Sydney Return • Feb 22 - Apr 23
Experience the heart of Australia’s food bowl, stopping at regional towns and attractions throughout the Riverina.
You will also travel on rail lines which don’t have scheduled passenger services, making this a real adventure. Come with us to discover acclaimed wines, taste gorgeous fresh produce and explore the natural scenery throughout the region.
Relax aboard a refurbished 1960s sleeping train – fully restored ex-Southern Aurora carriages to their original condition. Celebrate Australia’s diverse history and rich culture with visits to regional towns, gardens and attractions. You will also travel on rail lines which don’t have scheduled passenger services, making this a real adventure.
Aurora Australis is a restored 1960s sleeper train, formally known as The Southern Aurora which ran overnight passenger express journeys between Sydney and Melbourne from 1962 up until 1986. Now fully refurbished, carriages have been brought back to life, restored with love back to their original condition.
The Compartments have two room options available, Twinette Compartments cater for couples and Roomette Compartments for singles. By day the compartments feature lounge chairs for your comfort with the evening being changed into beds which hinge down over the lounge chairs – double bunk for Twinette or single bed for Roomette. Twinette also includes an ensuite with shower, toilet and vanity and the Roomette includes vanity and mirror with two shared ensuite/showers located at one end of the carriage and a shared toilet at the other end.
The Lounge Carriage is where you can enjoy pre and post dinner drinks which is a perfect place to catch up with fellow travellers and meet with friends – new and old. Bar attendants are on hand to serve you, with water, soft drink and juices included. Aurora Australis is licensed to serve alcohol which can be purchase at an additional cost. Their liquor license does not allow BYO.
The Dining Carriage serves regional cuisine, freshly prepared by chefs onboard and where possible using locally sourced and fresh produce. Seating 48 guests, set to tables of four, staff onboard will do their very best to ensure you are seated at your preferred time and with your preferred travel companions.
Unpack only once and enjoy everything that slow rail touring provides!
Spectacular sea views from the Illawarra Railway Line
Coolamon Cheese Factory
Emeri De Bortoli’s Private Garden
Temora Rural Museum and Ambulance Museum
Blue Mountains Villages
Twinette Compartment: Your private compartment for two people – a great place to sit and watch the scenery roll by during the day
Twinette Compartment: Your day lounge provides seating for up to 3 people, so invite a friend for a chat!
Twinette Compartment: By evening, an upper and lower bunk hinge down over the day lounge, Guest Attendants will ensure that your bed is made and ready for you
Roomette Compartment: Your own private compartment – a great place to sit and watch the scenery roll by during the day
Roomette Compartment: By evening, a single bed hinges down over your day lounge, and Guest Attendants will ensure that your bed is made and ready for you
Lounge Carriage: perfect place to catch up with fellow travellers and meet with friends, new and old
5 Day Itinerary
Your Riverina adventure starts at Sydney’s Central Station. Once on board the Aurora Australis, you can choose to sit in the lounge or dining cars, or your private cabin while we travel along the Illawarra Railway Line, through the Royal National Park and offering spectacular views of the South Coast to Wollongong. We then travel on a freight only line up the Illawarra escarpment, pausing at Summit Tank Railway Station, where you are provided with a rare opportunity to take photos of the stunning vista out to sea.
Lunch will be served onboard the train today, so that you can experience all that the Aurora Australis has to offer. We join the Main South Line at Moss Vale and continue to Goulburn where we depart the train and hop onto our private Aurora Explorer buses to explore the sights and historic offerings of Australia’s oldest inland city. The train will be stabled for the night at Goulburn Railway Station.
Enjoy breakfast on board as we leave Goulburn and continue along the Main South Line. We pass many interesting villages and towns today as we travel through the Canola Trail, so keep an eye out for the many grain silos adjacent to the rail line. Today we spend time in Coolamon, stopping at the Coolamon Railway Station dated 1881. Coolamon is named after the Wiradjuri word for a vessel carrying goods, children and water, “Gullaman” and this little town offers us a warm welcome.
Flanked by the Train Station at one end of the street and the Fire Station at the other, we have developed an afternoon experience of ambling the beautifully preserved heritage main street of Coolamon. A stop at the Coolamon Cheese Factory is a must for anyone who likes cheese or is interested in the cheese making process. The Up-To-Date Store, built in 1909 plays host to a variety of museum displays and collections. A stroll through this heritage listed building will bring back memories for some and offer interesting stories for others. The Coolamon Fire Museum hosts a truly amazing private collection of fire fighting equipment, uniforms and memorabilia. Along with heritage museums and buildings, the main street contains many local shops, restaurants and cafes, making this afternoon an unforgettable experience for all.
We will return to Coolamon Railway Station throughout the afternoon in preparation for a 3pm departure. We will travel along the Yanco to Griffith Line. Dinner will be served on-board the train at Murrami Grain Siding, where we will be stabled for the night in the serenity of the Australian bush.
This morning we will board coaches to join the Piccolo Family (owners of Limone Dining Restaurant) who will be hosting our breakfast this morning on their 20 acre farm just outside of Griffith. Using sustainable farming practices, all of their produce is harvested by hand and free of chemicals and pesticides. This is an excellent way to experience farming in Griffith as well as sample their delicious produce.
After breakfast we will enjoy the best that Griffith has to offer using our private Aurora Explorer shuttle bus. Explorer stops include the Griffith Regional Art Gallery, the Griffith War Memorial Museum, Emeri De Bortoli’s Garden Il Compo, various wineries, providores and local shops so that you can experience Griffith’s distinctive food and wine culture.
Lunch today is at your own choice and cost.
Your ‘Aurora Explorer’ buses will return you to Griffith Station throughout the afternoon in preparation for a 3pm departure, travelling on the freight only Lake Cargellico Line. Dinner will be served on-board the train at Temora Railway Yard, where we will be stabled for the night.
Breakfast this morning is on board the Aurora Australis before experiencing Temora. Today you choose one of two Temora tours.
- The Aurora Explorer Bus will take you directly to the Bundawarrah Centre which houses the Temora Rural Museum. Spend the morning experiencing the history of the region including a cottage of hardwood slabs that was Sir Donald Bradman’s first home, a one room public school, bush church, country dance hall, printery, flour mill and ambulance station. The Ambulance Museum includes ambulance vehicles and conveyances dating back to 1897 and originating from throughout Australia, including NSW, ACT and Victoria.
- The Temora Aviation Museum was built on the site of the biggest and longest lasting RAAF Elementary Flying Training School during World War II. Spend the morning in the three main exhibit buildings, the Museum which is in the original 10 EFTS Guardhouse; the second exhibition area, located in the Engineering Hangar overlooking the aircraft which are currently in maintenance; and the display hangar which houses the new exhibition area along with the aircraft.
Your ‘Aurora Explorer’ buses will return you to Temora Station in preparation for a 12pm departure. Lunch will be served in the Dining Carriages as we travel on freight only lines via Stockinbingal. There are many freight trains to pass on this single track line, and we are likely to experience substantial delays. Dinner will be served on-board the train as we travel through Parkes and onto the Broken Hill line to Orange Rail Yard at an unknown time (!) where we will be stabled for the night.
Enjoy breakfast as we travel from Orange and towards the Great Dividing Range. On through Lithgow and through the 10 tunnels that replaced the Lithgow Zig-Zag, then cross the Darling Causeway on the way to Mount Victoria.
Stopping at Mount Victoria, you will depart the train and board your Blue Mountains Explorer Bus, which gives you access to the ‘Hop-on, Hop-off’ service to explore the vibrant Blue Mountains Villages in your own time. Walk out to the edge at Echo Point, see the majestic Three Sisters. Take a ‘Scenic World‘ ride (optional extra – tickets may be bought on the train). Check the waterfalls and the vibrant villages. Visit Everglades Historic House and Gardens. Leuralla Toy and Railway Museum is a must visit!
Lunch is at your own arrangements in the picturesque Blue Mountains villages.
At 4:00pm we will again board the train for our return to Central Station at approximately 6:30pm.
You will have had a truly memorable Vintage Rail Journey!
Day to day itinerary is subject to change due to circumstances beyond the tour operators control.
All meals while onboard – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
All water, soft drinks and juices included. Alcohol can be purchased for an additional cost (sorry, no BYO allowed)
By day, compartments feature lounge chairs for your comfort
By evening, beds (double bunk or single bed) hinge down over the lounge chairs as your sleeping accommodation
Twinette compartments include an ensuite with shower, toilet, and vanity
Roomette (solo) compartments include a vanity & mirror. Two managed ensuite/showers are at one end of the carriage and a shared toilet is located at the other end of the carriage
High quality linen, towels (including facewashers); All carriages are Air-conditioned
240V power outlet (CPAP suitable) in every compartment
USB adapter power outlets in some compartments
Drinking water in every compartment
Shelving and hanging closet – There is limited room in compartments so please bring aircraft ‘carry on’ luggage and a garment bag
Tour Dates & Prices
|Departure Date||Return Date||Price Per Person|
|27/02/2023||03/03/2022||$4,250 per person twin share*|
|27/03/2022||31/03/2022||$4,250 per person twin share*|
|28/08/2022||01/09/2022||$4,250 per person twin share*|
|25/09/2022||29/09/2022||$4,250 per person twin share*|
|05/03/2023||09/03/2023||$4,250 per person twin share*|
|02/04/2023||06/04/2023||$4,250 per person twin share*|
*Pricing is for Twinette (per person twin share) and Roomette (single) – there is no extra single supplement charge
Commences: Central Station, Sydney at 9:00am Sunday
Concludes: Central Station, Sydney at 6:30pm Thursday
Terms and Conditions
All pricing is on a per person twin share basis, unless otherwise noted ie: stated as a single. All prices based on cash payment – credit & debit card fees may apply. Deposits, amendment and cancellation conditions apply. Please note that many of the prices shown on this website are not shown in real time. Whilst we endeavour to keep our pricing as up-to-date as possible, the advertised prices shown here may differ slightly from the live prices in our booking system. All pricing and offers are subject to availability at time of booking. Whilst all information is correct at the time of publication, offers are subject to change. We reserve the right to correct errors without penalty. Full Terms & Conditions of tour/cruise operators will be supplied on booking, or ask us for full Terms & Conditions at the time of enquiry.