Journey in lovingly restored 1960s carriages through some of Australia’s most breathtaking scenery - including sandstone cliffs by the Hawkesbury River, the stunning coastline to Newcastle, the wide expanse and starlit skies of the Central West and the Jurassic rainforest of the Blue Mountains.
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!
A fully escorted journey highlighting the best that New South Wales has to offer. Relax onboard a lovingly refurbished 1960s sleeping train. Stroll around the Hunter Valley wineries, roam the spectacular Mayfield Garden, all the while sampling the finest local produce that the region has to offer.
Unpack only once and enjoy everything that slow rail touring provides.
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.
Please note prices are subject to availability at time of booking and may change without notice.
Call our local travel team on 1300 414 198 to secure your place on these new rail journeys.
DAY 1 (WED): SYDNEY – THE HAWKESBURY – PATERSON
Your Golden West adventure starts at Sydney’s Central Station. Once on board, you can choose to sit in the lounge or dining cars, or your private cabin while you travel to the spectacular Hawkesbury River. You will depart the train for a lunch cruise with the ‘Riverboat postman’.
You then rejoin the train and travel right by the water at Mullet Creek and alongside Brisbane Water. We skirt around Newcastle and on to Maitland in the Hunter Valley. The train will be stabled for the night at Paterson Rail Motor Museum.
DAY 2 (THU) : HUNTER VALLEY GARDENS & VINEYARDS – WERRIS CREEK
Today you will enjoy the best that the Hunter Valley region has to offer using our private bus. Our first stop is the spectacular Hunter Valley Gardens featuring 10 amazingly themed gardens with influences from all over the world. Included in the shuttle bus circuit will be cellar door wine tastings at selected wine makers.
Your explorer circuit will also include the Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village with its unique collection of boutique retailers promoting the best local produce, artistic talent, contemporary cafe dining and cellar door wine tasting. Lunch today is at your own choice and cost.
The buses will return you to Maitland Station throughout the afternoon in preparation for a 3:00pm departure. You will travel the remainder of the Hunter Valley, and on through Ardglen Tunnel to Werris Creek. You will visit the Australian Rail Monument and Railway Journeys Museum. Dinner will be served onboard the train at Werris Creek Station, where we will be stabled for the night.
DAY 3 (FRI): WERRIS CREEK – BINNAWAY JUNCTION – ORANGE
Enjoy breakfast onboard the train traveling along the freight-only line from Werris Creek, arriving at Binnaway Junction by mid-morning. At Binnaway Junction, you will have the opportunity to quickly stretch your legs while the train changes direction.
After re-boarding the train and enjoy lunch as you make your way to Orange. Visit the beautiful Cook Park, 4.5 hectares of parkland in the heart of Orange. This is a 145 year old traditional Victorian-style park which embodies the seasonal colours of Orange.
Dinner will be served onboard the train at Orange Station, where we will be stabled for the night.
DAY 4 (SAT): ORANGE – MAYFIELD GARDEN – BATHURST – KANDOS
Enjoy breakfast onboard as the train heads to Bathurst, where you'll board buses to transfer to Mayfield Garden, one of the world’s largest privately owned cool climate gardens. Covering more than 64 hectares, the scale of the gardens is truly breath-taking.
Lunch today is at your own choice and cost.
The bus will return to Bathurst, where you can visit the National Racing Museum at Mt Panorama or the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum. You will then have the rare opportunity to ride the closed Gwabegar Line from Wallerawang, up the Capertee Valley to Kandos, the town famous for its cement works.
Stretch your legs on a short walk through town for an after hours visit to the Kandos Museum, and learn more about the fascinating industrial history of this town. Then enjoy a true Aussie dinner at the Kandos Hall, followed by a bush dance! Spend the night in the tranquility of Kandos.
DAY 5 (SUN): KANDOS – KATOOMBA – SYDNEY
Enjoy breakfast onboard as you travel back down the stunning Gwabegar Line and cross the Great Dividing Range to Wallerawang. On through Lithgow and through the 10 tunnels that replaced the Lithgow Zig-Zag, then cross the Darling Causeway on the way to Mount Victoria.
Stopping at Mount Victoria, you will depart the train and board the Blue Mountains Explorer Bus, which provides a Hop-on, Hop-Off’ service to explore the vibrant Blue Mountains villages in your own time. Walk out to the edge at Echo Point, see the majestic Three Sisters. Take a Scenic World ride (optional extra – tickets may be bought on the train). Check the waterfalls and the vibrant villages. Visit Everglades Historic House and Gardens and Leuralla Toy & Railway Museum is a must visit!
Lunch is at your own arrangements in the picturesque Blue Mountains villages.
At 3:00pm you will again board the train for our return to Central Station. You will have had a truly memorable journey!
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:
This Rail Tour commences and ends at Sydney Central Railway Station. Departs at 9:30am and returns at 6:30pm.
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.
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.
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
Deposit / Final Payment - A 10% deposit is required at time of confirmation with the balance due at least 90 days prior to departure. If the booking is made within the 90 day period, full payment will be required at time of confirmation.
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.