There’s something mesmerising about travelling by rail. Whether it’s the sense of occasion, the rhythm of the rails or the romance of bygone times, to journey deep into the heart of Australia in comfort and style is to experience one of the world’s finest travel experiences.
The Great Southern, with its distinctive livery, will be home for the two-night voyage from Adelaide to Brisbane. Step aboard and leave the everyday world behind as you depart on a journey which is the perfect blend of on-board comfort and off train adventures.
Adelaide to Brisbane
Day 1: Depart Adelaide
We board the Great Southern at Adelaide Parklands Terminal. Your friendly, welcoming cabin steward will show you around your private cabin, explain how everything works then leave you to settle in. Morning tea is served in the Outback Explorer Lounge, as the Great Southern rolls out of Adelaide and through the beautiful Adelaide Hills. Lunch is served; the first of several delicious meals you’ll enjoy throughout the journey. Later this afternoon the Great Southern enters the state of Victoria and the ancient Grampians region. Disembark the train to partake in one of a choice of excursions exploring the dramatic wilderness of this area. Known as Gariwerd to the Aboriginal people Grampians National Park has 60 indigenous rock art sites, five of which are open to the public. The area is noted for its sandstone ridges, waterfalls, wildflowers and wildlife.
After an enjoyable afternoon The Great Southern welcomes you back on board with a late supper, paired with a selection of fine wines, served in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant. Travelling as a Gold Service guest, all-inclusive food and drink will be a highlight of your journey. The team of highly talented chefs takes inspiration from the environments through which the train travels to source the best ingredients and create a seasonal, regionally-inspired menu accompanied by all-inclusive fine wines and beverages.
After a busy day, retreat to the haven of your private cabin and a great night’s sleep.
Day 2: Canberra
Wake up bright and early to be fortified by a hearty breakfast before a new day of exploration. Breakfast choices range from eggs and bacon to granola, fruits and yoghurt, with something for all appetites. The Great Southern enters the Australian Capital Territory where we will disembark and board our coach for a scenic journey to Canberra, the nation’s capital. A memorable lunch will be served to us in the grand surroundings of Parliament House, before our afternoon is filled with a choice of immersive experiences in Canberra.
Take a tour of the Australian War Memorial; a shrine, a world-class museum, and an extensive archive which commemorates the sacrifice of Australians who have died in war or on operational service and those who have served the nation in times of conflict. The nearby National Gallery is home to the most valuable collection of art in Australia, including the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. The gallery’s significant collection of modern art includes late 19th and early 20th century works from Europe, as well as American art from the mid-20th century onwards. Parliament House is not only the seat of Australia’s democracy but also welcomes visitors. Some of Australia’s finest historical treasures, symbolic architecture and contemporary art are on display throughout the building.
Back on board the coach we travel through the forests, fields and vineyards around Canberra, northeast to Goulburn Station where we reboard the Great Southern in time for dinner.
A typical menu may consist of an entrée of a South Australian Regional Seafood Tasting Plate, a succulent rack of lamb for main, and your choice of dessert including a regional cheese plate with Barossa Valley brie, Limestone Coast clothed cheddar and Lobethal goat blue. There’s a superb selection of Australian wines and the expertly-trained staff will be happy to recommend the perfect glass to pair with your meal. Round off the evening with a nightcap in the Outback Explorer Lounge.
Day 3: Coffs Harbour to Brisbane
This morning the Great Southern crosses into its next state, New South Wales, and we disembark at the picturesque coastal town of Coffs Harbour. Here we can enjoy a choice of activities in and around the town. Opt for the Boardwalk to Beach excursion, taking in views of the spectacular coastline and the Great Dividing Range from the Urunga Boardwalk before travelling to Coffs Harbour for a relaxing morning wandering around the Sunday markets, its historic jetty or just breathing in some sea air. Or take the Coffs Explorer Experience to Sealy Lookout, where the Forest Sky Pier viewing platform soars dramatically out from the hillside, affording magnificent views of the coastline to Solitary Islands Marine Park.
There’s time to savour one final meal on the Great Southern as a two-course lunch is served before the train reaches Brisbane. Our Great Southern journey has come to an end, leaving us with memories to cherish of a journey of a lifetime.
With room to stretch out and all the comforts of home, enjoy Gold Service private cabin accommodation and all-inclusive food and beverages aboard the Great Southern. Gold Service accommodation is available in both single and twin-share.
Through the window of your cosy, well-appointed cabin, you’ll watch the ever-changing landscapes unfold. And after a day of off-train activities, your cabin provides the perfect place to relax and recharge before heading for the lounge or dining carriage.
For Gold Twin, a comfortable sleeper cabin featuring private en-suite and upper and lower berths that convert to a three-seater lounge by day
For Gold Single, a compact sleeper cabin featuring a bed that converts to a seat by day and shared shower/toilet facilities located at the end of the carriage
Power outlets in cabin
In-cabin music channels and journey audio commentary available
All-inclusive dining in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant
All-inclusive Australian wines, beers, base spirits and non-alcoholic beverages
Queen Adelaide Restaurant
The Queen Adelaide Restaurant’s ornate styling is redolent of old-world rail travel, and is where all meals on board will be enjoyed; breakfast, two-course lunch and three-course dinner.
Seasonally-changing menus showcase the finest regional flavours available, with food sourced from independent suppliers, such as locally-farmed beef and lamb, Margaret River cheeses, Barossa Valley produce and native Australian fare including kangaroo, saltbush and wild rosella flower. All meals are complemented by a range of all-inclusive wines, beers and spirits.
Outback Explorer Lounge
The Outback Explorer Lounge is the heart of the train’s social life, from early morning coffee and juice to a post-prandial nightcap. While away a few hours in the agreeable company of your fellow guests, sharing stories and laughs as all the while the vast Australian panoramas unfold through the wide picture windows.