Archive for March, 2012
In these pages we feature some of the best train tours available in Queensland but I was reading G magazine recently and they had an article on the Indian Pacific train that runs all the way from Sydney to Perth, undoubtedly one of the greatest single train journeys, and that got me thinking about some of the remarkable Australian train tours outside of Queensland. At a total distance of 4, 352kms and a single stretch of straight line (across the Nullabor) of 487kms (the longest in the world) the Indian Pacific is definitely a unique train journey.
The author of the article I read commented on the sleepness night spent on the rough tracks of NSW, something I had heard commented on elsewhere. They did have a Gold Class sleeper though so I image they didn’t fair too badly. Hopefully NSW lift their tracks up to the same standard we experience here in Queensland.
In a strange way the real reason for this journey is the big nothing, the empty planes and limitless vistas. Few of us get to see much of the interior of Australia and with a single journey on the Indian Pacific you get to see a great big chunk of it. That is undoubtedly part of the attraction of train journeys, whether they be in Queensland or traversing three states from NSW to WA.
The journey from Sydney to Perth on the Indian Pacific railway takes three days and costs somewhere between $368 (concession seated) to $2,092 (Gold Class).
If you’ve never been out to the Railway Museum Workshop in Ipswich I can thoroughly recommend it as a good day out. My wife was fascinated by it and she’s neither a train buff nor someone given to any inclination toward engineering. If you’ve got kids, even better, because they’ll love it.
We recently attended one of the Steam Train Sunday events, a steam train journey that leaves Roma Street Station and travels out along one of a variety of routes. Ours took us out to Pimpama and back.
Some might say the route out to Pimpama is not a glamorous one and while I might have to agree I would say that it is nevertheless an interesting one. Pimpama is an industrial area so as routes go it’s probably more interesting that peering into a bunch of backyards on a more suburban run. We passed the Eagle Farm racetrack and proceeded onward past all manner of industrial enterprises we could only guess at, past the Army barracks and out into the salty wilderness of the reclaimed marshland of outer Brisbane. For those inclined, a fascinating journey.
The real joy of the trip is of course the train. It’s a beautifully renovated carriages are all different and you’re welcome to wander from one end to another. The pace of the journey encourages you to sit back and talk to friends or you can hang out between the carriages and watch the world go by.
Steam Train Sunday is a great family day out. After the train tour you can picnic in Roma Street Parklands.
It’s another train free holiday but we’d thought we’d tell you about it anyway. Great Value Holidays have a one-off tour of Tambourine coming up in July for “Christmas in July”.
Mt Tambourine is the perfect place for this kind of tour, offering proper wintery nights and crisp lovely days, a chance to curl up in front of a fireplace and have knock back some eggnogg and enjoy a Christmas feast with turkey and ham.
The Christmas tour takes in the Glow Worms at Cedar Creek Estate, plus wine tasting, the botanical gardens, and time to stroll along the Gallery Walk and check out all the shops.
There are a couple of pubs on the itinerary too including the Fox and Hounds Country Inn.
If this sounds like something you might be interested in, even though there are no trains, get on over to the GVH website for more details.
One of the advantages rail travel has over air travel is the comparative lack of hassle associated with getting to and from the station.
Getting to and from the airport, either Gold Coast or Brisbane, on time and without worry or fuss, can be a difficult business. That’s why we’re recommending local Gold Coast business Black Label Transfers. We have found that they are extremely prompt, polite and trustworthy. So if you have to forgo the romance and joys of rail travel for a quick dash in a plane we recommend you use Black Label.
They have two websites. Their other website, Gold Coast Brisbane Airport Transfers, is a portal site helping them capture more of the airport transfer business. You can book them through either site.
You can also call Peter directly on 1300 255 522.