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Australia

Make your next escape an Aussie one!

There’s no better time than now to explore your own backyard, give back to local communities and find hidden gems that you never knew existed! Australia is such a diverse country, there really is something for every type of traveller. From rocky deserts and breath-taking national parks, to bright coral reefs and award-winning winery’s; discover Australia with our collection of hand-picked holidays that we know you will love!

Leave the hustle and bustle behind and jump on a rail journey of a lifetime; you can relax, unwind and enjoy word-class service as the spectacular landscapes glide by. All meals and beverages are included whilst you’re on the train plus exciting off train adventures will allow you to get out and explore the different terrains of our beloved country. Have a browse through some of our favourite rail packages below.

AUSTRALIAN STATES AND TERRITORIES

Australian Capital Territory 

Home to Australia’s capital city of Canberra, the ACT is a tempting combination of outdoor adventure, urban exploration, and artistic flare. Despite its small size, the state packs a big punch with world-renowned museums and a vibrant dining scene. Canberra is home to the must-see Parliament House building as well as Questacon, which is ideal for families and science enthusiasts.

New South Wales

New South Wales is famous for its seemingly endless beaches and bushland, vast range of impeccable wine regions, stunning national parks, and sophisticated cities. A trip to New South Wales is not complete without visiting the iconic waterfront city of Sydney and taking in the beauty of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

Northern Territory 

The Northern Territory offers wide-open stretches of rich red outback, clear waterholes, ancient Aboriginal culture, and charming tropical towns. The mighty Uluru and the desert town of Alice springs are located here as well as the striking national parks of Kakadu and Litchfield. Among the red earth and tropical palms lie experiences waiting to transform your view of the world.

Queensland

From a kaleidoscope of colourful coral in the Great Barrier Reef to the world’s oldest tropical rainforest; Queensland has a slice of paradise to suit every traveller. Home to more than 1,000 ecosystem types and five World Heritage-listed sites, Queensland is a national wonderland like no other. Head to the Gold Coast for an urban experience with a beach lifestyle, or answer the call of the outback in quirky outposts like Birdsville.

South Australia

World-class wineries, dramatic coastline, historic towns and vast stretches of ochre outback, South Australia has it all! Taste spectacular wine in the famous Barossa Valley or visit the “Zoo without Fences” on Kangaroo Island, stroll through the fresh food markets in Adelaide or marvel at landscapes more than 600 million years old in the Flinders Ranges. South Australia has made a name for itself as a relaxed region full of wine, wildlife, and natural wonder - we can see why!

Tasmania

Home to incredible natural beauty, rich wildlife and impeccable cuisine; Tasmania is sure to leave a lasting impression on you! From the white sand and calm blue waters of Freycinet National Park to the world heritage wilderness of Cradle Mountain. Tasmania has something for everyone; taste straight-from-the-sea oysters on Bruny Island or sip on award winning cool-climate wines at one of the many wineries spread across the island.

Victoria

Victoria is home to the foodie, cultural and sports-loving city of Melbourne which has enough to keep visitors entertained for days. Outside of the city is where you can drink wine in the famous Yarra Valley wine region, drive the Great Ocean Road, see Penguins on Phillip Island or sink into steamy mineral springs on the Mornington Peninsula.

Western Australia 

Swim with the ocean’s gentle giants, savour some of Australia’s best wines and marvel at larger-than-life landscapes. Western Australia is incredibly vast and diverse. Perth, the capital city; is home to a vibrant beach, food and drink scene and as soon as you step outside of the city you might find yourself on a white-sand beach with only kangaroos or quokkas around. Take off and explore the Kimberley region in North, home to the bizarre horizontal falls and the ancient domes of the bungle bungles.

 

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When to visit

The best time to explore Australia depends entirely on where you wish to visit and what you wish to do. The tropical North of Australia can be completely different to the southern half of Australia at the same time of year. There are four seasons across most of the country, however the top end of Australia experiences a ‘wet season’ and ‘dry season’. 

Summer Months – December to February

Summer brings warm, sunny days that are best spent at the countries' stunning beaches. The southern parts of the country have the best weather during this time of year. During this time the tropical north is in the middle of its’ west season which runs from November – April; this can bring heavy rains and tropical storms to Darwin, Cairns, Broome and the Whitsundays. It is also the stinger season on the Great Barrier Reef; meaning snorkelers are required to wear full-body wetsuits. In the outback; temperatures soar during this time of year, averaging around 36-39°C during the summer months.

Autumn Months – March to May

Autumn brings the transformation of the colours from lush green to brilliant hues of red, orange, ochre and gold as the temperatures start to cool. There are many festivals happening in the major cities during this time of year. While Autumn is generally a pleasant and uncrowded time to visit, be aware of the Easter holiday period which brings out many holiday goers. In the tropical north it can still be wet during the start of Autumn, so aim for later in the season if you’re planning on heading up there. Heading to the Northern Territory on the Ghan Expedition is the perfect way to explore some of the most remote and captivating places in the Australian outback; all whilst travelling in total comfort.

Winter Months – June to August

The Australian Alps in the south of the country are home to some great ski fields which are very popular during this time of year. If you’re not a fan of the cold, this is the perfect time to visit the north of Australia; you will experience balmy days and cooler evenings. Ideal for getting outdoors and exploring the incredible natural landscape of the region. During these months; the magnificent humpback whales migrate north so it’s a great time for whale watching!

Spring Months – September to November

Spring brings flower blossoms all over the country and many states have their own flower festivals. It’s also the time where koala and kangaroo joeys begin to venture out of their mothers’ pouches for the first time; making it a great time to visit the zoo! It’s a great time to take advantage of the cooler daytime temperatures in the Outback and experience the last couple of months of Northern Territory’s dry season (September and October).

Helpful Information

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Public Holidays

Each State and Territory has their own public holidays which can be helpful to know when travelling interstate. Have a look through the 2020 Public Holidays in Australia:

National Public Holidays:

  • 1 January: New Year's Day
  • 26 January: Australia Day
  • 27 January: Additional public holiday for Australia Day
  • 10 April: Good Friday
  • 11 April: Easter Saturday
  • 12 April: Easter Sunday
  • 13 April: Easter Monday
  • 25 April: Anzac Day
  • 25 December: Christmas Day
  • 26 December: Boxing Day

Additional publich holidays within each State and Territory

Australian Capital Territory:

  • 9 March: Canberra Day
  • 1 June: Reconciliation
  • 8 June: Queen’s Birthday
  • 5 October: Labour Day

New South Wales:

  • 8 June: Queen’s Birthday
  • 5 October: Labour Day

Northern Territory:

  • 4 May: May Day
  • 8 June: Queen’s Birthday
  • 26 June*: Borroloola Show Day 
  • 3 July*: Alice Springs Show Day 
  • Friday 10 July*: Tennant Creek Show Day 
  • Friday 17 July*: Katherine Show Day 
  • 24 July*: Darwin Show Day 
  • 3 August: Picnic Day

*Regional observance only

Queensland:

  • 4 May: Labour Day
  • 12 August*: Royal Queensland Show 
  • 5 October: Queen’s birthday

*Brisbane only

South Australia:

  • 9 March: Adelaide Cup Day
  • 8 June: Queen's Birthday
  • 5 October: Labour Day
  • 24 December*: Christmas Eve
  • 31 December*: New Year's Eve

*Part-day public holiday from 7pm to midnight

Tasmania:

  • 8 January**: Devonport Cup
  • 10 February*: Royal Hobart Regatta
  • 9 March: Eight Hours Day
  • 14 April*: Easter Tuesday
  • 2 November**: Recreation Day

*Restricted public holiday in Tasmania. Observed by some awards/agreements and the State Public Service

**Regional observance only

Victoria:

  • 9 March: Labour Day
  • 8 June: Queen's Birthday
  • 3 November: Melbourne Cup Day

Western Australia:

  • 2 March: Labour Day
  • 1 June: Western Australia Day
  • 28 September*: Queen's Birthday

* Regional areas in Western Australia may celebrate the Queen's Birthday Public Holiday on an alternative date

Time Zones

Australia is divided into three separate time zones: 

  • Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) - UTC +10
    • Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory
  • Australian Central Standard Time (ACST) - UTC +9.5
    • South Australia, Broken Hill (Western NSW) and the Northern Territory
  • Australian Western Standard Time (AWST) - UTC +8
    • Western Australia

Daylight Savings

In the Australian summer, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT turn their clocks forward one hour to Daylight Saving Time (DST). Daylight Savings Time begins at 2am (AEST) on  the first Sunday in October and ends at 3am on the first Sunday in April.  

  • NSW, ACT, Victoria and Tasmania move from AEST to Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) - UTC +11.
  • South Australia and Broken Hill move from ACST to Australian Central Daylight Time (ACDT) - UTC +10.5.

Daylight saving is not observed in Queensland, the Northern Territory of Western Australia. 

Official language
English
Currency
Australian Dollars (AUD)
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