If you’ve never had the opportunity to enjoy some train travel around Australia you’ve missed out on a truly unique experience. We’re lucky to live in such a beautiful country, and travelling by train is the best way to appreciate the breathtaking scenery, amazing flora and fauna, and stunning natural wonders that are so abundant in our great nation.
We’ve checked out three of Australia’s iconic rail services - so if you decide to add a bit of rail to your next holiday, here's what to expect:
The Indian Pacific
As the name suggests, the Indian Pacific runs between Sydney on the Pacific Ocean, and Perth on the Indian Ocean, and is the longest stretch of straight railway track in the world. You can choose to travel the whole distance (3 nights and 4 days), or take a shorter trip between Sydney and Adelaide (1 night and 2 days) or Adelaide and Perth (2 nights and 3 days).
Choose from 3 levels of service – Red for the budget conscious, Gold if you want to luxe it up a bit and Platinum if you want to go all out. With the red premium service you get a comfy reclining seat with generous leg room, a whopping 60kg luggage allowance, all inclusive breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, and a roaming hospitality attendant to take care of you with an in-seat dining and trolley service. You can also head off to the licenced café carriage any time you want.
If you want to take things up a notch, try Gold service. You’ll enjoy your own private cabin as well as all-inclusive dining and beverages, and some interesting off-train excursions at key stops.
But if it’s a special occasion trip, then a little splurge on Platinum service will make all the difference. Your cabin is twice the size of the Gold Service cabin and is configured as a private lounge during the day and a bedroom at night. Choose to have breakfast delivered to your cabin or relax in the Platinum Club where the all-inclusive menu is prepared by on-board chefs using fresh local produce.
Running between Adelaide and Darwin, the legendary Ghan takes you through the heart of Australia’s Red Centre and the highly spiritual Uluru. If you don’t want to travel the whole distance (3 nights and 4 days), you can take a shorter trip between Adelaide and Alice Springs or Alice Springs and Darwin (both 1 night and 2 days).
The Ghan will give you a real feel for the scale of the Australian outback, something that you simply don't get on a plane. Breathtaking vistas present themselves in a seemingly never-ending flow, and there are plenty of opportunities to explore the local area during the well-planned stops.
Off-train excursions include river cruises, cultural experiences and camel rides - or to add another exciting dimension to your journey, why not take a helicopter flight so you can really appreciate the beautiful surrounds you’ve been watching pass by.
Seating and accommodation service options are the same as are available on the Indian Pacific and if you’re travelling Gold you can enjoy some amazing food in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant, hailed by Great Southern Rail as one of the world’s most exclusive restaurants. Also available on the Indian Pacific, the Queen Adelaide restaurant features ornate styling that will leave you thinking you’ve stepped back in time to old-world train rail travel.
You’ll enjoy freshly cooked regional fare, complimented by a range of all inclusive wines, beers and soft drinks. Make new friends over a 2-course lunch and indulge in an intimate 3-course dinner – the food is superb and the scenery sublime.
The Spirit of Queensland
Introduced in October 2013, the Spirit of Queensland travels between Brisbane and Cairns. It can wind up to 160 km per hour and features an innovative tilt mechanism that lets the train travel faster around bends. The trip takes just 24 hours so it’s a great opportunity to experience all that’s so awesome about rail travel for a full day and night.
With trips scheduled five times a week, it’s easy to find the perfect time to experience the charm of long-distance rail travel. The Spirit of Queensland redefines the modern rail travel experience and gives you access to some of Queensland’s (and arguably the world’s) most spectacular holiday destinations.
Because it’s such a relatively short trip, you won’t find premium cabins on the Spirit of Queensland, but the rail beds covert from a comfy seat during the day to a flat bed with 'think' mattress topper and fresh linen by night. You’ll also get a wide flat screen with on-demand entertainment and all-inclusive meals served directly to your seat.
If you want to enjoy the experience but keep it low budget, then the economy option will still give you a comfy seat with generous legroom and 42 inches of pitch to recline when you’re ready for a snooze.
The Club Car has a relaxed vibe where you can sit back and relax with a cool drink and light refreshment. It’s open 24 hours so if you’re hankering for a coffee and a muffin at 2:00am, it’s your late night snack spot.
Want it now?
If it’s time to head off on your own rail journey and enjoy some of that old world charm on offer, we can give you a little financial assistance to make it happen. Just check out our fast cash loans $1K - $5K to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, we can usually deposit the cash into your bank account within a few hours - so you could be sitting in your carriage waiting for the whistle to blow as early as next week!