North by North West – A northern NSW Odyssey by Private Train – September

From coast to inland plains, volcanic ranges and classic country towns this adventure celebrates the variety that the northern regions of NSW have to offer the Railway Adventurer. From the window of your trains and coach, an ever-changing vista of our coastal and country landscapes will be on show. For most of the tour you will be rolled along on rarely visited country rail lines on board a comfortable classic 1960’s heritage doubleended Railmotor, the pride of the fleet at the volunteer-run Rail Motor Society at Paterson in the Hunter Valley. We will visit them along with a wonderful long list of special museums, homesteads, and observatories together with charming country cities, towns and villages.

The route we take begins with the boarding of our Railmotor for the journey up the coast to the popular holiday city of Port Macquarie. We introduce the legacy of the timber industry and the associated connection with narrow gauge railways at Wauchope before ascending the ranges via Bellingen to Dorrigo and along the Waterfall Way to Armidale. The New England is a land unto itself with Armidale it’s unofficial capital. Fine homesteads, churches, schools and wineries grace this wealthy city.

We continue our cross country rail journey down the tablelands via the grand junction station of Werris Creek to the sleepy former railway hub of Binnaway. The Warrumbungle Ranges are on hand for us to explore, just west of Coonabarabran, with their ancient towering volcanic plugs, unique native bush, and world class observatories.

Down the old Mudgee branch line is Dunedoo and then Gulgong where we settle for a couple of nights in the heart of this heritage listed Goldrush town. Enjoy side trips to historic Mudgee, and award winning wineries and restaurants before capping it off with a sunset soiree at Ruwenzori Retreat, Scott McGregor’s private mountain top hideaway. The last day takes us on the normally inaccessible freightonly line down the Goulburn, Bylong and Hunter Valleys to Sydney. Thus Completing a wonderful adventure taking you North by North West across a great chunk of country and coastal NSW.

Western Australia – Rail, Road and Wildflowers

Australia’s wild west took an upward and progressive turn when the completion of the great Trans-Continental Railway in 1917 connected the Commonwealth’s largest state with the rest of the nation. No longer did travellers have to undertake an arduous sea voyage – this new, comfortable and very direct route became the foundation for a vibrant tourism industry that has gone from strength to strength.

The West has always seen itself as different to the rest of Australia, partly due to its size and isolation but also due to its unique and entrepreneurial character. Wide open landscapes of rich grazing and wheat country, towering forests of Karri and Jarrah, frontier gold mining towns carving some of the world’s richest lodes, magnificent islands, coastlines and beaches, verdant wine lands and sparkling, booming cities draw the curious traveller in droves.

On this railway adventure, we’ll tick all these boxes and more as we explore these highlights by a variety of train and coach, enjoying great hotels and fine food and wine along the way, all in the company of your experienced tour leader and other like-minded travellers.

North Coast Rail Tour

This journey takes you along the scenic North Coast Line through the Central Coast, the Mid-North Coast and Northern Rivers regions of New South Wales. You'll discover the beautiful Hastings River at Port Macquarie, the breathtaking hinterland rainforest and eclectic community of Byron Bay, the crystal clear creeks and the uncrowded surf beaches of the Mackay Valley Coast, and the history and heritage of Maitland & Morpeth.

Unpack Only once and enjoy everything that slow rail touring provides.

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.

Mudgee Weekend Escape  – Anzac Day

With a well-known and much-revered train at our disposal, the retrorestored Capertee Valley Explorer (also known as East Coast Heritage Rail), made up of vintage heritage carriages, with lounge and bar services. We’ll roll over the Blue Mountains, skirting the magnificent Capertee Valley to the rural idyll of Rylstone with a couple of stops and a sit-down lunch on board in the trains dining cars. Upon arrival in the charming village of Rylstone, you’ll be transferred in comfortable coaches to the historic food and wine lovers’ paradise of Mudgee, where the fun begins. Staying in the best accommodation available, your weekend kicks off with an evening at one of Mudgee’s favourite establishments for a fun evening of wine, food and music. The next day is devoted to exploring the region with tours of Mudgee, either at the heritage Gold Rush town of Gulgong or tastings more wines at the finest wineries of the Cudgegong Valley. We cap off the day with a sunset cocktail reception at Scott’s private Rail-themed retreat, Ruwenzori Your return to Sydney by private train on the Monday completes a very special adventure to one of NSW’s most appealing regional centres.

The Central West Easter Explorer – April

Here is a region rich with history; appealing characters, great scenery, fine food, wine and places to stay. There are museums to fossils and folk history, legendary images and colonial incarceration and, not to be missed, Australia’s newest railway museum in Bathurst. There’s quaint Gold Rush era villages and bustling regional hubs, snaking rivers, cavernous coal mines, pristine bushland, canyons, ranges, and some of the finest farms, vineyards, grazing country, studs and native bush that you’re likely to see anywhere in the country. Sometimes along comes the right train, at the right time, in the right place and here it is; a tour hosted by a central west local, on your own hop on hop off private train on a loop around the heart of NSW, enjoying the best of the regions food, wine, entertainment, and accommodation. Join me, Scott McGregor on this very special short escape to one of Australia’s most appealing and intriguing regions.

Seasons of New England

Join us in air-conditioned comfort on our privately chartered beautiful heritage train, The Blue Zephyr and journey in style from Newcastle (Broadmeadow Station) to Uralla and Armidale and take in the Seasons of New England Expo in Uralla on Saturday 26th March 2022.

Seasons of New England is about bringing local producers and artisans together and providing a forum for the rest of us to enjoy what they have to offer. The line-up of producers includes local vintners, brewers, bakers, pâtissiers, jam makers, free range producers and organic growers. The cool climate of the New England lends itself to the growing of a diverse range of produce and the range of talented artisans is enormous. Our focus is on bringing together talented artists, designers, stylists, craftspeople, and gourmets (so yes, more food!), so you can enjoy browsing. If it is something for the garden, for the home, for the grandchildren or just for you, you are sure to find it at the annual Expo.

Also enjoy the Uralla Rotary Art Show and Uralla’s famous shopping and cafe strip.

There will be shuttle services with our private train to and from Armidale during the weekend and there will be a variety of excursions and activities to compliment your great weekend escape to one of the region’s most colourful and tasty festivals. New England is a region in the north-eastern area of New South Wales north of the Hunter Valley and inland from the north coast of New South Wales and the Northern Rivers. The New England region includes all the high plateau area known as the Northern Tablelands. These Tablelands have four National Parks that are listed World Heritage Areas and form part of the Gondwana Rainforest of Australia.

The region also has historical buildings, fine museums, renowned art collections, superb fishing, fossicking, bushwalking, festivals, markets, pubs, clubs, fine restaurants, and the breathtaking gold of autumn which is so much a part of the New England.

The New England is a land unto itself with Armidale it’s unofficial capital and our home for the two nights.

Riverina Rail Tour

Experience the heart of Australia’s food bowl, stopping at regional towns and attractions throughout the Riverina. You will also travel on rail lines which don’t have scheduled passenger services, making this a real adventure. Come with us to discover acclaimed wines, taste gorgeous fresh produce and explore the natural scenery throughout the region.

The Territory Complete

It doesn’t come any better than travelling on The Ghan, exploring Uluru and Kata Tjuta, cruising Katherine Gorge and touring Kakadu, all in one sensational journey through the nation’s heartland. The iconic Ghan, one of Australia’s most famous train journeys has a rich and colourful history. A grand vision to link the country from South to North by rail began in the 1870s, not long after John McDowell Sturt completed his epic trek along the route.

Finally completed in 2004, the world’s newest trans-continental line has been taking freight and pax to our southern and northern regions. Our tour will take you to some of the most iconic places in our country, including the magnificent Uluru, one of the wonders of the natural world, and awe-inspiring Kakadu. If you have always wanted to immerse yourself in the heart of the Australian outback and its iconic landmarks, then this is the trip for you.

Accreditations: A14416
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