From the diverse landscapes of Down Under to the lush, mountainous terrain of Switzerland, this planet of ours has no shortage of spectacular scenery to admire, and what better way to take it all in than from the comfort of a plush train carriage? Here are five impressive rail journeys to add to your bucketlist in 2019. All aboard!
The Great Southern Australian Rail Journey
An unforgettable way to explore Australia’s south-east coast is on a brand new train journey from Adelaide to Brisbane on board Great Southern. Be one of the first to take in the exciting south-east corner of Australia on its first season, happening between 6 December 2019 and 21 January 2020. Stopping at multiple destinations including Canberra, the sandstone ridges of the Grampians, and the notable wineries of Hunter Valley, this trip is not short of entertainment. If you begin the journey in Brisbane, keep an eye out for the magnificent Twelve Apostles jutting out of the water as you scale the cliffs along Great Ocean Road near Melbourne on your way to Adelaide. And a journey down Australia’s east coast would feel incomplete without a stop at one of the many world class beachside restaurants along the way.
The Coastal Pacific Rail
The Coastal Pacific Rail in New Zealand has officially relaunched! Following a two-year break due to the damage caused to the rail line from the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, the Coastal Pacific Rail journey from Christchurch to Picton is up and running and will give you the opportunity to take in the Canterbury Plains, New Zealand’s bush-clad mountains, and of course the spectacular Marlborough Sounds. Keep an eye out for marine life, too – this journey takes you right along New Zealand’s picturesque Kaikōura Coastline, famous for its marine mammals and whale watching. And the best part is it only takes five hours from start to finish with services running daily in the summer. Day trip, anyone?
The Tren Crucero of South America
Named the Train of Wonders, begin your journey in Quito before immersing yourself in the gorgeous landscape of Ecuador. Marvel at the Avenue of Volcanoes that make up part of the Ecuadorian Andes and gaze upon the enchanting horizon of the Pacific Ocean. Then prepare for the thrill of riding the train down the steep 450-metre descent on the infamous Devil’s Nose Pass. With excursions included, you’ll also get the chance to learn about the many different cultures and histories of Ecuador before completing your trip in Guayaquil, “The Gateway to the Galapagos Islands”.
The Ultimate Great Train Tour of Switzerland
If any country knows how to do trains, it’s Switzerland, and the spectacular Great Train Tour of Switzerland is surely one of the country’s most impressive journeys. Starting and ending in the art and culture capital of Basel, this 13-day journey including hotel accommodation and breakfast has been specifically designed for the luxury and comfort seeker and will run from 1 April – 13 October 2019. You’ll have the chance to visit seven unique and beautiful ‘boutique towns’ including Montreux and Zermatt, as well as take a ride on the famous Glacier Express, which is considered one of the greatest train journeys in the world. Hot tip: You won’t want to miss a visit on the Jungfrau Railway to the world famous Jungfraujoch — a mountain rising 3,454 metres above sea level and suitably called the “top of Europe”.
The Belmond British Pullman
Hop aboard this glamorous vintage train as you travel across the British countryside. Constructed in the 1920s, you will feel as if you stepped back in time when you enter the beautifully restored carriages that ooze all the glamour of the art deco era. To push you even further into the magic of the world of Belmond, sign up for one of the themed day journeys, like The Golden Age of Travel, Murder Mystery, and Historic Bath, to name a few.
All of these rail journeys are available to book at www.railplus.com.au/great-train-journeys.