The world's most scenic train journeys: Australasia

04 Mar 2021

Ralph Waldo Emerson once famously said, "it's not the destination, it's the journey". What better example of this than a scenic train ride? We've picked out some of our favourite journeys from around the globe that we think should be on any rail lover's bucket-list.

In this instalment, we'll be looking at Australasia, but you can also check out our favourite journeys in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

Indian Pacific Railway, Sydney to Perth

Travel from Sydney to Perth (or vice versa) in style with the Indian Pacific Railway a 3-day journey that takes you from coast to coast in style. All your meals and beverages are covered, including fine wines, plus off-train experiences in Broken Hill, Adelaide, Cook, Rawlinna, and Perth. The views on this trip are incredible, with a whole host of changing landscapes from vineyards to goldmines, and mountains to desert dinners under the stars as you traverse the width of the country. 

The Gulflander, Queensland

Affectionately said to go from "nowhere to nowhere" the Heritage-listed Gulflander runs on the Normonton to Croydon railway line in north Queensland. It first opened in the late 1800s, and was refurbished in the 1980s it still retains the retro design. A hidden vintage gem if you're looking for something a little more off-the-beaten-track.

The Ghan Expedition, Darwin to Adelaide

Operated by the same company as the Indian Pacific Railway, the Ghan Expedition instead takes you from north to south, starting in Darwin and going through the desert outback of Alice Springs, Uluru, and Coober Pedy before ending in Adelaide. Expect the same luxury service as the Indian Pacific, but with more dramatic desert landscapes, and excursions that include the natural wonders of Nitmiluk Gorge and a visit to an opal mine in Coober Pedy. 

TranzAlpine Rail, New Zealand

New Zealand is famous for its natural beauty, and the TranzAlpine Rail journey is a great way to take it all in. Crossing from the east to the west coast of the South Island, the route takes you from Christchurch to Greymouth, crossing the Canterbury Plains and the Waimakariri River towards the Southern Alps. Expect views of dramatic gorges, alpine villages, and lush forests through the carriage's panoramic side and roof windows.

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