Traveling through Australia by train is certainly an unforgettable experience in a class of its own. And even if the scenery often doesn’t change that great for hours, it is precisely this endlessness that should be emphasized in relation to the 5th continent. In addition, there is no stress whatsoever and you don’t have to concentrate on anything other than your well-deserved trip and the beautiful landscape of the Down Unders. For this reason, every rail enthusiast is advised to have taken the train in Australia at least once and to gain an impression of this popular form of transport for yourself.
The routes of the 3 major railway companies
Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions, QueenslandRail and NSW TrainLink are the names of the 3 Australian rail companies whose network includes all major cities on mainland Australia. But even certain smaller towns in the interior of the country or in the middle of the outback are approached by the company’s trains.
Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions – By train through the outback & across the country
One of the three famous Australian trains of the Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions rolls thousands of kilometers through the breathtaking landscape of Australia. Due to the long journey through several time zones and across the country, the very comfortable trains have almost achieved a kind of cult status: If you want to travel through the middle of the Australian outback, the legendary The Ghan is the best choice. This runs regularly from Adelaide in the south to Darwin in the tropical north (2,979 km). It crosses 22.5 degrees of latitude and 4 climate zones in around 48 hours (2 nights) each time – i.e. the entire continent from south to north and vice versa. The very long Indian Pacific on the other hand, it rolls an impressive 4,352 kilometers from east to west and vice versa ( Sydney – Perth ). On his continent crossing he passes three time zones, 40 degrees of longitude and needs 65 hours (3 nights) for this. If you are satisfied with only being on the road for a few hours, a practical and very quick trip on The Overland is recommended. This travels back and forth between the metropolises of Melbourne and Adelaide in 10.5 hours (828 km).
QueenslandRail – By train along the east coast & inland
If you want to travel through Queensland or along the east coast by train, you definitely can’t get past QueenslandRail: The company’s most popular route (1,681 km) is certainly from Brisbane to Cairns , which takes about 25 minutes with the fast tilt train called Spirit of Queensland Hours is driven. It is important to ensure that reservations are made in good time for trips along the heavily traveled east coast – especially in the high season between December and January. But the remote parts of the popular state can also be reached by QueenslandRail. So it is possible, for example, with The Inlander the Outbackstrecke Townsville -Mount Isa (977 km) and the Westlander (777 km) from Brisbane to Charleville. These routes are certainly not of great interest to every tourist, but rather are more adventurous travelers who want to explore the authentic outback.
NSW TrainLink – Across New South Wales to Canberra & Melbourne
The company from New South Wales now has a very well developed network, which is divided into the north, south, east and west regions: The modern passenger trains from NSW TrainLink called XPT and Xplorer run, among other things, the destinations Brisbane, Casino, Grafton, Armidale, Coffs Harbor , Taree, Melbourne, Wagga Wagga, Albury, Canberra and Griffith. In addition, connecting buses of the Coach Network are available, which bring all passengers to various touristically important places such as Byron Bay , Eden, Yamba, Mildura, Wollongong , Port Macquarie or Surfers Paradise .
Tip: train passes
You have the option of purchasing various passes that make traveling by train in Australia very flexible. This is because you always have the opportunity to get off at any stop en route, to visit the respective location extensively and to continue your journey at a later point in time. This saves a lot of time and money, especially when the trains are used multiple times.
To or from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Cairns & Co
If you want to take the train to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Adelaide, Perth, etc. or are planning to start your journey in one of these cities, you don’t have to miss out on this experience. All metropolitan train stations can be easily reached by public transport. In addition, just like in their home country, a few snacks are offered here for on the go. Of course, the employees at the information desks provide reliable information about the respective connections. If you want to make a stopover by train in Melbourne, Sydney or another major city, you usually have the option of booking inexpensive accommodation close to the train station. Whether with the Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin or the Indian Pacific from Sydney to Perth,
- Traveling by train through Australia is very comfortable, as the wagons are all very comfortable and have modern equipment.
- Whether air conditioning, a dining car, bistro or toilets, you won’t be short of anything on any of the long-distance trains.
- To the delight of non-smokers, all Australian trains have been smoke-free again in the past few years. Even the separate smoking areas have been abolished without exception.
- Seat reservations are necessary everywhere. Especially in the high season (December – January) you should get a ticket in good time.
- All trains that run overnight have both fairly affordable seats and slightly more expensive sleeper cars.
- A great alternative or addition to traveling by train is traveling by bus .