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4 iconic rail experiences in one incredible outback tour


With their magic blend of like-minded travellers, onboard banter and rhythm of the rails, train journeys can transport us to the very heart of a destination. Building communities, forging new opportunities and contributing to our nation’s story, the railway in Queensland has provided that all important link between the coast and the bush.

Outback Aussie Tours have expertly crafted their 2023 Journey of the Gulf Savannah tour between Brisbane and Cairns to include four iconic rail experiences – The Tilt Train, Spirit of the Outback, Gulflander and Savannahlander. This tantalising blend of authentic rail experiences, and overland 4WD coach touring through the magnificent Gulf Savannah Region, is sure to entice both rail buffs and adventure seekers.

These are a few of the highlights…


Made by Queenslanders to connect Queenslanders, the high-speed Tilt Train is an exciting first leg of the tour. Travelling the 639-kilometre daylight trip between Brisbane and Rockhampton, guests can relax with on-board meals and beverages, as well as in-seat visual and audio entertainment.

One of the most scenic sections of the iconic Spirit of the Outback journey is between Emerald and Longreach. This daylight rail section traverses the rich farmlands of the Central Highlands to the sapphire town of Anakie. It then passes through the stunning Drummond Range and Hannams Gap, sitting at 451 metres above sea level.

The Gulflander, affectionately called ‘Tin Hare’, takes guests on a nostalgic journey along the heritage-listed Normanton to Croydon railway line in the Gulf Savannah region. This rail connection, between the once bustling river port and gold fields, was established in the late 1800s.

Bringing in yet another era of rail is the Savannahlander, a classic 1960s ‘silver bullet’ railmotor. Aside from the Gulf Savannah region, other rail tour highlights include the scenic Kuranda Range, World Heritage listed rainforests and agricultural areas of the Atherton Tablelands. 


Perfectly placed on the mouth of the Norman River in the Gulf of Carpentaria, lies the coastal town of Karumba. This is truly where the Savannah outback meets the sea. Discover the amazing secrets of the mighty barramundi at the Barramundi Discovery Centre. Sunset experiences step up a notch on a fabulous Gulf sunset cruise to a remote sand island for freshly prepared seafood delights.

Tucked away on a privately owned cattle station, a magnificent sandstone gorge awaits. Cobbold Gorge is Queensland’s youngest gorge, set amongst an ancient landscape. The guided cruise glides between towering cliffs in a specially designed electric-powered punt, so it’s whisper quiet. The experience now includes Australia’s first fully Glass Bridge spanning a 13-metre gap and a 19-metre drop into cool spring fed water.

The Undara Lava Tubes are part of the world’s longest lava flows from a single volcanic crater. These tubes were created when the Undara Volcano erupted some 190,000 years ago. One of the best ways to experience the lava tubes is on the guided Archway Explorer tour. It’s quite a feeling stepping inside these ancient structures. Access is easy via wooden boardwalks too.

If you like the sound of these rail and Gulf Savannah experiences, take a look at Outback Aussie Tours’ 2023 Journey of the Gulf Savannah. You’re in good hands travelling with an Outback Queensland touring specialist. This is their backyard, so who better to show you around!