Queensland has a distinctive spirit, thanks to a lush coastline bursting with flora and fauna, delicious produce, relaxed locals and adventures aplenty. At Queensland Rail Travel, we believe there’s no better way to explore this and more, than via the magic of a rail getaway. Skip the hassles of traffic or craning for a glimpse through the clouds and instead, view this beautiful part of the world from just outside the window of your long-distance train.
If you are interested in exploring the Sunshine State with the convenience of a train, then here are five different train trips you need to try in your lifetime:
Spirit of Queensland
Operating between Brisbane and Cairns five days a week, the Spirit of Queensland is your answer to taking a quick and relaxing trip away. The relaxation starts the moment you step aboard – enjoy modern and spacious seating, a variety of entertainment options on individual touch screens and delicious meals, prepared by a chef, using Queensland-sourced produce.
Enjoy the nostalgia of rail travel as you put your feet up and unwind in your leather Premium Economy seat, or indulge in the ample space of your innovative RailBed – a conveniently spacious seat by day, lie-flat bed by night. Make friends with fellow passengers from the comfort of your seat, or head to the 24-hour licensed Galley Car for fresh faces and a change of scene.
Throughout your journey, our friendly staff are taking care of the ‘little things’ so you don’t have to and our driver is safely navigating the tracks, to ensure you arrive at your destination, comfortably and happily. Wherever you’re headed, a journey aboard the Spirit of Queensland will get your trip on the right track. https://www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au/railexperiences/ourtrains/spiritofqueensland
Spirit of the Outback
The quintessential outback rail adventure starts when you hop aboard the Spirit of the Outback. An overnight journey to remember, you’ll depart bustling Brisbane, meandering through heritage towns over 1,325 km, before arriving in the heart of Longreach. Enjoy the open car layout of economy, settling in with your reclinable seat and footrest, before accessing the economy lounge for a change of scene, or a warming meal from the Shearers Rest Galley.
Travel in a First-Class sleeper and enjoy country-style hospitality, where you’ll find a complimentary amenity bag full of items made and sourced in Queensland, so you can make full use of the showering amenities stationed at the end of each carriage. Head to the Shearer’s Rest, a relaxing communal lounge area exclusive to First Class customers – and the backdrop to many new friendships – or take your tablet to watch the latest onboard entertainment.
Delight in all-inclusive meals as you sit down to linen dressed tables for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tuck into meals prepared by our chef using the best Queensland produce, inspired by the region. Upon disembarking, explore all that the region has to offer – towering skies, sunburnt earth, a mix of modern and prehistoric points of interest and always, moments you just have to see first-hand to believe. However, you choose to travel aboard the Spirit of the Outback, be sure to pack your camera and a sense of adventure to make the most of this heritage-inspired journey into this fascinating land. https://www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au/railexperiences/ourtrains/spiritoftheoutback
Skip the traffic and enjoy fast and convenient access to Queensland’s iconic coastal destinations when you take the Tilt Train. Travelling between Brisbane and Rockhampton, reaching speeds of up to 160km per hour and transporting over 180,000 passengers per year, you can rest assured it’s a reliable means of reaching your destination.
Enjoy your reclinable economy seat and foot rest while you flip through the pages of your complimentary magazine, or watch the onboard entertainment on overhead screens. If you’re heading to the city or up the coast for work, step aboard and enjoy the comfort of a larger Business seat, a complimentary juice and newspaper or, make the most of the travel time and plug your electronics into the power point at your seat – don’t miss a beat! Head to the Galley Car for a pick me up cup of coffee or something light to eat, or wait for the trolley service, so you can enjoy some snacks throughout your journey.
Explore more of Queensland and take the train to stunning destinations such as the Southern Great Barrier Reef – disembark and head to Mon Repos to witness turtle hatchlings making their way to the ocean; explore the delicious and vibrant produce of the Bundaberg Burnett region, or head to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island for a dip in Lake Mackenzie…the choice is yours! Wherever you’re headed or why, whether travelling solo or in a group, the Tilt Train is a convenient value for money means of taking your next business trip or relaxing holiday.
Away from the coast, there’s a world of discovery and adventure ahead. Step aboard The Inlander and explore another part of Queensland’s vast outback. Whether travelling onboard as part of a Mount Isa Discovery Experience package, or following your own itinerary, you’ll find yourself in awe of the sheer space and changing landscapes.
Settle back into your forward facing, reclinable seat and put your feet up using the available footrest, while you dive into the pages of a book or, your complimentary onboard magazine. Whether stopping off along the way or, completing the entire 977km journey, the train is airconditioned for your comfort, and there are showers and amenities at the end of each carriage, so that you arrive feeling relaxed and refreshed. If you’re in need of a change of scene, head to the Lounge for a friendly chat with other travellers.
If your itinerary allows, we recommend some regional exploration – perhaps you’ll make friends with Hughie, the 7m Muttaburrasaurus and find an impressive fossil collection at the Flinders Discovery Centre in Hughenden? Or spot endangered marsupial, the Julia Creek Dunnart?
Upon disembarking in Mount Isa, explore the town’s prehistoric exhibits at the Riversleigh Fossils Interpretive Centre or go deep underground and tour the coal mines – some of the biggest in the world. The town’s mineral wealth is something to behold – with copper, silver, lead and zinc being mined here. This is truly a trip for those who like to head off the beaten track and uncover a region’s stories. https://www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au/railexperiences/ourtrains/theinlander
Jump aboard The Westlander and join us for a relaxing journey into the heart of Queensland’s deep west. As you depart Brisbane, settle into your comfortable seat as you dive into a book or the pages of your complimentary onboard magazine.
Throughout your 777km journey you’ll travel across the ancient Great Dividing Range, through rich farmlands of the Darling Downs, right through to the welcoming town of Charleville. You’ll be passing some of the state’s most established wine producing regions and rich grazing country. Whilst onboard, you can head to the Lounge for a friendly chat and change of scene.
When you arrive in Charleville, head to the Cosmos Observatory during the day to view sunspots and solar flares, heading back at night to marvel at the twinkling stars scattered above – view distant stars, planets and nebulae! Visit one of the region’s most vital functions – the Royal Flying Doctor Service and meet some of the amazing people that keep it running.
For the ultimate outback experiences, acquaint yourself with the ‘Cunnamulla Fella’, immortalised by Australia’s favourite bush poet, Slim Dusty… And before you head home, try your luck fossicking at Quilpie’s renowned boulder opal! Jump aboard The Westlander and embark on a journey of discovery. https://www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au/railexperiences/ourtrains/thewestlander
Kuranda Scenic Railway
Uncover one of the world’s great railway journeys aboard Kuranda Scenic Railway. Enjoy relaxing in refurbished vintage carriages as the train winds up the mountain to Kuranda, the village in the rainforest.
Travelling across 55 bridges and through 15 handmade tunnels, you’ll learn what an engineering feat the railway is, a proud testament to North Queensland’s pioneers.
You’ll travel past steep ravines and see lush vegetation so close you could almost reach out and touch it. You’ll pass the impressive heights of Stoney Creek and stop at the grand Barron Gorge Falls. Enjoy the wares of Kuranda locals in the village centre or wander off on one of the walking trails nearby.
Travel in classic Heritage Class or upgrade to Gold Class and delight in locally-sourced food and beverages, as you wind your way up or down the mountain – however you do it, it’s a rail journey not to be missed. https://www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au/railexperiences/ourtrains/kurandascenicrailway
Take a step into Queensland’s pioneering past and journey aboard the Gulflander as it travels the Heritage-listed Normanton to Croydon line. Affectionately said to go from ‘nowhere to nowhere’, the line was built to connect the once bustling river port of Normanton with the rich goldfields of Croydon.
To combat seasonal impacts, the line was laid with patented steel sleepers – to this day it retains most of the original sleepers laid between 1888 and 1891 and is the only railway line in Queensland still measured in miles! Although the gold rush is long past, the Gulflander continues to connect its outback community with vital services and visitors with a fascinating history. Enjoy the treasure trove of history and discovery at charming Normanton Station, wandering amongst displays and vintage locomotives and carriages.
Enjoy stops at Blackbull Siding for a cuppa and to stretch your legs and visit Critter’s Camp to spot the local creepy crawlies… All the while, our Savannah-accredited guide and driver will regale you with their detailed knowledge of local flora and fauna, before delighting you with tales of the region’s colourful characters!
If you can, turn it into a bigger adventure and explore Karumba – enjoy a sunset cruise on the Gulf of Carpentaria, learn something new at Karumba’s Barramundi Discovery Centre or, try your luck with a spot of fishing! Whether travelling solo, in a group or with your favourite companion, the Gulflander and Normanton to Croydon line is a ‘must-do’ experience. https://www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au/railexperiences/ourtrains/the-gulflander
About Queensland Rail Travel
Queensland’s lush tropical coastline and wide open planes of the outback are full of surprises just waiting to be discovered, and there’s no better way to experience them than through the magic of rail. Your holiday starts when you step aboard – the scenes unfolding outside your window as much a part of the adventure as your destination. And all the while, our friendly team are looking after your needs.
Our long distance and tourist trains cover the largest and most comprehensive network in Australia. Our services stretch from buzzing Brisbane to tropical Cairns and out west to warm country hospitality in Charleville, Longreach and Mount Isa. Our selection of travel options means you can tailor a trip to suit you, without breaking the budget or compromising on comfort. And, with a range of quality rail holiday packages available, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to planning your next Queensland Rail Travel holiday.
For more information and to book your tickets head the Queensland Rail Travel website: https://www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au/