Great Southern, Adelaide to Brisbane
Launched in December 2019 to great fanfare, trains on the new Great Southern line travel daily from Adelaide to Brisbane (and vice versa) giving travellers a great new way to explore Australia’s diverse south-eastern corner. Operated by Journey Beyond, the company that runs the famous Ghan and Indian Pacific lines, guests on the Great Southern can book on a three-day northbound or a four-day southbound journey, stopping off at some fantastic destinations including Canberra and the Hunter Valley on the way. Travelling in luxurious style, passengers will enjoy an all-inclusive journey from coast to coast that takes in spectacular beaches, wild forests and buzzing cities.
Prices from: AUS $1,649
Departing from: Adelaide and Brisbane
Journey length: 2 or 3 nights
Great Southern routes
Guests are offered the chance to travel on two different journeys. The first, a two-night, three-day trip from Adelaide to Brisbane gives those on board the chance to enjoy a hike in Victoria’s spectacular Grampians National Park, enjoy a guided tour of the nation’s capital Canberra, and also an opportunity to visit the stunning northern New South Wales coast.
Meanwhile on the three-night, four-day southbound journey you’ll get the chance to enjoy a unique beachside dining experience in northern New South Wales, a fun wine-tasting day in the Hunter Valley plus a visit to see Victoria’s fast-disappearing Twelve Apostles or alternatively, a trip to see the sights of lively Melbourne.
Great Southern train
The Great Southern is a handsome train with its distinctive sunset-inspired burnt orange livery. As well as its sleeper carriages, it also boasts three dining carriages, each with their own ambience and personality.
Cabins on Great Southern
There are three levels of service on the Great Southern: Gold Service Single, Gold Service Twin and Platinum.
Gold Service Single – this compact sleeper cabin features a bed that converts to a seat by day. Shared shower/WC facilities are located at the end of the carriage. Your luggage allowance is 60kg per guest.
Gold Service Twin – this has three seats which convert into sleeping berths; twin cabins have an ensuite WC and shower. Your luggage allowance is 60kg per guest.
Platinum – these cabins are almost twice the size of Gold with a double bed or twin beds, lounge chairs, a table and full-size ensuite bathroom. In the carriage you’ll enjoy large window views from both sides of the carriage as well as Bollinger champagne, Australian Appelles Apothecary toiletries, Haigh’s chocolates and a complimentary nightcap at turndown.
Food and drink
On board you’ll find three dining carriages – the Queen Adelaide restaurant decorated in art deco style evokes the golden era of rail travel, the Outback Explorer Lounge offers a more relaxed social setting, while the Platinum Club (only available to Platinum Club guests) features quartzite table tops and brass fittings.
All guests on board will enjoy hearty seasonal Australian fare including great steaks and fresh fish dishes. Vegetarian and special dietary meals are also available when you make your booking. All drinks are included in your fare so this trip is a great way of trying out some of Australia’s best wines and beers.
Australians are known for their casual dress style so there is no dress code on the train. If you’re travelling in the winter, bring some warm clothing with you as it can get cold at night.
The Great Southern is popular with retired Australians who love to discover their own country after they have stopped working. You’ll also find a few European and Americans on board too.
All accommodation, drinks and meals are included in the price as well as off-train excursions. Platinum guests are also given private transfers to the train at the beginning and ending of their journeys, within a 60-kilometre radius of the terminal.
Pros and cons
This is a great way to see some of Australia’s most spectacular countryside and cities and the food, accommodation and excursions are excellent. The only downside on the two-night trip is that you’ll wish you’d booked a longer journey so you could stop off on more stops on the route.