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Tropical Queensland by Rail

7 days 6 nights
Brisbane to Cairns
from NZD$2,930pp
Tour summary and feature with map

Arrive in Brisbane and spend the day exploring the city highlights from the water on a river cruise, before boarding the Spirit of Queensland the following afternoon. Your overnight journey in a premium Railbed will deliver you to the hot spot destination of Airlie Beach, from which you can explore the Whitsundays by both air and sea. Once again boarding the Spirit of Queensland, embark on the second half of your journey to arrive in the tropical city of Cairns. Enjoy dinner cruising on the ocean, a visit to local wildlife, and a classic journey on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, up through the forested mountains to the vibrant Kuranda Village. If 6 days isn't enough, talk to your consultant about including a visit to Port Douglas or the pristine Atherton Tablelands.

BeachesWildlife & nature

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Tour full itinerary
Day One - Welcome to sunny Brisbane!
Tour day 1
Tropical Queensland by Rail - Day 1
Private transfer Brisbane Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a private driver and delivered to your Brisbane accommodation.

Arrive into Brisbane

Brisbane is the third-largest city in Australia and is the capital of Queensland, the "Sunshine State". It is set along the Brisbane River and was the traditional home to the Jagera and Turrbal Aboriginal mobs before Europeans founded a convict colony in what is now the central business district in 1824.
Modern-day Brisbane is one of the fastest-growing cities in Australia and has a rich, culturally diverse population. There is no shortage of attractions to visit and explore. Across the river from the CBD, South Bank is home to the city's Cultural Centre with world-class galleries and entertainment. Just an hour from the city, discover Brisbane’s stunning natural surrounds including the Scenic Rim and Somerset World Heritage rainforests, lookouts and majestic mountain peaks, while Moreton Island and Redlands Coast offer pristine waters, wildlife experiences, diving and snorkelling.

Explore Brisbane

Brisbane is a hub of activities and attractions. With its unique blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty, Brisbane offers something for everybody. Starting the day early, one could begin by exploring the South Bank Parklands, a sprawling riverside precinct filled with lush gardens, walking paths, and stunning views of the city skyline. Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque Brisbane River, visit the iconic Wheel of Brisbane for a panoramic view, or enjoy a relaxing breakfast at one of the charming riverside cafes. Next, consider delving into the cultural scene by visiting the Queensland Cultural Centre, which houses the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA). Art enthusiasts can immerse themselves in a diverse range of local and international artworks, while history buffs can explore the Queensland Museum or the Museum of Brisbane. For a taste of the city's history, a visit to the Story Bridge and Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park is a must. The Story Bridge Adventure Climb offers breathtaking views of the city from its summit, and the Kangaroo Point Cliffs provide a perfect spot for picnics. Afterwards, make your way to the vibrant Fortitude Valley, known for its trendy boutiques, bustling markets, and eclectic mix of cafes and restaurants. Explore the Brunswick Street Mall, discover unique fashion finds, and indulge in a delicious lunch at one of the local eateries. To complete the day, a visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is highly recommended. As the world's oldest and largest koala sanctuary, visitors can cuddle koalas, hand-feed kangaroos, and get up close to a variety of Australian wildlife.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - 90 Minute Sight Seeing Cruise with River City Cruises

Cruising along the beautiful Brisbane River, sit back and relax as your skipper takes you along the calm waterways. Aboard the boat, you will get a complimentary Devonshire tea, with a tea or coffee to enjoy along the ride. Throughout your tour enjoy the sights of the city including the Riverside precincts, Kangaroo Point, homes of the rich and famous, historical landmarks, and much much more.

Accommodation: Pacific Hotel Brisbane
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Discover contemporary, 4-star accommodation at Pacific Hotel Brisbane. Overlooking the city skyline and Roma St Parklands, comfort meets style throughout the spacious guest rooms; all featuring generous open-aired balconies, free wi-fi and modern amenities.

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Day Two - A relaxed morning before boarding this Spirit of Queensland this afternoon
Tour day 2
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Tropical Queensland by Rail - Day 2
Brisbane to Airlie Beach onboard the Spirit of Queensland

The Spirit of Queensland combines modern seating and entertainment options with the charm of long-distance rail travel. The Spirit of Queensland redefines the modern rail travel experience with a comfortable and convenient way to access some of Queensland's most spectacular holiday destinations, allowing you to indulge in ultimate relaxation on your overnight journey to Airlie Beach.

Coach Transfer from Proserpine Train Station to Accommodation with Whitsunday Transit

You will be met at Proserpine Train Station and the coach will deliver you to your accommodation.

Airlie Beach

Considered the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach provides a picturesque mainland base from which to explore the natural wonders of the area. There is a 15-minute walk from the main point and check out the Airlie Beach craft markets. On your way to the boardwalk is a nice little walk to the Lagoon town centre and a great place to swim. A wonderful sunset stroll on the Bicentennial walk would definitely make your night. The Airlie Beach Lagoon is situated right in the heart of Airlie Beach and has become a focal point and favourite local hang-out. The beachfront parks, palm-lined beaches, al fresco restaurants and lively seaside markets entertain on land, while the crystal-clear blue sea and soft white sand beaches lend themselves to snorkelling, diving, swimming, and sailing. For boat lovers must visit the coral sea marina and enjoy some magnificent views. The Airlie  Beach Bicentennial Walkway provides a nearly 4 km waterfront walk, showcasing spectacular coastal views, with plenty of opportunities for food and drink along the way, and keen observers might even spot marine life such as fish and turtles during their stroll.

Accommodation: Spirit of Queensland Overnight Railbed
Accommodation type: Bed & Breakfast (B&B)
A comfortable & convenient way to access Queensland's most sought after destinations, sit back & relax as you enjoy the charm of long-distance rail travel. In the evening, attendants will convert your seat into a lie-flat bed, so you will feel rejuvenated upon arrival in Airlie Beach the following morning. Your seat includes a power outlet and entertainment system.

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Day Three - Arrive early in Airlie Beach, then take to the sea & sky to experience the Whitsundays
Tour day 3
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Tropical Queensland by Rail - Day 3
Scenic Flight and Northern Exposure Rafting with Ocean Rafting

Start your day with an early morning scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef and Heart Reef. Witness a stunning birds-eye view of the 74 Whitsunday Islands with commentary from your knowledgeable pilot along the way. You will then depart on your ocean rafting adventure on a custom-built, semi-rigid inflatable boat. Your guide will take you on the ride of your life to snorkel at two pristine fringing coral reefs around Hook Island, which is home to an array of tropical fish, turtles and other amazing marine life. You will then depart for the famous Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet to explore, relax and enjoy lunch. Here you will take a guided bush walk up to Hill Inlet lookout to witness the breathtaking views of the vivid blue waters and swirling sands.

Accommodation: Mantra Club Croc Airlie Beach
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Families, couples and groups will find Mantra Club Croc ideally positioned in the coastal town of Airlie Beach, within a five-minute drive of its lively hub. Centrally located on Shute Harbour Road, you’ll be set to experience the best of Queensland’s most popular tourist destinations. Providing a glimpse into the region’s past, Mantra Club Croc’s traditional Queenslander exterior complements its modern interior and boasts a tropical carefree atmosphere throughout. Hotel rooms are refurbished with natural tones reflect the nearby coastline, coupled with modern features to ensure you are relaxed while on vacation.

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Day Four - Back on board the Spirit of Queensland, make your way north to Cairns
Tour day 4
Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner
Tropical Queensland by Rail - Day 4
Coach Transfer from Accommodation to Proserpine Train Station with Whitsunday Transit

You will be met at your accommodation and the coach will deliver you to Proserpine Train Station.

Airlie Beach to Cairns onboard the Spirit of Queensland train

The Spirit of Queensland combines modern seating and entertainment options with the charm of long-distance rail travel. The Spirit of Queensland redefines the modern rail travel experience with a comfortable and convenient way to access some of Queensland's most spectacular holiday destinations.

Private Transfer from Cairns Train Station to Accommodation

A private transfer will collect you on your arrival at the Cairns Train Station and transfer you to your accommodation.

Spirit of Cairns Dinner Cruise

A Cairns dinner cruise is the perfect way to end a perfect day in paradise. Board the sailing catamaran and enjoy an evening of calm water cruising on Trinity Inlet, taking in the sights and sounds of this tropical port city and its surrounds as they transition from day to night.

Accommodation: Oaks Cairns Hotel
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Situated on the Cairns Esplanade, minutes from the CBD and the Esplanade Precinct. The brand new property offers modern facilities, amenities and an amazing roof top bar! Explore the hustle and bustle the city has to offer or head up to view the city offering with a beverage!

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Day Five - A relaxing day exploring Cairns, with a visit to the Wildlife Dome
Tour day 5
Meals included: Breakfast
Tropical Queensland by Rail - Day 5
Cairns Free Day

Cairns is known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, and Queensland's tropical north. It is a laid-back town with a relaxed way of life, ideal for people who enjoy the outdoors and tropical nature. Have a stroll along Cairns esplanade, discover open-air markets, and grab a coffee in one of the brilliant al fresco cafes. After that, you can cool off in the sparkling Esplanade Lagoon. This saltwater pool is lined with parks, shady banyan trees, boardwalks, and barbeques. If you feel active and energised, you can join free outdoor exercise classes, such as yoga, zumba, pilates, or beach volleyball, held six mornings a week along the Esplanade. In the afternoon, you can visit Cairns Botanic Gardens, with their spectacular plant collection. The gardens feature rainforest vegetation and many interesting species of flowers. You can bring your own snacks for the picnic or grab a snack in the cafeteria. You should also explore the Cairns Aquarium, which is dedicated to local species and habitats, with over 16,000 specimens on display. It is home to incredible sea creatures, from sharks to snakes. In the evening, enjoy fresh seafood in one of the gourmet restaurants or a refreshing cocktail i a waterfront bar with its amazing ocean views and great vibes.

Cairns ZOOM & Wildlife Dome Admission

Cairns ZOOM & Wildlife Dome has many exhibits for all ages to explore a large range of diverse wildlife. You will see crocodiles, lizards, koalas, turtles, snakes, and over 200 birds. You can learn more about the animals in various educational presentations, including Koala Talk, Feeding Tours, Reptile Presentation, and interesting Insects Talks. You can also try some of the exciting ZOOM activities, such as the Dome Climb, Power Jump or Ziplining, or upgrade to a Private Wildlife Experience. These are an additional expense, please let your consultant know if you would like to include these activities.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Giant Swing with Skypark Cairns by AJ Hackett

Soar above the average and reach speeds of up to 120km per hour in just 3.5 seconds with the Giant Swing. Australia’s only multi person swing stretches the limit of gravity and was created to allow 1, 2 or 3 people the chance to experience extreme speed and acceleration together. The Giant Swing takes you up to the rainforest canopy, closely hugs the hillside and weaves its way through the trees combining spectacular views and a rush like no other! A Cairns must-do experience for the whole family to enjoy.

Accommodation: Oaks Cairns Hotel
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Situated on the Cairns Esplanade, minutes from the CBD and the Esplanade Precinct. The brand new property offers modern facilities, amenities and an amazing roof top bar! Explore the hustle and bustle the city has to offer or head up to view the city offering with a beverage!

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Day Six - Today includes a day trip to Kuranda on the Heritage scenic railway
Tour day 6
Meals included: Breakfast
Tropical Queensland by Rail - Day 6
Classic Experience with Kuranda Scenic Railway

Experience this scenic journey on the Kuranda Scenic Railway to the 'village in the rainforest'. Your day begins in Cairns as you board the train for a morning departure. Travel through unsurpassed views of World Heritage-listed rainforest and waterfalls, including Stoney Creek Falls and the breathtaking Barron Gorge. You will wind your way through 15 tunnels and over 37 bridges on your journey before reaching Kuranda, where you will have several hours to explore the village. In the afternoon you will board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for a journey up and over the rainforest canopy, back to the Skyrail terminal where you will be transported back to the Cairns railway station.

Kuranda Village

The mountain retreat of Kuranda Village is nestled into the world's oldest living tropical rainforest, just 25 kilometres northwest of Cairns. The tiny town is a vivid mix of quirkiness, interesting characters and natural beauty all perched atop a mountain. The colourful village is accessible by either driving up the mountain range, travelling up in the Skyrail Cableway, or winding through the Barron Gorge on board the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Once you are here, there are a range of things to experience. To get your fix of retail therapy, head to the Kuranda Markets and quaint stores throughout the village. Experience the surrounding nature on a river cruise, and get friendly with the local wildlife at the Kuranda Koala Gardens and Birdworld Kuranda.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Paradise Guided Rainforest Walk with Kuranda Riverboat Tours

This guided tour will take you across the Barron River on the Kuranda Riverboat to a secluded clearing in the tropical rainforest. Your guide will accompany you on an established forest trail on the historical Paradise trail. Along the way they will point out different types of lush vegetation and teach you about the abundant wildlife that lives in the area, and the history of tourism on the trail back to the 1920's. Keep an eye out for the native cassowary as you take a moment to sit and bask in the beauty of the area and chat to your guide before returning to the riverboat.

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary Admission

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is the largest butterfly flight aviary and exhibit in Australia. It offers a range of experiences that are guaranteed to delight! See butterflies take their first flight at the daily butterfly releases at approximately 11:30 am and 2:30 pm. Learn about these magical creatures with an educational exhibits. It is an all-weather experience in the heart of Kuranda. Explore the enchanted tropical rainforest aviary and be surrounded by 1500 free-flying local rainforest butterflies, including the vibrant green Cairns Birdwing.

Accommodation: Oaks Cairns Hotel
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Situated on the Cairns Esplanade, minutes from the CBD and the Esplanade Precinct. The brand new property offers modern facilities, amenities and an amazing roof top bar! Explore the hustle and bustle the city has to offer or head up to view the city offering with a beverage!

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Day Seven - Depart Cairns and continue your onward journey!
Tour day 7
Meals included: Breakfast
Tropical Queensland by Rail - Day 7
Private transfer from your accommodation to Cairns Airport

A private transfer will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you to the airport in time for your departing flight.

Farewell from Australia

Farewell Australia today. If there is more of Australia or New Zealand you would like to explore, talk to your sales consult about planning your next stop!

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