10 Iconic Australian Rail Journeys

Here’s LOCO Journeys take on 10 iconic Australian rail journeys.

It’s north to south, east to west of ever-changing landscapes, culture and people. While there are many ways to see Australia, there’s only one way to do it with ease and in comfort. That’s the fabulous fun of rail travel, where everything comes together in a theatre-like performance. On board, the stage is set as your backdrop whizzes by. Familiar and friendly service leads the way, with every moment another glorious memory in this spectacular show – the food, the cabins, the customer lounges, the friends you make, the off-train experiences, the sunrises and sunsets, did we mention the food? It’s a journey of truly epic proportions.  It’s iconic, it’s Australian rail journeys and its travelling Australia by train.

We trust this run down will wet your appetite to consider travelling Australia by rail and when you’re ready to book, or you want to discuss your option with our travel experts, the team at LOCO Journeys is ready and waiting to hear from you.

Australian Rail Map
Australian Rail Routes

Iconic Australian Rail Journeys #1

Indian Pacific – Western Australia, South Australia & New South Wales

A journey aboard the iconic Indian Pacific will whisk you between Perth, Adelaide and Sydney in comfort and style. With an epic transcontinental crossing between the Indian and Pacific oceans, step onboard for an all-inclusive rail holiday you’ll never forget. 4,352km rail adventure takes 4 days and 3 nights and the train is oftern the longest you will ever experience.

This journey provides the opportunity to experience the vastness of Australia. From the Blue Mountains to the treeless Nullarbor plain, see unique landscapes unfold and spot a fascinating array of wildlife from the comfort of your cabin. With all meals, local wine and spirits included, travelling on board the Indian Pacific route is an all inclusive experience and a truly great Australian rail journey

Eastbound Indian Pacific

Iconic Australian Rail Journeys #2

The Ghan – South Australia & Northern Territories

A legendary train. One of the great train journeys of the world. An unforgettable Australian adventure.

Travel aboard The Ghan between Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin choosing from unique journeys, in the direction of your choice. From the rusty Red Centre to the tropical city of Darwin, watch the desert landscape change from red to gold over three unforgettable days. Choose between Platinum or Gold Service for your perfect journey leaving the everyday world behind. The Ghan promises access to parts of Australia no other holiday can come close to – the perfect balance of comfort and adventure and with all-inclusive dining, this sumptuous Australian rail experience awaits.

Ghan sunrise LOCO Journeys
The Ghan sunrise

Iconic Australian Rail Journeys #3

Great Southern – South Australia, New South Wales, ACT & Queensland

The latest in the Journey Beyond stable of epic Australian rail adventures, the Great Southern ties together a trio of state capitals while cruising the countryside in between.

Journeying between Adelaide and Brisbane the rail journey showcases spectacular scenery and an unrivaled experience both on and off the train. With new routes travelling through South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland, the Great Southern is a truly unforgettable journey just waiting to be discovered.

Your onboard experience delivers outstanding comfort and inclusions while your off train excursions take in the highlights of the regions through which you pass. En-route to Brisbane you take in the Grampians National Park, Canberra and New South Wales beaches while the journey to Adelaide includes highlights such as the Hunter Valley and a stop at the Twelve Apostles.

Great Southern

Iconic Australian Rail Journeys #4

The Overland – New South Wales & Victoria

The Overland has been bringing people between Adelaide and Melbourne and the regional towns in between for more than 135 years. Enjoy a relaxing and unique journey, while savouring the creature comforts and romance of rail. Travelling a distance of 828km, the Overland operates twice weekly in both directions. The Overland acts as a great rail-link from Melbourne for those travelling on any of the other iconic Australian rail journeys from Adelaide such as The Ghan, Indian Pacific and Great Southern.

Enjoy your Overland Rail Journey

Iconic Australian Rail Journeys #5

Spirit of Queensland

Journey on the express train from Cairns to Brisbane on an overnight sleeper service, travelling along the lush Queensland coastline offering access to some of Queensland’s most popular destinations. With modern tilt train services and featuring latest technology sleeper chairs, this 25 hour train journey, spanning 1,681 km stops at the popular coastal cities including Bundaberg, Townsville and Airlie Beach.

This iconic Australian rail service gives easy access to stunning Queensland holiday destinations such as The Whitsundays and the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy passing by picturesque sugar plantations, tropical landscapes, the scenic Sunshine Coast, crossing expansive rivers and transiting through sleepy outback towns in between on the Spirit of Queensland.

Spirit of Queensland
Spirit of Queensland Premium Economy Railbed

Iconic Australian Rail Journeys #6

Spirit of the Outback

Travel from Brisbane to Longreach, the gateway to further Outback experiences. This First Class sleeper service with communal lounge and diner is a great start to your adventure. Your journey offers a unique insight into the history and cultures of Australia. Wonder at the ever-changing landscape, as the train makes its way to and from the very heart of the Queensland Outback. Travel the full journey ​or stop for a few days in the many towns along the way. No matter your destination, the adventure is aboard Spirit of the Outback.

Spirit of the Outbac
Spirit of the Outback

Iconic Australian Rail Journeys #7

Gulflander – Queensland

Take a journey through frontier country from Normanton to Croydon as you step aboard the unique Gulflander. Also known as the ‘Tin Hare’, this legendary rail motor is one of the last great characters of the rail world. Affectionately said to go from ‘nowhere to nowhere’, the Gulflander travels through wetlands and grasslands to arid Savannah territory, and countryside that most people will never see.

The unique Gulflander train

Iconic Australian Rail Journeys #8

Kuranda Scenic Railway – Queensland

Running from Cairns to Kuranda in Northern Queensland, this tourist railway is an incredibly popular day out. Rising from sea level to 328m, the journey to Kuranda passes spectacular waterfalls and into the stunning Barron Gorge. Meandering through picturesque scenery, you travel for almost two hours through 15 handmade tunnels and a​cross 37 towering bridges that stand as a monument to the pioneers of the north. The Kuranda Scenic Railway is an unforgettable must-do journey through a tropical paradise.

Riding the Kuranda Scenic Railway – a tropical delight

Iconic Australian Rail Journeys #9

Puffing Billy – Victoria

Hidden away on the edges of the Dandenong Ranges, just one hour from central Melbourne via the eastern suburbs, is a delightful narrow gauge steam heritage railway called The Puffing Billy Railway. Built in 1900 to serve the local communities that lived in the hills, it carried anything from passengers to timber, livestock, potatoes and plants. The Puffing Billy is now an iconic Australian rail tourist attraction that invites visitors to come and experience a century old tradition every day of the year.

Puffing Billy Tourist Railway

Iconic Australian Rail Journeys #10

Savannahlander – Queensland

Another Northern Queensland gem, the Savannahlander is a unique outback Australian rail experience. Departing Cairns weekly, the Savannahlander 1960’s railcar winds its way through the wet tropics area of the Kuranda range and out through savannah country to Forsayth and back on one of their popular four day tours. Shorter tours are also available to get a tast for this legendary Australian rail experience.

The Savannahlander of Queensland

Each of these iconic Australian rail trips can be built into longer itineraries with flights, accommodation and car hire included.

Please contact us if you are looking to book or need further information on any Australian rail holidays. #liveloco

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