The dawn of the railway age in Victoria was perfectly timed, coming hot on the heels of the greatest gold rush in Australia’s history. The windfall from mining royalties was crucial in funding the construction of the country’s first main line railways. These branched out in the 1850s and ‘60s to reach the ‘Pot of Gold’, the Murray River, at Echuca in 1864. Here, the riverboat trade was also booming and the coming of the railway added another spoke to this already busy hub. Our special short adventure celebrates this golden age of rail and river transport in the colony of Victoria. It culminates in a kind of re-enactment of the famous ‘meeting of the whistles’ at the Port of Echuca, where steam train and steam boat connected in a hail of whistles echoing over the town and river – the sound that once reminded one and all of the prosperity and enterprise of their great state.
- Enjoy a special trip by steam train on the Victorian Goldfields Railway, and the quaint Daylesford Spa Country Railway
- Sail and dine on a Murry River paddle steamer.
- Visit historic gold-rush towns, including Ballarat, Bendigo, and Maldon
- Stay in the historic former Railway Administration Office, now the Quest Grand Hotel, in the heart of Melbourne
- Explore Bendigo and Ballarat museums and townscapes on vintage trams
- Visit the gold rush open-air museum of Sovereign Hill in Ballarat and experience the newly re-launched AURA light and sound show
- Savour a sumptuous lunch on the lavish Q Train along the Bellarine Railway
- Enjoy comfortable coach connections, most meals included and the service of your expert tour leader throughout