Rail travel is perhaps the most romantic and memorable way of exploring Australia, allowing you to appreciate the vast scale and grand landscapes of this extraordinary country in luxurious comfort. Australia’s iconic trains - the Ghan, the Indian Pacific and the Sunlander - cover thousands of kilometres along coastlines and through the beautiful but forbidding ‘red centre’. This superb rail tour includes specially upgraded services on all three trains, and embraces highlights of Australia’s diverse cities, with stays in Sydney, Adelaide, Cairns and Brisbane, and the opportunity to discover the natural wonders of Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef.
Day 1-2 London - In Flight - Sydney
Titan’s VIP Home Departure Service® transports you from your front door to London Heathrow Airport and your direct scheduled Qantas flight to Singapore or Dubai and onward direct scheduled flight to Sydney.
Day 3 Sydney
We arrive early morning into Sydney, New South Wales where our coach will transfer you to our hotel for the next three nights, the well appointed Parkroyal Darling Harbour. Your room has been made available immediately upon arrival, and the remainder of the day is free to begin your explorations of the city.
Day 4 Sydney
Our morning tour familiarises you with the city and the southern beaches before being dropped off at Circular Quay for a ‘Harbour Highlights’ cruise around the magnificent Sydney Harbour. We leave you free for the remainder of the afternoon to make your discoveries or re-acquaint yourself with the treasures and pleasures this cosmopolitan and colourful city provides. In George and Pitt Streets there are some of the finest shops in the world and at the famous ‘Rocks’ are clustered some of the country’s oldest buildings in quaint streets of small houses with plentiful cafés to refresh the explorer.
Day 5 Sydney
Today is at leisure to further explore this unforgettable city with its beautiful landscape, wealth of culture and enviable lifestyle. This evening, why not take a short ferry ride across to Watsons Bay to the well-known seafood restaurant, Doyles, where its enviable waterfront setting is a favourite for locals and visitors alike.
Days 6 Sydney, Indian Pacific
An early afternoon transfer to the train station where we join the Indian Pacific, a favourite of any rail enthusiast. The diesel powered train takes us out of the Sydney metropolis and quickly up through the picturesque Blue Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage site with spectacular valley views and lush canopies. After passing through the Great Dividing Range we head into the outback beyond. During our overnight journey you can enjoy the comfort of your twin or single berthed cabin, a haven of tranquillity, dine in the stylish Queen Adelaide restaurant (all meals are included) or relax in the friendly ambience of the Outback Explorer lounge car where stewards are there to assist with well deserved refreshment.
Day 7 Indian Pacific, Adelaide
We awake this morning with the train deep in the New South Wales outback. A stop is made in Broken Hill and, schedule permitting, there will be the opportunity for a short optional tour of the ‘Silver City’, which really gives an appreciation of the remoteness and rich history of outback Australia. After rejoining our train we continue into South Australia and arrive into Adelaide mid-afternoon. On arrival we are transferred to the Crowne Plaza for three nights.
Day 8 Barossa Valley
We begin our journey by coach through one of Australia’s leading wine areas. We travel through rolling vineyards before arriving at Tanunda in the heartland of the Barossa Valley, where our tour not only encompasses the vineyards of Jacobs Creek for tasting but also the Chateau Yaldara Winery for tasting and lunch and a chance to capture some of the charm for which this area has become known.
Day 9 Adelaide
Today is completely at leisure to explore the cosmopolitan city of Adelaide. Brimming with shops, museums, art galleries, parkland, botanical and zoological gardens to name but a few attractions, there are plenty of activities to enjoy.
Day 10 Adelaide, The Ghan
After transferring to Adelaide's Keswick Station we board The Ghan, on our great rail adventure to Alice Springs, where we follow in the footsteps of the intrepid explorers. Travelling north of Adelaide the train makes its way across rich arable farmland before gliding into the vastness of the remote interior, passing salt lakes and red rocky ranges. This legendary train with its elegant lounge and signature dining (all meals are included), together with the cosiness and comfort of your twin or single sleeper berths, will ensure that your overnight journey passes all too quickly.
Day 11 The Ghan, Alice Springs
Waking to a golden outback sunrise our rail journey continues to Alice Springs where we arrive this afternoon. One of the cornerstones of the outback is the Royal Flying Doctor Base, our first stop this afternoon before we take time to visit the historic Old Telegraph Station on the outskirts of town, which played a key role in the life of the fi rst Australian settlers. Later we transfer to our hotel, the Crowne Plaza.
Day 12 Alice Springs, Uluru
Leaving ‘Alice’ this morning our fascinating drive leaves the rocky cliffs of the MacDonnell Ranges behind, whilst the road ahead takes us through scrubland and the ancient homeland of the Aborigines before arriving at the 5? Voyages Sails in the Desert hotel, our base for this evening, nestled in the red sands of Central Australia, an oasis from which to explore this wilderness area. The open expanse of the night sky provides a spectacular sunset over Uluru, which we enjoy with a glass of wine before we retire for the evening.
Day 13 Uluru, Kata Tjuta
Uluru, the aboriginal name for Ayers Rock, rises 348 metres above the surrounding desert, sitting in the desert like an iceberg in the Antarctic and this morning we acquaint ourselves once more with this awe-inspiring monolith whilst witnessing the soft morning light rising against the iron-rich rock. A tour of its base intensifies its overwhelming size but a close encounter highlights the gorges, crevasses and caves cut into its surface. This afternoon we experience our first sighting of the magnificent Olgas or Kata Tjuta, ‘many heads’, a place of great spiritual significance to the local Aborigine people, a sense of wonder the visitors can also appreciate when faced with the amazing rock formations.
Day 14 Uluru, Cairns
Your flight out today allows one last glance at the majestic rock and the rich colour of the desert with its far-reaching horizon, before climbing eastwards over the rolling mountain ranges to the unsurpassed beauty of the rainforest wilderness of Queensland. On arrival we transfer by coach to our hotel, the Novotel Oasis Resort Cairns, our hotel for the next five nights.
Day 15 Cairns
Today is at leisure for you to explore this diverse city at your own pace. Cairns enjoys atropical setting and benefits from golden beaches where locals and visitors alike experience the seaside atmosphere. The main focal point is the Foreshore Promenade that is home to a waterfront swimming lagoon, shops and a 3km walking trail. Alfresco dining is in abundance for those who want to simply relax and enjoy some of the excellent restaurants.
Day 16 Kuranda
If for nothing else, the engineering feat of the Kuranda Scenic Railway is worth the experience. The train travels along track laid in the 19th century and rising some 328 metres above sea level, negotiates 15 hand-carved tunnels and crosses bridges spanning seemingly bottomless ravines. We board the diesel-pulled train at Freshwater and travel to the pretty village of Kuranda with its handicraft shops, galleries and local restaurants. Later in the day we return by coach to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park where the award-winning dance theatre and the lifestyle and history of these indigenous people can be experienced. Later we return to Cairns.
Day 17 Great Barrier Reef
This morning we board our comfortable vessel for our trip to the magical world of the Outer Barrier Reef. Discover the myriad of tropical fish as you snorkel at leisure or merely relax on board after a delicious tropical lunch before returning late afternoon with the evening at leisure.
Day 18 Cairns
A further free day. One of our hotel’s best features is its wonderful swimming pool and you may wish to simply relax. Alternatively you can take a full day pre-bookable optional tour to Cape Tribulation and the Daintree forest.
Day 19 Cairns, The Sunlander
All aboard for our epic rail journey on The Sunlander. There is only one way to see exotic Queensland in absolute air-conditioned comfort and style and that's on The Sunlander. More than a train, Queenslander Class on The Sunlander is like a mobile first class hotel with a breathtaking ever-changing view from every window. Your journey takes you from the rainforests to the reef, past incredible natural landmarks like the mystical Glasshouse Mountains, unchanged for millions of years. Cutting through oceans of cane you'll discover tiny tropical outposts before disappearing into mist shrouded rainforest. Yet the spectacular diversity of the tropical countryside is not the only distraction aboard The Sunlander. As you would expect, The Sunlander has everything you need to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. One of the great pleasures is dining in the restaurant (all meals included) as you travel through the twilight. After dining, adjourn to the lounge or enjoy the quiet sophistication of the bar before retiring to the comfort of your cabin. The journey takes a leisurely 32 hours - quality time that passes effortlessly on one of the great rail journeys of Australia.
Day 20 The Sunlander - Brisbane
Afternoon arrival in Brisbane where we will be transferred to the Royal on the Park Hotel (2012 & 2013 departures) or Mercure Hotel (2014 departure) for a two night stay. The remainder of the day is at leisure to stroll along the pedestrianised malls or why not visit the delightful Botanical Gardens where a fine collection of native plants can be seen.
Day 21 Brisbane
This morning after a short transfer to Brisbane Pier you will join a cruise for a relaxing trip through the prestigious suburbs of St Lucia, past the stately Queensland University to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary at Fig Tree Pocket, the largest koala sanctuary in the world. More than 100 of these shy and cuddly creatures are in residence and having met with them you have the chance for a close encounter with kangaroo, wallaby, emu and other animals emblematic of this delightful country. Brisbane is built along and between the looping meanders of the Brisbane River and before returning to your hotel we take a drive around this scenic city, surrounded by hills with panoramic outlooks. Soaring skyscrapers, impressive bridges and attractive squares enrich the centre of this lively city, while the typical Queensland stilt houses with their wide verandahs are an eye-catching spectacle.
Day 22 Brisbane - In flight
2013 departures - Today we are transferred to Brisbane Airport for our direct scheduled Qantas flight to Singapore or Dubai and onward direct scheduled flight to London.
2014 departures - Today we are transferred to Brisbane Airport for our scheduled Qantas flight via Sydney with a touchdown in Dubai, onwards to London.
Day 23 London
Arrival at London Heathrow airport where our staff will greet you and transfer you to Titan transport for your journey home to your own front door.
Why not combine our holidays?
On certain dates it is possible to combine this holiday with one of our New Zealand tours. PLEASE CALL OUR TAILOR-MADE SALES STAFF ON 0800 988 5810 WHO WILL BE HAPPY TO ARRANGE THIS FOR YOU AND EXPLAIN THE FLIGHT SAVINGS GAINED.