There are few better ways to appreciate the vastness and beauty of Australia than by being spirited away on one of the world’s great rail journeys. Whether you choose to travel coast to coast across the country on The Indian Pacific or through the centre on The Ghan, you’re in for a breath-taking experience. Or you may prefer to explore the equally vast and equally beautiful Great Barrier Reef on a cruise through the Whitsundays Islands.
Extending nearly 3,000 kilometres between Adelaide and Darwin via Alice Springs, this journey will take you through the very heart of Australia. Comfortable seats, fabulous food and an ever-changing landscape outside your window are all features of this three-day journey, plus you can explore two very different destinations at stops made along the way. In Alice Springs you can get up close to unique outback flora and fauna at the Desert Park or see the landscape from a different perspective –from either the back of a camel or the seat of a helicopter. In Katherine, learn about the region’s rich history and culture, including rock art that dates back 40,000 years, or view the magnificent Nitmiluk Gorge by boat or scenic flight.
This is a truly trans-continental journey that stretches more than 4,000 kilometres to link the Indian Ocean at Perth with the Pacific Ocean at Sydney. The train has been making its crossing for close to 50 years, and its seating options provide more than enough luxury for a three-day journey that includes the forested slopes of the Blue Mountains and the sparsely-inhabited Nullabor Plain. A stop in Adelaide allows time to explore the quaint German settlement of Hahndorf, sample the fine wines of the Barossa Valley or experience the breath-taking coastal scenery of McClaren Vale. The train also makes a stop at the tiny town of Rawlinna, where you can experience jackaroo country on a vast sheep station that covers 2.5 million acres of outback.
Spend a magical day on and in the warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef, sailing past spectacular islands to a pontoon that’s anchored on the outer Reef. Join a snorkelling safari to meet some of the Reef’s colourful residents such as parrotfish, clown fish and anemones. At the end of the day, you can either return to the mainland with the other day-trippers or enjoy a sundowner followed by a gourmet dinner before falling asleep in a comfy swag under the gaze of innumerable stars. If you prefer to spend your time on solid ground, take a trip to breath-taking Whitehaven Beach. After a day enjoying its crystal-clear waters and pristine white sand, you’ll understand why this is the most photographed beach in Australia.
These journeys are a true celebration of Australia’s awe-inspiring landscapes. Your personal travel manager can help you put together an itinerary that includes even more memorable experiences, ranging from a hot air balloon ride over Alice Springs to swimming with manta rays on the Reef.