Java by rail – The Garden of Indonesia

Java is one of the most beautiful and spectacular Indonesian archipelago islands, consisting of around 18,000 islands. It is often called the garden of Indonesia. Apart from rice and the regularly cultivated crops and vegetables, sugar cane is grown widely in the east and central parts, and coffee in the high country.

Java offers everything a somewhat adventurous traveller is looking for: two of the world’s great ancient monuments, Borobudur and Prambanan, volcanoes (all 121 of them), major national parks, rainforests, tea and rice plantations, large cities, big waves, and even savanna. The scenery in most parts of Java is spectacular and, while the island has the largest population of the Indonesian islands, there are still plenty of unspoiled places for diving and trekking.

Borobudur Temple

Indonesia has no less than 180 active volcanoes around its “Ring of Fire”. Did you know that two-thirds of the world’s active volcanoes are located on Java? Mt Bromo in the East and Krakatoa in the strait between Java and Sumatra, are probably the most famous. Not that you should let this put you off. Eruptions are rare, explosions even rarer, and the opportunity to scramble up onto the lip of a smoking volcano and come face to face with one of nature’s most extraordinary phenomena is not to be missed.

Malang is one of my favourite cities – a pleasant mountain town with broad streets, well-tended parks, and an abundance of colonial architecture. A carefully planned coffee market town on the banks of the Brantas River, dozens of old Dutch villas still line some well-shaded streets and Dutch is still spoken by older Indonesians.

Bandung is known as the “flower city” of Indonesia, sitting in a deep mountain valley surrounded by volcanic peaks, Bandung was established by the Dutch who found the temperate climate conducive to growing cold climate crops such as green vegetables, coffee, quinine, and tea. Bandung ranks second only to Miami, Florida as having the world’s largest concentration of Art-Deco architecture, most of the fine hotels, houses, and government buildings were built during the art-deco 1920 to 1940 period.

Mt Bromo

Travel between Bali and Java (Banyuwangi) is easy. Large vehicular and passenger ferries do the 1-hour journey every 20 minutes, 24 hours a day for the princely adult fare of 6,000 Indonesian Rupia (60 cents AUD).

Railway Adventures run a special tour across Java from Jakarta and finishes in Bali. We charter a private luxury rail carriage which is attached to the regular trains as we travel 1500 kms across the island. Stops for extended stays and sightseeing are made in towns like Bandung, Yogyakarta, Solo, Madiun, and Malang.

In Central Java, we visit the huge World Heritage Borobudur Temples and Prambanan. We climb (by 4WD) to the summit of Mt Bromo to see the sunrise as well as see the simmering volcanoes near Bandung.

Train highlights are the heritage steam trains at Ambarawa in Central Java as well as the recently restored steam tram through the city of Solo.

I hope you will join me on this captivating wintertime tropical railway adventure.

Bob Daniel


With Bob Daniel

19 June – 6 July


JAVA BY RAIL for more details

Scott McGregor’s Railway Adventures tour is more than just a holiday, it is a unique way to experience the world. By train you are completely immersed in culture and adventure, exploring the most scenic corners of the world in the comfort of a luxury train. Whether you are an experienced traveller or just beginning to explore this wonderful world, Railway Adventures have something for everyone. Transform your holiday into the most unforgettable adventure of a lifetime with Railway Adventures.

Call 1300 800 977 to request a brochure on our tours in 2023.

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