Australian Natural Adventures

Wildlife, Nature & Soft Adventure Tours

Custom Australia, New Zealand & Pacific tours and travel




Many of our travelers ask about taking the train from Brisbane to Cairns on the Sunlander. We think it's a great trip, showing a continually changing scenery from agricultural South Queensland through sugar cane fields then the grazing country of Central Queensland as you cross into the Tropics. North from there forests and the Great Dividing Range outliers start appearing, with patches of rainforest further north. You cross the Burdekin River at Ayr, whose flow is so variable that for much of the year train travelers see nothing but sand and no water at all, while in the wet season the Burdekin might discharge the equivalent of Sydney Harbour every three and a half hours. As you clickety clack through the Wet Tropics north of Townsville sugar cane and rainforest-covered hills appear, until you finally pull into Cairns, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. The 32 hour journey is rated the number one rail journey in Australia, and one of the world's top ten. But there are shorter journeys available, from the faster Tilt Train servicing southern Queensland, including whale-watching centre Hervey Bay and Fraser Island, to the inland routes of the Outback. A high point for many visitors is that Australians like their train travel, so most of your fellow riders will be Australians, not overseas tourists. At the congenial and easy pace of trains this is a wonderful opportunity to meet and get to know the locals, rarely done when flying from one tourist hotel to another.


To get a better idea of what's in store when you travel with Queensland Rail, watch this video about train travel and tours in Queensland by clicking on the image.


queensland trains video