directions_trainRail, Tours & Packages in Sydney, Bathurst, Dubbo, Maitland, Katoomba, Muswellbrook & Werris Creek
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Travel by rail in 1960s luxury style from Sydney to the Golden West!

All-inclusive with great solo rates!
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.
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4 nights
  • hotelAccommodation
  • free_breakfastDaily breakfast
  • directions_busDay tours
  • local_activitySelected entry fees
  • local_barSelected drinks
  • restaurantSelected meals
  • airport_shuttleSelected transfers
  • personSolo traveller
  • directions_boatDay cruises

About this holiday

Slide 1 of 4
Your journey at a glance

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.

Highlights include:

  • Riverboat Postman cruise on the Hawkesbury River
  • The Hunter Valley
  • The Liverpool Plains
  • Abercrombie House, Bathurst
  • Rylstone and the Capertee Valley


  • Fully escorted journey
  • 5 days, 4 nights experience aboard the newly restored, iconic 1960’s ex-Southern Aurora Sleeping Train, travelling along rail lines normally closed to the public,
  • Sleep onboard in your own cabin
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners


Slide 1 of 1
The Southern Aurora

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


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

  • Twin / Single - from $4,495 per person
  • 19-23 March 2023
  • 1​6 - 20 April 2023
  • 10 - 14 September 2023
  • 08 - 12 October 2023
  • 05 - 09 November 2023

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



D​ay 1, Sunday: Sydney - The Hawkesbury - Paterson

Your Golden West adventure starts at Central Station, Sydney. Once on board, you can choose to sit in the lounge or dining carriages, or your private compartment while we travel to the spectacular Hawkesbury River. You’ll then take a short walk to board the famous ‘Riverboat postman’ for a lunch cruise.

When you rejoin our train, you’ll enjoy views from the train which we think are some of the best in Australia. You’ll see the whole length of the train as we round the curves and the line traces the waters edge at Mullet Creek. The waterside theme is continued after we go through Woy Woy Tunnel 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 The Rail Motor Society, Paterson.

D​ay 2, Monday: Hunter Valley Gardens & Vineyards - Werris Creek

Today you will be visiting the Hunter Valley, and we have three choices for you.

  • Hunter Valley Gardens and the Village – Visit the 10 amazinglt themed gardens with influences from all over the world. You will then have a choice of staying at the Gardens for longer, or walk/take the coach to the nearby Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village with it’s unique collection of boutique retailers promoting the best local produce, artistic talent, contemporary cafe dining and cellar door wine tasting; or
  • Hunter Valley Gardens and Audrey Wilkinson Wines – After viewing the gardens, board a coach to visit this winery established in 1866, set on top of a hill with spectacular views overlooking the vineyards. You will enjoy a guided wine tasting; or
  • Margan Wines – Travel by coach to Broke (this option does NOT visit the Hunter Valley Gardens). Walk down the garden path through the kitchen garden, then past the olives and vineyards into the winery for a guided, behind the scenes tour. learn how the single vineyard and sustainably farmed wines are made from vine to glass in this award winning winery. Note – to choose this option, you must have good mobility.

The coach will return you to Branxton Station where we will board our train, travelling the remainder of the Hunter Valley, and on through Ardglen Tunnel to Werris Creek. We will visit the Australian Rail Monument and Railway Journeys Museum. Dinner will be served on-board the train at Werris Creek Station, before we move to the rail yard where we will be stabled for the night.

D​ay 3, Tuesday: Werris Creek - Binnaway Junction - Orange

Enjoy breakfast on board the train, and take the opportunity to visit the Werris Creek Railway Journeys Museum, which the volunteers will open especially for you.  

You’ll then board coaches to meet with locals and gain a greater understanding of the Liverpool Plains, which boasts some of the best and most productive agricultural land in the country – it is our national food-bowl. We’ll spend the rest of the day travelling along the freight only line from Werris Creek, arriving at Binnaway Junction by mid-afternoon. At Binnaway Junction, you will have the opportunity to watch the locomotives go past the carriages while we change direction.

From Binnaway Junction we travel past Dubbo. Dinner will be served on-board the train on our way to Orange Railway Yard, where we will be stabled for the night.

D​ay 4, Wednesday: Orange - Bathurst - Rylstone

We’ll board coaches early this morning to enjoy breakfast hosted by Paula and Allen Charnock at Hillside Harvest. This is a third generation family run orchard, and the family has been growing fruit in the rich volcanic soils of Mount Canobolas since their first orchard was established in 1947. Their 75 acre property proudly yields many varieties of cherries, apples, pears, stone fruit and berries. After breakfast the coach will take you on a coach tour around Orange on the way to rejoin the train;

Our train will take you from Orange RailwayYard to Bathurst Railway Station.

A coach will then take you to Abercrombie House, an outstanding example of Victorian Tudor style architecture, built by the Stewart family in the 1870’s. The Morgan family purchased the house in 1969, have made major restorations and currently live in the house. Lunch will be provided at Abercrombie House. After lunch, the Coach will take you to Bathurst Railway Station to rejoin the train.

We will then have the rare opportunity to ride the closed Gwabegar line from Wallerawang, up the Capertee Valley, the world’s widest canyon. The valley offers truly spectacular views and is credited as being one of the best railway journeys to be had anywhere. Enjoy Dinner on the train as we approach Rylstone where we will stable for the night.

D​ay 5, Thursday: Rylstone - Sydney

Enjoy breakfast on board the train. We’ll then board coaches to explore Rylstone and surrounds. The district was settled in the 1820’s, making it one of the oldest settlements west of the Great Dividing Range. Rylstone’s streetscape features 19th century sandstone public houses, cottages and government buildings. You’ll enjoy a visit to either Rylstone Olive Press to see how cold pressed olive oil is made; or  visit Kandos Museum to learn about the town’s industrial heritage including the production of cement that built the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

We’ll then reboard the train in time for lunch, as we travel back up the stunning Gwabegar line and cross the Great Dividing Range to Wallerawang. At Lithgow we’ll travel through the 10 tunnels that replaced the Lithgow Zig-Zag, then cross the Darling Causeway on the way to Katoomba.

You will have the option of departing the tour at Katoomba if you wish to spend a couple of days in the Blue Mountains (additional cost) before making your own way home. 

We will again board the train for our return to Central Station. You will have had a truly memorable Vintage Rail Journey!

The itinerary is subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control.



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:

This Rail Tour commences and ends at Sydney Central Railway Station. Departs at 9:30am and returns at 8pm.

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.

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Fine print


Travel at 60 and supplier booking conditions apply. Full payment is required once booking has been confirmed. Advertised price is correct as at 09 December 2022

Deposit / Final Payment - A 10% non refundable deposit is required at time of confirmation with the balance due at least 95 days prior to departure. If the booking is made within the 95 day period, full payment will be required at time of confirmation.

Supplier Cancellation Policy – If the tour is cancelled due to COVID-19 or the guest is subject to State Government 'stay at home orders', you will be provided a full credit for a later departure. We do not provide future travel credits where guests choose not to travel due to 'quarantine on return' or 'self-isolate' requirements.