If there’s one thing Australia isn’t short on, it’s land! Far away from the laneways of the culturally-rich metropolitan jungles and contrasting urban sprawls, you can find seemingly endless highways that provide hour after hour of filmic landscape. From the red sands of the far north to the lush green of the south, there’s much to see about this great land of Australia.
There’s more than one way to tour Oz, but if you’re looking for an unrivalled scenic journey, travelling by rail is a great way to take in the landscape while relaxing in the best possible manner.
Here are our top-tips for some of the best rail journeys in Australia.
Indian Pacific Rail Tour
Travelling along ribbons of steel, you’ll glide cross-country with views of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the impressive Blue Mountains and stops for off-train sightseeing tours. This three-day-journey begins from Perth, climbing through the picturesque Avon Valley and into Western Australia’s stretching wheat belt.
Pushing on to the Nullarbor Plain, the landscape takes on a richer hue through the natural mallee scrubs, bluebush plants and saltbush plants. Shuffling through Adelaide where you’ll be able to either punctuate your trip with a rest for a few days, or simply stay aboard, the train then sets course through farm country with a grand finale of the spectacular Blue Mountains.
Spirit of the Outback
Offered a quick, but memorable, 24-hour journey from Brisbane to Longreach, the Spirit of the Outback is second on our hot-list. Whether lounging in the berths or seated in air conditioned comfort, the landscape of Queensland’s outback opens up in full view through the cabin windows. The desert sand dunes with its red hills make for some great holiday snaps.
You’ll be treated with some Aussie treats along your journey, and can chill out in the board lounge with the other travellers while sipping drinks and taking in the sights.
The trip is punctuated by several stops in historic towns; including Barcaldine, Emerald and Blackwater. Emerald is one stop you’d do well to stretch your legs at, and while you’re there you can check-out the largest outdoor Van Gogh sunflower painting at Morton Park, standing at an impressive 25 meters high!
The Kuranda Scenic Railway
This railway tour is a quick, but nonetheless unforgettable 90-minute journey from Cairns to the tropical rainforest of Kuranda. There are unparalleled views of steep ravines, cascading waterfalls and tropical canopies within the Barron Gorge National Park. Constructed in the late 1800s, you’ll be treated to an awesome privilege as you travel through the 37 bridges and 15 handmade tunnels by the pioneers of North Queensland.
If you’re looking to add some more fun to your rail journey, you can take a trip on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway an exhilarating experience offering a fantastic perspective of Barron Gorge.
The Southern Spirit
For an alternate scenic adventure, you can book a trip between Brisbane and Adelaide via Melbourne on the Southern Spirit for days of adventure and beautiful scenery.
The rail tour snakes through four states, as you take in the views of the Eastern Seaboard and Great Dividing Range right from the privacy of your platinum-service cabin! Standing at over 7,000 feet high, Mt. Kosciusko of the Australian Alps will drop your jaw, and suffice it to say; the Great Dividing Range is one of the most beautiful locations in Australia.
For any insatiable adventurers out there, you can take full advantage of the Whistle Stop Tours of Byron Bay, Hunter Valley, Albury-Wodonga on the Murray River and the grandiose Grampians National Park – all of which are tours included in your fare.
The Ghan is a remarkable journey to the two jewels of the Red Centre and the tropical Top End in southern Australia, where you can experience three days of unsurpassed scenery.
Each day begins with a fresh panorama of changing landscape, as the majestic Flinders Ranges and the sweeping Adelaide Plans unfold a portrait of natural splendour. Cobalt blue skies and red earth typifies the character of this journey. Entering the Top End, the terrain mellows with picturesque flora dominating the landscape.
Why not try something different for your next holiday? Climb aboard one of Australia’s many rail adventures for a unique ride through the heartlands, taking a look at what’s in your own backyard!
If you’re travelling within Australia and in need of affordable airfares, you’ll be sure to find cheap flights to get you on that train fast!