Sue O’Donovan

Sue  O'Donovan

Sue O'Donovan

The Great Southern Rail

Mimosa Cruise & Travel - Aspley, QLD

In December 2019 we had the opportunity to travel on The Great Southern Rail from Adelaide to Brisbane.

My Personal Travel Experience

The Great Southern Rail is a luxury Train Experience, from Adelaide to Brisbane and you can also do this train trip in reverse. It operators over December till early February while the train is not operating the The Ghan to Darwin during the wet season.  The weather when we left Adelaide was a very hot Australian summer.

After settling into life on the train, while traveling through the Adelaide Hill and crossing the South Australian and Victorian state borders. We had our  first Off Train Experience. We traveled by  guided coach tour through the scenic town of Halls Gap, positioned in the Grampians National Park and a great base from which we explored this spectacular corner of Australia. From Halls Gap, continue to Boroka Lookout to gaze across panoramic vistas over the east of the Grampians and over the town of Halls Gap.

It’s was only a short five-minute walk to two viewing platforms and from here, you’ll also be able to spot nearby Lake Bellfield.

We took in the breathtaking views in the late afternoon sunlight before returning to the train for a late supper. Where we settled in for the night. My husband had the top bunk and I was luck to get the bottom bunk bed.

The next morning we disembarked the train in Yass Junction, then  transferred by coach to Canberra and the nation’s political hotseat – Parliament House. Dining in the Great Hall is quite an experience and you’ll be treated to a lavish lunch before embarking on an extended tour of Parliament House. Get lost in the history, the people and the scandals that make Parliament House a fascinating place to visit.

After a sumptuous lunch in the Great Hall of Parliament House, we transferred to one of the country’s most significant and sacred cultural institutions – the Australian War Memorial. With so many collections and important stories to hear, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed, but our guide will ensure you make the most of your time here on our private tour.

This was a sombre experience but also a testament to the sacrifice and resilience of Australia’s men and women who contributed to the war effort. After the War Memorial we got on the bus again to Goulburn Station, where we re-board the train in time for dinner and to compare the day’s events with your fellow train guests. We just looked out the window as we traveled though Sydney suburbs and also witnessed the fires that had been in Sydney a week earlier.

After a great nights sleep, we arrived in Coffs Hobour.  To a spectacular  breakfast on board, arrive into Coffs Harbour Station and travel by coach to the Great Dividing Range. At 3,500kms, this is the third-longest mountain range in the world. Poised on the edge of the rainforest, Sealy Lookout is home to Forest Sky Pier, a viewing platform soaring dramatically out from the hillside. Then went to the beach where there was a picnic area set aside for us in the shade and we could also visit the Markets and also go for a swim at the beach. But it was a very hot day and we just enjoyed the sea breeze and the markets. Then back on the train for a Lunch and just sat back and looked at the view while we crossed the Queensland border.

Then it was time to leave. I booked our next trip when I got home for the following year. BUT that’s when COVID hit and just working out when we can go on the train again.

I would highly recommend this trip and any other on Journeys and Beyond.


Read About My Travel Experiences

My Accreditation & Awards

CLIA Master 2022
Luxury Travel Specialist with Travel Training Australia.
New Zealand Travel Specialist.
Rail Specialist, Journey Beyond.
Tassie Specialist.
Aussie Travel Specialist.
South Pacific Travel Specialist.
Hawaii Travel Specialist.

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