Tour Date: 14 March to 1 April 2024Location: Australia

There’s little doubt Australia offers an extraordinary variety of train journeys, possibly more than any other country, it is a continent after all! No less than 3 main line rail gauges are employed across the nation for a start, another 19 others scattered around on top of that.

There are scores of heritage societies and museums, many of whom operate trains and preserve wonderful collections. There’s regional trains, city metros and subways and a handful of overnight sleeper trains with dining and lounge cars and evocative names like the ‘Ghan’ and the ‘Spirit of the Outback’. Australia is huge and while most people fly over it all, we believe the best way to soak up this wide brown land is by riding its many trains.

Each colony of Australia went its own way in the early railway boom times of the 1860’s – 80’s, they behaved like separate countries at the time, each with their own separate rail gauge, and modern Australia is still paying for the folly. The residual however is a distinct character for each states system and trains. Thankfully, we are seeing a nation forging ahead with unifying projects like the Inland Rail, interstate standarisation, and the construction of the Ghan Line north from Alice Springs to Darwin in the early 2000’s saw the creation of the world’s most recent Trans-continental rail link.


  • Tour Itinerary
  • Prices & Options
  • Booking
  • Gallery
  • Transport & Accommodation
Australia Map
Australia Map

Welcome aboard this grand tour of the three mainland eastern states showcasing the variety on offer and incorporating a huge chunk of the land on more than 10 different train trips. From Cairns to Melbourne your tour by coach, plane and train features Australia’s most eccentric and iconic, coastal, outback and inland railways. Starting in the North Queensland Tropics and the Great Barrier Reef you fly to the outback town of Winton where your journey continues by train across the wide desert landscapes and down along the coast on the legendary Spirit of the Outback to Brisbane. There’s heritage steam across the Great Dividing Range and regional NSW train travel from the charming town of Armidale to the wonders of Sydney. The Zig Zag Railway in the Blue Mountains is an icon of our railway history and the journey from Sydney to Melbourne reveals the heart of Australia’s agricultural wealth. In Victoria, Melbourne is on show and the legendary Puffing Billy, Australia’s most popular heritage railway, the Victorian Goldfields Railway, and the quirky Qtrain will all be steaming up to complete your Grand Australian Railway Adventure.

Day 0 • Thursday 14 March

Various flight options from the UK or your home country.

Day 1 • Friday 15 March: Cairns

Arrive in Cairns and check in to our centrally located hotel. In the evening we’ll meet for a celebratory welcome dinner and drinks. For those wishing to explore more of Cairns region on day tours, pre tour accommodation at our start point hotel in Cairns is available upon request.

9CE8F6A8 A99E 48CA A61D 113863C7FE9A
Cairns Waterfront

For those wishing to spend more time in Cairns before the start of the tour can book on to the optional Atherton-Herberton Historic Railway tour or the Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation and Mossman Gorge tour. Please contact us for more information and how to book.

Overnight: Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort, Cairns (D)

Day 2 • Saturday 16 March: Cairns – Kuranda – Wildlife Park

This morning you will take the ever-popular Kuranda Scenic Railway from Freshwater Station in Cairns to Kuranda. The original Kuranda Scenic Railway Heritage Class carriages offer the old-world charm of travelling in authentic timber carriages, some of which are up to 100 years old. Experience your scenic journey in the refurbished original red-wooden heritage carriages. Sit back and enjoy the scenery and numerous photographic opportunities as you wind through World Heritage-listed rainforest. This famous railway is brought to life with excellent commentary and astounding scenery as the railway line runs over the Great Diving Range and down the Barron River Gorge to Cairns.

103FB155 2223 4F49 8D22 DEAC6C108563
Kuranda Scenic Railway

Upon arrival in Kuranda, explore this iconic rainforest clad town and visit the Rainforestation Nature Park where Indigenous Pamagirri Guides welcome you to join them on a journey to discover the Dreamtime and learn about the fascinating customs and ancient traditions that are kept alive.

Enjoy lunch at Kuranda and learn how didgeridoos are made and used in local ceremonies. After a demonstration and lesson, try your hand at boomerang throwing and spear throwing!

Board the Skyrail and travel back to Cairns. The Skyrail Gondola is a special experience that takes us down to the coastal plains, flying over the canopy of the rainforest and marvelling at the wonderful views across the ranges and out over the Coral Sea.

9ADED3F2 505A 4F40 8C4D 8004AA3C9ABD

Later, at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures you will see some of Australia’s iconic wildlife, including koalas, kangaroos, and crocodiles. During your tour you will hand-feed the kangaroos and enjoy a boat ride through Hartley’s Lagoon to see saltwater crocodiles in their natural habitat.

Travel to Palm Cove, a tiny beachside village centred around an esplanade lined with 500-year-old melaleuca trees to enjoy a dinner and spectacular views of the coast.

0F61B1D3 F6D4 4580 B0B0 A688928E3908
Palm Cove

Return to Cairns after dinner.

Overnight: Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort, Cairns (B, L, D)

Day 3 • Sunday 17 March: Cairns – Great Barrier Reef

After breakfast this morning, spend the day on the Outer Great Barrier Reef and Green Island.

4A56A10F 19E0 4C17 9A68 70F4DB62E31F
Green Island Resort, Great Barrier Reef

Our Island ferry takes off from the Cairns wharf and you have a full day excursion with options to do as much or as little as you like. Green Island is one of 300 sand (coral) cays on the Great Barrier Reef, but it is the only one with a rainforest. It’s a delightful place to explore, wander and swim. The island is only 1.6kms in circumference and about 600 meters across. Lunch will be provided at the Resort and if you’re interested trips on the glass bottom boat and out to the platform on the Outer reef are included. You may just want to relax by the pool or stroll the island however, and the 45-minute return sea voyage will have you back in Cairns by 5.30pm where your evening is free.

F68D021A A50A 4F74 947E ECC13A37CD1C

Overnight: Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort, Cairns (B, L)

Day 4Monday 18 March: Cairns to Townsville on the Spirit of Queensland

After breakfast, at 8:35am rediscover the luxury of time with a rail journey along Queensland’s coast aboard the Spirit of Queensland from Cairns to Townsville in Premium Economy seats.

65530002 7489 4C0D AEC7 E21B428BF860
Spirit of Queensland train – a diesel tilting train

The morning departure offers a gentle run down the coast, passing by lush green landscape, sugar fields, dense rainforest coastline and cane tramways weaving their way across the North Coast rail line and the Bruce and Cook Highways.

The Spirit of Queensland is a modern tilt train that runs the length of the Queensland coast between Brisbane and Cairns. The train makes the 1,681km journey five times per week. The Spirit of Queensland has a maximum speed of 160km/h and the entire trip takes 25 hours.

Arrive in Townsville in the mid-afternoon and transfer to your hotel.

EAA1D20E C784 4AAD B0B9 8C84FA4B1FF2
Townsville Lagoon and Waterfront

Townsville has a lively, young populace, with thousands of students and armed forces members intermingling with old-school locals and fly-in, fly-out mine workers. After checking into your hotel, take a tour of the Army Museum of Queensland located in the beautiful Jezzine Barracks. The museum collects objects and stories relating to the history of the Australian Army in North Queensland.

In the evening, experience a very Australian dinner at the Townsville RSL. The Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) is a support organisation for people who have served or are serving in the Australian Defence Force. Return to your hotel after dinner.

Overnight: Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville (B, D)

E772A11C 1023 48F0 8CDE DA4B53173A0B
Victoria Bridge and Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville

Day 5Tuesday 19 March: Townsville – Winton – Longreach

In the late morning, fly from Townsville to the classic outback town of Winton.

On arrival, travel to the North Gregory Hotel authentic retro dining room and have a beer with locals in the atmospheric bar. The North Gregory is an oasis in the heart of this sun-browned land, promising the ultimate one-stop outback adventure in style and comfort. The North Gregory Hotel has played its part in many significant moments in Australia’s history and is an attraction in itself. It is a must-see in your ultimate outback Queensland experience.

After lunch, visit the Waltzing Matilda Centre, the first museum in the world dedicated to a song. The displays on Banjo Paterson’s iconic song Waltzing Matilda (including a fascinating high-tech analysis of the original manuscript) are the highlights, but you’ll also find exhibitions on local geology, opals, dinosaurs and movies filmed in the Winton area.

After the tour, travel the 180 kilometres to Longreach. Named after the “long reach” of the Thomson River, the town had only been gazetted for five years when the railway arrived in 1892. Longreach is situated right on the Tropic of Capricorn and has a population of just over 3,000, boosted by travellers who come to see the great museums, notably the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and the Qantas Founders Museum.

FD5F9163 54F7 4E08 BAB3 49126F3644E6
The lovely old railway station at Longreach

Check into your hotel where you’ll enjoy dinner with the group.

Overnight: Longreach Motor Inn, Longreach (B, D)

Day 6Wednesday 20 March: Longreach

After breakfast, we head off to the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame, Australia’s premier outback heritage institution where you can explore the museum showcasing an eclectic mix of objects – touchscreens, open displays, photographs, artworks, and audio-visual presentations. Enjoy a live ‘Outback Stockman’s Show’ which tells the story of real-life stockmen and women who work on the land. Lunch is at leisure.

6E149193 26D9 4C41 BAD2 77EC6E3DC473
Stockmans Hall of Fame

Moving on, we visit Qantas Founders Museum which tells the story of the four key figures who founded Qantas and highlights what life was like in Queensland in the 1920s. The history of our iconic airline unfolds as you experience a 1½-hour Jet Tour, a behind-the-scenes look at both a 747, 707.

7B86D926 80C8 43C4 B2DD 834CCEB175F7
Qantas Heritage Centre

This evening, enjoy a Thompson River cruise followed by dinner around the campfire.

5D6F487B 90DA 41A2 8923 800FBA4C6333
Thompson River cruise

Overnight: Longreach Motor Inn, Longreach (B, D)

Day 7Thursday 21 March: Longreach – Brisbane on the Spirit of the Outback

This morning after breakfast we head to the station to board the Spirit of the Outback for our overnight journey to Brisbane.

03171788 FE9D 4C24 AC5A 6925A859770E

As we head out of the heart of Outback Queensland, the ever-changing landscape passes the sleepy Central Queensland towns like Barcaldine, Alpha, and Jericho. Enjoy a chef-prepared dinner is served in the train’s “Tuckerbox” dining car while the Central Ranges towns of Emerald, Blackwater, and Bluff roll by. Afterward, you can unwind in the “Shearers Rest” lounge car as evening descends on our southbound train. From the comfort of your air-conditioned, first-class sleeping berth you will enjoy a fascinating journey from Longreach to Brisbane.

Overnight: On board the Spirit of the Outback (B, L, D)

Day 8Friday 22 March  (Good Friday): Brisbane – Ipswich – Toowoomba

Wake up to a vista of a lush sub-tropical coastal plain with features like the Glass House Mountains to capture.

1BA93AAA 6452 4D38 824F 2FCBBB7DCF37
Glass House Mountains

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on the train this morning with an expected arrival at Roma Street Station in Brisbane just before midday.

9751A82E 7727 4BAE 9698 F3359D72E31C

In Brisbane, enjoy lunch on arrival and tour the historic CBD, walk along the Brisbane River to the Story Bridge and wander South Bank’s sandy beach.

Heading out of Brisbane to visit the Ipswich Workshops Rail Museum, one of Australia’s premier museums, built around the living history of one of the country’s great industrial complexes. Here you have time on your own to explore the world-class collection and tour the restoration work in progress.

A0DCBA5B 09E7 4717 84D6 01BC4FC95F15
One of the many locomotives at the Ipswich Railway Workshops Museum

Moving on, we reach Toowoomba in the late afternoon.

After checking into our hotel, you have the evening at leisure and time to take advantage of the central location of the hotel.

87AC82CC E084 49F0 A29F C574D77D8E47
The view from Picnic Point Lookout, Toowoomba

Overnight: Burke and Wills Hotel, Toowoomba (B, L)

Day 9Saturday 23 March: Toowoomba – Warwick – Southern Downs Steam Railway steam train – Tenterfield – Armidale

It’s an early start this morning as we head out after breakfast by coach to Warwick to meet our special steam train for the run to Wallangarra. Once every few years the Southern Downs Steam Railway volunteers gather to explore this region by steam, and while it is open to regular travellers too, we will have our own dedicated heritage carriages and attendants. We depart Warwick station at 8.00am and shortly after leaving the yard our train branches out onto the western line. Morning tea is served on board as we travel south to Wallangarra. Here, on the platform of the classic timber station, we have a BBQ lunch.

This afternoon, tour the excellent Railway Museum at nearby Tenterfield station, which will also be the site for our afternoon tea.

The next leg of our tour takes us south and explores parts of the old Great Northern Railway. Sadly, the line in this part of New England is closed, however much of the infrastructure remains and along the way, we’ll see things like the grand old stations, long truss bridges, and scenic sections of this once pivotal railway.

In the mid-afternoon, we arrive in the town of Glen Innes. This city takes special pride in its Celtic heritage, and we take time to reflect on the amazing standing stones on the hill overlooking the town.

84D7B86C C147 4707 A49D 3AB6353C9D72
Glen Innes Standing Stones

Arrive in Armidale in the late afternoon where dinner will be provided in the restaurant at the hotel.

Overnight: Powerhouse Rydges Hotel, Armidale (B, L, D)

Day 10Sunday 24 March: Armidale

After breakfast, today, enjoy a full day of sightseeing around this charming city. First off, we explore the grand old homestead of Booloominbah, which was designed by Horbury Hunt in the 1880’s. This exceptional country mansion was originally owned by the White family and is now the head office of the University of New England.

Following this, we’ll visit the Victorian estate of Saumarez, another grand country homestead set in magnificent gardens, and a veritable time capsule of how the family lived and worked. The estate’s café provides a mighty fine morning tea, a short intermission before a precursor to a guided tour of this authentic country estate.

AB92CD89 FD1E 4A2E A5EC B414B0A1A810
National Trust (of Australia) Saumarez estate

We’ll then continue our round trip to Uralla, enjoying lunch at McCrossin’s Mill Museum and visit Dangars Falls in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. We’ll then head back to Armidale with a short stop at the commemorative atmospheric monument at Dangarsleigh.

818C9D48 875E 4C5B 8082 60205DEB3319
Dangar Falls

The evening is yours for some free time to explore the many dining options in and around Armidale, including of course our own hotel which has a fine restaurant.

Overnight: Rydges Hotel, Armidale (B, L)

Day 11Monday 25 March: Armidale – Sydney on the Northern Tablelands Express

After breakfast, take the XPT Northern Tablelands Express train the 579 kms from Armidale to Sydney.

16DA5571 36EC 4F72 B112 3E059F41CA41
XPT train

The Northern Tablelands Express first ran in June 1941 between Sydney and Armidale, composed of R type carriages that were replaced by air conditioned RUB carriage stock in April 1951. It was usually hauled by a 35 class steam locomotive. In 1959 it was converted to DEB set railcar operation and in 1984, the service was taken over by XPTs and renamed the Northern Tablelands XPT.

Today’s train journey will travel via the country music capital of Australia, Tamworth, over the Liverpool Ranges, through the Hunter Valley and the Central Coast Line, finally arriving in the ‘big smoke’ at Central Station Sydney at around 4:30pm.

Sydney Harbour

Upon arrival in Sydney, transfer to the hotel where you can freshen up.

This evening, enjoy an evening dinner cruise that includes a 3-course meal with food and wine around the world-famous Sydney Harbour, seeing Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

Overnight: Novotel Darling Harbour, Sydney (B, D)

Day 12Tuesday 26 March: Sydney

Take the Sydney Light Rail from your hotel to Circular Quay where you’ll embark on a walking tour to the historic “Rocks” area. The Rocks hold a unique place in Sydney’s colonial history as the birthplace of European Australia.

Moving on, walk to Circular Quay, a hub of activity at the heart of Sydney’s waterfront where you’ll see the world-famous Sydney Opera House and the beautiful Sydney Harbour.

Walk through parkland to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair for spectacular views of Sydney Harbour and then visit Australia’s most famous beach – Bondi Beach. Here, you will dine at elegant Icebergs Dining Room where you will enjoy unforgettable views of Bondi Beach.

Bondi Beach delivers with its crescent of golden sand, crashing waves, and crowds of bronzed sunseekers. After lunch, explore the beach and take a short hike along coastal cliffs via Icebergs Pool to Tamarama.

8B975B0D 835D 481B 9D83 49CCDDA0C2CB
Bondi Beach

Return to your Sydney hotel in the late afternoon where your evening is free.

There is free time in the late afternoon to take part in the Sydney Bridge Climb (at your own cost).

The Sydney Bridge Climb is an iconic Australian experience that takes you on a journey to the top of the nation’s most famous and celebrated structure.

Overnight: Novotel Darling Harbour, Sydney (B, D)

Day 13Wednesday 27 March: Sydney – Blue Mountains

After an early breakfast, travel on the light rail and an urban train from Central Station via the Blue Mountains to the village of Katoomba. Here you will explore the vibrant Katoomba village in your own time before walking out to the edge at Echo Point to see the majestic Three Sisters.

BB6404D5 06F1 49AD B83E C1A2856594CD
Three Sisters

Travel to Scenic World and jump aboard the Scenic Railway, the world’s steepest passenger train, travelling from the escarpment down 310 metres into the forest on a 52-degree rail incline.

C46723F6 1067 4E61 8F32 E83A57D63968
Scenic Railway

At the base, a web of hiking trails follow the Jamison Valley rainforest. Take the train’s return trip and travel on the Scenic Skyway, which glides between clifftops 270 metres above the valley floor for spectacular views of the Blue Mountains.

The Scenic Railway was opened back in 1945 and takes its name from the term used in the 19th century to refer to amusement rides at seaside funfairs in England.

Travel one hour north for a journey on the Zig Zag Railway which will give you the chance to relive the magical era of steam trains. You will be offered views of grand sandstone viaducts as well as the remarkable scenery of the Blue Mountains. Accompanying you will be the romantic sights, sounds and smells of a steam locomotive, hauling you and your fellow passengers over the Great Lithgow Zig Zag.

4DC36B5B 35F6 4B20 8801 2B38869E4FEF
Zig Zag Railway

Travel south to the elegant 120-year-old art deco-style hotel at The Hydro Majestic Hotel Blue Mountains.

It’s teatime in the Blue Mountains and the grand tradition of the Hydro Majestic Afternoon High Tea awaits you served in the majestic Wintergarden with panoramic views overlooking the Megalong Valley.

After a long day, return to Sydney where your evening is free.

Overnight: Novotel Darling Harbour, Sydney (B, L)

Day 14Thursday 28 March: Sydney – Railway Museum – Featherdale Australian Wildlife Park

After breakfast, travel south to the New South Wales Railway Museum at Thirlmere where the icons of the state’s collection are housed on the site of the original Great Southern Railway. Here you will explore Australia’s largest collection of heritage rolling stock. Whether it’s the stunning Royal Carriage or the Rail Pay Bus – used for transporting employees’ wages all over the state’s rail system, we have something interesting to see at every corner. While here you will enjoy a railmotor journey from Thirlmere Museum to Buxton on our local loop-line travelling through the Wollondilly escarpment where you will reach the historical Buxton station. While here you will alight at the station and return via the railmotor to Thirlmere Museum.

4ED57845 D442 4619 8FDD D454785D5F46
Garratt locomotive at Thirlmere Museum

After lunch, you will head to Sydney’s west to experience Australia’s unique wildlife up close at Featherdale Wildlife Park, home to the world’s largest collection of Australian wildlife. Here, you will have a personal encounter with a koala and hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies. You will encounter emus, penguins, wombats, and a brand-new saltwater crocodile, Max.

EF7B8291 C773 408F 9176 2EBD485CE01E
Featherdale Wildlife Park

Return to your hotel in the late afternoon where the rest of your evening is free.

Overnight: Novotel Darling Harbour, Sydney (B, L)

Day 15Friday 29 March: Sydney – Melbourne

After breakfast, at 7:40am take the NSW TrainLink XPT train from Sydney to Melbourne arriving at Southern Cross Station at 6:30pm.

A8CF0B23 4438 4E7D 95D9 C5C1BA2D7BEB

The Sydney–Melbourne rail corridor is a 953-kilometre standard gauge railway corridor that runs between the two largest cities in Australia. Freight and passenger services operate along the route, such as the NSW TrainLink XPT passenger service. In 1883, the Victorian Railways broad gauge line met the New South Wales Government Railways standard gauge line at Albury at a break-of-gauge. The two tracks were separated by a long island platform. It was not until 1962, with the opening of the North East standard gauge line in Victoria, that through services were possible between Melbourne and Sydney.

63FD796E CA0C 416F 9B42 36AAACEFBE5F
Arrive in Victoria’s vibrant capital city, Melbourne and check-in to your hotel where the rest of your evening is free.

Overnight: The Batman Hill on Collins, Melbourne (B)

Day 16Saturday 30 March: Melbourne

After breakfast, we head to Flinders Street Station – Australia’s oldest train station to take a metro train to Belgrave, the departure point for the legendary Puffing Billy, Australia’s most popular heritage railway situated in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges.

8005A6C4 1A91 4380 B281 F665C31EB1B7
Puffing Billy heritage railway

Originally built in the early 1900’s as a low-cost 2’6” gauge line to service the local communities and timber industry, it was closed in stages in the 1950’s before being saved by dedicated volunteers and rail fans who strived to restore the line and the rolling Stock. Since the 1960’s it has been serving a huge role as one of Victoria’s most popular tourist attractions. Here you’ll get to experience a steam-hauled trip along the length of the character-filled narrow-gauge line.  There will be opportunities to visit the new Lakeside Centre or Menzies Creek museum as part of your excursion ticket.

D32A982A 0B9F 40C4 BC9E 65769D96C576

Return to Melbourne and explore Melbourne on a guided tour visiting Federation Square, The Yarra River, St Patrick’s Cathedral, The Block Arcade, AC/DC Lane, Hosier Lane, Degraves Street and Hardware Lane.

There’s the option to catch a historic tram to St Kilda beach and pier for dinner.

9E51E18E 16CF 4BB4 9659 42C050771FE5
Overnight: The Batman Hill on Collins, Melbourne (B, L)

Day 17Sunday 31 March: Melbourne

We depart Melbourne this morning, travelling by regional express train to the quaint goldfield town of Castlemaine. On arrival visit Buda House, a classic, beautifully preserved Victoria Goldfields Villa set on 8 acres of tranquil gardens. Take some time to explore before heading down to the railway station.

At 11.30am, we’ll embark on a steam-hauled tour on the Victorian Goldfields Railway along the old branch line to Maldon.

3701F2BC 8207 448C B06F 18B8312758D0
Castlemaine Goldfields Railway

Explore Maldon, an iconic gold rush town awarded the ‘most intact townscape’ by the National Trust.

697289D0 9FCA 49E7 965E 28FDF1FCDF05
Your first-class ticket allows you to ride in the wonderful parlour cars with access to the bar for some refreshments along the way if you so desire.

B8FC018C 61B0 4CA4 8751 D0C2D74948AA
Turntable at Maldon station

Enjoy lunch in Maldon at your own cost and return on the steam train to Castlemaine.

Return to Melbourne by regional express train for your farewell dinner.

Overnight: The Batman Hill on Collins, Melbourne (B, D)

Day 18Monday 1 April: Melbourne – Depart

Our tour comes to an end after breakfast this morning. Transfer to the airport for flights home or onward for other journeys. Tour terminates. (B)

Extension from Melbourne, Adelaide, Ayers Rock and Alice Springs – 5 nights/6 days

Book an extension visiting Central Australia at Ayers Rock and Alice Springs and tour Adelaide and sample some wine and fine food in the Barossa Valley.


  • See the majestic Ayers Rock and The Olgas
  • Travel by train from Melbourne to Adelaide on The Overland
  • Enjoy world class wines on the winery tour in the Barossa Valley
  • Tour the Old Ghan Train Museum in Alice Springs
  • Experience the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the School of Air in Alice Springs
  • Tour the National Railway Museum in Adelaide

Day 1Monday 1 April: Melbourne – Adelaide via The Overland

After breakfast, transfer to the Southern Cross Railway Station for your train to South Australia.

D806DFC7 FD15 41F3 A05A 3EBBAB8C2603
The Overland

Travel by train between Melbourne and Adelaide aboard the Overland, enjoying a relaxing journey while savouring the comforts and romance of rail. For over 135 years, The Overland has been a fan favourite for people travelling between both cities and it’s a day trip in a league of its own.

BF8E7161 382C 45CC A320 C7308D193F09

Ride the rails of romance on your next interstate adventure with this day-long train voyage aboard The Overland. You will travel in greater comfort and style, step up to Red Premium. Sit back and relax with more leg room, in-seat dining and a trolley service. Enjoy all-inclusive breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, coffee, soft drinks and juice. There’s no better way to make the day-long journey more enjoyable.

Arrive in South Australia’s capital, Adelaide, and check in to our centrally located hotel.

The rest of your evening is at leisure.

Overnight: Adina Apartment Hotel Treasury, Adelaide (L)

Day 2Tuesday 2 April: Adelaide

This morning, explore Adelaide, stopping off at major attractions on the way, and enjoy the leafy surrounds of Adelaide’s North Terrace and Botanic Gardens. Top it off with visits to the Adelaide Oval Precinct, St Peters Cathedral and the Rundle Mall.

B47F1871 6A47 4015 84FC 47DC131E1F0F
Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Afterwards, drive out to the world-famous Barossa Valley, Australia’s best-known red wine region for a delicious lunch and a chance to sample some of the region’s best wines.

D4723B8E 7D4C 489D 9B54 0F462AF49503
Barossa Valley

Stop at Mengler’s Hill Lookout and travel through the beautiful Adelaide Hills back to Adelaide.

Tour the National Railway Museum in Port Adelaide where we explore the history of the Australian Railways.

Return to Adelaide and finish the day by catching a tram along the vibrant Jetty Road to Glenelg Beach for a seafood dinner by the ocean. Return to the hotel after dinner.

A44FC372 5D03 40DF 9F65 4507F48F4143
Glenelg Beach Tram

Overnight: Adina Apartment Hotel Treasury, Adelaide (B, L, D)

Day 3Wednesday 3 April: Adelaide – Alice Springs

This morning, travel to the Adelaide airport for your morning flight over the desert outback to Alice Springs, arriving just after lunch.

14ECCA6D 6464 42CE B0D4 8B54E945A16D
Alice Springs

Check in and enjoy lunch at your hotel.

Later, delight in charming Alice Springs, where you’ll tour the Royal Flying Doctor Service, ANZAC Hill, Old Telegraph Station and the fascinating School of the Air that reaches out to children across the vast Australian interior.

The highlight of today is the Old Ghan Heritage Railway and Museum which contains narrow gauge equipment and rail carriages plus memorabilia from the original Central Australian Ghan Railway.

5FE7B073 A398 46B9 A158 A9DD997F9637
Old Ghan Heritage Railway

Return to the hotel for a meal in the hotel restaurant.

Overnight: Mercure Alice Springs Resort (B, D)

Day 4 Thursday 4 April: Ayers Rock (Uluru)

After an early breakfast, travel through the rugged outback from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock (Uluru).

B8A0935A 0613 4E50 A832 843C01282548
En route you will stop at the junction town of Ghan. The locality’s name is given in recognition of the important role the Afghans and their camels played in opening up Central Australia.

After stopping at the Mt Conner Lookout and at Curtin Springs Station for lunch, you will arrive at Desert Gardens Hotel in the mid-afternoon. Check-in and freshen up before enjoying the Field of Light Dinner experience at the resort.

Acclaimed artist Bruce Munro was so inspired by Ayers Rock (Uluru) that he created the Field of Light, an illuminated installation that channels the spiritual energy Munro felt during a visit to Australia’s Red Desert.

B2E4214A 9B28 4C0D 97A5 CDB2DF1ED300
Field of Light Uluru

Observe the radiant display and watch a magical sunset at this iconic Australian landmark, Ayers Rock and return to your hotel.

Overnight: Desert Gardens Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 5 Friday 5 April: Ayers Rock (Uluru)

The township of Yulara is situated outside Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, about a ten-minute drive from the entry station. Most of the town is made up of Ayers Rock Resort, an Aboriginal-owned enterprise that provides accommodation, restaurants and other essential services to people visiting the park. There are shops, several art galleries, conference facilities, an outside pool and a fantastic day spa.

This morning head off to see both Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) in one day on a day tour.

65C1F97B D1D6 442E B7CC 6BC16DD740D9
Kata Tjuta

You’ll hear in-depth guide commentary about the history and culture of the country’s most famous rock formations. Enjoy a BBQ lunch and get in touch with nature during a Mala Walk and hike to the Mutitjulu Waterhole to see Aboriginal rock art, the Walpa Gorge, the waterfalls of Kantju Gorge accompanied by a visit to the Aboriginal Cultural Centre.

61A2B3C1 8928 4BBB B73C C0203744E1E1
Mutitjulu Waterholea


DB86C6E0 FAF9 4370 AC6A 2F005DF10C7A
Mala Walk

In the late afternoon, take part in an Uluru sunset experience and star tour. Watch the sunset and light up the red monolith of Uluru while you sip wine or beer and then sit down for a traditional Australian BBQ dinner. At dinner’s conclusion, your guide will take you on a star tour before dropping you off at your hotel.

Overnight: Desert Gardens Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 6Saturday 6 April: Ayers Rock – Depart

Our tour comes to an end after breakfast this morning. Transfer to the airport for flights home or onward for other journeys. Tour terminates. (B)

There are direct connecting flights from Ayers Rock to Sydney and Brisbane on Saturdays for international flights home.


  • 5 nights’ accommodation in comfortable, 3 or 4-star hotels
  • 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 5 dinners
  • Economy class flight Adelaide to Alice Springs (luggage included)
  • Complimentary drinks with welcome and farewell dinners
  • Comprehensive sightseeing with expert local guides
  • Excursion/entrance fees, except those listed as optional in the itinerar

The Famous Ghan

We can arrange a trip on the famous Ghan long distance luxury train. There is no connecting flight from Ayers Rock to Adelaide on Saturdays.

E0239CC5 1AA4 4279 8EBC 8F871F52AB76

For those wanting to do the Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin (departure from Adelaide is Sunday at 12.15) must fly Ayers Rock-Sydney-Adelaide (2.15pm-10.30pm) on Saturday 13 April 2024 for the train the following day.

97841461 751C 427B B09E 34DE244B1433
Route of the Ghan

Or, you can spend another night in Ayers Rock on Saturday, transfer the 5 hours by road on Sunday, stay in Alice Springs on Sunday and take the train from Alice Springs to Darwin at 6.15pm on Monday 15 April 2024.

711C8E49 0ED6 47F0 AAFE 4222296CB610
Ghan departures from Alice Springs to Darwin are on Thursday and Monday at 6.15pm only in April 2024. Arrives Darwin Tuesday 5.30pm. 24-hour journey.

333D924E 8AF1 4F42 AFB5 DF065D9B11D0

Ghan departures: Adelaide to Darwin on Sunday at 12.15pm only in April 2024. Arrives Darwin Tuesday 5.30pm. 53-hour journey.

*Subject to availability at the time of booking


Each one of our Tour Leaders is an experienced traveller and brings their own special brand of excellence to the Railway Adventures team. They are hand-picked travel professionals and have a wealth of experience in Australia. As a group, they offer unmatched passion, experience, and knowledge of rail history, local intel and tips, to culture and gastronomy. As individuals, each one of them contributes to our commitment to giving you, our client, the very best experience possible.

Tour Prices (per person)

  • Full 18 day tourr from Cairns: £6,950
  • Return flights from the UK: from £1,250

Adelaide, Ayres Rock, Alice Springs add-on

  • In twin or double room: £2,695


  • Main tour room for single use: £1,195
  • Add-on single use: £550

ease note that you cannot book a flight inclusive trip on our website but if you select the flight option you prefer then we will contact you with the flight details and convert your booking into a flight inclusive package.

Online Booking



Click here to see our Booking Conditions

Click here to see our Privacy Policy

We recommend you also check the FCO website for the latest travel advice