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Another route for self drive enthusiasts to consider is the Great Ring Road - some kms of touring which takes in the entire Tropical North. Australia also has living examples the worlds most ancient life form stromatolites as well as fossils of many extinct species and dinosaur. Taxis Reasonably priced, and available from cab ranks at airports, railway stations, coach terminals and other locations throughout the city and in smaller towns. The modern casino facilities include table games such as blackjack , craps , roulette , baccarat , Spanish 21 , mini-baccarat , Pai Gow , and Pai Gow poker. We also value add with exclusive booking bonus give aways for customers who book with Discover Australia, on top of this we also include hotel specific bonuses as indicated with specific accommodation and package deals. Enjoy luxury coach touring to Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks, cruises along the Adelaide River and Yellow Water Billabong and a special buffet dinner cruise around Darwin Harbour as well as 2 buffet lunches. Combine this with 3 nights in Perth and a luxury coach tour of Perth and Fremantle.
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Top Flight Package Destinations. Holiday Packages Touring Packages. Cruise to the Great Barrier Reef, the largest reef in the world and get up close to a multitude of species of fish and marine life.
Enjoy a trip through the rainforest on the Kuranda Scenic Railway as well as a spectacular cable car ride over the rainforest canopy. This 5 day package is the perfect introduction to Tropical North Queensland. Discover the eerie moonscape of the Pinnacles Desert, the world famous Margaret River region, the longest wooden jetty in the Southern Hemisphere, Busselton Jetty, the bohemian port town of Fremantle and enjoy a special lunch cruise down the iconic Swan River. Enjoy a special waterfront lunch, a cruise of Cairns Harbour, the famous Kuranda scenic railway and skyrail, a cruise to the Great Barrier Reef and a luxury coach tour to the World Heritage Daintree region and Cape Tribulation.
Enjoy a cruise on the wildlife laden Daintree River and a tour of the rainforest in an amphibious duck. Visit the famous Blue Mountains and the wine producing region of the Hunter Valley. Enjoy a special dinner cruise in Sydney Harbour as well a special winery lunch and explore Taronga Zoo, ranked as one of the best zoos in the World.
Enjoy luxury coach touring to Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks, cruises along the Adelaide River and Yellow Water Billabong and a special buffet dinner cruise around Darwin Harbour as well as 2 buffet lunches. Combine the grandeur of crossing the Nullarbor aboard the Indian Pacific with luxury coach touring in Western Australia.
Visit Margaret River, famous for its wineries, beaches, breweries, seasonal wildflowers, and local produce. Your on-board botany expert will show you many of WA's 15, species of remarkable wildflowers. Enjoy a tour of Perth and the bohemian port town Fremantle as well a cruise along the Swan River back to Perth.
Experience included off-train excursions and activities in Broken Hill and Adelaide whilst on the Indian Pacific. Experience the grandeur of the Ghan to Darwin with luxury coach touring in Darwin. Enjoy a return scenic cruise to Kangaroo Island and take in the sights of Adelaide in a half day Adelaide coach tour. Experience a special lunch cruise aboard an authentic Murray River Paddle Steamer as well as a special winery lunch in the famous Barossa Valley.
Maybe even swap one of the tours for a visit to Kangaroo Island. Cruise to the Outer Great Barrier Reef and enjoy a range of activities such as snorkelling and entry to the semi - submersible viewing area. Enjoy a wildlife cruise along the Proserpine River and cruise to 2 famous icons of of the Whitsundays, Hamilton Island and Whitehaven Beach. Click packages for full details, inclusions, exclusions.
Subject to published Booking Conditions and change without notice. Experience crossing the Nullarbor aboard the Indian Pacific before enjoying a Perth welcome tour and a 5 day self-drive tour around South Western Australia. This package truly encompasses the very best of South Australia! Enjoy all meals onboard the Murray Princess as well guided nature walks and excursions whilst on your cruise.
Experience cruising up the Murray River in your river view cabin while taking in the sights and sounds of this magical area. Enjoy guided shore excursions and nature walks as well as gourmet meals prepared by your onboard chefs. This is the perfect introduction to the fascinating Murray River system. Discover the flora and fauna of this amazing region with guided nature walks, discovery tours, and on board presentations. Learn about the history of the towns along the river such as Murray Bridge and Mannum while you wind your way along the river.
Combine the luxury of ocean cruising with the grandeur of the Indian Pacific. Board the Indian Pacific and cross the nullarbor to Perth before setting sail for 5 nights to Esperance and Albany. Discover the wonder of expedition cruising to some of the most remote lands of the Kimberley as well as included shore excursions to Jar Island, Vanisttart Bay and Horizontal Falls among others.
This is truly an experience of a lifetime. Take in the beauty of the Indian and Southern Oceans as you cruise toward Esperance. Make use of the on board facilities on the Astor as well as enjoy a range of optional shore excursion at your ports of call. Combine this with 3 nights in Perth and a luxury coach tour of Perth and Fremantle. Take in the sights of these magnificent cities such as Fremantle, the WACA, Gouger Street and Rundle Mall as well as making use of the on board facilities aboard the Astor as you cruise to Fremantle as well as enjoying a range of optional shore excursions in Esperance and Albany whilst aboard your cruise.
Take in the historic cities of Burnie and Port Arthur and enjoy a range of optional shore excursions to see the sights of these beautiful cities. Cruise the Southern Ocean and enjoy 3 days in Tasmania and make use of the on board facilities of the Astor as you cruise to Tasmania. Your cruise package includes 3 nights accommodation in Cairns, Cairns town tour, flights and transfers. Discover the highlights of Cairns before you begin your extended "cargo" cruise aboard a real working cargo supply ship servicing the beautiful remote communities and amazing tropical islands of the northern Great Barrier Reef the very tip of Tropical North Queensland.
A cruise like no other. Discover the wonder of extended cruising and some of the most colourful marine life of the Great Barrier Reef as well as included shore excursions to Sudbury Sandy Cay, Dunk Island, Fitzroy Island among others. Enjoy a range of optional shore excursions in Esperance and Albany on your 7 day cruise and enjoy making use of the facilities on board the Astor as you cruise to Western Australia.
This package takes in the best that South Australia and Western Australia have to offer. Two departures feature a Busselton Margaret River region or Esperance port of call. Take in the magical waters of the Kimberley and everything this remote area has to offer from the comfort of a luxury expedition cruise. Most departures of the Ghan now have an additional class of accommodation, the new super-deluxe Platinum Class complete with double or twin lower beds.
The Ghan gets its name from the supposedly Afghan camels and camel drivers who used to carry supplies up to Alice Springs before the railway came. The first railway was narrow gauge, and the old Ghan was notoriously slow, taking 48 hours from Adelaide to Alice. Only in the early s was this new standard-gauge line opened taking a more direct route. The journey time has been cut to an afternoon and a night, and the service doubled to twice weekly for much of the year.
The railway onwards to Darwin was completed in January , and in February that year the Ghan was extended to Darwin once a week, doubled to twice-weekly in Book early, as there has been huge interest in the service to Darwin and bookings have exceeded even Great Southern Rail's expectations. When the Ghan Expedition doesn't run The Ghan will not run from 16 Dec to 12 Jan The Ghan only runs once a week now, the extra summer departure that has run in previous years has not run for several years.
Off-train excursions are available at the longer stops. What's it like on board The Ghan? One-way fares in AUD, per person Platinum. In Platinum class, a solo passenger pays double the price. Children under 4 go free. To buy Australian train tickets by phone in the UK, call International Rail on 3 , lines open You need to buy regular tickets to use the Indian Pacific or Ghan. If you want a train travel expert to arrange your Australian trip for you, with trains, stopovers, hotels, transfers and if necessary flights all sorted, train travel specialist www.
Just tell them what you want or ask them for their suggestions and they can make all your arrangements. UK call , www. US call free , www. Canada call free , www. Australia call toll-free , www. New Zealand call toll-free or see website. If you'd like to travel with a convivial group of travellers escorted by a professional tour guide, contact Great Rail Journeys at www.
What's it like on board the Ghan? The train has similar classes, sleepers, lounges and restaurants as the Indian Pacific , see the accommodation guide above The Ghan, en route to Australia's Red Centre Ayer's Rock Uluru , miles southwest of Alice, see www.
The Alice, as it's usually known, still has a frontier feel to it. Originally called Stuart and only officially renamed Alice Springs in , it grew up around a telegraph station on the overland telegraph linking southern Australia with London. You can still see the telegraph station, now a museum, at the North end of the town. Next to it pictured above, at the base of the white rock is the very birthplace of the town - the original, dried up 'Alice spring'. Telegraph station museum website.
Northern Territories official visitor website. You'll want to explore the outback whilst in Alice Springs, including Uluru, the world's largest sandstone monolith. It's some miles southwest of Alice - the outback is a big place! You're still allowed to climb Uluru, a steep scramble along the tourist track up the least perpendicular part of its sandstone sides - however, aboriginal people request that you don't. The most civilised and pleasant way to travel between central Melbourne and central Adelaide is aboard the twice-a-week Overland , no need to use domestic flights.
It's the third of the three trains run by www. One-way fare Red Premium seat:. Southern Cross is the new name for Melbourne's refurbished Spencer Street station. You can check fares and buy tickets for the Overland online at www.
Or reliable Melbourne-based agency www. To buy Australian train tickets in the UK by phone, call International Rail on 3, lines open The Overland has spacious and comfortable Red Service standard class reclining seats with loads of legroom, and deluxe Red Premium first class reclining seats with even more room and at-seat meal service included in the fare. All passengers can access the licensed buffet-bar.
See a review of a journey on the Overland on Tripadvisor. The Emu logo on the stainless steel cars of the Overland from Melbourne to Adelaide. Red class second class seating on the Overland. Far more civilised than flying or a nightmare bus journey. Comfortable air-conditioned trains link Sydney with Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra, city centre to city centre, with no need to fly!
A similar daytime and overnight XPT service links Sydney to Brisbane, although as trains alternate between Brisbane and Casino, a bus connection is needed to Brisbane on one of the two. This is a 2-berth sleeper on the overnight train from Sydney to Melbourne or from Sydney to Brisbane. Photo courtesy of Rail Australia Xplorer train from Sydney to Canberra. The seating is similar to that on XPTs. Courtesy of Rail Australia Check times before travel at www. The ridiculous early arrival in Brisbane is due to local politicos forcing the XPT out of peak arrival times in preference to mere local trains.
Always times at www. One-way fares per person: How to buy tickets: Tickets bought online are sent by e-mail. XPT trains might look familiar. That's because they're based on the UK's InterCity , but re-geared to mph and with you'll be pleased to learn XPTs have first and economy class reclining seats. But that's the only difference, elbow room and the seats themselves are exactly the same.
So there is little point in paying for first class unless economy is full - or you want that extra recline on the overnight run. XPTs have a buffet car selling food and drink, including wine. Photos courtesy of James Chuang. First class seats on an XPT above right are virtually identical to Economy above left , there's just an extra 2" of legroom and a 40 degree rather than 28 degree recline.
A sofa converts to a lower berth and an upper berth folds out from the wall, with mattress and all necessary bedding. Book early, as there's only one sleeping-car per train and it gets booked up fast. The 12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road You can hire a car and drive it, or there are various 1-day bus tours from Melbourne.
You take the daily The train is comfortable and air-conditioned. Economy seats only, no reservation required. No reservation is required for this bus. At Warrnambool, the bus connects with the This comfortable air-conditioned train has first class as well as economy seats, refreshments are available on board. However, on this train a seat reservation is required.
You can easily book this trip online at www. Simply click 'Buy tickets' and use the journey planner to book a return ticket from Melbourne Southern Cross to Warrnambool, making sure it's on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday.
Make sure you select the For general tourist information about the Great Ocean Road, see See www. Sydney is a fantastic city. Take a tour of the opera house www. Wander through the botanic gardens. Visit the observation deck of the Centrepoint Tower www. Take a ferry from Circular Quay to Watson's Bay for fish and chips at Doyle's famous refreshment rooms www.
For general city tourist information see www. Why not do the incredible Sydney Harbour Bridge climb pictured, right? The bridge climb tour has been operating since October Book your climb online here or visit www. Looking for a scenic day out from Sydney? Hop on a double-deck suburban train from Sydney to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, Children under 16 half fare, children under 4 free.
A short walk from the station brings you to the Three Sisters rock formation, overlooking the breathtaking Jamieson Valley, with lots of great scenic walks. Don't forget to visit the museum in Melbourne's old gaol , www. Ned Kelly, Australia's most infamous outlaw, was imprisoned and hanged in Melbourne gaol, and his unique armour was originally displayed there pictured, right.
Take a ride on Melbourne's trams there's even a restaurant in a tram - eat your dinner travelling round the Melbourne streets, book a tramcar meal online here or see www. For general tourist information, see www. For a day or two out of town, drive the famous Great Ocean Road.
Admirably well laid-out by its founder, Colonel William Light, the city centre is surrounded by parkland. On Montefiore Hill to the north of the centre, you can see 'Light's vision', where Colonel Light stood to map out his plan for the city.
For city visit information see www. It's worth hiring a car for a few days to visit some of the wine regions nearby, including the famous Barossa Valley , see www.
Perth is the capital of Western Australia, a clean, modern city - for visitor information see www. Frequent electric trains link Perth with Fremantle, see www. In the maritime museum in Fremantle are the remains of the Dutch East India company ship Batavia pictured, right. The ship was carrying a stone arch for the main gate of the city of Batavia modern day Jakarta.
Needless to say, the arch never arrived Introduced in October , this is a brand-new mph tilting train, see the photos below. For more info see www. The old Sunlander was discontinued in December , replaced by the Spirit of Queensland mph tilt train. There are additional trains between Brisbane and Rockhampton, including a mph tilting daytime train. A little vintage stainless-steel railcar works the Savannahlander train from Cairns to Forsayth at It returns from Forsayth at A 4-day outback rail experience!
One-way fare per person: Spirit of Queensland Railbed:. Children 15 years and under pay half the adult fare, children 3 years and under go free. All seats have power sockets and airline-style seat-back TV entertainment systems. All passengers can use the lounge-cafe car, in Railbed class meals are served at your seat.
The Spirit of Queensland features flat bed seats. Above right, at night the attendant converts the Railbeds to fully-made-up beds. Although narrow gauge 3' 6" it's very comfortable! Courtesy of Peter Young. Transwa formerly known as Westrail introduced new express diesel trains on the Perth to Kalgoorlie Prospector services in September , running at up to mph. For more info, visit www. Children under 5 free, children 5 to 15 inclusive half fare.
You can book online at www. A guidebook is a fraction of what you're spending on your whole trip. With a decent guidebook you'll see so much more and know far more about what you're looking at. I personally prefer the layout of the Lonely Planets, but others prefer the Rough Guides.
Both books provide a similarly excellent level of practical detail and useful background. You won't regret buying one! Alternatively, you can download just the chapters you need in. Colin Taylor's "Australia by Rail" is well worth buying if you plan to tour Australia by train.
Not only will it help you understand the routes, trains, and on-board accommodation, it has city information and best of all a mile-by-mile lineside guide of what to see from the train on the way. Buy online at Amazon. It's been named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site in the World Travel Awards and I recommend it to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling the same hotel for less. You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.
It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.