September 07, 2010

Ten of the best train journeys in NSW

The golden days of train travel are here again as more and more discerning holiday-makers are discovering the relaxing pace and wonderful hospitality presented by the great train journeys of the modern era. Take a remarkable train journey in NSW where 'getting there' truly is half the fun.

For a touch of old world charm, jump aboard theSouthern Aurora at Sydney Central. Journey to historic Uralla & Armidale in New England country, along forgotten rail lines to Coonamble & Dubbo and to Narrabri over five-days. Train departs 1-5 October.

A new journey beckons in early 2011 with The Southern Spirit racing through the rural heartlands of four states. In NSW, visit Dubbo's Western Plains, the Blue Mountains, the Hunter Valley, Port Macquarie and Byron Bay.

The Indian Pacific takes its passengers on a journey from the spectacular Blue Mountains to the treeless plains of The Nullarbor. See the sights of some of the most famous outback towns with a scheduled stop at Broken Hill.

Take the kids on a rare day out with Thomas the Tank Engine. Life-size Thomas will greet friends and little ones can also enjoy a 50-minute train ride with Donald, the steam locomotive, departing from Sodor Island Railway Station around Thirlmere on 18 & 19 September.

Visit Dubbo's Western Plain Zoo with Countrylink's Dubbo Zoo Package. Depart from Sydney on a three-day tour, stay in Dubbo and spend your days getting up close and personal with the animals. Take advantage of Countrylink's kids 'travel for a dollar' deal allowing kids to travel for just $1.

Stay in one of the fully restored Red Rattler train carriages at the quirky Carriageway Resort located in the Upper Hunter region of NSW. With the main line running through a far corner of the property, train spotting from the timber bridge is a must.

Zig Zag Railway

Ordinary muggles will magically transform into wizards aboard the Blue Mountain's Zig Zag Railway's Wizards Express! For a more hands on experience try the Zig Zag's Footplate Experience which will see you driving a steam train in no time.

Re-live some of the former train operations at the historic Cowra Roundhouse Depot and Museum, the only existing railway roundhouse depot in NSW where steam locomotives are still lit up for a day's operation.

Sleep in one of three converted 100-year-old railway carriages decorated in Orient Express style luxury at Ruwenzori, a secluded, bush retreat near Mudgee in Central West NSW.

Leave your car and cares behind and see the traditional (and not so traditional) events of the Highlander Games in Bundanoon in the Southern Highlands. Be transported there and back in the comfort of train travel departing from Canberra Station for a day of fun and games.

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