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Tropical Queensland

The moist laden trade winds from the Coral Sea help to create Australia’s most abundant and lush natural environment, a region rich with diverse flora and fauna fringed by the sparkling coral coast and dressed in a canopy of green. It was a region that Captain Cook waxed lyrical in the Endeavours logbook on his epic voyage of discovery in 1770. He was not to know that his achievements almost came to naught on the sharp coral reefs during the last stage of his journey. His vessel, HM Bark Endeavour, was severely damaged and could only just make it to the mouth of a wide river where her crew could beach her and make good her hull. This took months but ultimately his story continued as it does to this day and the river and adjacent town bear the names from this moment in time.

The Borderlands Steam Adventure

The 1880’s saw a number of Nation building events that inspire the core of this adventure across Southern Queensland and Northern NSW. Queensland’s railway construction boom reached Warwick in 1871 and quickly became one of the main railway towns in the state.

By the late 1880’s Queensland and NSW were joined by rail further south from Warwick at the border town of Wallangarra, and not long after, Sir Henry Parkes arrived by special train to Tenterfield and marched up to the School of Arts where he delivered his famous ‘Tenterfield Oration’, paving the way for the states to push ahead with Federation. Nation building, railway revolutions and the border lands of NSW and Queensland are pivotal themes in this exciting adventure.

Queensland is blessed with one of the longest narrow-gauge rail systems in the world (3’6” – ‘Cape Narrow’), which has given the state’s trains a character of their own. From our welcome dinner at the ‘Transcontinental Hotel’ in the heart of Brisbane, the theme of a nation linked by rail will unfold. Travel from Brisbane to Ipswich, Toowoomba, and Warwick, before taking the rare chance to travel by steam to the border at Goondiwindi.

Further explorations around the border country and the New England by privately chartered railmotor expand your horizons before we return by specially chartered steam train on the Great Northern Railway, the original Sydney to Brisbane line across the Granite Belt to Stanthorpe and Warwick and our final hurrah back in Toowoomba.

This rich adventure will take you on some of the rare sections of the region’s railways not normally traversed by passenger trains. All the while the unique character and history of these once busy lines will be revealed from on board our special steam hauled heritage trains. Trace the route of the border with NSW on this comprehensive tour and experience the stories of the linking of the colonies of NSW and Queensland via the Great Northern Railway.

Queensland Savannah

Welcome aboard this character-filled tour, a rare opportunity to explore Far North Queensland’s Savannah country by coach, boat, plane and train featuring Australia’s most eccentric and iconic outback railways. You will fly from Cairns to the Gulf of Carpentaria where your journey continues by train across the wide Savannah on the "Gulflander" and the "The Savannahlander" where your journey reveals the rugged outback, over the high tablelands and on down through the rainforest to the coast. Enjoy time in Normanton and Karumba on the Gulf, the stunning Cobbold Gorge, the intriguing Undara Lava Tubes, and finally the holiday hub of Cairns. Your tour is topped off by a day trip to the Port Douglas markets, a journey on the Bally Hooley Steam Railway, and visits to Mossman Gorge and the Atherton Tableland. All along the way you’ll enjoy culinary delights, meet wonderful outback characters and be bowled over by the variety of entertaining experiences on this one-ofa-kind outback adventure.

Dinosaur Country

This special themed adventure from Brisbane to the Dinosaur country in the heart of the state and back to the Coral Coast at Townsville offers a variety of experiences, combining highlights from our other Queensland tours with new destinations and a swag of interesting experiences. From the striking new museums such as the wonderful ‘Age of Dinosaurs’ at Winton and the Lark Quarry, the largest dinosaur run in the world, to the story of the Great Barrier Reef and Magnetic Island and the rural and mining heritage of places like Longreach, Winton and Charters Towers. While you’ll be entranced by the unique palaeontology, you will also delight in the variety to be had on this special adventure by classic overnight sleeper train, to Australia’s inland sea and crystal coast.

Outback Queensland

Australia is indeed a lucky country to have such a captivating collection of great train journeys in one sweeping region. Fly to the Gulf of Carpentaria on board an island-hopping mail-plane. Your journey continues by train across the wide Savannah on the Gulflander. The Savannahlander takes you through the rugged outback, over the high tablelands and down through the rainforest to the coast. Enjoy time in Longreach, Winton, Mount lsa, Normanton and Karumba on the Gulf, the stunning Cobbold Gorge, the intriguing Undara Lava Tubes, and finally to the holiday hub of Cairns. Our tours are topped off by a day trip to the Port Douglas markets and a visit to Mossman Gorge and a day with the Herberton-Atherton Historic Railway in the Atherton Tableland.

The Queensland Coast by rail, road, air and sea

The route of the legendary ‘Sunlander’ is now the haunt of some of Australia’s most advanced and efficient long distance passenger trains. Soak up the best the Sunshine State has to offer on an exciting and historical tour from Brisbane through the Wide Bay and Tropical North riding on the modern ‘Spirit of Queensland’ a train with comfort, style and a schedule that allows for a hop on hop off adventure all the way to Cairns in the far North. The blend of offerings on this comprehensive adventure includes an embarrassment of riches for the traveller, with a variety of train, boat and plane travel linking a plethora of fascinating places. Our tour is inspired by the renaissance of heritage in Queensland and the relaunch of the wonderful Mary Valley Rattler, Gympie’s special steam train. In addition to iconic rail trips, you will watch majestic whales in Hervey Bay, cruise out into the Whitsundays and Magnetic Islands and dine in style at premier eateries en-route. At the end of the day your well-appointed rooms and fine restaurants will be your home away from home. Drink a toast to your health and enjoyment of this classic Queensland railway adventure

Accreditations: A14416
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