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Australia - Steam on Five Gauges (Ground Only)

Australia - Steam on Five Gauges (Ground Only)

Start 2021 with the trip of a lifetime for any dedicated steam enthusiasts! Our escorted rail holiday to Australia boasts six steam railways including four exclusive charters, three railway museums, a major steam festival featuring parallel running, a first class journey on the XPT train between Melbourne and Sydney, plus free time in both amazing cities!

16 Days From £3250 (Ground Only Fare)

 

**For a limited period only**

Beat the 2021 fare increases, by booking next year’s tour now!

 

DEPARTS

Sunday 4 April 2021

 

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Broad gauge mainline steam Melbourne to Bendigo

  • Travel across the Creek Trestle Bridge on The Puffing Billy Railway

  • Exclusive steam charter at Bellarine Peninsula Railway

  • Explore the Steamrail Victoria Newport Workshops

  • Travel first class from Melbourne to Sydney on the XPT

  • Scenic train ride into the Blue Mountains

  • Ride on the steepest passenger railway in the world!

  • Guided tour of the huge locomotive collection at the New South Wales Railway Museum

  • Photo run-pasts and exclusive steam charter from Thirlmere to Buxton

  • Exclusive charter of the 1891 Sydney Steam Tram

  • Scenic rail route north from Sydney to Newcastle

  • Two days and two steam journeys at the incredible 35th anniversary Maitland Steam Festival

  • Free time for sightseeing in Melbourne and Sydney

 

Also included in your Tour Fare:

15 nights hotel accommodation with private facilities

Breakfast each day plus 3 lunches

All excursions and admissions as detailed

Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager

 

Initially we are retailing this tour at the Ground Only fare and will confirm the flight arrangements once they open at the end of May / early June. The air fare to travel on our group flights is anticipated not to exceed £1250. Secure your tour place now with a ‘Ground Only Fare’ deposit of £300. You are, of course, free to book your own flights to and from Australia. However, if you do so you will not be covered by Railtrail’s ATOL in relation to your flight bookings and operation. Additionally, Railtrail’s public liability insurance will only cover you for the period from arrival at our Melbourne Hotel at the start of the tour until leaving our Sydney hotel at the end of the tour.

*This Tour was a sellout in 2020, but unfortunately was cancelled due to Covid-19.* 

 

 

 

DAY 2

Sunday 4 April
Join the group at our hotel for the next six nights, the stylish Batman's Hill on Collins.

DAY 3

Monday 5 April
Today we start our fabulous Australian steam adventure with a broad gauge mainline steam train ** from Melbourne to Bendigo using R class 711 which coincides with the annual Bendigo Easter Fair. The run is over 3 hrs each way with 4 hours to explore the town of Bendigo. The Easter Fair will be celebrating its 150th year in 2021 and we have free time to take a stroll around the many attractions or ride the town's vintage tramway to the depot where we can take a self-guided tour.

B

DAY 4

Tuesday 6 April
After breakfast the day is ours to relax and explore the fantastic city of Melbourne at our leisure. Options include the free "Circle Tram" tour of the city plus, the inner-city trams are also free. Our tour manager will advise on evening tram riding options and restaurant locations in the city.

B

DAY 5

Wednesday 7 April
Today we take the one-hour train journey from Southern Cross station to Castlemaine. Here we board the 5'3" gauge Victoria Goldfields Railway steam locomotive and enjoy a return journey across the former Goldfields to Maldon, we may even spot a kangaroo or two during the journey! The railway opened in 1884 and is the last remaining fully operational branch line that was used to develop rural Victoria in the late 19th century. When we arrive in Maldon, we have free time to explore historic former gold rush town with its classic turn of the century buildings. We enjoy lunch at leisure and can even sample some real Aussie ale at the Kangaroo Hotel…yes, it really is called that! We return to Melbourne later in the day.

B

DAY 6

Thursday 8 April
This morning we travel by local train to Belgrave and a journey aboard the wonderfully preserved 2'6" gauge Puffing Billy Railway. As the turn of century steam locomotive leaves Belgrave, we cross over the historic Monbulk Creek Trestle Bridge and venture into a fascinating landscape of rainforests dense with lush ferns, towering mountain ash trees overhead, panoramic rural valleys and rolling green hills. When we arrive into Lakeside Station, we enjoy free time to stretch our legs or buy some refreshments before continuing behind a different steam locomotive along the full length of the 25km line to Gembrook and return.

B

DAY 7

Friday 9 April
We travel by private coach to Queenscliff for an exclusive steam charter over the 3'6" gauge Bellarine Peninsula Railway to Drysdale and return. Afterwards we travel by road to the Williamstown Railway Museum where we have a private tour of the largest collection of Victoria Railway engines. There are more than 15 different locomotives, ranging from the diminutive F class up to the H class, the largest locomotive to operate in Victoria. We also have an exclusive visit to the nearby Steamrail Victoria Newport Workshops that date back to the 1880's.

B

DAY 8

Saturday 10 April
Today we say goodbye to Melbourne and depart on the morning XPT train in first class to our new destination of Sydney, where we arrive in the early evening. There is a café car so we can purchase refreshments on board during our journey. Our route takes you through the city of Wagga Wagga and features a spiral of engineering greatness, as well as a glimpse of rural Australia. When we arrive in Sydney our base for the next six nights is the stylish Rendezvous Hotel, conveniently situated just a 5-minute walk from Sydney Central station.

B

DAY 9

Sunday 11 April
This morning we enjoy a two-hour train ride to Katoomba in the stunning Blue Mountains for a visit to Scenic World. Here we can journey on the Scenic Railway that has been operating since 1945 and discover the thrill of riding on the steepest passenger railway in the world! This unforgettable experience offers glass-roofed carriages with expansive views of the rainforest and descends 310 metres through a cliff-side tunnel. During our day we can also enjoy a stroll along the elevated 2.4 km Walkway, travel on the Cableway and view the rainforest canopy through the glass floor of the Scenic Skyway, the largest aerial cable car in the Southern Hemisphere with 360° views of the Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters and Jamison Valley.

B

DAY 10

Monday 12 April
A fascinating and unique rail experience awaits us today! Firstly, we travel by rail to via Campbeltown to Picton where we have a private vintage 1920's railmotor ride from the main line station over the branch to the New South Wales Railway Museum at Thirlmere. After a guided tour of the huge collection of 38 steam locomotives, we view the operating roundhouse and enjoy a group lunch. We then enjoy an exclusive steam charter over the 14 km old main line to Buxton and return with a photo run-by included. We are part of a very elite club today as this line only sees steam four or five times a year! Following our very memorable day we return, in style by vintage railmotor to Picton before boarding our return train back to Sydney Central.

B, L

DAY 11

Tuesday 13 April
This morning we travel by local train to Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum located on the site of a 1914 railway roundhouse. The museum exhibits the fascinating history of the main western line and is also home to the Steam Tramway & Preservation Society. During our visit we have lunch and enjoy an exclusive charter of the 1891 Sydney Steam Tram.

B, L

DAY 12

Wednesday 14 April
Today we enjoy a day at leisure to explore the many famous attractions stunning Sydney has to offer. Using our included "Opal" transport pass we can travel on the local trains, tramway and ferries from Circular Quay with great views of the famous Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Your tour guide will advise you on the multitude of attractions available for you to visit in this amazing city including the Lofthus Tramway Museum.

B

DAY 13

Thursday 15 April
After breakfast we take another scenic local train ride south along the coast to Albion Park for a private steam charter on the 2ft gauge Illawarra Light Railway. We visit the volunteer operated light railway working museum founded in 1972 and during our guided tour we view the steam and diesel collection that were used on industrial and sugar cane lines. We enjoy lunch before we return to Sydney.

B, L

DAY 14

Friday 16 April
Today we bid farewell to Sydney and continue our great Australian rail journey with another scenic rail route from Sydney to Newcastle. Our base for the final three nights is the Ibis Hotel located just a 10-minute walk from the Interchange station.

B

DAYS 15 & 16

Saturday & Sunday 17 & 18 April
We enjoy two full days at the incredible Maitland Steam Festival featuring mainline steam with two or three engines in action over three different routes, the Great Train Race with steam trains chasing each other, traction engine rally, stationary engines, street market and coach trips to the nearby Richmond Vale Railway. During the steam festival we have tickets included for a steam ride each day, including one of the race trains.

B

DAY 17

Monday 19 April
Following our fortnight of amazing Australian steam adventures, we depart by rail to Sydney to board our afternoon flight to Singapore then onwards to London.

B

DAY 18

Tuesday 20 April
We arrive into London Heathrow in the morning and make our journeys homeward.

** we reserve the right to travel by diesel train should the steam locomotive not be timetabled at the time of our visit.

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch

HOTELS

Batman’s Hill on Collins

The Batman’s Hill on Collins is ideally located opposite Southern Cross Station with many of Melbourne’s top attractions located within a 10 minute walk. The hotel offers plenty of meal options with two restaurant and two bars including the aptly named Platform 66 bar! We have booked the comfortable Premiere bedrooms with TV, complementary Wi-Fi, iron & ironing board, hairdryer, tea & coffee making facilities, fridge and air-conditioning.

 

Rendezvous Studio Hotel Sydney Central

The Rendezvous Studio Hotel combines contemporary style with an excellent city centre location, sitting opposite Railway Square and Central Station. The hotel is within close walking distance of Darling Harbour, Surry Hills and Chinatown, all of Sydney’s iconic attractions are within easy reach. The hotel has a bar and restaurant. All bedrooms are well equipped with safety deposit box, free Wi-Fi, hairdryer, iron & ironing board, TV, air-conditioning and tea & coffee making facilities.

 

Ibis Hotel Newcastle

Located in Newcastle West, the Ibis hotel is situated within two miles of Merewether Beach and Newcastle Beach. The hotel is conveniently located approximately 10 minutes walk from Newcastle Interchange Station. All bedrooms are equipped with air conditioning, TV, fridge and tea & coffee making facilities. Please note Wi-Fi is chargeable at the Ibis Hotel. The hotel has a restaurant and bar.

 

FARE

From London Heathrow Airport:

Standard Economy seats on Singapore Airlines and standard rail travel

Awaiting flight info.

Upgraded flight seats on Singapore Airlines

On Request

Fare joining Melbourne & leaving Sydney (Ground Only Fare)

£3250

Single Traveller Supplement

£950


 

Return flights from London Heathrow to Australia with Singapore Airlines - for those booking the Flight Inclusive Package only*

 

15 nights hotel accommodation with private facilities

 

Breakfast each day plus 3 lunches

 

All excursions and admissions as detailed

Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager

GUARANTEED FARE

 

Initially we are retailing this tour at the Ground Only fare and will confirm the flight arrangements once they open at the end of May / early June. The air fare to travel on our group flights is anticipated not to exceed £1250. Secure your tour place now with a ‘Ground Only Fare’ deposit of £300. You are, of course, free to book your own flights to and from Australia. However, if you do so you will not be covered by Railtrail’s ATOL in relation to your flight bookings and operation. Additionally, Railtrail’s public liability insurance will only cover you for the period from arrival at our Melbourne Hotel at the start of the tour until leaving our Sydney hotel at the end of the tour.

*This Tour was a sellout in 2020, but unfortunately was cancelled due to Covid-19.* 

 

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

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