• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Queensland by Rail

For those preferring not to drive, consider travelling by rail from Brisbane to Cairns. Queensland is located on the east coast of Australia, north of New South Wales and is the home of many iconic attractions of Australia including the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands. What better way to explore than by rail.  

Summary

Queensland by Rail

For some, a driving holiday holds no appeal, or perhaps for some parts of your Australian adventure, you prefer to let the train take the strain.  What better way to explore, therefore, than by rail. .

Day 1: Brisbane
Day 3: Maryborough/Fraser Island
Day 6: Gladstone
Day 7: Heron Island
Day 10: Sunlander
Day 11: Proserpine/Airlie Beach, join cruise
Day 14: Airlie Beach
Day 15: Cairns

Description

Description

Queensland is located on the east coast of Australia, north of New South Wales and is the home of many iconic attractions of Australia including the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands. A diverse state with something for everyone, an itinerary here can combine cities, culture, wildlife, rainforests, hinterland, beautiful coastal resorts, islands and of course the barrier reef.

Day 1: Brisbane
Arrive into Brisbane today for a two-night stay. Dissected by the Brisbane River, this city is an eclectic mix of culture, shopping and the laidback lifestyle that epitomizes Queensland. Take a riverfront walk, enjoy a sight-seeing cruise or climb the Story Bridge – one of only three bridge climbs in the world.

Day 3: Maryborough/Fraser Island
Travel aboard the train today, a rail service that runs parallel to the coast (although you won’t be able to see the coast for much, if any of the journey). From here, you’ll head to the World Heritage listed Fraser Island – the largest sand island in the world. With pristine beaches, lakes and rainforests growing in the sand, a stay on Fraser Island gives you a taste of unspoilt paradise.

Day 6: Gladstone
Return to the rail station today and take the train to Gladstone for an overnight stay. Here, visit the Tondoon Botanic Gardens or enjoy wine tasting at a local winery.

Day 7: Heron Island
Transfer to Heron Island this morning for a three-night stay on this Great Barrier Reef Island. With crystal clear waters, incredible snorkelling and diving opportunities and white sands, a stay here will be a fantastic way to experience the reef.

Day 10: Overnight on the train
Return to the station this evening, and board the train for an overnight journey north to Proserpine.
At this point you could opt instead to take the Spirit of the Outback train, which heads into the interior of Queensland to Longreach. Longreach is home to the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and the Qantas Founders Museum – the Queensland and Northern Territories Aerial Service (Q.A.N.T.A.S) was founded here. From Longreach, one can also visit a working cattle station and visit the historic towns of Barcaldine and Ilfracombe.

Day 11: Proserpine/Airlie Beach, join cruise
Arrive into Proserpine this morning from where you’ll be transferred by coach to Airlie Beach. This is the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands, and today, you’ll board a tall ship for a three-night cruise around these beautiful reef-fringed islands. Whilst onboard you’ll be able to help with the sails, or simply sit back, relax and enjoy yourself. With snorkelling at various anchor points, and diving a possibility, this is a lovely way to explore these islands in style.

Day 14: Airlie Beach
The cruise returns to Airlie Beach today, where you’ll stay overnight, giving you the opportunity to enjoy this popular seaside resort.

Day 15: Cairns
Back to the station early this morning for the onward journey by train to complete the journey north to Cairns.

This itinerary dovetails nicely with Tropical North Queensland if you’d like to explore the area surrounding Cairns.

Photographs courtesy of Tourism Australia

Great Barrier Reef      Kangaroo

 

QLD Whistsundays      Sunlander_1_H

Little Gems

Little Gems

From Bargara, in the Bundaberg region, one can access the southern Great Barrier Reef.  An area enjoying level 6 protection (level 3 in the north) the cooler waters make the coral colours more vibrant and the fish bigger.  It is also known for loggerhead turtles.

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