, and there's no better way to reach Alice Springs or Darwin than by the equally famous Ghan from Adelaide.  In the East, comfortable XPT trains link Sydney with Melbourne & Brisbane at affordable prices, and Queensland Railways links Brisbane with Townsville & Cairns.  On this page you'll find train times, fares, how to buy tickets, and advice on what the train & the journey are like for all the main Australian train routes.

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Interactive map: Click a route for information

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Sydney - adelaide - perth, across australia on the indian pacific.

Australia's biggest train journey, in every sense of the word.  This is a fabulous train ride right across Australia from Sydney or Adelaide to Perth, giving you a real sense of Australia's vastness which flying simply cannot deliver.  With a cosy bed at night in your own room, a restaurant for your meals and a lounge in which to relax during the day, it's a rolling hotel.  Now run by a private company called Journey Beyond Rail ( journeybeyondrail.com.au , known as Great Southern Rail until 2019), the Indian Pacific links Sydney, Adelaide & Perth once a week all year round.  The Indian Pacific has only existed since the 1970s, when a standard gauge line was finally completed across the continent from Sydney to Perth, some 4,343km or 2,698 miles.  Today, both the Indian Pacific and its sister train the Ghan use the original stainless-steel coaches built by the American Budd company for the first Indian Pacific trains when they started running in 1973.  Suitably modernised, of course.  This train is well worth including in your grand Australian tour! 

What's it like on board the Indian Pacific?     What's the journey like?

Check times & departure dates at journeybeyondrail.com.au .   Passengers can take their cars between Adelaide & Perth on the Indian Pacific, see journeybeyondrail.com.au .  The station in Adelaide is Adelaide Parklands, formerly known as Adelaide Keswick.

Children under 4 go free, under 16s reduced rate.  Return fares are twice the one-way fare.

Gold & Platinum fares include all meals and soft drinks, beer & wine.

Note that the Pensioner fares shown on the GSR website are for Australian senior citizens only.

How to buy tickets

You can check fares & book a journey on the Indian Pacific online at journeybeyondrail.com.au .

Or you can use the contact & booking form of reliable Australian-based train ticketing specialist www.internationalrail.com.au who can arrange Indian Pacific tickets for you, wherever you live in the world. You'll normally get a quote within 24 hours.  International Rail can also sort tickets for other Australian train services, such as NSW TrainLink from Sydney to Melbourne or Brisbane. 

To buy Australian train tickets in the UK by phone, call International Rail on 0844 248 248 3 , lines open 09:00-17:00 Monday-Friday.

Railpass options

The Rail Explorer Pass was discontinued in August 2015.  You need to buy regular tickets to use the IP or Ghan.

Vacations & tours by rail

Railbookers are train travel specialists with offices in the UK, Australia & United States.  They offer customisable tour packages around Australia with travel on some or all of Australia's great trains, with train tickets, stopovers, hotels, transfers and (if necessary) flights sorted for you.

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What's a journey on the Indian Pacific like ?

The 'IP' leaves Sydney Central Station in downtown Sydney in late afternoon and threads its way through Sydney's suburban commuterland.  As night falls it climbs up through the scenic Blue Mountains passing through Katoomba, and next morning you'll wake up in arid outback country around Broken Hill.  Look out for kangaroo and emu over breakfast in the train's restaurant car!  The train arrives in Adelaide in the afternoon, with time for a city tour even if you're not stopping off, and leaves again for Perth in the early evening.  The day after leaving Adelaide the Indian Pacific crosses the hot, dusty emptiness of the famous Nullarbor Plain on the longest stretch of straight railway line in the world, 478 km or 297 miles, 'nullarbor' being Latin for 'no trees'.  The train stops long enough for you to visit the tiny community of Cook.  If you've ever wondered what the Middle of Nowhere looks like, this is it!  Once off the Nullarbor you can play 'spot the koala' over dinner as the beautiful evening sun plays over the leafy eucalyptus trees.  After dinner that evening the train used to stop at the gold rush town of Kalgoorlie for 3½ hours, long enough for a walkabout, but is passes through at 3am in its latest timetable.  Next day the train rolls into the pleasant and modern city of Perth, capital of Western Australia.  Congratulations, you've just crossed a continent!

What's it like on the Indian Pacific & Ghan ?

The Indian Pacific & the Ghan use similar equipment.  They both have two classes of accommodation, Gold Service sleepers & Platinum Service sleepers.  Both classes offer proper beds in private rooms with meals included in the restaurant car.  Platinum Service gets you a bigger room with (if you want one) a double bed, with an exclusive Platinum Service restaurant car with small lounge area.  Unfortunately, Red Service sleepers were discontinued in 2015 and Red Service reclining seats the year after, there is now no budget option.  What was originally a mode of transport with aspirations to cruise service at the top end is now an all-cruise train with prices to match.

Gold Service (formerly first class)

Gold Service passengers travel in private sleepers, either 2-berth twinettes for passengers travelling in twos or single-berth roomettes for passengers travelling alone, see the photos below.  The price per person is the same.  There's a restaurant car and a lounge car.

Queen Adelaide restaurant

The fare includes excellent 3-course meals served in the Queen Adelaide restaurant car.  Beer and standard wines are complimentary in Gold service.  Photos courtesy of DiscoverByRail.com .

Outback Explorer lounge car

During the day Gold Service passengers can use the Outback Explorer lounge (sometimes two of them) with bar & armchairs, complimentary tea & coffee always available.  The bar in the Outback Explorer lounge serves cocktails, beer & wine.  Since 2013, beer and standard wines are complimentary in Gold service.  Photos courtesy of Oliver Mann & DiscoverByRail.com

Twinette sleepers

If there's two of you, you'll get a relatively spacious 2-berth sleeper called a Twinette.  The twinette sleeping-cars have a conventional layout with a corridor along one side of the car, with compartments opening off it.  Each twinette compartment has an upper & lower bed which fold away to reveal a sofa for daytime use.  Twinettes have a tiny private bathroom with hot shower, toilet & washbasin.  Your twinette comes with comfortable freshly made-up beds, towels and a complimentary toiletries pack with soap, shampoo, razor, toothbrush, toothpaste.  The photos pretty accurately show the size of the room, with the compact shower & toilet opening off the wall to the left of shot.  Photos courtesy of James Chuang & Oliver Mann.

If you're travelling alone in Gold Service, you'll get a cosy private roomette.  Roomette sleeping-cars have a corridor snaking through the centre of the car in a series of gentle 's' curves with doors to the roomettes opening off both sides of it (the curves in the corridor maximise the space in each roomette, by making it wider at the head end).  Each roomette is only about 7 feet long by 4 feet wide, big enough for a comfy armchair, a table, and a drop-down sink in one corner, though the drop-down flush toilet originally fitted underneath each sink is now boarded up out of use.  At night, the bed folds down from behind the seat and takes up most of the room.  There's an excellent hot shower & toilets at the end of the corridor.  Roomettes come with a comfortable freshly made-up beds, towels and a complimentary toiletries pack with soap, shampoo, razor, toothbrush, toothpaste.

Platinum Service

The Ghan and Indian Pacific now feature an ultra-luxurious (and expensive!) Platinum Service, with a choice of double-bed or twin-bed sleeper compartments with private shower and toilet and extra space even compared to Gold Service.  As with Gold Service, meals are included in the fare, served in a Platinum Service restaurant car, which has a lounge area at one end.

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Adelaide - Alice Springs - Darwin

The ghan, to australia's red centre.

The lenendary Ghan is undoubtedly the best way to reach Australia's fabulous Red centre and the iconic Uluru (Ayer's Rock).  Australia's second most famous train, the Ghan links Adelaide, Alice Springs & (since 2004) Darwin, once a week all year round, twice a week from April to October.  By using the train you get a real feel for the scale of the Australian outback, which you simply don't on a plane.  Like the Indian Pacific, the Ghan is now run by Journeys Beyond Rail (formerly Great Southern Rail ), and has the same classes of accommodation & facilities:  Gold class sleepers, lounge & restaurant, see the section above .  Most departures of the Ghan now have an additional class of accommodation, the new super-deluxe Platinum Class complete with double (or twin lower) beds.

The Ghan gets its name from the (supposedly) Afghan camels and camel drivers who used to carry supplies up to Alice Springs before the railway came.  The first railway was narrow gauge, and the old Ghan was notoriously slow, taking 48 hours from Adelaide to Alice.  Only in the early 1980s was this new standard-gauge line opened taking a more direct route.  The journey time has been cut to an afternoon and a night, and the service doubled to twice weekly for much of the year.  Connections are available to/from Sydney and Melbourne using the Indian Pacific or Overland , see the Indian Pacific and Overland sections below.  The railway onwards to Darwin was completed in January 2004, and in February that year the Ghan was extended to Darwin once a week, doubled to twice-weekly in 2006.  Book early, as there has been huge interest in the service to Darwin and bookings have exceeded even the operator's own expectations.

The Ghan Timetable

IMPORTANT:  The Ghan does not run from mid-Dec to mid-Jan.

Off-train excursions happen at the longer stops.

Passengers can take their cars between Adelaide & Darwin on the Ghan, see journeybeyondrail.com.au .      What's it like on board The Ghan?

Children under 4 go free, under 16s reduced rate.  Return fares are twice the one-way fare. 

See journeybeyondrail.com.au for full details of fares.

Apex 6m+ = discounted advance purchase fare, bought at least 6 months in advance.

Gold & Platinum fares include all meals and (from April 2013), soft drinks, beer & wine.  Meals are extra in Red Service.

You can check fares & book a journey on the Indian Pacific online at journeybeyondrail.com.au . 

Or you can use the contact & booking form of Australian-based train ticketing specialist www.internationalrail.com.au who can arrange tickets for the Ghan for you wherever you live in the world.  You'll normally get a quote within 24 hours.  International Rail can also sort tickets for other Australian train services, such as NSW TrainLink from Sydney to Melbourne or Brisbane. 

To buy Australian train tickets by phone in the UK, call International Rail on 0844 248 248 3 , lines open 09:00-17:00 Monday-Friday.

The Rail Explorer Pass was discontinued in August 2015.  You need to buy regular tickets to use the Indian Pacific or Ghan.

What's it like on board the Ghan?

The train has similar classes, sleepers, lounges and restaurants as the Indian Pacific , see the accommodation guide above .

A trip on the Ghan from Adelaide to Australia's Red Centre

Alice springs.

The Alice, as it's usually known, still has a frontier feel to it.  Originally called Stuart and only officially renamed Alice Springs in 1933, it grew up around a telegraph station on the overland telegraph linking southern Australia with London.  The site for the telegraph station was chosen because there was water, a spring  which was named after the wife of Charles Todd, superintendent of telegraphs in Adelaide.  You can still see the telegraph station, now a museum, at the North end of the town.  Next to it (pictured above, at the base of the white rock) is the very birthplace of the town - the original, dried up 'Alice spring'.  Telegraph station museum website .  Northern Territories official visitor website .

Ayer's Rock (Uluru)

You'll want to explore the outback whilst in Alice Springs, including Uluru, the world's largest sandstone monolith.  It's some 275 miles southwest of Alice - the outback is a big place!  It's a fabulous area with lots to see besides Uluru, including the Olgas (Kata Tjuta) & King's Canyon.  You can see Uluru & Kata Tjuta as a 17 hour day trip from Alice (which includes a 5 hour drive each way), but it's far better to book a 2, 3 or 4-day 4-wheel drive camping safari to see more in less of a hurry.  Try www.wayoutback.com.au .  You're no longer allowed to climb Uluru as from October 2019 - it used to be a steep scramble along the tourist track up the least perpendicular part of its sandstone sides.  The website for Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is www.environment.gov.au/parks/uluru .

Melbourne - Adelaide

The most civilised and pleasant way to travel between central Melbourne and central Adelaide is aboard the twice-a-week Overland , no need to use domestic flights.  It's the third of the 3 trains run by journeybeyondrail.com.au .

No service on 25 or 26 December.

The cheaper fare = advance purchase, limited availability.  The most expensive fare = full-flex rate.

Option 2, buy tickets at 12go.com .

12go is a reliable agency, the process is easy, overseas phone credit cards & phone numbers no problem.  Your ticket will be confirmed within 24h and sent by email.

What's it like on the Overland?

Sydney to melbourne, canberra & brisbane.

Comfortable air-conditioned trains link Sydney with Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra, city centre to city centre, with no need to fly!  These trains are run by NSW TrainLink, formerly CountryLink, formerly the State Rail Authority of New South Wales.  NSW TrainLink runs two comfortable XPT trains every day from Sydney to Melbourne, one by day and the other a time-effective overnight train with sleeping-car.  A similar daytime and overnight XPT service links Sydney to Brisbane, although as trains alternate between Brisbane and Casino, a bus connection is needed to Brisbane on one of the two.  Equally comfortable XPLORER trains link Sydney with Canberra several times a day.  More info & online booking at  transportnsw.info/regional .

Option 1, buy tickets at transportnsw.info/regional . 

Tickets bought online are sent by e-mail.

12go.com is a reliable booking agency, the process is easy, overseas phone numbers accepted.  Your ticket will be confirmed within 24h and sent by email.

Sleepers cannot be booked online , so for sleeper berths either call NSW TrainLink on +61 2 3814 0210 or use the contact & booking form of Melbourne-based agency www.internationalrail.com.au who can arrange sleeper tickets for you wherever you live in the world - you'll normally get a reply with a quote within 24 hours.

On board an XPT train

XPT trains might look familiar.  That's because they're based on the UK's InterCity 125, but re-geared to 100mph and with (you'll be pleased to learn) beefed-up air-conditioning.  XPTs have first and economy class reclining seats.  First and economy class seating is virtually identical - if you look really closely and get your tape measure out, you'll find there's 2" more legroom in first and the 1st class seats recline to 40 degrees rather than 28.  But that's the only difference, elbow room and the seats themselves are exactly the same.  So there is little point in paying for first class unless economy is full - or you want that extra recline on the overnight run.  XPTs have a buffet car selling food and drink, including wine.  XPLORERs have similar seating to XPTs and a buffet-bar.

XPT sleeping-cars

The overnight Sydney-Melbourne & Sydney-Brisbane XPT trains have one sleeping-car with 2-berth compartments.  A sofa converts to a lower berth and an upper berth folds out from the wall, with mattress and all necessary bedding.  There's a hot shower & toilet shared between each pair of adjacent compartments, just outside your compartment door.  Book early, as there's only one sleeping-car per train and it gets booked up fast. 

Unfortunately sleepers cannot be booked online, so you need to book at the station or by phone - from outside Australia call NSW TrainLink on +61 2 4907 7501.

2-berth sleeper on a CountryLink XPT train from Sydney to Melbourne or from Sydney to Brisbane

Brisbane - Townsville - Cairns

Queensland Railways (QR) operates excellent passenger trains linking Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns, branded Traveltrain.  The trains operate on narrow gauge 3' 6" tracks, which explains why you need to change at Brisbane onto NSW TrainLink's standard gauge (4' 8½") trains to and from Sydney .  For more info & online tickets see www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au .

The SPIRIT OF QUEENSLAND is a new 100mph tilt train with Railbed Class flat-bed seats, Premium Economy Class seats and a lounge car.  Introduced in October 2013, this is a brand-new 100mph tilting train, see the photos below .  For more info see www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au .

The old Sunlander was discontinued in December 2014, replaced by the Spirit of Queensland 100mph tilt train.

BRISBANE-ROCKHAMPTON:   There are additional trains between Brisbane and Rockhampton, including a 100mph tilting daytime train.

BRISBANE-LONGREACH:   A train called the SPIRIT OF THE OUTBACK runs twice a week Brisbane - Rockhampton - Longreach, with 1st & economy sleepers, economy seats, and restaurant car.  1st class fares now include meals.  See www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au for details.

CAIRNS-FORSAYTH:   A little 1963-tainless-steel railcar works the Savannahlander train from Cairns to Forsayth at 06:30 every Wednesday with an overnight hotel stop in Almaden, arriving in Forsayth on Thursday evening.  It returns from Forsayth at 08:30 on Fridays, also with an overnight hotel stop in Almaden, arriving Cairns 18:40 on Saturdays.  A 4-day outback rail experience!  It runs March until December, no service in late Dec, Jan or Feb or first few days of March.  See www.savannahlander.com.au for timetable, fares & booking.

Children 15 years and under pay half the adult fare, children 3 years and under go free.

A-Choice fare = fully flexible, refundable.  U-Save fare = advance-purchase limited availability, no refunds.  B-Quick = another advance-purchase fare.

Option 1, buy at www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au

You can check train times & fares and book online at www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au .  This can book economy and railbed class. 

12go.com is a reliable booking agency, the process is easy, overseas credit cards no problem.  12go can book economy seats but may not be able to book railbed class.  Your ticket will be confirmed within 24h and sent by email.

The Spirit of Queensland tilt train

The train has two classes, Railbed class &  Premium Economy class.  All seats have power sockets and airline-style seat-back TV entertainment systems.  All passengers can use the lounge-cafe car, in Railbed class meals are served at your seat.

The Spirit of the Outback

Kalgoorlie - perth, transwa's prospector.

Transwa (formerly known as Westrail) introduced new express diesel trains on the Perth to Kalgoorlie Prospector services in September 2003, running at up to 100mph.  Within a few years, track will be upgraded to 125mph (200km/h), making these trains the fastest in Australia.  For more info, visit www.transwa.wa.gov.au .

Things to see & do

Sydney is a fantastic city.  Take a tour of the opera house ( www.sydneyoperahouse.com ).  Wander through the botanic gardens .  Visit the observation deck of the Centrepoint Tower ( www.sydneytowereye.com.au ).  Take a ferry from Circular Quay to Watson's Bay for fish and chips at Doyle's famous refreshment rooms ( www.doyles.com.au , look for 'Doyles on the beach', for Sydney ferry information see transportnsw.info/travel-info/ways-to-get-around/ferry ).  For general city tourist information see www.sydney.com .

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

Why not do the incredible Sydney Harbour Bridge climb ? From A$344, you are briefed and equipped for a walk up the girders of Sydney Harbour Bridge, for some fantastic views across the city, from the Pacific Ocean in the East to the Blue Mountains in the West.  The bridge climb tour has been operating since October 1998.  Book your climb online here or visit www.bridgeclimb.com for more information.

The Blue Mountains

Don't forget to visit the museum in Melbourne's old gaol , www.oldmelbournegaol.com.au .  Ned Kelly, Australia's most infamous outlaw, was imprisoned and hanged in Melbourne gaol, and his unique armour was originally displayed there.

Great Ocean Road

Named after the wife of King William IV, Adelaide is a much smaller city than Sydney or Melbourne, and much more relaxed.  Admirably well laid-out by its founder, Colonel William Light, the city centre is surrounded by parkland.  On Montefiore Hill to the north of the centre, you can see 'Light's vision', where Colonel Light stood to map out his plan for the city.  For city visit information see www.cityofadelaide.com.au .

Barossa Valley wine region

Great ocean road by train+bus, every monday, wednesday, friday for just au$ 10.

The Great Ocean Road along the coast from Melbourne is one of the great scenic drives of Australia.  You can hire a car and drive it, or there are various 1-day bus tours from Melbourne.  But rather than endure a bus for the whole day, just AU$ 10 gets you a 1-day tour on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays run by V/Line, the regional train & bus operator, using comfortable trains from Melbourne's Southern Cross station, as follows:

You take the daily 09:10 V/Line train from Melbourne's main Southern Cross railway station to Geelong, arriving 10:07.  The train is comfortable and air-conditioned.  Economy seats only, no reservation required.

At Geelong, the train connects with a daily air-conditioned V/Line coach leaving from outside Geelong railway station at 10:20 and running via Anglesea and Lorne to Apollo Bay arriving 12:53.  No reservation required.

At Apollo Bay, you switch buses and join a V/Line Great Ocean Road air-conditioned sightseeing coach.  This runs on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays leaving Apollo Bay at 13:25 and running all along the Great Ocean Road via the Twelve Apostles (30 minute stop), Loch-Ard Gorge (15 minute stop), London Bridge (10 minute stop) and Bay of Islands (10 min stop) to Warrnambool railway station, arriving 16:55.  No reservation is required for this bus.

At Warrnambool, the bus connects with the 17:36 V/Line train back to Melbourne Southern Cross, arriving Melbourne at 21:15.  This comfortable air-conditioned train has first class as well as economy seats, refreshments are available on board.  However, on this train a seat reservation is required.

How much does it cost?

Since 2023, a return ticket from Melbourne to Warrnambool, out via the Great Ocean Road sightseeing bus and back on the direct train now costs an amazingly cheap Aus$ 10 (£5 or US$6), after an election pledge to cap transport fares across Victoria (it used to cost around Aus$87, about £50 or US$62). Children 0-3 (inclusive) go free, children aged 4 to 16 go at the concession rate, Aus$5.

You can easily book this trip online at www.vline.com.au .  Simply click Plan trip/buy tickets and use the journey planner to book a return ticket from Melbourne Southern Cross to Warrnambool Station, making sure it's on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday.  Make sure you select the 09:10 departure from Melbourne to Warrnambool by train+coach+coach via Geelong & Apollo Bay on the outward leg, and the 17:36 direct train from Warrnambool to Melbourne on the return leg.  You pay by Visa or MasterCard and collect your tickets at any V/Line sales outlet, including at Melbourne Southern Cross station.  If you have any issues booking this, call V/Line on +61 3 9662 2505.

For general tourist information about the Great Ocean Road, see www.visitgreatoceanroad.org.au .

Buy at Amazon.co.uk (UK) or Amazon.com (US)

Alternatively, you can download just the chapters you need in .PDF format from the Lonely Planet Website , from around £2.99 or US$4.95 a chapter.

Australia by Rail from Trailblazer Guides

Accommodation in australia, tripadvisor hotel reviews.

www.tripadvisor.com is a good place to find independent travellers' reviews of the main hotels.  It also has the low-down on all the sights & attractions too.

Backpacker hostels in Australia: www.hostelworld.com

www.hostelworld.com :  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in many places in Australia, at rock-bottom prices.

Flights to Australia

1)  check flight prices at opodo, www.opodo.com, 2)  use skyscanner to compare flight prices & routes worldwide across 600 airlines....

skyscanner generic 728x90

3)  Lounge passes

Make the airport experience a little more bearable with a VIP lounge pass, it's not as expensive as you think!  See www.loungepass.com

Travel to Australia without flying

For information on how to travel from Europe to Australia without flying, either overland by Trans-Siberian Railway to the Far East then by freighter, or by sea all the way, see the Australia overland page .

Travel insurance & other tips

Always take out travel insurance.

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy with Staysure.co.uk myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

US flag

Get an eSIM with mobile data package

Don't rely on WiFi, download an eSIM with a mobile data package for the country you're visiting and stay connected.  Most newer mobile phones can download a virtual SIM card so you don't need to buy a physical SIM, including iPhone 11 & later, see device compatibility list .  Maya.net is a reliable eSIM data retailer with a 4.5 out of 5 Trustpilot rating and a range of packages including unlimited data .

Get a Curve card for foreign travel

Most banks give you a poor exchange rate, then add a foreign transaction fee on top.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, £500 per month at time of writing.  The money you spend on your Curve card goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.

How it works:   1. Download the Curve app for iPhone or Android .  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to the UK and most European addresses.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app, you can link up to two cards with the free version of Curve, I link my normal debit card and my normal credit card.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, exactly like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance in your own currency onto whichever debit or credit card is currently selected in the Curve app.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I have a Curve Blue card myself, it means I can buy a coffee on a foreign station on a card without being stung by fees and lousy exchange rates, just by tapping the Curve card on their card reader.  The money goes through Curve to my normal debit card and is taken directly from my account (in fact I have the Curve card set up as payment card on Apple Pay on my iPhone, so can double-click my phone, let it do Face ID then tap the reader with the phone - even easier than digging a card out).  I get a little commission if you sign up to Curve, but I recommend it here because I think it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card , they'll give you £5 cashback through that link.

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  W hy you need a VPN

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN encrypts your connection so it's always secure, even on unsecured WiFi.  It also means you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geoblocking which a surprising number of websites apply.  See VPNs & why you need one explained .  ExpressVPN is a best buy with a 4.7 out of 5 Trustpilot ranking which I use myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with expressvpn.com using the links on this page, you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription.  I get a small commission to help support this site.

Carry an Anker powerbank

Tickets, reservations, vaccination records and Interrail or Eurail passes are often held digitally on your mobile phone, so it's vital to keep it charged.  I always carry an Anker powerbank which can recharge my phone several times over if I can't get to a power outlet.  Buy from Amazon.co.uk or from buy from Amazon.com .

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luxury australian train journeys

2025 rates released, ultra-luxury cruise presentation with.

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We are delighted to invite you to an exclusive information session and dinner to learn more about Scenic’s award-winning ultra-luxury ocean and river cruises.

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Pre-register to hold your Platinum or Gold service cabin on The Ghan , Indian Pacific , or Great Southern rail journeys. Book now for 2026, for only *$50 deposit and Aussie Trains & Cruise will match your holding deposit

$50 per Gold cabin matched – $100 per platinum cabin matched

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Join us on a once-in-a-lifetime luxury Australian train journey and experience the breathtaking beauty of the country’s landscape from the comfort of your world-class cabin aboard The Ghan . Our train holidays in Australia offer a thrilling and splendid way to explore iconic locations while enjoying delicious meals with both new and old friends. So, embark on an adventure and choose your destination today to begin your unforgettable luxury Australian train holiday.

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Indian pacific - 2025 fares, the great southern - 2025 fares, call 13 ghan (13 44 26) for more details, 2025 ghan special packages - view all.

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ARNHEM LAND AND RED CENTRE SPECTACULAR 2025

From $21,635 pp*, arnhem land adventure 2025, from $16,000 pp*, the ultimate territory tour 2025, from $10,990 pp*, watch the video to see what it's like to travel as as guest on a top luxury australian train journey..

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ADELAIDE · ALICE SPRINGS · DARWIN · VICE VERSA

Ride the rails of history aboard The Ghan, as you take the unforgettable luxury Australian train journey through the outback heartland. Whether you travel up to the tropical Top End of Darwin, or south to the wine capital of Adelaide, your time experiencing one of the world’s great rail journeys will deliver a unique holiday beyond expectations.

long train trips australia

SYDNEY · ADELAIDE · PERTH · VICE VERSA

The expanse of a continent is yours to discover on this unique coast-to-coast transcontinental Australian train journey. Whether you’re travelling from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific or the other way round, this epic journey across the longest stretch of straight railway track in the world, traversing mountain ranges, deserts and goldfields, through rocky valleys and subtropical savannah is a luxury holiday experience of a lifetime.

long train trips australia

ADELAIDE · BRISBANE · VICE VERSA

Lazy laidback days and balmy starlit nights – Australians know their summer is something truly special. Returning for its second season with all-new adventures, the Great Southern Australian train journey takes you via outback and ocean embracing everything you love about summer this December and January.

long train trips australia

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long train trips australia

Amazing Australian Rail Journeys

9 of the best train trips in australia.

A starter’s list of nine of the best train journeys in Australia . The Ghan, probably the most famous given her incredible stretch from Darwin in the north to Adelaide in the south is an iconic journey of indulgence that passes through the heart of the country. However, some would argue first place has to be owed to The Indian Pacific given she’s one of the longest train journeys of the world.

Australia can easily lay claim to also having some of the world’s best train trips for any number of reasons. There’s the immense landscapes and views on any of these trips. Then some offer incredible onboard style and comfort and unique off-train experiences. Then journeys through remote parts of Australia’s vast outback like the overnight train trip Longreach to Brisbane or the day trips in Queensland’s Far North can’t me mirrored on any other continent of our world.

It could be Australia’s most famous – The Ghan. The iconic Australian rail journey from the north to the south; Darwin to Adelaide. The Ghan has a long-standing history with origins dating back to 1878 when construction started. However it wouldn’t be until 2004 that the entire journey was made possible with the completion of the rail line to Darwin. The Ghan attracts it’s passengers from all parts of the globe and this great Australian rail journey should be on anyone’s list that’s seeking out a unique train indulgence across Australia.

There’s no roughing it on this trip as you travel in style and comfort. Choose between Gold Service or Platinum Service ; both offering private sleeper cabins, fine dining and all-inclusive beverages while hosted by the wonderful crew on board. Unlike cruise ships when options for solo travellers are limited and big surcharges apply, for solo travellers The Ghan options the comfort of your own sleeper cabin solo without the extra big surcharge.  Curious about their options there’s interactive images to view here . Join our Solo Travel Group on The Ghan. View The Ghan Expedition .

The Ghan

The Indian Pacific

Part of the Journey Beyond rail offer, the Indian Pacific connects Perth to Sydney. Like The Ghan but instead east-west (or west to east) this is an all-inclusive rail holiday that shows of an incredibly diverse landscape as it travels by mountain ranges, the arid deserts and goldfields, rocky valleys and subtropical savannahs.

It’s an incredible 4352 kilometre rail trip across Australia and is one of the longest train trips in the world. There’s the option to complete it in full or journey it in part; taking the entire journey is a 4 day rail trip but otherwise other options include the two day Sydney to Adelaide trip (or in reverse) or the three day Adelaide to Perth (or in reverse) rail trip. The Indian Pacific is right up there with great Australian rail journeys . Along the way stops include Broken Hill and the Blue Mountains, on the Sydney to Adelaide leg. The rail trip between Adelaide to Perth includes off train experiences in Cook and Rawlina as you cross the Nullarbor.

Indian Pacific with Encounter Travel

The Overland

A lesser known Australian train trip – The Overland. This is a day journey that connects Adelaide and Melbourne. Sit back and relax while enjoying the onboard service and the changing landscapes along the way. The Overland train was at risk of ceasing but a last minute turnaround sees it continue its service. The Overland passes through classic Australian country towns including Murray Bridge, Bordertown, Nhill, Dimboola, Horsham, Ararat and Geelong. Choose to travel Red  or  Red Premium service ,  each a comfortable journey.  Red Premium is comparable to your business class of flying; all inclusive in-seat dining that offers breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea with more spacious seating. The train departs three times per week in each direction so if planning it with city visits before or after, check the timetables in advance to plan out your itinerary to match the departure days.

long train trips australia

Spirit of the Outback

Maybe you know The Ghan, and The Indian Pacific but the Spirit of the Outback rail journey has not caught your attention. This is the incredible overnight 1300 kilometre rail journey from Brisbane to Longreach (or in reverse). It’s a distinctively different way to see Queensland's outback and to reach or depart from Longreach, the home of Qantas.

The timing of the train departures from either directions means you get the daylight hours to see the best of Queensland’s outback scenery from the comfort of your chair or the lounge if you’re travelling Gold Service.

Gold Class Spirit of the Outback

Spirit of Queensland,  Brisbane to Cairns

We think of driving up our Queensland coast or flying to reach the many spots along this far stretching coast but who thinks about a train trip along it?  This is what the Spirit of Queensland can offer.  In all a twenty-four our rail trip Brisbane to Cairns (or in reverse) and is 1681 kilometres long. Or, take the option to travel the journey in part with stops including Rockhampton, Mackay, Proserpine (Whitsundays access), Townsville and more.

Travel by rail on the Spirit of Queensland between Brisbane and Cairns is five times a week with the choice of including their RailBed service.  RailBed is a spacious seat by day that converts to a lie-flat bed at night.  There’s also a Galley Car with refreshments and a lounge area.

BedRail

The Gulflander

This is the train journey of the incredible Gulf country. The Gulflander is one of our unique Australian train trips and it’s from Normanton to Croydon in Australia’s remote Gulf of Carpentaria and it travels along the original rail that was first built back in 1888. The experience is on the old 1950 railmotor and includes morning tea while you are hosted by the accredited Savannah guides. This is a standalone rail line and is affectionately known as a train journey ‘nowhere to nowhere’ and is the Heritage Listed.  The trips shows off the remarkable wetlands, the grasslands and the Savannah territory. Anyone visiting the remote Gulf country should look to include this five hour journey (152 kilometres). It is a one of a kind rail journey and a part of Australia that many will never visit but should.

Gulflander Station

The Savannahlander

Visiting Cairns you have the unique option to join the rail journey on The Savannahlander through the tropical far north , through Savannah country and ending in Forsayth.  

Loaded with character The Savannahlander is a 1960’s classic railmotor. If you’re not up for the entire 850 kilometre journey you can opt to journey just part of the trip. The trip is just once a week so plan ahead if your including this in your Far North Queensland travels, and it’s only between March to December. If you’re opting for the full journey you’ll need accommodation overnight at one of towns nearby to where the train pulls and for all passengers it’s self catering, meaning you bring the food you want onboard or pick up something from the local towns you stop at.

long train trips australia

Kuranda Scenic Railway

Are you first timer when it comes to rail journeys and not sure if one of the longer journeys is for you? A trip on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, all up just a 2 hour rail journey, may be a start. Although it can’t possibly compare to the iconic journeys like The Ghan or The Indian Pacific given these are distinctively different with their overnight sleeper arrangements you can get the feel for scenic travel by rail.

This trip Cairns to Kuranda passes through some of the highlights of the tropical territory of Far North Queensland with sweeping views of rugged mountains and ravines as you pass from sea level to 328 metres. There’s commentary along the way and once you arrive to Kuranda you can potter about and take time for something to eat at one of the local restaurants or cafes.  If it is a one off trip, then consider treating yourself to Gold Class on the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Making your way back to Cairns, you may want to take the option of The Skyrail; the cablecar the spans 7.5 kilometres.

long train trips australia

Great Southern, Adelaide to Brisbane

journey in Australia but only on offer December to January. It is the latest addition to Journey Beyond Rail’s line up and offers two itineraries. There’s a 3 day/2 night Adelaide to Brisbane Eastern Explorer and the 4 day/3 nights Brisbane to Adelaide Summer Gold itinerary. Although both include Adelaide and Brisbane each follows a different route. The three day Adelaide to Brisbane travels via The Grampians, Canberra and Coffs Harbour.  The four day Brisbane to Adelaide is via Coffs Harbour, The Hunter Valley/Port Stephens and Newcastle region and then the last stop in Victoria.

These rail journeys are unique with their off-train experiences.  Depending which one you pick to give you an idea, they includes experiences like incredible beachside in Coffs Harbour, a road trip to the Great Ocean Road or delve into the art, history and culinary culture of Canberra. Choose between Gold Service or Platinum Service for a refined rail journey across three states of Australia.

long train trips australia

JOIN OUR 'SOLOS ONLY' GROUP GHAN EXPEDITION CHECK US OUT Encounter Travel is 100% Australian Owned. Since 2006 creating small group tours for solo travellers. Find out where you can travel with us. 3 Time Award Winner Check out our Solos Only Tour Groups For a full list of  small group tours. Getting Started For The First Time? Check out my book,  How To Travel Solo But Not Alone

Something To Share? Have you got a story to share?  Send us your solo travel story, for inclusion on our blog page. Know anyone that could find some encouraging words from my story? Please share and be a voice for travelling solo.

Rail Journeys for Solo Travellers

long train trips australia

The Ghan Expedition for Solo Travellers

An icon of Australian rail travel and one of the world’s great train journeys

long train trips australia

The Indian Pacific for Solo Travellers

Experience an overnight train journey through the Australian outback.

About the author

Justine Waddington

Justine Waddington

Justine Waddington  is the founder and director of Encounter Travel, a company that creates holiday groups exclusively for solo travellers. As a solo traveller with 60 countries under her belt and 15 years of arranging travel groups, Justine is in the unique position of being able to offer tips and advice from the perspective of an experienced solo traveller and also that of a travel agent.

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TravelAwaits

Our mission is to serve the 50+ traveler who's ready to cross a few items off their bucket list.

11 More Incredible Australian Train Trips To Experience

long train trips australia

  • Australia and South Pacific
  • Destinations
  • Types of Travel

The long and the short of it; Australia has some remarkable train trips. 

There are long haul train journeys such as The Ghan — the longest passenger train in the world — slicing Australia from top to bottom through the Red Centre .

Each state has historic railways with short runs. These are in scenic places and showcase Australia’s unique rail history. 

My son is to blame for my train obsession. He loved trains as a child and to feed his interest I would take him on steam trains. Now in his mid 20s I can’t remember the last time he traveled by train but my journeys continue. 

I shared some of my favorite trips in 8 Incredible Vintage Train Rides In Australia . Here are 11 more trains worth the ticket to ride.

The Great Southern –Brisbane to Adelaide

1. The Great Southern

Brisbane to adelaide .

In December and January, the wet season sweeps across the Top End. The famous Ghan can’t run due to the chance of flooding on the tracks. Instead, the Great Southern , another service by Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions , borrows the Ghan’s carriages. This summer-only route covers the 1,242 miles between Adelaide and Brisbane .

Like the Ghan, the Great Southern offers sumptuous dining, fine wines, and Platinum and Gold-class carriages . I’ve traveled in a Gold Twin — a lavish experience.​ The carriages were refurbished at a cost of $2 million each. 

Trainspotters with tripods are out in force. Making passengers feel like rockstars. 

The multi-day journey is inclusive of side excursions to the Barossa or Hunter wine region ; Canberra, Australia’s capital; the Grampians ; and Coffs Harbour’s sun-kissed beaches. 

Pro Tip: Brisbane or Adelaide departures with these packages .

The Overland, Melbourne to Adelaide, attendant stands outside of train on platform.

2. The Overland

Melbourne to adelaide.

The Overland has linked Adelaide and Melbourne since 1887, making it the oldest direct inter-capital rail service in Australia. The name refers to the “overlanders,” or colonists, who pushed forward into Australia’s hinterlands with bullock-drawn drays in search of pastoral land in the 19th century. 

The Overland’s symbol is the Emu, a bird which cannot fly but runs with speed and grace across wide-open lands. You could fly from Melbourne to Adelaide in an hour and 20 minutes. A run in the Overland takes all day. But oh, the scenery! Past the silvery lakes of the Wimmera, Victoria’s wheat-growing belt, the craggy Grampians, and the Adelaide Hills famous vineyards.

The Red Standard class offers value-for-money. The Red Premium is an all-inclusive in-seat dining and trolley service offering breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea. All passengers can access the licensed buffet bar.

Pro Tip: The Overland operates two services a week in each direction and links with The Ghan and the Indian Pacific. 

Spirit of Queensland with Glasshouse Mountains in the background.

3. Spirit Of Queensland

Brisbane to cairns .

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a train! The Spirit of Queensland is as streamlined as any aircraft with reclining seats, overhead lockers, and in-seat entertainment .

The 1,045-mile journey from Brisbane to Cairns takes 24 hours but you can break the journey at Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay (with access to Fraser Island ), and Townsville. Cairns, the final destination, is the base for the Great Barrier Reef, and the Daintree . 

Spirit of Queensland seats convert into beds like business class travel on a plane.

The service offers Premium Economy or RailBed Class similar to business class on airlines. Attendants recline the seats into flatbeds. They serve meals with a paddock-to-plate focus rather than airline food!

The Spirit of Queensland runs from Brisbane to Cairns five times a week. 

Mary Valley Rattler, Gympie, Queensland.

4. Mary Valley Rattler

Gympie, queensland .

Get on board! Hear the toot and the clickety-clack as you round the track. The Mary Valley Rattler is a beloved old-fashioned steam train. This tourist railway is in Gympie, a town 2 hours north of Brisbane, or behind the Sunshine Coast , should you be staying there. The scenic journey is through the Mary Valley, an area punctuated by misty hills, valleys, foodie haunts, and opportunities to kayak with platypuses. Enjoy the Historic Gympie Station, a traditional Queensland building restored to its glory days. Historical displays share stories of the Mary Valley Railway line. The Rattler’s 29-mile scenic return trip crosses the Mary River and chugs around curves and across bridges. At Amamoor , see the engine turned on the turntable. Experience the Rattler Tasting Train where you board the vintage railmotor RM76 and enjoy local cheese, sourdough, and other delights. On Sunday, their All Stations Train means wine and cheese tastings for a $5 donation to a community group. Tourists also love the Rusty Rails Café in the restored railway station dining area. The Mary Valley Rattler was a Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Award Winner .

5. The Q Train

Victoria .

If you love heritage trains and fine dining, this is the train to catch. Australia’s premier and award-winning rail restaurant, the Q Train , departs from the historic Drysdale Train Station, near Geelong . The journey offers stunning views of Swan Bay and the Bellarine particularly at sunset. The journey showcases the local food, wine, beer, and cider from the Bellarine Peninsula. Not simply a meal, this is a six-course dégustation journey created by chefs. Expect platings like Sage Farm-salted beef with pear, pepper, wasabi aioli, sesame oil, dehydrated tomato, and Thai basil. The Q Train uses renovated and restored carriages from Queensland’s retired Sunlander and one of its steam engines is from the famous Kuranda Scenic Railway .

Pro Tip: Drysdale Station is a 90-minute drive from Melbourne, or arrive via Port Phillip Ferries departing Melbourne’s Docklands.

The Byron Bay Solar Train.

6. Byron Bay Train

New south wales.

This is one hip trip. Byron Bay runs the world’s only full-sized, fully solar-powered train . The immaculately restored 1949-era, two-carriage heritage train was converted to solar power. The 1.86-mile coastal track links the Byron Town Center with the North Beach precinct and Byron Arts Estate. The 10 minutes one-way, or 25-minute return journey, passes through rainforest, endangered coastal wetlands, and over Belongil Creek, part of Cape Byron Marine Park. The train holds a capacity of 92 seated passengers, and their surfboards!

Scenic Railway, Blue Mountains, NSW.

7. Scenic Railway

This may be the shortest but most thrilling ride of your life. Boasting the Guinness World Record for the world’s steepest railway, the funicular in the Blue Mountains behind Sydney was built for mining in the 19th century before being converted to a tourist ride in 1945. Following an award-winning redevelopment in 2013, the fifth-generation train travels an unforgettable route through a cliff tunnel before emerging on the floor of the Jamison Valley. Passengers choose their level of adventure, by adjusting their seated position. Choose the 64-degree incline if you want the Cliffhanger!

Victorian Goldfields Railway, Victoria

8. Victorian Goldfields Railway

The Goldfields Railway is a historical train service running between Castlemaine (around 2 hours’ drive from Melbourne) and the historic village of Maldon . I rode this wonderful railway recently on one of Victoria’s 100 degree Fahrenheit days. I appreciated the air conditioned carriages in first class and the bar. There’s something about watching the world slip by while sipping bubbles. Despite the heat, I couldn’t resist heading out to the external observation deck — like something out of an old western movie. Although, the scenes were Austalian and included locations from The Dressmaker starring Kate Winslett and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries .

The love and restoration that has gone into this heritage railway is extraordinary. Popular events include their Murder on the Orient Express nights where the journey includes a screening of the famous movie. The art deco and Edwardian parlor carriages are perfect for the occasion. Ales on Rails showcases the local brews and driver experience packages. You might finally get to drive a train. 

Pro Tip: Like in many of Australia’s tinderbox areas, diesel rather than steam engines are used in summer. 

Hotham Valley Tourist Railway, Western Australia.

9. Hotham Valley Tourist Railway

Western australia.

Dwellingup, in the Darling Range near Perth, was named 2021 Top Small Tourism Town in western Australia. The town’s historic Hotham Valley Railway is part of the attraction. Once serving the timber industry and agricultural areas, the steam trains now run weekly (May to October). On the return journey, there’s the thrill of a Steam Locomotive hard at work climbing western Australia’s steepest and most spectacular section of railway. The suspense of wondering whether it will make it is all part of the thrill. A vintage diner train runs on Saturdays, the forest softly lit for the occasion. Advanced bookings are recommended.

Alexandra Timber Tramway.

10. Alexandra Timber Tramway

A tourist railway is in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range in Alexandra 81 miles northeast of Melbourne. Experience the era of bush sawmills and tramways in the Rubicon Forest as they were during the early 1900s. View an extensive rolling stock including the first Victorian-built diesel locomotives. Experience a quaint tramway ride and learn more about narrow gauge and timber tramways at the museum. Pioneers lived with their families deep in the bush, their only connection to the outside world through these tramways. A number of them tragically lost their lives in the 1939 bushfires leading to a ban of rebuilding the mills in the forest — the end of an era and a unique slice of Australian history.

Pro Tip: Trains run on select weekends each month and for special events. 

Yarra Valley Railway A view from inside Walker rail motor 22RM–

11. Yarra Valley Tourist Railway

One of our favorite rides when my son was little was the Yarra Valley Tourist Railway; a chance to experience a 1950s Walker RM22 Railmotor and an exciting ride through an 1889 brick-built tunnel (stretching 500 feet through the tunnel hill). During the 30-minute ride, spot kangaroos in the paddocks, and chug past vineyards. Like many of Australia’s restored railways, the rides exist because of the tireless work of dedicated volunteers. Over 500 have helped keep this railway running. 

Pro Tip: The Yarra Valley is a famous wine region outside of Melbourne. Take the opportunity to visit Healesville Sanctuary to meet Australian wildlife. TarraWarra Museum of Art is a striking modern art gallery.

For more scenic views of the Australian Outback , visit these articles:

  • 10 Amazing Experiences In One Of Australia’s Best-Kept Secrets
  • 8 Places For Ultimate Relaxation In Byron Bay, Australia
  • Best Experiences With Australia’s Cutest Animals

Image of Nadine Cresswell-Myatt

Nadine Cresswell-Myatt of Red Bag Will Travel took her first plane trip at age eight. This would not be so unusual except she was flying solo and had never seen a plane before: what were her parents thinking? This adventure set her course for life. For over 25 years, she has crafted stories about her travel adventures for newspapers, magazines, and online travel sites, as well as training others how to do the same. You can follow her international travel on Instagram or read about her Australian jaunts at WeekendNotes . Yes, she’s an Aussie, but with children and grandchildren around the globe and her ability to travel with only a red carry-on bag, you might just find her popping up anywhere. And she still travels solo.

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long train trips australia

10 most scenic train trips in Australia

With air travel on pause for most, Australians have been embracing rail travel like never before. Here are 10 day trips you can experience.

This article may contain links from our affiliate and advertising partners. When you click on them, or share this content, we may earn a commission.  Learn more

long train trips australia

Mary Valley Rattler, Gympie, Qld

Since reopening in late 2018, the heritage steam railway from Gympie to the historic village of Amamoor has hit the rails running with innovative attractions. The Rattler now has its own Off the Rails ale and cider, runs a weekly tasting train featuring Mary Valley produce, and welcomes pets on board. This month is a big one with the 140th anniversary of the Mary Valley rail line’s opening, and the inaugural running of Murder on the Rattler Express – a Friday the 13th murder mystery experience. 

Buy tickets

long train trips australia

Puffing Billy Railway, Vic

It’s Australia’s oldest heritage steam railway, but if you think nothing has changed over the past 121 years for Puffing Billy, you’re wrong. Next month, a brand-new, $20 million, state-of-the-art visitor centre at Emerald Lake Park in the Dandenong Ranges is set to become a visitor hub for the railway, complementing the journey’s verdant fern gullies, towering mountain ash trees and timber trestle bridges. Emerald Lake Park is also the jumping-off point for Puffing Billy’s newest itinerary, the hugely popular Dog Express, which lets passengers bring their canine companions on board.

long train trips australia

The Q Train, Vic

Forget the destination – the Q Train is all about the food lover’s favourite station: degustation. Travelling on the Bellarine Railway from Drysdale to Queenscliff, the restaurant-on-rails pairs a heritage train ride with a five-course meal showcasing local produce. Whether you take Q Class or First Class, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of Swan Bay and the Bellarine countryside. Catch a ferry from Docklands or Sorrento so you can enjoy the local wine, beer or cider with no need for a designated driver.

long train trips australia

West Coast Wilderness Railway, Tas

As steep as it is spectacular, the train line between Queenstown and Strahan travels through ancient rainforest and features the sharpest gradient climbed by a regular train in the southern hemisphere. Originally built in the late 19th century to transport copper, these days it offers several tourist itineraries. Thrillseekers can even combine white-water rafting through King River Gorge with a train ride overlooking the gorge on the way back. Now’s a great time to visit, with trains, tracks and stations freshly spruced up during a Covid shutdown.

long train trips australia

Byron Solar Train, NSW

Byron Bay may be known for its resident celebrities, but it’s home to rail royalty, too – the world’s only full-sized, fully solar-powered train. A modern marvel of engineering, the restored heritage train has been operating since 2017 on a 3km route through rainforest and wetlands from North Beach to Byron town centre. Only 23 per cent of power generated from its rooftop solar panels is used to run the daily train trips; the excess is exported to the grid.

long train trips australia

Scenic Railway, NSW

It takes just minutes to ride, but what the 310m-long Scenic Railway in the Blue Mountains lacks in length it makes up for in gradient. Boasting the Guinness World Record for the world’s steepest railway, the funicular was built for mining in the 19th century before being converted to a tourist ride in 1945. Glass-roofed carriages descend at a 52-degree incline through a cliff tunnel to a rainforest valley – with daring passengers able to adjust their seats to an even steeper 64-degree “cliffhanger” incline. It’s complemented by Scenic World’s Cableway, Walkway and Skyway, overlooking the Blue Mountains’ famous Three Sisters.

long train trips australia

Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld 

A trip to Far North Queensland isn’t complete without a visit to Kuranda, and this year marks the 130th anniversary of the remarkable railway that put the “Village in the Rainforest” on the map. The Cairns to Kuranda line passes through rugged gorges and rainforest, with 55 bridges and 15 tunnels almost entirely dug by hand. Shovels, wheelbarrows and explosives were used to cut through the gorge alongside the thundering Barron Falls. These days, a popular choice is to travel on the railway’s heritage carriages one way, returning on the Skyrail cableway for bird’s-eye rainforest views.

long train trips australia

Victorian Goldfields Railway, Vic

It’s not just a heritage steam train connecting the goldmining towns of Castlemaine and Maldon. It’s a cinema on wheels, a bar on rails, and wannabe train driver’s dream come true. Beyond daytrips to the quaint town of Maldon, special events (nearly sold out for 2021) include evening trips in a cinema carriage with screenings of rail-themed movies, and the Ales on Rails experience showcasing Central Victorian craft beers. Take charge of a historic steam or diesel locomotive with a “driver experience” package. 

long train trips australia

Pichi Richi Railway, SA 

The Ghan is one of Australia’s most celebrated rail journeys, but, for many, a three-day journey from Adelaide to Darwin is too long and too expensive. But on the Pichi Richi Railway you can get a taste of the original Ghan route, used from 1923 to 1956, with half- and full-day journeys between Port Augusta and Quorn in the Flinders Ranges. The railway’s heritage steam and diesel trains take passengers through striking outback scenery on the Afghan Express for a fraction of the price of the Adelaide to Darwin journey.

long train trips australia

Hotham Valley Railway, WA

In the Darling Range near Perth, Dwellingup has been named 2021 Top Small Tourism Town in Western Australia and the town’s historic Hotham Valley Railway is a big part of the attraction for many. Steam trains run weekly May to October, traversing WA’s steepest section of railway to take tourists back in time to the area’s timber milling past. A forest train also runs from Dwellingup to Etmilyn where visitors can walk through rare jarrah forest and see spring wildflowers. A vintage diner train runs on Saturdays. 

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Australia's luxury train vacations

Romance awaits aboard Australia’s lavish long-distance sleeper trains.

By Amy Fraser and Krysia Bonkowski

The Indian Pacific, Adelaide, South Australia © Journey Beyond Rail

Four days, three states, two oceans and one train. The Indian Pacific isn’t just any train journey, it’s an epic escape from day-to-day life, an adventure of a lifetime and one of the best ways to experience the true beauty of Australia. Picture the majestic Blue Mountains in New South Wales, the rolling hills and winding streams of Western Australia , the bubble-gum pink lakes of South Australia and the iconic Nullarbor Plain ; you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled and your camera at the ready. Choose to hop on at any leg of the journey, or sit back for an epic four days from one ocean to another along the world’s longest stretch of straight railway.

Great Southern Rail © Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions

Over three to four days, the Great Southern sweeps through one of the most diverse corners of the nation – venturing from the lush folds of South Australia’s Adelaide Hills, to the rugged Grampians mountain range in Victoria, past the lazuline shores of the New South Wales north coast and on to Brisbane. Four Australian states in a handful of days; it’s the ultimate way to see the country's ever-changing landscapes, all the while indulging in the world-class luxuries. This all-inclusive journey runs only once a year, across summer. The best part? The itinerary changes with the direction, giving you the perfect excuse to hop back on and do it all anew.

The Ghan Expedition, near Alice Springs, Northern Territory © Andrew Gregory

No distractions, no complications – just you and the monumental Australian outback. Traversing almost 3,000km (1,864mi) across some of the most hard-to-reach and jaw-dropping pockets of Australia, the Ghan journey is truly awe-inspiring. Snaking your way through the heart of the outback, you’ll see a new side to Australia – and perhaps yourself. From stylish interiors to indulgent experiences; the Ghan isn't one of the world’s most celebrated train journeys just for the route – it's the whole experience. To top it off, you'll have the opportunity to create your own adventure, choosing between a handful of routes and journeys.

Spirit of the Outback on the Queensland Rail in outback Queensland © Queensland Rail

26 hours and 1,300-odd km (808mi) – that’s all it takes to see the soul of western Queensland . As the Spirit of the Outback sleeper train chugs inland from Brisbane, lush greenery gives way to a land tinted gold and bronze by the sun. Between the Australiana-themed dining cars serving Queensland produce and the cattle stations stretching to meet the endless horizon, it’s an experience unique to this corner of the world. A place steeped in lore and legend – the inspiration for bush poet Banjo Paterson’s ballad “Waltzing Matilda” – the Queensland outback still echoes the bushrangers, prospectors, and hardy drovers that once roamed here.

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Indian Pacific Train, Lake Hart, SA © Journey Beyond

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long train trips australia

Indian Pacific

With its bold wedge-tailed eagle emblem symbolising the scope, range and significance of each epic journey, the Indian Pacific traverses mountain ranges, passes through arid deserts and goldfields, rocky valleys and subtropical savannahs on its transcontinental crossings.

Named for the two oceans the train encounters on its journey, the Indian Pacific travels between Perth, Adelaide and Sydney on a spectacular 4352km crossing.

There’s no better way to experience the spectacular interior landscape of Australia than by the romance of rail. Choose from one of the following Indian Pacific journeys for the foundation of your adventure.

Indian Pacific map

YOUR INDIAN PACIFIC EXPERIENCE

Everything is included.

There’s nothing like putting down your suitcase and allowing your journey to simply unfold. Once you step aboard our trains, you can relax, knowing everything has been considered and included in your fare.

From world-class food and wine to a range of immersive Off Train Experiences, the hardest decision you’ll need to make is what to have for lunch and which experience to join.

Find out more about your onboard experience, service levels and Off Train Experiences.

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Experience Australia by rail

long train trips australia

As the world's largest island continent, Australia is as diverse as it is vast. You can explore this great country by rail taking in the scenery. From the lush green beauty of our tropical rainforests, to the desert extremes of the Red Centre and of course, literally thousands of beautiful, white sandy beaches.

There's winding rivers, magnificent mountain ranges, vivid wildflowers, majestic waterfalls, unique wildlife, red desert vistas, crystal clear waterholes and some of the most liveable cities in the world. But because Australia is so big, driving around can seem a little daunting and missing the best of it from a plane at 35,000 feet is such a waste.

Rail travel is so perfectly suited for this great southern land. The varying weather, time zones, and vast distances between attractions will be of no concern to you as you explore Australia from the climate-controlled comfort of your carriage. You'll find each and every one of these great train journeys has its own unique character and set of attractions.

Discover places to visit in Australia , and find out how to get around on public transport when you get there. You can also visit Tourism Australia website to start planning your rail trip of a lifetime.

Long distance train services across Australia

Between new south wales, act, queensland and victoria.

The XPLORER and XPT travel all around NSW and interstate. Linking the country and coastal towns to major cities.

Plan a trip with the the Trip Planner , see current sale fares and book your train ticket .

Also view train timetables and see the onboard facilities for the XPT and XPLORER trains.

Vintage Rail Journeys will take you on a regional Australian rail adventure on their restored Aurora Australis carriages. Choose from three different experiences and see more of regional New South Wales.

Western Australia

  • Australind services travel from Perth to Bunbury
  • AvonLink services travel Midland to Northam
  • MerredinLink services travel from East Perth to Merredin
  • The Prospector travels from East Perth to Kalgoorlie

Learn more and book on the Transwa website .

Between Northern Territory and South Australia

The Ghan travels between Darwin and Adelaide.

Learn more and book seats on the Ghan by visiting the Great Southern Railway website .

  • The Gulflander travels in parts of North Queensland
  • The Inlander travels between Townsville and Mt Isa
  • Kuranda Scenic Railway travels across North Queensland
  • Savannahlander travels between Cairns and Forsayth
  • Spirit of the Outback travels between Brisbane, Rockhampton and Long Reach
  • Tile Train travels up and down the coast between Brisbane and Cairns
  • The Westlander runs from Brisbane to Charleville

Learn and more book on the Queensland Rail Travel website .

Between New South Wales and Western Australia

The Indian Pacific travels between Sydney and Perth.

Between Victoria and South Australia

The Overland travels between Melbourne and Adelaide.

IMAGES

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  4. 7+ Best Australian Train Journeys In 2024 [Top Rated]

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  6. 9 of The Best Train Trips In Australia

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  5. Road Trains

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COMMENTS

  1. Best train journeys to take in Australia

    Spirit of the Outback. 26 hours and 1,300-odd km (808mi) - that's all it takes to see the soul of western Queensland. As the Spirit of the Outback sleeper train chugs inland from Brisbane, lush greenery gives way to a land tinted gold and bronze by the sun. Between the Australiana-themed dining cars serving Queensland produce and the cattle ...

  2. 7 incredible overnight sleeper train journeys to take in Australia

    The Ghan Expedition, a four-day all-inclusive trip running from Adelaide to Darwin, is the train's signature line and counts itself among the world's greatest rail journeys. All up, it costs ...

  3. Top 10 Best Train Journeys in Australia

    Puffing Billy is known as Australia's favourite steam train. 10. Spirit of the Outback. The Spirit of the Outback traverses the heartland of Queensland's outback from Brisbane to Longreach. Delve into the history and culture of the state via towns like Bundaberg and Emerald.

  4. The Best Australian Train Trips

    The trip takes 5 hours, and along the way, the staff will entertain you with facts and trivia about the region along the way - a must for train buffs. Trains in Western Australia. There are two long-distance trains in Western Australia. It would be great to have a service that made its way to Broome or Albany… perhaps one day! The Prospector

  5. Handpicked: Here Are 10 Of The Best Train Trips In Australia

    6. Spirit Of Queensland - Budget. Take the Spirit of Queensland from Brisbane to Cairns to experience the many desirable destinations on the way. Stop by the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays, Townsville or anywhere else in between! This train sprawls over 1681 kilometres of pure scenic views.

  6. 10 Of The Best Train Journeys To Take Around Australia

    Read on for the best train trips around Australia. The Indian Pacific. Spanning 4352 kilometres between Perth and Sydney, the Indian Pacific is one of Australia's most epic train trips. You'll journey through deserts, mountains, goldfields, savannahs and rocky valleys on the four-day expedition, including the longest straight stretch of ...

  7. A guide to train travel in Australia

    You'll normally get a quote within 24 hours. International Rail can also sort tickets for other Australian train services, such as NSW TrainLink from Sydney to Melbourne or Brisbane. To buy Australian train tickets in the UK by phone, call International Rail on 0844 248 248 3, lines open 09:00-17:00 Monday-Friday.

  8. Official Site of The Ghan

    The Ghan. Darwin to Alice Springs or vice versa. 2 Days. 1 Nights. Step aboard The Ghan for an unforgettable train journey through the Northern Territory. An all-inclusive rail holiday, Top End Discovery travels between Alice Springs and Darwin on a one-of-a-kind adventure. Darwin to Alice Springs 2025Darwin to Alice Springs 2024Alice Springs ...

  9. Best Train Tours & Packages in Australia

    Embark on a stunning rail journey through Australia. Journey through Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, exploring historic landmarks, picturesque towns, and scenic landscapes. Book now for an unforgettable adventure.

  10. Official Site of The Ghan

    Timetables Plan Your Adventure. About History of The Ghan. Sign up to receive the latest news and offers. Signup. @journeybeyondrail@journeybeyondrailJourney Beyond Rail Expeditions. CONTACT US. 1800 703 357 (In Australia) +61 8 8213 4401 (Outside Australia) Contact Us Form.

  11. Luxury Australian Train Journeys

    Ride the rails of history aboard The Ghan, as you take the unforgettable luxury Australian train journey through the outback heartland. Whether you travel up to the tropical Top End of Darwin, or south to the wine capital of Adelaide, your time experiencing one of the world's great rail journeys will deliver a unique holiday beyond expectations.

  12. 9 of The Best Train Trips in Australia

    9 of The Best Train Trips in Australia. A starter's list of nine of the best train journeys in Australia. ... In all a twenty-four our rail trip Brisbane to Cairns (or in reverse) and is 1681 kilometres long. Or, take the option to travel the journey in part with stops including Rockhampton, Mackay, Proserpine (Whitsundays access), Townsville ...

  13. Official Site of The Ghan, Indian Pacific & Great Southern

    After enjoying a leisurely morning on board after departing Adelaide, the train will arrive in regional Victoria where you'll have the opportunity to explore the spectacular wilderness Grampians region. ⛰️. Book your summer journey on the Great Southern today, find out more at the link in bio. 🎥 @experiencethegrampians.

  14. 11 More Incredible Australian Train Trips To Experience

    The long and the short of it; Australia has some remarkable train trips. There are long haul train journeys such as The Ghan — the longest passenger train in the world — slicing Australia from top to bottom through the Red Centre. Each state has historic railways with short runs. These are in scenic places and showcase Australia's unique ...

  15. 10 most scenic train trips in Australia

    Pichi Richi Railway, SA. The Ghan is one of Australia's most celebrated rail journeys, but, for many, a three-day journey from Adelaide to Darwin is too long and too expensive. But on the Pichi Richi Railway you can get a taste of the original Ghan route, used from 1923 to 1956, with half- and full-day journeys between Port Augusta and Quorn ...

  16. The Indian Pacific Train: Sydney to Perth

    By Alissa Jenkins. Few train journeys are as epic as the Indian Pacific.From Sydney on Australia's east coast across the entire continent to Perth in the west, it passes through landscapes as varied as the spectacular Blue Mountains and the endless flat, otherworldly stretches of the Nullarbor Plain.Expect comfortable cabins, excellent food and fascinating day trips, which differ on the return ...

  17. Australia Rail Journeys

    View All 68 Rail Journeys. Discover Australia on a rail journey through the iconic outback, explore captivating coastal vistas and dive into the soul of this great land. Book your Australian train journey today for an unparalleled travel experience, with 68 itineraries to choose from and enjoy Global Journeys exclusive online savings.

  18. Australian trains

    About us. Australian Rail Maps is an independent small business. Since 1996 we have published online maps, timetables and journey planners to help visitors, residents, commuters and travellers get the most from Australia's extensive but un-integrated train, tram, bus and ferry networks.

  19. Luxury train vacations in Australia

    1. The Indian Pacific. Where: Sydney to Perth via Adelaide (route is also available in reverse) Four days, three states, two oceans and one train. The Indian Pacific isn't just any train journey, it's an epic escape from day-to-day life, an adventure of a lifetime and one of the best ways to experience the true beauty of Australia.

  20. Australia Trains

    Overall length of rail tracks in Australia: 36,064 km/22,409 mi. Types of trains in Australia: long-distance, regular & high-speed. Number of Australian routes sold on Rail Ninja: 8+. Fastest train speed of Australia trains: 210 km/h.

  21. Australian Trains

    Australian Trains. Travelling by train throughout Australia is a memorable and enjoyable experience. Australia is a vast country, where distances between capital cities are lengthy and what better way to see the Australian countryside than by train. Travel Online represents a number of different train journeys covering many regions of Australia.

  22. Official Site of the Indian Pacific

    1800 703 357 (In Australia) +61 8 8213 4401 (Outside Australia) Contact Us Form. Monday - Friday 8.00am - 6.00pm (ACST) Saturday & Sunday 9.00am - 5.00pm (ACST) Train Journeys. The Ghan. Indian Pacific. Great Southern.

  23. Experience Australia by rail

    Experience Australia by rail. As the world's largest island continent, Australia is as diverse as it is vast. You can explore this great country by rail taking in the scenery. From the lush green beauty of our tropical rainforests, to the desert extremes of the Red Centre and of course, literally thousands of beautiful, white sandy beaches.

  24. The Best Scenic Long-Distance Train Trips To Take In The US

    The Adirondack Line by Amtrak is one of the best long-distance train trips for New Yorkers looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, if only for a few hours. Departing from ...