Calling all rail buffs! Step back in time and travel in style onboard a fleet of newly restored 1960s ex-Southern Aurora sleeping carriages.
Experience the heart of Australia’s food bowl, stopping at regional towns and attractions throughout the Riverina. You will also travel on rail lines which don’t have scheduled passenger services, making this a real adventure. Discover acclaimed wines, taste gorgeous fresh produce and explore spectacular natural scenery throughout the region.
Only unpack once and enjoy everything that slow rail touring provides. The itinerary is designed so that you only travel during daylight hours.
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.
Please note these itineraries is subject to change without notice
DAY 1 (SUN): SYDNEY – MOSS VALE – GOULBURN
Your Riverina adventure starts at Sydney’s Central Station. Once onboard the Aurora Australis, you can choose to sit in the lounge or dining cars, or your private cabin while you travel along the Illawarra Railway Line, through the Royal National Park and offering spectacular views of the South Coast to Wollongong. You then travel on a freight-only line up the Illawarra escarpment, pausing at Summit Tank Railway Station, where you are provided with a rare opportunity to take photos of the stunning vista out to sea.
Lunch will be served onboard the train today, so that you can experience all that the Aurora Australis has to offer. You will then join the Main South Line at Moss Vale and continue to Goulburn, where you'll depart the train and hop onto the private shuttle bus to explore the sights and historic offerings of Australia’s oldest inland city. The train will be stabled for the night at Goulburn Station.
DAY 2 (MON): COOLAMON – GRIFFITH
Enjoy breakfast onboard as you leave Goulburn and continue along the Main South Line. You'll pass many interesting villages and towns today as you travel through the Canola Trail, so keep an eye out for the many grain silos adjacent to the rail line. Today you'll spend time in Coolamon, stopping at the Coolamon Railway Station dated 1881. Coolamon is named after the Wiradjuri word for a vessel carrying goods, children and water, “Gullaman” and this little town offers us a warm welcome.
Flanked by the train station at one end of the street and the fire station at the other, we have developed an afternoon experience of ambling the beautifully preserved heritage main street of Coolamon. A stop at the Coolamon Cheese Factory is a must for anyone who likes cheese or is interested in the cheese making process. The Up-To-Date Store, built in 1909 plays host to a variety of museum displays and collections. A stroll through this heritage listed building will bring back memories for some and offer interesting stories for others. The Coolamon Fire Museum hosts a truly amazing private collection of fire fighting equipment, uniforms and memorabilia. Along with heritage museums and buildings, the main street contains many local shops, restaurants and cafes, making this afternoon an unforgettable experience for all.
We will return to Coolamon Railway Station throughout the afternoon in preparation for an afternoon departure. You'll then travel along the Yanco to Griffith Line. Dinner will be served onboard the train at Griffith Station, where we will be stabled for the night.
DAY 3 (TUE): GRIFFITH – TEMORA
The Piccolo Family (owners of Limone Dining Restaurant) is hosting our breakfast this morning on their 20 acre farm just outside of Griffith. Using sustainable farming practices, all of their produce is harvested by hand and free of chemicals and pesticides. This is an excellent way to experience farming in Griffith as well as sample their delicious produce.
After breakfast, enjoy the best that Griffith has to offer using the private shuttle bus. Explorer stops include the Griffith Regional Art Gallery, the Griffith War Memorial Museum, Emeri De Bortoli’s Garden Il Compo, various wineries, providores and local shops so that you can experience Griffith’s distinctive food and wine culture. Lunch today is at your own choice and cost.
The buses will return you to Griffith Station throughout the afternoon in preparation for departure, travelling on the freight-only Lake Cargellico Line. Dinner will be served onboard the train at Temora Station, where the train will be stabled for the night.
DAY 4 (WED): TEMORA – ORANGE
Breakfast this morning is onboard the Aurora Australis before experiencing Temora. Today you can choose one of two Temora tours.
1. The bus will take you directly to the Bundawarrah Centre, which houses the Temora Rural Museum. Spend the morning experiencing the history of the region including a cottage of hardwood slabs that was Sir Donald Bradman’s first home, a one room public school, bush church, country dance hall, printery, flour mill and ambulance station. The Ambulance Museum includes ambulance vehicles and conveyances dating back to 1897 and originating from throughout Australia, including NSW, ACT and Victoria.
2. The Temora Aviation Museum was built on the site of the biggest and longest lasting RAAF Elementary Flying Training School during World War II. Spend the morning in the three main exhibit buildings, the Museum which is in the original 10 EFTS Guardhouse; the second exhibition area, located in the Engineering Hangar overlooking the aircraft which are currently in maintenance; and the display hangar which houses the new exhibition area along with the aircraft.
The buses will return you to Temora Station and lunch will be served in the Dining Carriages as we travel on freight only lines via Stockinbingal. There are many freight trains to pass on this single track line, and we are likely to experience substantial delays. Dinner will be served on-board the train as we travel through Parkes and onto the Broken Hill Line to Orange Rail Yard at an unknown time(!) where we will be stabled for the night.
DAY 5 (THU): KATOOMBA – SYDNEY
Enjoy breakfast as you travel from Orange towards the Great Dividing Range. 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 your Blue Mountains Explorer Bus, which gives you access to the ‘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. Leuralla Toy and Railway Museum is a must visit! Lunch is at your own arrangements in the picturesque Blue Mountains villages.
In the afternoon we will return you to Katoomba Station where we will board the train for our return to Central Station. You will have had a truly memorable holiday!
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 9:00am 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.
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.