directions_trainRail, Tours & Packages in Sydney, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour & Maitland

Travel in 1960s style between Sydney and Brisbane! (One-way or return, Jun 2021)

New itinerary for 2021!

Relive the 1960s as you travel in lovingly restored luxury rail carriages between Sydney and Brisbane - with a fantastic itinerary of included experiences along the way!

FROM
$2,795PP
Get your quote
DURATION
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3 nights
WHAT'S INCLUDED
  • hotelAccommodation
  • free_breakfastDaily breakfast
  • local_activitySelected entry fees
  • airport_shuttleSelected transfers
  • personSolo traveller
  • restaurantSelected meals
  • local_barSelected drinks

About this holiday

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Slide 1 of 8
Visit the Slim Dusty Centre in Kempsey

This exceptional, fully escorted 4 day / 3 night journey takes you along the scenic North Coast Line through the Central Coast, the Mid-North Coast and Northern Rivers regions of New South Wales. You’ll discover the crystal clear creeks and uncrowded surf beaches of the Macleay Valley Coast, the breathtaking hinterland rainforest and eclectic community of Byron Bay, before crossing the border to the Queensland capital of Brisbane.

Unpack only once and enjoy everything that slow rail touring provides. The itinerary is designed so you only travel during daylight hours so that you won't miss any of the spectacular scenery.

Highlights include:

  • Historic Maitland & Morpeth
  • North Coast Rail Line
  • Arakoon National Park
  • Kempsey Museum
  • Byron Bay Solar Train
  • Food and shopping Byron Bay style
  • Heritage Rail Cars

Inclusions

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  • Fully escorted journey
  • 4 days / 3 nights aboard the newly restored, iconic 1960s ex-Southern Aurora Sleeping Train
  • Sleep onboard in your own cabin
  • 6 meals
  • Off-train excursions
  • ‘Aurora Explorer’ shuttle bus transfers

Accommodation

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Slide 1 of 2
Roomette (single cabin) by night

The iconic Southern Aurora operated between Sydney and Melbourne from the 1960s to the 1980s. The darling of Australian travel, the Southern Aurora was first class in its day. Today, the carriages have been lovingly restored to their original condition. This is luxury 1960’s style!

The Aurora Australis will be stabled overnight for sleeping and you may elect to sleep on the train in a twinette (twin share cabin) or a roomette (single use only). Twinette cabins have bunk beds and one member of your party will need to be able to climb a ladder up to and down from the top bunk.

  • By day, cabins feature lounge chairs for your comfort
  • By evening, beds (double bunk or single bed) hinge down over the lounge chairs as your sleeping accommodation
  • Twin cabin includes ensuite with shower, toilet, and vanity
  • Single cabin includes vanity with two shared ensuite/shower at the end of the carriage
  • USB adapter power outlets
  • Drinking water in every cabin
  • Air-conditioning
  • Shelving and hanging closet
  • All bedding
  • 30kg per person luggage allowance

Travel dates

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Please note prices are subject to availability at time of booking and may change without notice.

  • 23-26 June 2021 (Sydney to Brisbane)
  • 26-29 June 2021 (Brisbane to Sydney)
  • 23-29 June 2021 (Sydney-Brisbane-Sydney)

SYDNEY TO BRISBANE or BRISBANE TO SYDNEY:

  • Twin / Single - from $2795 per person

SYDNEY-BRISBANE-SYDNEY (return journey)

  • Twin / Single - from $5590 per person

Call our local travel team on 1300 414 198 to secure your place on these new rail journeys.

Itinerary

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Please note these itineraries is subject to change without notice

SYDNEY TO BRISBANE:

Day 1 (Wed): Sydney - Maitland - Paterson

Your North Coast adventure departs Sydney’s Central Station at 9:30am. Welcome aboard the Aurora Australis, where you can choose to sit in the lounge or dining cars, or your private cabin while you travel over the spectacular Hawkesbury River, alongside Mullet Creek and through the ‘Venice of Australia’ to Brisbane Water. We skirt around Newcastle and on to Maitland in the Hunter Valley.

At Maitland we disembark and have two off-train options for you:

  • Discover Maitland where you will spend time at the Visitor Information Centre, Maitland Regional Art Gallery, and take a walk along the Levee, a shopping precinct running parallel to the Hunter River.
  • Or, Discover Morpeth, an historic inland river port alongside the Hunter River. A visit to Morpeth is a real journey through time. Visit the narrow laneways, walk along sandstone footpaths and into heritage buildings where you’ll discover unique shopping, artisan treasures and delightful treats.

Lunch today is at your own choice and cost. You will be returned to Paterson throughout the afternoon where the train will be stabling at the Paterson Rail Motor Museum. Dinner will be served onboard the train this evening.

Day 2 (Thu): Paterson-Kempsey

Enjoy breakfast onboard as you head along the North Coast Railway Line to Kempsey. Buses will take you into Kempsey where you will visit this mid-north coast town sitting by the Macleay River. We will visit the Slim Dusty Centre, an innovative museum dedicated to Australia’s iconic legend Slim Dusty where you will experience a wealth of music history and Australian culture and art. We will also visit the Kempsey Museum, where you can experience Aboriginal history, boot making, timber industry, military history, natural history, dairy industry, shipping, historical vehicles to name just a few subjects touched on in the collections, displays and historic artefacts. You can also spend time in the Dunghutti-Ngaku Aboriginal Art Gallery, the gallery showcases and markets works of prominent, established and emerging Aboriginal artists of the Dunghutti region and Mid North Coast area.

Weather permitting you will also spend time in the Arakoon National Park and the South West Rocks area. National Parks in this area have the best vantage points to see whales during their annual migration (from May to November). Guests will walk through the Trial Bay Gaol, an open air museum which captures the history of the gaol.

Lunch today is at your own choice and cost. Buses will return you to Kempsey station throughout the afternoon where the train will be stabling for the night. Dinner will be served onboard the train this evening.

Day 3 (Fri): Kempsey - Byron Bay - Casino

Enjoy breakfast onboard as we keep travelling towards the Northern Rivers Region and today stop at the Casino Railway Station. Buses will once again meet you to take you to Byron Bay, a place known for its natural attractions and eclectic community. You will have the opportunity to ride the Byron Bay Solar Train the world’s first solar train.

While at Byron Bay, guests will have the opportunity to join the ‘Aurora Explorer’ bus with stops including The Farm, an 86-acre working biological farm in Ewingsdale; Stone and Wood Brewery who are local, independent and inspired by the idea of the ‘village brewery’.

Lovers of shopping and fashion are in for a treat today in Byron Bay. The ‘Aurora Explorer’ bus will take you to Habitat North Beach which is nestled in the heart of the Arts and Industry Estate, and is Byron Bay’s latest community and lifestyle hub. Of course no trip to Byron Bay is complete without a walk along Fletcher Street in the CBD. Dotted with all the best Byron Bay shops including charming boutiques, stocking luxuriant fashion labels and one-of-a-kind homeware pieces. You can also go to the beach, visit the many cafes, restaurants and bars or just wander through Byron Bay today.

Lunch today is at your own choice and cost. Buses will return you to the heritage listed Old Casino Railway Station throughout the afternoon, where the train will be stabling for the night. Dinner will be served onboard the train this evening.

Day 4 (Sat): Casino - Brisbane (Roma Street Station)

Enjoy your last breakfast onboard this morning at the Old Casino Railway Station. Today you leave the train and board Heritage Rail Cars heading towards the border and into Queensland. Similar to the Rail Car you travelled on yesterday in Byron Bay, these self propelled vintage trains are as cute as a button! As part of your journey today you will traverse the Border Loop Spiral and tunnels, where the railway climbs 30 metres without making any forward progress. We hope you enjoy spending time on these rail motors today as you take the last leg of your North Coast Rail Tour with us.

Due to the limited capacity of the Heritage Rail Cars, there will be an early and late departure from Casino. The early departure from Casino will enjoy an afternoon guided tour in the Queensland Capital, Brisbane. The late departure from Casino will spend the morning exploring the vibrant regional centre of Lismore, home to one of NSW’s most artistic communities, full of performers, painters, poets and musicians.

Concluding at Roma Street Station at 5:00pm, it’s time to say goodbye to your crew and newfound friends as you either head home or to your next adventure in sunny Queensland.

BRISBANE TO SYDNEY:

Day 1 (Sat): Roma Street Station- Casino

Your Northern Rivers adventure starts at Roma Street Station at 10:00am. Today you will board 1950’s design Heritage Rail Cars heading towards the border and into New South Wales to join the Aurora Australis in Casino.

These self propelled vintage trains are as cute as a button! As part of your journey today you will traverse the Border Loop Spiral and tunnels, where the railway descends 30 metres without making any forward progress. We hope you enjoy spending time on these rail cars as you take the first leg of your North Coast Rail Tour.

Due to the limited capacity of the Heritage Rail Cars, there will be an early and late departure from Roma Street. The early departure will enjoy a light lunch onboard the train, and then spend the afternoon exploring the vibrant regional centre of Lismore, home to one of NSW’s most artistic communities, full of performers, painters, poets and musicians.

The late departure will enjoy a guided tour (including lunch) in the Queensland Capital, Brisbane, before boarding the Heritage Rail Cars travelling to Casino. You will then be welcomed aboard the Aurora Australis, where you can choose to sit in the lounge or dining cars, or your private cabin. Dinner will be served onboard the train this evening. This evening we will be stabled at the heritage listed Old Casino Railway Station for the night.

Day 2 (Sun): Casino - Byron Bay - Kempsey

Enjoy breakfast onboard the Aurora Australis at Old Casino Railway Station. You will then board buses to take you to Byron Bay, a place known for its natural attractions and eclectic community. All guests will have the opportunity to ride the Byron Bay Solar Train (bus timetable provided on the day), the world’s first solar train.

While at Byron Bay, join the bus with stops including The Farm, an 86-acre working biological farm in Ewingsdale; Stone and Wood Brewery who are local, independent and inspired by the idea of the ‘village brewery’. Lovers of shopping and fashion are in for a treat today in Byron Bay. The bus will take you to Habitat North Beach which is nestled in the heart of the Arts and Industry Estate, and is Byron Bay’s latest community and lifestyle hub. Of course, no trip to Byron Bay is complete without a walk along Fletcher Street in the CBD. Dotted with all the best Byron Bay shops including charming boutiques, stocking luxuriant fashion labels and one-of-a-kind homeware pieces. You can also go to the beach, visit the many cafes, restaurants andbars or just wander through Byron Bay today.

Lunch today is at your own choice and cost. Your buses will return you to Old Casino Railway Station and you will head down the North Coast Railway Line to Kempsey Railway Station where we will be stabling for the night. Dinner will be served onboard the train this evening.

Day 3 (Mon): Kempsey - Paterson

After breakfast onboard at the Kempsey Railway Station, the ‘Aurora Explorer‘ bus will take you into the mid north coast town of Kempsey, sitting by the Macleay River. We will visit the Slim Dusty Centre, an innovative museum dedicated to Australia’s iconic legend Slim Dusty, where you will experience a wealth of music history and Australian culture and art.

You will also visit the Kempsey Museum, where you can experience Aboriginal history, boot making, timber industry, military history, natural history, dairy industry, shipping, historical vehicles to name just a few subjects touched on in the collections, displays and historic artefacts. You can also spend time in the Dunghutti Ngaku Aboriginal Art Gallery, the gallery showcases and markets works of prominent, established and emerging Aboriginal artists of the Dunghutti region and Mid North Coast area.We will also spend time in the Arakoon National Park and the South West Rocks area. National Parks in this area have the best vantage points to see whales during their annual migration (from May to November). Guests will walk through the Trial Bay Gaol, an open air museum which captures the history of the gaol. Lunch today is at your own choice and cost. Your buses will return you to Kempsey station where you will continue along the North Coast Railway Line to the Paterson Rail Motor Museum where you will be stabling for the night. Dinner will be served on-board the train this evening.

Day 4 (Tue): Paterson - Sydney (Sydney Central)

Enjoy breakfast onboard this morning as you travel through the lower Hunter Valley, skirt around Newcastle, through the ‘Venice of Australia’ to Brisbane Water, alongside Mullet Creek to the spectacular Hawkesbury River. You will depart the train at the Hawkesbury Station for a lunch cruise with the Riverboat Postman. The Riverboat Postman started its run in 1910 and to this day still delivers mail and other essentials to the river-access only residents on behalf of Australia Post. After the cruise you will board the train for the last time, concluding your rail journey at Central Station at approximately 4:00pm.You will have had a truly memorable journey!

Questions

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Fully Escorted:

Your rail holiday will be led by a professional, trained Tour Manager, assisted by onboard crew to ensure you will enjoy a trouble free adventure.

Joining and Departing the Tour:

The Rail Tour commences/ends at either Sydney Central Railway Station (northbound journey) or Roma Street Station, Brisbane (southbound journey).

Fitness & Mobility:

The tour requires a reasonable level of fitness and a good level of mobility. Heritage trains are not designed to accommodate wheelchair bound or walker reliant passengers. If booking a twinette room, one member of your party will need to be able to climb a ladder up to and down from the top bunk. You will need to be able to embark and disembark trains, coaches and other methods of transportation without assistance, handle your own luggage, walk moderate distances, stand comfortably and climb steps and stairs.

Luggage:

As a guide, the space for luggage in the Twinette (twin share) cabins is 98cm length x 24cm width x 59cm height. There is also hanging space available in the cabin. In the Roomette (single) cabins, the luggage can be placed on the luggage racks above your footrest. Slim or soft luggage can be stowed under your seat. If this rail tour is part of a longer tour, you will be able to store larger items in our luggage van.

Wine and Alcoholic Drinks:

Water, soft drinks and juices are included. The bar on the Aurora Australis is licensed to sell alcoholic drinks and are an additional cost.

Couldn't find an answer to your question? Ask us!

Fine print

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Travel at 60 and supplier booking conditions apply. Full payment is required once booking has been confirmed. Advertised price is correct as at 05 May 2021

Cancellation Policy – If the tour is unable to operate due to COVID-19, a full credit for payment will be made to transfer to a later departure/tour.