Spirit Of The Outback
Queensland Rail's Spirit of the Outback is a great way to sample the range of rail travel available in Queensland.
Feeling like a break from those roadtrips and the same old tunes playing for hours on end? Are meals at roadside servos wearing a little thin? Then why not let someone else worry about the "driving" while you sit back and relax as the amazing Queensland countryside rolls by? For Spirit of the Outback is one travel option that ticks all the boxes.
From the moment passengers check in at Roma Street station (where conveniently located and free parking takes the hassle out of being dropped off) to the end of the journey, Queensland Rail staff extend warm hospitality and provide friendly service, making this unique adventure truly enjoyable. The Spirit of the Outback is a great experience and a very pleasant way to travel along the Queensland coast to Rockhampton and then as far west as Longreach - the heart of Queensland's Outback.
Through panoramic windows, enjoy every inch of the journey as the train winds its way through a landscape that changes constantly. The 1,300km trip from Brisbane to Longreach takes roughly 25 hours, stopping briefly along the way at heritage towns like Blackwater, Emerald and Barcaldine.There's plenty of history to be found in these outback towns for those passengers who plan to stop over, otherwise it's all aboard for Longreach where iconic attractions and Aussie larrikins abound.
There are two travel options aboard the Spirit of the Outback - economy seating or first class private cabins (twin or single). Whilst economy seating is comfortable, the first class private cabins certainly make for a more relaxing experience. A private cabin features: comfortable seating which the First Class Attendant converts to a bed in the evening; a vanity unit, wash basin, mirror and a 240 watt power point; a small wardrobe with hanging space; a side table conveniently located near another power point - handy to recharge devices; a general cabin light and a reading light near the head of the bed and a speaker to enable passengers to hear any announcements made by staff.
A nice touch is the generous amenities pack supplied to each first class passenger. The pack includes both men's and women's products - Queensland made with a focus on organic and sustainable production. All linen is provided in the cabin and a bathroom and toilet can be found at the end of each first class carriage. Water coolers and cups are available throughout the train.
The Spirit of the Outback is air conditioned, keeping passengers comfortable regardless of the outside temperature. Economy passengers can purchase light refreshments and meals from the Shearers Rest servery during the journey, whilst first class passenger meals are included in the fare and are served in the Tuckerbox which is the first class dining room.
These meals are a highlight of the trip, with the best of Queensland produce being used by on board chefs to create generous-sized, delicious meals. Menu items may include taste tempters like Homemade Damper with a trio of Dips, Wild Outback Barramundi, Tuckerbox Lamb Shanks, Steamed Buderim Ginger Pudding, Frontier Cheese Platter (including Kenilworth cheeses) and for breakfast the Stockman's Hot Breakfast. All meals (except breakfast) come with a wine recommendation.
First class passengers can also enjoy relaxing in the Shearers Rest first class lounge. This is the perfect spot to read the paper, sip a cool drink, enjoy a coffee, soak up the passing scenery or exchange travel tales with fellow passengers.
Doesn't this sound like a great alternative to the roadtrip? Understandably, as the sun sets and the Spirit of the Outback pulls into Longreach station, there is an air of regret that this journey has come to an end. It certainly whets the appetite and opens discussion about future holiday rail adventures.
Need to know - once the seats in the first class private cabins are converted to beds, space gets a little tight. Take only what you really need for overnight with you into your cabin, check the rest in at Roma Street station. Wear comfortable clothing for the journey - smart casual clothing is appropriate for meals in the dining room.
For further details about fares, timetables and bookings, check the website.
By Sandy Ludinski
Departs Roma St
Approx 25 hrs travel
1800 872 467