Being first

By | Category: Travel news

two locomotives will haul 28 carriages on the new luxury service

This morning I am giving you a year’s notice of what will potentially become one of the Australia’s top tourist attractions. Today booking opens for a brand new luxury holiday.

What is it that spurs me to be so positive?

It is a new luxury rail journey, still to be named,  that links Adelaide in South Australia with Brisbane in Queensland. So what, you might say, why is this any more interesting than the Ghan which strolls through the red heart of Australia from Adelaide to Darwin or the Indian-Pacific which toils between Sydney and Perth?

Unlike the other two services run by Great Southern which drudge through mile after mile of similar landscape which even Australians find boring after a day, the new service will visit some places that tourists often list as one of the reasons for visiting the country.There will be coastline, cities, vineyards and the outback so you will see more than just the red interior.

The two-night/three-day journey from Adelaide to Brisbane allows travellers to step off the train to visit the Grampians National Park, Canberra The zoo here- underrated by many tourist guides – has become one of the best in the country), and the northern New South Wales coast.

The south bound journey, (three-nights/four-days) will include beachside dining experience in northern NSW, a  day in the Hunter Valley visiting some of dozens and dozens of vineyards that are to be found there, the Newcastle region and an opportunity to view Victoria’s iconic Twelve Apostles, one of the state’s big tourist draws.

Being a luxury train the food is far superior to the meals I ate when I travelled on the Indian-Pacific in the 1970’s at a time when it was just a train service rather than a luxury tourist draw. Today the food is claimed to be world-class.

The food, the tours and the drinks are included in the price which varies from about $A1649 to $A3,899. (say £940-£2,225.) That’s not cheap for a train journey but for a luxury journey it is about on par with other services around the world.

But this service will also give you bragging rights. The service will only run from 6th of December 2019 until the 27th of January 2020 (Australia Day occurs on the 26th of January so that might be a bit special on the train) meaning there will be just 16 departures. As each train will carry just 214 guests you can work it out for yourselves. Only 3,424 people from around the world will get to travel on this service in its first year. Lucky travellers will be able to say that they were there at the beginning and that isn’t easy to say today in this world of mass tourism.

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