Price
$8475 per person
Duration
15 Days
Destination
Queensland

The Queensland Coast by rail, road, air and sea

• BRISBANE • GYMPIE • MARYBOROUGH • HERVEY BAY • BUNDABERG • ROCKHAMPTON • WHITSUNDAYS • TOWNSVILLE • CAIRNS •
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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

Some Details

Departure Location
Brisbane, Queensland
Return Location
Cairns, Queensland
Tour Leader(s)
Mike Condon
Extras
Price: $8475 Single supplement: $1175
  • Tour Plan
Tour Plan

Day 1 • Tuesday:

BRISBANE – GYMPIE

Meet at Brisbane for a welcome lunch and travel north by coach to Gympie. (We suggest you are in Brisbane by Noon.) Made famous in 1867 when James Nash discovered 72 ounces of gold in just six days, Gympie became known as “the town that saved Queensland from bankruptcy.”

On arrival in this historic city, we’ll visit the Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum with its vast collection of artefacts and photographs and enjoy lunch at the caf  followed by a visit to Woodworks Museum with a tour of the workshop and mills. This evening enjoys a welcome dinner together at a local restaurant.

Overnight: Mary River Motor Inn, ( or similar ) Gympie (L, D)

Day 2 • Wednesday:

GYMPIE – MARYBOROUGH

This morning you will enjoy an iconic heritage rail experience on the Mary Valley Rattler that will take you back to a time when rail travel was replacing horses as a means of transport. Dating back to the early 1900s, this rail link was built to service the growing need for goods in the goldfields around Gympie. The journey takes you through the upper reaches of the Mary Valley along the original line first established over 100 years ago. You’ll start your trip at the historic Gympie Station, still the largest timber railway building in Queensland.

After lunch at a local cafe, we continue north by coach to the charming town of Maryborough, made famous as the birthplace of P.L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins where we meet Peter and Robert Olds who run a most illuminating engineering enterprise that amongst other things has constructed wheels for the Queen’s royal coach. Dinner at our hotel.

Overnight: Maryborough Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 3 • Thursday:

MARYBOROUGH – HEVERY BAY

This morning we head to the workshops of the Maryborough City Whistle Stop. The team of volunteers will light up the replica of the Mary Ann,

Queensland’s first locomotive of 1873, we even get to ride on a special run of this historic relic for a short distance down the track.

After time to explore the museum and lunch at leisure before heading to the coast.

Overnight: Mantra Hotel, Hervey Bay (or similar) (B, L, D)

Day 4 • Friday:

HERVEY BAY – BUNDABERG

The early morning light beckons for today’s adventure onto the waters of the Bay with the Pacific Whale Foundation. Due to its protected waterways Hervey Bay is often home to hundreds of humpback whales who visit these waters on their journey north from Antarctica to the Great Barrier Reef, and who use it as a calf kindergarten to teach their young. We take the cruise and hear the story of the extraordinary migration with our local guide. Enjoy a few hours to explore, and have a local lunch, before boarding our coach to Bundaberg. At ‘Bundy’ we’ll tour the town and then check into hour hotel with the rest of the afternoon and evening being yours at leisure.

Overnight: Villa Mirasol, Bundaberg (or similar) (B, D)

Day 5 • Saturday:

BUNDABERG

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before heading out on an exploration of Bundaberg starting at the beautiful Botanical Gardens. There follows a feast of experiences to enjoy, including the Hinkler Hall of Aviation and the quaint historic Sugar Cane Railway. We’ll enjoy lunch at the local caf  before heading to the famous Bundaberg Rum distillery which was established in 1888 when seven Bundaberg locals decided to take the by-product from the growing sugar industry and open a rum distillery. The rest of the evening is at leisure.

Overnight: Villa Mirasol, Bundaberg (or similar) (B, L)

Day 6 • Sunday:

BUNDABERG – ROCKHAMPTON

The morning is yours to enjoy the city and surrounds at leisure. In the mid-afternoon we continue the journey north to Rockhampton on the next leg of the old ‘Sunlander’ route with Queensland rail. ‘Rocky’ is one of Queensland’s oldest and largest cities and we arrive in the mid-evening just in time to check in, freshen up and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight: Empire Studio Apartments, Rockhampton (or similar) (B, D)

Day 7 • Monday:

ROCKHAMPTON

We go back in time this morning when we head out of town to visit the heritage settlement of Mt Morgan, nestled high in the ranges southwest of Rockhampton. It was once a thriving gold mining centre and is now a well-preserved heritage town full of remarkable timber buildings and a rich history.

It is also home to the Mount Morgan Railway Museum which will reveal how travel and life was in the town’s ‘Golden’ days. Returning to Rockhampton, we visit the Archer Park Rail and Steam Tram Museum, home to a rare restored Purrey Steam Tram. Rockhampton was the only Australian city to use Purrey Steam Trams, which were built in Bourdeaux, France and operated between 1909 and 1939. The rest of your evening is at leisure.

Overnight: Empire Studio Apartments, Rockhampton (or similar) (B, L)

Day 8 • Tuesday:

ROCKHAMPTON – WHITSUNDAYS

This morning is an early start with a sunrise flight to Mackay. Breakfast on arrival before we coach a short way north by coach has us arriving to the region of the Whitsundays, our home for the next two nights. This afternoon is at leisure to relax and explore Airlie Beach.

Overnight: Airlie Beach Hotel, Airlie Beach (or similar) (B, D)

Day 9 • Wednesday:

WHITSUNDAYS

This morning early, we head out from Airlie Port for a morning by boat on the Barrier Reef, sailing around Whitsunday island, cruising passed Hamilton and Hook Islands and touching our toes in the pristine waters of Whitehaven beach. Your afternoon is free to explore the vibrant foreshore at Airlie Beach.

Overnight: Airlie Beach Hotel, Airlie Beach (or similar) (B, L)

Day 10 • Thursday:

WHITSUNDAYS – TOWNSVILLE

The day starts early on board the Spirit of Queensland, and another leg by rail, continuing north to Townsville. We arrive in the mid-morning and meet with our coach to 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. Check in to our centrally located hotel, home for the next 3 nights and enjoy some time at leisure to explore the excellent facilities. This afternoon head to the Reef HQ Aquarium to round out the day. Dinner this evening is at the hotel.

Overnight: Grand Chancellor Hotel, Townsville (or similar) (B, D)

Day 11 • Friday:

TOWNSVILLE

We start the day with a ferry cruise to wonderful Magnetic Island. Upon arrival the island tour coach takes us to experience the history and landscape of the island. Observe some of the wonderful wildlife and enjoy the scenery of this unique island. Lunch will be on your own at a selection or places at Horseshoe Bay after which there will be time to relax and walk on the island before our return ferry cruise. This afternoon and evening are yours at leisure.

Overnight: Grand Chancellor Hotel, Townsville (or similar) (B)

Day 12 • Saturday:

TOWNSVILLE

Today is yours to catch your breath and relax around your hotel or further explore Townsville and its surrounds.

Overnight: Grand Chancellor Hotel, Townsville (or similar) (B)

Day 13 • Sunday:

TOWNSVILLE – CAIRNS

Get ready for another big day of train travel on the great northern railway which slices through some of Australia’s most captivating tropical scenery. This is the wet country, lush and verdant framed by Queensland’s highest mountains and widest rivers. We travel once again on the Spirit of Queensland, enjoying the contemporary comforts of this beautiful train as we continue north to Cairns. We arrive in the late afternoon and transfer to our hotel in time for an evening at leisure.

Hotel: Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort, Cairns (or similar) (B)

Day 14 • Monday:

CAIRNS – ATHERTON – HERBERTON – CAIRNS

After breakfast at the hotel, we depart for a tour of the region of the rich Atherton Tablelands. We start by travelling south across the Sugar Cane fields then up the steep Gillies Highway to the lush forests and farming country of the tablelands. First stop is the excellent Mining Museum and then we take the short run to meet the team at the Herberton Historic Railway Museum. Here we learn about the restoration work and history of the railways of the tablelands before sampling it ourselves with a run along the old line to the astounding Historic Village. You have time to explore the vast collection and witness a variety of big machines in action. We return via Mareeba and the mountain road back to Cairns.

We should arrive with plenty of time to freshen up and rest before enjoying a delicious three-course farewell dinner at the scrumptious Raw Prawn on the colourful Cairns esplanade.

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

DAY 15 • Tuesday:

CAIRNS – DEPART

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

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

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      The Queensland Coast by rail, road, air and sea

      Price
      $8475 per person
      Duration
      15 Days
      Destination
      Queensland

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