Step back in time and travel on board a fleet of restored 1960s ex-Southern Aurora sleeping carrriages and enjoy hearty meals in our dining carriage. The Southern Aurora Train ran from Sydney to Melbourne from the 1960s to the ‘80s.The decor in your compartment is straight out of the 1960’s, and you’ll find the service from your guest attendant to be just like flying Business Class. You will travel on rail lines which don’t have scheduled passenger services, making this a real adventure!
A morning flight with Air New Zealand to arrive in Sydney midday. We then transfer to Circular Quay to board our Sydney Harbour Lunchtime Cruise. Enjoy the spectacular scenery of Sydney harbour before checking into our harbourside hotel. Afternoon free to relax.
This morning we take a guided walking tour of “The Rocks”. Hear the legends and history of Sydney as you stroll the shoreline of the sparkling Sydney Harbour. The afternoon and evening is free to explore.
Your adventure starts at Sydney’s Central Station. Once on board, you can choose to sit in the lounge or dining carriages, or your private compartment. First stop is at the spectacular Hawkesbury River where you board the famous ‘Riverboat Postman’ for a lunch cruise.
After that as we continue, you’ll see the whole length of the train as we round curves. Then the line traces the waters edge at Mullet Creek on through Woy Woy Tunnel to Maitland in the Hunter Valley. The train will overnight at Paterson Rail Motor Society.
Today you have one of three choices of off-train experiences for a visit in the Hunter Valley.
Hunter Valley Gardens and the Village - Visit 10 amazingly themed gardens with influences from all over the world. Afterwards you will then have a choice of staying at the Gardens for longer, or walk to the nearby Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village with its unique collection of boutique retailers promoting the best local produce, artistic talent, contemporary cafe dining and cellar door wine tasting;
• Hunter Valley Gardens and Audrey Wilkinson Wines - After viewing the gardens as above, coach to this hilltop 1866 winery with spectacular views to enjoy a guided wine tasting;
• Margan Wines - (this option does NOT visit the Hunter Valley Gardens) Coach to Broke for a guided, behind the scenes tour through the kitchen garden, the olives and vineyards into the winery. Learn how the single vineyard and sustainably farmed wines are made from vine to glass in this award winning winery. NOTE: For this option you must have good mobility.
On re-boarding, the train will travel the remainder of the Hunter Valley, and on through Ardglen Tunnel to Werris Creek.
After an onboard breakfast, take the opportunity to visit the Werris Creek Railway Journeys Museum, volunteers will open especially for you. Then by coach get to meet with locals and gain an understanding of the Liverpool Plains, it is NSW national food-bowl.
The rest of the day the train travels along the freight-only line from Werris Creek, arriving at Binnaway Junction by mid afternoon where we change direction. And continue past Dubbo, dinner will be served
on-board the train on our way to Orange Railway Yard, where we overnight.
This morning’s breakfast is hosted by Paula and Allen Charnock at Hillside Harvest, a third generation family run orchard where the family has been growing fruit in the rich volcanic soils of Mount Canobolas since first established in 1947. This 75 acre property yields many varieties of cherries, apples, pears, stone fruit and berries. Following this a coach tour around Orange on the way to rejoin the train which will then continue our journey to Bathurst Railway Station. Here a coach to Abercrombie House for lunch. (An outstanding example of Victorian Tudor style architecture.). Continuing on the train we have the rare opportunity to ride the closed Gwabegar line from Wallerawang, up the Capertee Valley, the world’s widest canyon with its truly spectacular views, to our overnight at Rylstone.
Enjoy breakfast on board the train. We’ll then by coach to explore Rylstone and surrounds.
Settled in the 1820’s, it is one of the oldest settlements west of the Great Dividing Range it features 19th century sandstone public houses, cottages and government buildings. Visit to either Rylstone Olive Press to see how cold pressed olive oil is made; or visit Kandos Museum to learn about the town’s industrial heritage including the production of cement that built the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Back on board for lunch, as we travel back up the stunning Gwabegar line then cross the Great Dividing Range to Wallerawang. At Lithgow we’ll travel through the 10 tunnels that replaced the Lithgow Zig-Zag, then cross the Darling Causeway on the way to Katoomba. Here we disembark after a truly memorable Vintage Rail Journey, for a two night stay.
Today’s coach tour of this dramatic area includes Echo Point and Three Sister (great photo stop), Luera Cascades along with time to linger in the village, Jamieson Lookout, Govetts Leap and more. Tonight a farewell dinner.
After breakfast we journey down to Sydney airport for a late morning flight home on Air New Zealand to arrive late afternoon.
• Air New Zealand Economy flights Auckland – Sydney // Sydney - Auckland
• All transfers on tour
• Two nights in Sydney Harbour side accommodation
• Sydney harbour cruise and lunch
•’The Rocks” Sydney harbour walking tour
• Four nights / five days onboard the Aurora Australis Vintage Train
• Vintage Train daily excursions included
• Hawkesbury River Cruise included
• Hunter Valley Experience included
• Private breakfast at Hillside Harvest Orchard
• Private lunch at Abercombie House
• Daily cooked breakfast
• Most meals included on tour
• Two nights in the Blue Mountains
• Blue Mountains scenic tour
• Pukekohe Travel escort, subject to 15 people travelling
|Cost Per Person * |
Auckland - Auckland
*This is a cash price. Credit cards will incur a 1.5% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment
• Items of a personal nature
• Travel Insurance (please ask us for a quote)
• Airline and airport taxes (approx $235)
• Items not specified
• A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person will secure a place on the tour
• Full payment is due no later than 01 July 2024
• From the date of booking to 01 July 2024– loss of deposit
• After 01 July 2024 – no refund
• Travel insurance is essential – please ask for a quote.
• Daytime – comfortable touring clothes, good walking shoes. Evening – smart casual for hotels and train.
• Checked-in luggage is not accessible during the train journey. Pack a smaller cabin bag with the essentials for the four nights.
• A current passport is required, valid six months beyond date of travel
• No visa is required for New Zealand Passport holders
• All other passport holders – please ask
• The Australian Dollar – ATMs available in major towns
• A good standard of fitness is required for this tour. The ability to walk unaided for 500 metres is essential. The train is unstable while travelling, therefore you need to be firm-of-foot. Mobility frames and wheelchairs are not practical or permitted. It is expected you will arrive on tour fit, healthy and ready to travel.
• We expect you will arrive on tour fit, healthy and ready to travel.
This classic vintage train reflects the exact décor and facilities when she was the first-class train travelling in the 1960’s. She reflects the original condition; comfortable onboard, but not luxurious
• The train does not travel at night, which makes for a comfortable night’s sleep
• Twin Cabin - a comfortable sleeper cabin that features a small private en-suite and upper and lower berths that convert to a three-seater lounge by day
• Single cabin - a compact sleeper cabin features a bed that converts to a seat by day and shared shower/ toilet facilities located at the end of the carriage
• Fresh hearty meals are prepared onboard and sourced from local produce
• Tea and coffee, soft drinks, juice are included. The bar is well stocked and comes at a modest additional cost
• The lounge carriage is the social heart of the train and onboard meals are all served in the private dining carriage
• The staff onboard are fantastic and they reflect the family owned values of creating a home away from home.
• For full terms and conditions please visit our website www.pukekohetravel.co.nz/termsandconditions or please ask our tour consultant for a copy
Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change