The exciting luxury train journey connecting Adelaide and Brisbane

Jul 23, 2021

The Great Southern connects Adelaide and Brisbane via a scenic route along Australia’s south-eastern corner.

While still very new to the scene, it’s quickly building a reputation as Australia’s third essential rail adventure (alongside the much-loved Ghan and Indian Pacific).

Following its first two limited seasons (and a hiatus last summer), it’s set to make an eagerly-awaited return this December – with travel lovers from the Starts at 60 community taking the trip together over Christmas and New Year at a special discounted rate. Read on to learn more about this unique journey.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • This is a relatively limited experience, running only over December and January. This season will have just nine departures in each direction.
  • It’s operated Journey Beyond Rail, the company that runs The Ghan and The Indian Pacific. The latter travels from Sydney to Perth, while The Ghan connects Adelaide and Darwin through Australia’s Red Centre. Both are considered among the world’s greatest train journeys.
  • You’ll be riding in the very same carriages as The Ghan (and for a cheaper fare). This trip was designed to put the iconic railway’s carriages to good use over summer, when the Red Centre is too hot for practical travel. While the itinerary is drastically different, the onboard perks are the same high standard.
  • You’ll get a markedly different experience depending on which direction you travel: either a two-night, three-day journey from Adelaide to Brisbane, or a three-night, four-day trip from Brisbane to Adelaide. The northbound journey (Adelaide to Brisbane) includes a number of stops, with guided tours at the spectacular Grampians National Park in Victoria, Canberra and beautiful beaches on the northern New South Wales coast, near Coffs Harbour.
  • Covering a totally different region of the country, the return southbound journey (Brisbane to Adelaide) features beachside dining in northern New South Wales, a tour of the Hunter Valley and a stop at the magnificent Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.
The Twelve Apostles – one of the stops on the Brisbane to Adelaide journey. Source: Getty
The Twelve Apostles – one of the stops on the Brisbane to Adelaide journey. Source: Getty
  • The sleeper trains include single and twin cabins, as well as more ‘exclusive’ platinum cabins. This Business Class-style experience will give window views from both sides of the train, access to a beautifully-decorated Platinum Club carriage, an expanded menu of food and wine, and plenty of great VIP teaches.
  • It’s a solo-friendly experience. Like its sister trains, The Great Southern offers single-occupancy cabins that will often cost less per person than a Gold Service twin share cabin.
  • You can expect a similar level of hospitality to The Ghan and The Indian Pacific, with enough exceptional wining to keep the gourmands happy.
  • The core experience is all-inclusive, with fares including onboard meals, beverages and a selection of off-train excursions.

As a Starts at 60 community member, you can enjoy some huge and exclusive discounts on The Great Southern‘s Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve departures from Adelaide. Save up to $960 per twin share cabin or up to $450 per solo cabin!

And with fellow over-60s along for the ride, you can tick this exciting new itinerary off your bucket list in the company of great new friends! Learn more here.

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