Five train journeys for the young at heart

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Adventure travel may often be associated with knee-wobbling adrenaline-fuelled activities, but for you, it may be quite the opposite. For you, it’s all about taking the time to explore new territories, mingling with the locals and wildlife, and introducing your tastebuds to different flavours, all the while appreciating the new settings and textures of the landscape that surround you.

Unsurprisingly, one of the best ways to do this is by rail. Not only is it comfortable, convenient and being able to enjoy the luxury of space and world-class on-board services including the fine dining, but also, the day excursion options are all so well thought out and organised.

Here are five Great Train Journeys we recommend for the young adventurer in you. And if any of these journeys take your fancy, Rail Plus has a $50 voucher for you to take advantage of for your next booking. All you need to do is answer a couple of questions.

The Ghan, Australia


This iconic rail journey is right in your back yard, so you don’t have very far to go at all! A fabulous start to ticking off this list of great train journeys, The Ghan covers 2,979km from Adelaide to Darwin and includes all the spoils you’d expect, such as comfortable cabins, good food, great bar service and fun day excursions. As you may have watched parts of it on SBS in January, the joy of slowly travelling through the heart of Australia is a thoroughly enriching and rewarding experience. Raw, rugged and spectacular are just some common words used to describe the Australian Outback – and that’s exactly what you will experience.

Rovos Rail, Africa


In a series of train journeys that last from 24 hours right up to a fortnight, the Pride of Africa links some of Africa’s greatest destinations from Cape Town to Dar es Salaam. From the game reserves of Mpumulanga, the thundering Victoria Falls and the desert landscapes in Namibia to the stark beauty of the Karoo, lush cane fields of KwaZulu-Natal and the magnificent garden route along the Cape South Coast, you will find an itinerary that suits your interests – even golfing!

Belmond Grand Hibernian, Ireland

The very first and only luxury train experience in Ireland, the Belmond Grand Hibernian is an exclusive and boutique offering with only 20 cabins per train (16 twin and four double), with each cabin named after an Irish county. You can pick from two, four and six-night itineraries to suit your interest, time and budget. What’s great about this experience is the luxuriously appointed Georgian inspired decor – travelling through Emerald Isle doesn’t get more stylish than this!

Grand Train Tour of Switzerland, Switzerland


From the country that continues to bring us some of the world’s best cheeses, chocs and clocks, their train journeys are equally as celebrated and definitely worthy of any bucket list. Not only are they renowned for their punctuality, more than anything, they are best known for their jaw-dropping scenic routes. From lush valleys to icy glaciers, and from the snow-capped Alps to the balmy Mediterranean, it’s all here in Switzerland. With eight different routes covering 1200km of tracks across all of the four language regions of the country, you can pick and choose your preferred journey from any point and at any time that suits your holiday schedule.

Eastern & Oriental Express, South East Asia


Travelling between Singapore and Bangkok doesn’t get more luxurious than onboard the Eastern & Oriental Express. Considered one of the most exotic train journeys available, you will experience ancient temples, winding rivers, quaint villages, the lush tropical countryside and wild jungle terrains that make this South East Asian peninsula so special. There’s even an optional excursion to the bridge over the River Kwai. The colonial setting of the train transports you to the region’s past, and also the 24-hour steward and fine dining services are top rate. It’s just charm and class all the way.

Now don’t forget, you can win a $50 voucher to go towards your next great train holiday booking by participating in this very short survey.

For more information on these train journeys and others around the world, head to or speak to a Great Train Journeys expert on 03 8799 4828.

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 13
  1. 0

    You left off the trans Siberian rail experience which is fantastic! I’ve done it 6 times now, stopping for a few nights at various points along the way. Penny

    • 0

      Hi Pen – Can you send me details on how to get the necessary visas to travel from Moscow to Beijing and the best places to stop along the way. And any other interesting facts for this journey. Thx

  2. 0

    what about the Canadian Rocky Mountaineer. spectacular views and great food and service.

    • 0

      Yes, the Rocky Mountaineer is fantastic, but very expensive. After the Rocky Mountaineer Gold Class (Vancouver to Banff) and an Alaskan cruise I took the VIA Rail from Vancouver to Toronto. The trip from Kamloops to Jasper is on the same rails, and just as spectacular, for a fraction of the price of the RM. The three day four night trip from Vancouver to Toronto was the highlight of our Canadian trip.

    • 0

      Off on the Rocky Mountaineer in August. Looked at VIA rail but thought I pay the extra for a bit of luxury instead.

      There are some great rail trios in NZ too. Did one out of Dunedin recently.

    • 0

      Do not let me put you off VCBB, the Rocky Mountaineer is a wonderful experience. Done it, loved it. Hope you see lots of bears and moose, the Canadian Rockies are absolutely wonderful. Enjoy.

      Agree with you about the Pukerangi train from Dunedin, absolutely wonderful.

      Maybe Leon should expand this to the top 50 rail journeys, there are plenty of candidates. Should keep him busy for a while.

    • 0

      spot on Eddy, far too many great ones to restrict to a list of five.

    • 0

      Another one to add to the list, Amtrak’s Adirondack between Montreal and New York, through the wine country of the Hudson Valley. Incredible beyond belief.

  3. 0

    I love the California Zephyr from San Fransisco to Chicago. You can spend 4th July in SF catch the zephyr and be in Chicago for The Taste of Chicago if you time it correctly. Brilliant holiday. Stay in the Hotel Chicago and get a free pass into The House of Blues whenever you want using your room key. All the concerts etc are free in Gran Park.

    The trip over the Donner Pass and down onto the plains following the Colorado River is amazing and a great mixed demographic onboard.

  4. 0

    The train from Anchorage to Fairbanks is pretty amazing.Very beautiful and not too expensive. Amtrak is good value compared to other train experiences.

    • 0

      the train from Cusco to Puno is pretty spectacular too. 10 hours through the Andes. The train passes through a market along the way where the stallholders dismantle their stalls to let the train pass then set them up again across the rails after the last carriage (the observation car).It happens so fast that when you look back you cant believe a train just passed through.

    • 0

      Off on that one to Fairbanks in August too. Catching cruise ship to Anchorage as well.

  5. 0

    How about the orient express Paris to Istanbul? A trip to behold.



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