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Price
$3785 per person
Duration
8 Days
Destination
More than 1

Steam Adventure
In Southern Queensland

Across Northern NSW and the New England by Private Train
  • Information
  • Itinerary
  • Gallery
  • Tour Map
  • Reviews
The 1880’s saw a number of Nation building events that inspire the core of this adventure across Southern Queensland and Northern NSW. In the mid 1880’s Queensland’s railway construction boom reached Warwick, which soon became one of the main railway towns in the state.

By the late 1880’s Queensland and NSW were joined by rail at Wallangarra and in 1889 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, Swanbank, 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 rail-motor 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.

Some Details

Departure Location
Brisbane, Queensland
Return Location
Toowoomba, Queensland Brisban, Queensland
Tour Leader(s)
Scott McGregor, The Cruise Express Team and Friends
Extras
Price: $3785 Single Supplement: $545
Price includes
  • 7 nights in comfortable, centrally located accommodation
  • All excursions and entrance fees to attractions, as listed in the itinerary
  • Breakfast daily, 5 lunches and 6 dinners
  • Chartered coach, with luggage transport throughout the tour
  • Comprehensive sightseeing with your hosts and local guides
  • Drinks included with welcome and farewell dinners
  • Excursion/entrance fees, except those listed as optional in the itinerary
Price does not include
  • All other personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, laundry services, camera fees where applicable
  • Excursions/entrances listed as optional in the itinerary
  • Meals and services not mentioned in itinerary
  • Tour Plan
Tour Plan

Day 1 • Thursday:

ARRIVE BRISBANE

We begin our adventure with a briefing and celebratory welcome dinner and drinks at the historic Transcontinental Hotel with the group and your tour leaders setting the stage for the journey ahead.

Overnight: Pullman Hotel, Brisbane (D)

Day 2 • Friday:

BRISBANE – TOOWOOMBA

After breakfast at the hotel, we embark on a coach trip heading out of Brisbane to visit the Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway for a run on their dedicated heritage line at Swanbank.
Featuring express steam loco PB15 #448, and a collection of vintage carriages, we trundle through the countryside doing a loop at the end of the line and returning for morning tea at the station.

We then transfer to Ipswich Workshops Rail Museum to visit one of Australia’s premier Railway museums, where you have time on your own to explore the world class collection and tour the restoration work in progress.

Lunch is provided in the cafeteria before we head across to the departure point for our privately chartered heritage Diesel hauled train to Toowoomba. This scenic run tackles the wide flood plain before ascending the ranges and winding its way up the escarpment where we pause at the iconic Spring Bluff Station to smell the roses.

We then take the last leg on to Toowoomba.
After checking in to our hotel you have the evening at leisure and time to take advantage of the central location of your newly refurbished hotel.

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

Day 3 • Saturday:

TOOWOOMBA – WARWICK – GOONDIWINDI

It’s an early start this morning as we head out after breakfast by coach to Warwick to meet our special train for the run to Goondiwindi.
Once every few years the Southern Downs Steam Railway volunteers gather together 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 west via Karara and Inglewood.
Here, on the platform of the classic timber station, we have a BBQ lunch.

The next stop along the way is at Yelarbon to view the painted silos, a spectacular sight in the surrounding countryside.

Later in the afternoon we arrive at Goondiwindi and you are transported to your downtown motel by bus for some time to settle in and relax. This evening we gather for dinner downtown.

Overnight: Jolly Swagman or The Town House, Goondiwindi (B, L, D)

Day 4 • Sunday 2 May:

GOONDIWINDI

Today is yours to choose between a few different options. You are free to join the rail journey further down the line to Toobeah, departing at 8:00 and returning at around 11:00.

You also have the option to continue by coach to Dirranbandi (at the end of the railway line) where lunch is provided by the Dirranbandi School P&C committee.

You will then return to Goondiwindi later in the afternoon. In the late afternoon we will gather together to visit Goondiwindi Cotton, a popular local establishment where you’ll enjoy a tour of the factory and hear about the growing, processing and manufacturing of cotton. We also have time to explore their well-stocked shop.

Enjoy dinner with the group later on.

Overnight: Jolly Swagman or The Town House, Goondiwindi (B, D)

Day 5 • Monday:

GOONDIWINDI – ARMIDALE

 This morning after breakfast at the hotel we hit the road heading south into NSW and a day of train travel on the lines of northern NSW.
We take our coaches to Moree and from there we head by privately chartered railmotor down the line to Armidale.

Our train takes us through Narrabri, Boggabri, Gunnedah and Breeza before pulling into the grand old junction station of Werris Creek.
Here we enjoy a BBQ lunch on the grand old station platform with time to explore the excellent museum and National Railway Monument before our train departs for the next leg via Tamworth and Uralla to Armidale.

Free time is offered and then dinner will be provided at the hotel.

Overnight: The Powerhouse Hotel or similar, Armidale (B, L, D)

Day 6 • Tuesday:

ARMIDALE – TENTERFIELD

This morning after breakfast at the hotel we begin our exploration of the route of the Great Northern Railway.
Along the way on our coach trip we will visit what was the highest station on the NSWGR at Ben Lomond and then we continue to Inverell where we take a tour of this attractive town, ending up at the National Transport Museum for lunch.
You’ll have time to explore the vast collection of historic vehicles and memorabilia at this award-winning museum before heading further down the road to Glen Innes.
This city takes special pride in its Celtic heritage and we take time to reflect at the amazing standing stones on the hill overlooking the town. The next leg of our tour takes us north 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.

We end up in Tenterfield at the excellent Railway Museum at the station, which will also be the site for our afternoon tea.
Later on we check into our motels and enjoy some time to relax. Dinner this evening is a grand affair befitting the location at the Henry Parkes School of Arts.
It was here in 1889 that Sir Henry, having just arrived by special train on his way to the colony of Queensland delivered his famous Tenterfield Oration which set the scene for a growing push to Federation.

We will have dinner here across a number of the rooms at the museum, and the bar will feature local and regional wines and beers. After which it’s a short stroll back to your motels close by.

Overnight: Best Western, Peter Allen Motor Inn or Jumbuck Motor Inn, Tenterfield (B, L, D)

Day 7 • Wednesday :

TENTERFIELD – WALLANGARRA – TOOWOOMBA

Enjoy a huge day of train travel today, with a feast of scenery following the route of the original railway from Sydney to Brisbane.

To begin our day after a light breakfast we head north a short distance by coach to the border town of Wallangarra.
This was the transhipment point and the change of trains for all inter colonial traffic due to the break of gauge.
Thankfully, the unusual island station has been beautifully restored and hosts an interesting museum and a great restaurant.
Tables will be laid out along the platform and a lavish champagne brunch will be hosted as our train rolls in from Warwick and shunts around to get ready for the next leg of our journey on the old Great Northern Railway.

Our special train takes us past Stanthorpe to Warwick, where we take a break for lunch before rolling on to Toowoomba with a break at Clifton to take water and for us to enjoy refreshments at the local pub.

On arrival in Toowoomba you have some free time before we head out to enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner at the museum depot and station of the Downs Steam Railway Heritage Centre.

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

Day 8 • Thursday:

TOOWOOMBA – DEPARTURES

Our tour comes to an end this morning and our coaches will be on hand to transfer you back to Brisbane, the railway station and the airport. (B)

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

By the late 1880’s Queensland and NSW were joined by rail at Wallangarra and in 1889 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, Swanbank, 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 rail-motor 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.

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      Steam Adventure In Southern QLD Across Northern NSW

      Price
      $3785 per person
      Duration
      8 Days
      Destination
      More than 1

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