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Awesome Foursome Train Tour Review Of North Queensland

We have just returned from our incredible holiday and wanted to get this Awesome Foursome train tour review of North Queensland run by Great Value Holidays up as quickly as possible. In 7 days we rode on 4 trains – overnight Brisbane to Cairns on the Spirit of Queensland in a railbed sleeper, the Gulflander from Normanton, the Savannahlander from Forsyth and finally the Kuranda train from Kuranda Scenic Railway back to Cairns. What did we think? Would we do it again? Do we recommend it? Read on to find out.

Awesome Foursome Itinerary & Why We Chose It

Like most people, Pauline and I are starved of travel experiences as we come out of Covid times. We really wanted to get back to Bali BUT the airfares are ridiculous, so we went looking for something else. When we decided on this trip, Covid, border closures and travel restrictions were very much still a “thing”. So we decided to play safe and book a holiday in Queensland, so we couldn’t get locked out or in depending on which way the political winds blew.

As our readers will know, we like warmer climates, so North Queensland was on our radar. As it happens online, once we started Googling, our feeds become full of different trips, tours, accommodations, car hire etc etc etc. One day, an ad for this Awesome Foursome tour popped up on Facebook and got our attention. We aren’t massive train nuts, but the idea of the 4 trains certainly got us curious and the locations and towns were all places we had talked about doing over time.

The fare was very reasonable, and we decided why not! Ash at Great Value Holidays was very helpful in our email and phone conversations. He added some more details, filled in some holes and answered all our questions, so we handed over our credit card details and started to look forward to the trip.

The Itinerary

The trip started on a warm sunny Saturday afternoon in Brisbane, boarding the Spirit Of Queensland from platform 10 at Roma Street Station.

We settled into our railbed seats for our 26 hour trip to Cairns.

5.30 pm Sunday we were met at Cairns railway station by Sandy and Geoff from Great Value Holidays, who would be our guide and coach driver for the next 6 days. We checked into our accommodation at the Hilton Doubletree hotel for the night and then enjoyed a meet and greet over dinner and a couple of drinks at the Cairns RSL.

Monday morning buffet breakfast at the hotel before boarding the coach for our first day travelling from Cairns, up the Kuranda range, through Mareeba, Atherton Ravenshoe and into Georgetown for the night.

Tuesday morning back to the coach after breakfast where we left Georgetown and headed through to Normanton, staying the night in Karumba. Along the way, we passed through Croydon and enjoyed morning tea at Lake Belmore.

Wednesday morning we packed up and jumped on the Gulflander in Normanton before rejoining our trusty coach for a stop and tour of Georgetown before finishing at Forsayth which was home for the next 2 nights.

Thursday we boarded a 4wd bus for the trip out to the incredible Cobbold Gorge where we spent the day, and then back to Forsayth.

Friday we left Forsayth on the Savannahlander “Silver Bullet” train and made our way to Mount Surprise where we toured the amazing Undara lava tubes in the afternoon.

Saturday, our last day, and boarded the coach for our trip back through Ravenshoe to Karunda. Here we enjoyed some shopping time before boarding the Kuranda Scenic Train for our trip down the range and back to Cairns for our fair well dinner at the Cairns RSL.

The Details – Day 1 & 2 On Spirit Of Queensland

The day got off to a great start with a mid-afternoon departure, meaning no crazy early morning rushing around.

Once packed, we jumped in a taxi and made our way to Platform 10 at Roma Street Station in central Brisbane. The platform quickly filled up on this warm Saturday afternoon, and our nervous anticipation was on the increase. Pauline and I had never done an overnight train trip so this was a new experience we were really excited about.

The check-in and bag drop off process was simple, quick and easy. Before we knew it, the Spirit Of Queensland was pulling into the platform and in no time we were onboard. The boarding pass clearly stated your carriage and seat number and it was easy to find your way to your assigned seats.

Queensland Rail Map
Spirit of Queensland Route in Blue. Thanks to https://www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au/

Our first impressions were positive. We had paid extra for the railbed seats, where the seat is converted into a full lay flat bed by the staff after dinner. The seats were wide and felt comfortable. There is plenty of legroom, with overhead storage and space at the end of the carriage for larger luggage.

Spirit Of Queensland Rail Bed In Sitting Position
Spirit Of Queensland Rail Bed In Sitting Position. Not Really Built For The Larger Build

The train departed on time at 3.45 pm and quickly made its way through suburban Brisbane on our journey north. Before we knew it, the amazing staff were asking for our dinner and breakfast selections. Dinner was in a couple of hours at 6.30 pm, with breakfast at 7 am tomorrow.

All meals are served at your seat with an airplane like fold out table which was large and sturdy.

I would have liked to get more pictures on the train but I avoid taking photos or videos of others without their consent and a couple of the staff made it clear, in a very nice manner, that they didn’t want to be photographed or filmed.

Overall, the daytime comfort and amenities were great. There are ample toilets in each carriage, and they were kept spotless throughout the journey.

Dinner was served on time and was wonderful. I enjoyed the Coconut Crusted Barramundi with lemon dill sauce with creamy mash and vegetables. Pauline chose the Beef Brisket with smokey BBQ rub and mash. Both meals were excellent, and we shared with each other and would have been happy with either dish. We enjoyed the china plates and bowls and real cutlery instead of plastic knives and forks and cardboard box food.

Later in the evening is where I started having problems. At 5 foot 10 and 140 kg’s I’m a big man. The railbed once converted from a seat lacks padding and what I thought would be nice privacy provided turned out to be a pain in the rear.

If I laid on my back, my shoulders were touching pretty snugly on each side of the capsule to the point of being uncomfortable. Laying on my side was no better, as there was really no place for my arms except curled up in front and around my face in a very uncomfortable way.

Spirit Of Queensland Railbed in Sleeping Mode
Spirit Of Queensland Railbed Made Up in Sleeping Mode

Additionally, the 3 inches of foam in the seat did not convert into a comfortable or supportive mattress for sleeping, as was discussed with the travellers in the morning. It appeared that few if any found the railbed comfortable or conducive to a good night’s sleep.

The other big issue for light sleepers is the regular swooshing sound made by the air-operated doors between carriages. We were in seats 15 & 16 of carriage C, just 2 rows from a door, and the sound of this door opening and closing all night made it almost impossible to sleep.

If I’m being honest, I would estimate I only managed a couple of hours of very broken sleep. I ended up sitting in the lounge car from 3 am as I had given up on getting sleep.

Pauline slept better, but not good. She also woke up with sore hips due to the lack of padding in the seats/mattress.

Putting that behind us, it was soon breakfast time. Having breakfast and watching the sunrise while shooting along on the train was a great experience.

After breakfast, we headed to the lounge car for some additional caffeine from the skilled barista. They made a mean latte, and we would strongly recommend it. The day passed quickly while we enjoyed our coffee watching the cane fields fly by along with the regular stops at stations.

The train stops frequently throughout the day at almost every station. As smokers, we took the opportunity to jump off and have a quick smoke at each stop. It was noticeable that as we worked our way north with each stop, you could feel the temperature increase along with the humidity, and we loved it!

Brisbane has been cold this winter, and it was great to escape the cold and get some warmth into our bones.

The highlight of the day was stopping at Tully station. The station master here spends a huge amount of time, beautifying the platform with plants, and it was amazing to step off the train into this amazing green oasis.

Spirit Of Queensland Stopped At Tully Station
Spirit Of Queensland Stopped At Tully Station

Before we knew it, an announcement over the train intercom that we were approaching Cairns station and the end of our trip.

Once we pulled into Cairns station, it was quick and easy to collect our checked bags before finding our Great Value Holidays host Sandy on the platform. Sandy checked off a roll call and once all 28 of us were there, we headed to the bus for the short trip to our accommodation for the night, Doubletree Hotel by Hilton.

After check-in, we dropped our bags in our room. We had 20 minutes for a quick freshen up before heading to the Cairns RSL across the road for a group dinner, where we started to get to know our travelling companions for the next 6 days.

After the horrible night’s sleep on the train, sinking into the luxurious bed at Doubletrees was bliss, and we enjoyed an early night in bed.

Day 3 – Cairns to Georgetown 377 klm’s

As usual, I was awake before sunrise and took the opportunity to sit outside in the fresh air with a book and just think about what the next 6 days would include. I was feeling super refreshed after the super comfortable bed and a solid few hours sleep.

I woke Pauline at 6 am and we headed down for the included full breakfast at 6.30am. We bumped into some of our new friends, and it was clear that we all shared a nervous excitement at what lay ahead.

After breakfast, it was all aboard the bus, our new home for the next 6 days. As buses go, it was pretty standard. 40 seats, 2 on each side of a central walkway. We met our driver Geoff, and it turned out that Sandy and Geoff are a husband and wife team who have been running these tours for several years.

Sandy and Geoff are locals who live on the Atherton tablelands. They love this part of Australia and are extremely knowledgeable and enjoy sharing their knowledge and experiences with the tour. The 2 of them really added to the overall experience.

Heading north out of Cairns, we turned left and headed up the Kuranda range and onto the tablelands, leaving the coast behind. At the top of the range is Mareeba, elevation 400 mtrs. We continued onto Atherton, elevation 752 mtrs for our first stop.

Back on the bus and onto Ravenshoe, Queensland’s highest town at 930 mtrs. Stepping off the bus for lunch was a real surprise. It was a very comfortable temperature with an almost cool breeze gently blowing. Ravenshoe, amongst other things, is home to Queensland’s highest pub, so of course, we have to enjoy a cold beverage to celebrate the occasion.

After lunch, it’s back on the bus and we are heading to our first night’s accommodation at the Latara Motel in Georgetown. Along the way, we passed through Innot Hot Springs and Mount Surprise.

Etheridge - The Start Of The Remarkable Savannah Way
Etheridge – The Start Of The Remarkable Savannah Way

It’s about 5 pm when we arrive in Georgetown, and it’s pretty much what we expected. A very small outback town with a population of 348. It’s dry, dusty and 38 degrees. Our accommodation for the night is the lovely Latara Hotel on the outskirts of Georgetown.

The rooms are a good size and the air conditioning had been turned on early, making the rooms nice and cool for our arrival. We drop our suitcases, have a quick freshen up and head down to the front of the hotel where we enjoy a couple of drinks with the group in the shade of a large tree.

We sit in the shade of this tree talking about the day we have had and what lies in store while watching the sunset over the Queensland bush and it’s a memory that will stay with us for some time. It’s now dinner time, so we head into the restaurant for what will become a familiar experience, dinner.

The restaurant is air-conditioned and provides some respite from the heat of the day. Dinner is served from a bain marie and is either roast beef or pork with potatoes and vegetables. It’s a simple dinner but done very well and the serving sizes are very generous. Shame on me, but I don’t remember what the dessert was, I do remember they were all very tasty for the whole tour.

After dinner and another couple of drinks, it’s time to call it a night and head to our room for a shower and some sleep. The rooms had want we hoped for, efficient, quiet air-conditioning, a hot shower and a comfortable bed. Tick, tick, tick.

After a good night’s sleep, we are up at sunrise for breakfast before heading off on our next adventure travelling to Karumba on the west coast of Queensland.

Day 4 – Georgetown to Karumba 372 klm’s

After a head count of the bus, we are off! Geoff provides some more local history and information over the pa system. It’s not long until we have our first stop of the day at the Cumberland Lagoon and chimney.

Sadly, due to the lack of rainfall in this area, there isn’t any water to be seen, however, the chimney is in great condition and well worth a photo opportunity.

Back on the bus and we head off to Lake Belmore, located on the outskirts of Croydon. After hours of driving through this dry and arid landscape, to drive over a small crest and see this beautiful lake, surrounded by green, was an unexpected surprise.

Lake Belmore Croydon North Queensland
Lake Belmore located at Croydon in North Western Queensland. A welcome reprieve from the dust and heat.

Lake Belmore was our stop for morning tea. A coffee and a piece of fruit cake while enjoying the views over Lake Belmore was very relaxing. It was amazing how much cooler it was sitting at the lake compared to only a couple of kilometres away in town. A body of water this size really makes a difference to the climate.

Back on the bus and we head to Normanton which will be our lunch stop. The Albion Hotel in Normanton was a surprise with a large rear deck with fans and a lunch menu with plenty of options. Our meals were really good and very filling which we discovered was a thing in the bush – large serving sizes and great value for money.

A reproduction of Krys the largest saltwater Crocodile Found In Australia
A reproduction of Krys the largest saltwater Crocodile Found In Australia

After a long, relaxing lunch and a couple of ales to wash away the dust, it’s back on the bus for the short 45 minute trip across to Karumba.

Our itinerary included a tour of the Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre which Pauline and I both didn’t think sounded very interesting, but we were wrong.

The interactive discovery centre was fascinating and very informative. Did you know that all Barramundi are born male, and some then change sex?

After our self-paced stroll through the displays, it was time for a group presentation and barra feeding experience, which turned out to be a lot of fun and had everyone on the tour having a laugh.

The Fish Hates Me! Hand feeding Barramundi

We then had an early check-in to our accommodation for the night at Ash’s Holiday Units. Again, the rooms were basic but had the essential three, a comfortable bed, cold and quiet air conditioning and a nice hot shower. Once checked in and refreshed, it was just a short walk in the balmy late afternoon to the Sunset Tavern for a cold drink and to watch the sunset.

The sea air, great views, ice cold beer, great company, what more could you ask for? The sunset was incredible and exceeded our expectations.

Watching The Sunset Over Water In Karumba North Queensland
Watching The Sunset Over Water In Kuramba North Queensland

Dinner time at Ash’s and our choices tonight were herb crusted barramundi of course or a steak. A special treat on each table was a generous number of local wild caught, super fresh, prawns to get started with. OMG! The prawns were the highlight of dinner for us. Incredibly tender and just delicious!

Another day comes to an end, and we discuss over a coffee how much we have enjoyed the last 2 days. We didn’t realise it, but the best is yet to come.

Day 5 – Karumba to Forsayth 412 klm’s

Our day starts with our now traditional bacon, eggs and toast with a couple of cups of coffee. Everyone is excited because today we will be riding the Gulflander train, the second of the Awesome Foursome our tour is named after.

We check out of Ash’s Holiday Units, board the bus for a quick head count, and then it’s back to Normanton where we will board the Gulflander train for this morning’s trip.

While none of our group were outright train junkies, we did book a tour that had 4 train trips and we are looking forward to number 2 today, The Gulflander.

It’s just starting to warm up when we arrive at the cute Normanton Railway Station. The main station building was constructed in 1895 and is a magnificent example of construction from that era. It is beautifully maintained and really set the vibe for the day ahead of us.

After a quick group photo we had some time to look around the small museum at the station and admire the train we would soon be riding.

The Gulflander is a 2 carriage train with the rail motor/loco number RM93 and is a 102 horsepower Gardner diesel engine railmotor built at Ipswich Railway Workshops in 1950. It arrived in Normanton in 1982; the name Gulflander was painted on the sides by 1987.

Gulflander Train About To Leave Normanton Station
Gulflander Train About To Leave Normanton Station. A Remarkable Experience That We Will Remember With Fondness

We loved the way the train has been painted to represent the colours of the area being red/brown. All seats face in the direction of travel and are in a 2 x 2 configuration. They are reasonably comfortable with decent padding, which will definitely be needed once we start moving.

Each carriage has a toilet and fresh drinking water available data any time, which is really important in the Queensland Outback. The temperature was forecast to hit 38 degrees Celsius, and with the carriages having no air conditioning, staying hydrated is essential.

Before we knew it was “All Aboard” time and our adventure got started. We immediately realised this was not going to be the most relaxing and comfortable train ride we have ever been on, but we still were very excited about the day ahead.

The track and sleepers are laid directly on the natural ground. No fancy ballast out here. This is an ingenious design as it allows the annual flood water during the wet season to raise and fall without affecting the track.

The staff were incredible on the Gulflander. Very knowledgeable and quite funny with many a yarn to tell. We stop for morning tea and everyone gets a souvenir coffee cup to remember our Gulflander experience.

It’s very warm/hot. The train is bumping and rickety and noisy but it’s a hell of a good time, learning how the country was settled and understanding how tough life was 100 years for the founders of this part of Queensland.

Before we know it, our time on the Gulflander is up and it’s back on our airconditioned bus and into Croydon. Lunch at the Croydon pub and then some time to fully explore the beautiful town. There is so much history here.

Historic Croydon Courthouse
Historic Croydon Courthouse. Press The Button For Audio Commentary. Good Fun!

The local Council have done an amazing job of restoring some of the old buildings. The Police Sergent House and the Court House are well worth the visit with really interesting audio-visual displays taking you back in time.

After a very pleasant few hours exploring Croydon, it’s back on the bus for our trip to Forsayth where we will be spending the next 2 nights at Finnigans Rest, next to the best pub in town (only pub in town) the Goldfields Hotel. 

Day 6 – Forsayth to Cobbold Gorge & Back To Forsayth 92 klm’s

The theme of good comfortable accommodation and plenty of food continued in Forsayth at the Goldfields Hotel and Finnigans Rest accommodation.

Rooms are basic but comfortable with plenty of hot water for a shower, good quality air conditioning and a comfortable double bed. Pauline and I can guarantee you will not go hungry on this tour! 

Dinner was a choice of 2 roasts and veggies and a nice dessert. Served from a bain marine, it is simple food done really well and we have no complaints.

Have dinner and a couple of drinks recounting the day’s travel with our new friends then off for a shower and some shut eye.

After another huge hot breakfast and the obligatory coffee or two it’s time to board the 4wd bus for the trip out to Cobbold Gorge which turns out to be an absolute highlight of this trip.

After an hour’s drive through some pretty sparse, dry and inhospitable landscapes we enter the Cobbold Gorge Village and WOW, just WOW. An absolute jaw dropping moment to see what the Terry family that owns this area has created.

Due to its remote nature on the farm, Cobbold Gorge wasn’t discovered until the early 1990s. Since then the Terry family have invested a huge amount of blood, sweat, tears and no doubt a lot of money to create the Cobbold Gorge Village.

Cobbold Gorge Showing It's Beauty
When You Picture The Australian Outback This Is What You Imagine And Cobbold Gorge Did Not Disappoint

Cobbold Gorge Village has won numerous State and National tourism awards and is currently ranked in the top 10% of all attractions worldwide on TripAdvisor.

While it’s incredible to see from the ground and I’ll let you be the judge of that by scrolling through the below photos, a helicopter ride over and through the gorge will really help you understand the majesty of this area.

Cobbold Gorge North Queensland
Cobbold Gorge From The Air Showing The Glass Walking Bridges

If you are planning a trip to north Queensland, a day or three at Cobbold Gorge is an absolute must. Keep in my mind that Cobbold Gorge is only open from the 1st of April to the 31st of October due to the wet season.

Glass Walking Bridge Ove Cobbold Gorge
Glass Walking Bridge Ove Cobbold Gorge Which Wasn’t For Those Scared of Heights

Find out more about Cobbold Gorge by clicking here

After this incredible day, it’s back to Forsayth for more food, drinks, talks around the fire and a solid night’s sleep.

Day 7 – Forsayth To Mt Surprise Via The Savannahlander (Train 3) 133 klm’s

Up and about early for a hearty hot breakfast and coffee before packing up and checking out of rooms at Finnigans Rest. We really enjoyed our 2 night where and recommend others experience the local hospitality for themselves.

Today is going to be a HUGE day with our 3rd train ride, the Savannahlander up to Einasleigh for lunch at the pub before spending the afternoon exploring the Undara lava tubes which have been on my bucket for many years.

Savannahlander Train in Forsayth
Savannahlander Train in Forsayth Ready For Boarding

The track from Cairns to Forsayth was laid between 1887 and 1910. It is still owned and maintained by Queensland Rail and is 100% reliant on tourism for survival.

The Way Forward For The Savannahlander Train
The Way Forward For The Savannahlander Train

The (in)famous rail cars known as the Silver Bullet are from the 1960s being built in Brisbane.

The Savannalander, while still a bit rough, is many times smoother and more comfortable than the Gulflander. Our guide Tim quickly discovers we did the Gulflander trip a couple of days earlier and it is obvious there is a bit of friendly competition between the crews of these two famous North Queensland tourist trains.

The seats are generally comfortable, there are operational toilets and plenty of water available on board. The scenery is interesting with excellent commentary from the crew who expertly intertwines the history of the Savannahlander train into the story of the local areas.

We stop for the obligatory morning tea where we are presented with our stainless steel coffee cups to keep as a souvenir. Tim informs us that these are far better cups than the ones we were given on the Gulflander train. More friendly banter that was really enjoyable from a true Aussie larrikin.

Morning Tea On The Savannahlander At Camp Birdwood
Morning Tea On The Savannahlander At Camp Birdwood

It’s back on the Silver Bullet and before we know it we are pulling into Einasleigh and disembarking our train for lunch at the local pub. Einasleigh is a small, very small town perched on the banks of the Copperfield and Einasleigh Rivers. 

Right in front of the pub, just a couple hundred meters is Copperfield Gorge which is well worth spending a few minutes exploring before settling in at the pub for lunch.

After a relaxing lunch, it’s back on the bus for the short trip up to the Undara Lava Tubes.

The Undara Lava Tubes, are a captivating testament to the Earth’s violent geological history. Formed around 190,000 years ago during a volcanic eruption, these ancient tunnels were carved by molten lava flowing through a dry riverbed. The top, outer-layer cooled and formed a crust, while the molten lava below drained outwards, leaving behind a series of hollow tubes. tubes stretch for over 160 kilometers beneath the Australian outback, making them one of the longest and most remarkable lava tube systems on the planet.

One Of Many Entrances To The Undara Lava Tubes
One Of Many Entrances To The Undara Lava Tubes Showing The Impressive Size Of This Natural Phenomenon

Exploring the tubes requires a reasonable level of fitness with a lot of steps in and out at the multiple entrances. The boardwalks, stairs, signage etc are in excellent condition and are very safe to traverse even in the heat and humidity of a north Queensland late spring.

Undara Lava Tube From The Inside Looking Out
Undara Lava Tube From The Inside Looking Out

At the end of this incredible experience, it’s off to our accommodation for the night at the quirky Mt Surprise Tourist Park. Another neat, tidy cabin with an excellent meal provided by the staff. After all the exercise at the Undara Lava Tubes, everyone certainly had a hunger and a thirst tonight before settling in for a well deserved sleep.

Day 8 – Mt Surprise to Cairns Via Kuranda Scenic Railway 317 klm’s

Before we know it we’ve arrived at our last day on this incredible trip through north Queensland. It may be the last day but we’ve still got a bit to complete including the last of our awesome foursome of trains – the Kuranda Scenic Railway down the range and back into Cairns.

We start off with a relaxing hot breakfast before checking out and loading ourselves and our suitcases into the coach for the last time.

We enjoy the leisurely pace this morning as we meander up the Kennedy Highway and into Ravenshoe for morning tea and a bit of shopping at the local craft shops.  At some point, we became aware that the top pub in Ravenshoe is actually the highest pub in Queensland. A few of us decided that we needed to check it out and see how the beer tasted. Of course, this was purely for scientific reasons.

Local Goods Are Sold In Ravenshoe At This Jam Packed Store
Local Goods Including Clothing, Art, All Sorts Of Ornaments and 101 Other Things Are Sold In Ravenshoe At This Jam Packed Store

I can confirm that the beer was cold and tasted very good.

Back on our coach for the run up to Kuranda for some more shopping time, lunch and then boarding the Kuranda Scenic Railway.

Kuranda is an interesting town. “Alternative” is probably the best description I can come up with. There is lots of tie-dye clothing, crystals, incense and anything else that screams 1970’s. The people are so chilled and friendly they are obviously doing something right up there.

After a healthy vegan lunch and Pauline’s determination to buy a souvenir at every shop we stopped at it’s time to head to the train station for an experience that is one of the highlights of the trip.

We were quite surprised to find that our tickets for this last train ride were actually in the Gold Class section with beautiful, soft, padded lounge style chairs. Absolute luxury!

The tickets included afternoon tea featuring a selection of Queensland and local Tablelands produce such as Gallo Dairyland Cheese, Skybury Coffee, Wondaree Macadamias, Tropical Sorbets, freshly baked muffins, quality Australian white and red wines and Great Northern Brewing Company Super Crisp Lager.

Combined with the scenery, the comfortable seating and the company of our new friends this was an experience that will live with us for a long long time.

Kuranda Scenic Railway Passing Over Stoney Creek Falls
Kuranda Scenic Railway Passing Over Stoney Creek Falls

The scenery, the views, and the commentary as we descended the Great Dividing Range was mesmerising. The thick, lush rainforest with so many shades of vivid green was such a change to the reds, oranges and browns of the Savannah we had spent the last week traversing.

The Kuranda Scenic Railway Train Heading Down The Range With Stoney Creek Waterfall In The Background
The Kuranda Scenic Railway Train Heading Down The Range With Stoney Creek Waterfall In The Background

All the scenery was beautiful in its own way but the contrast in just a few kilometers is hard to comprehend. The train makes a few stops along the way to provide photo opportunities, which we of course had to participate in.

The Kuranda Scenic Railway Train On The Stoney Creek Bridge
The Kuranda Scenic Railway Train On The Stoney Creek Bridge

Sadly, before we know it we are on the approach to Cairns Railway Station as our adventure rapidly reaches its’ conclusion. Back on the coach for the very last time for the 5 minute ride back to where it all started, the Hilton Double Tree Hotel.

Cane Fields & Ocean For The First Time On The Kuranda Scenic Railway
Cane Fields & Ocean Come Into View For The First Time On The Kuranda Scenic Railway

We check-in with time for a shower and change of clothes before meeting up for our final group dinner at the Cairns RSL to enjoy the meals we booked 8 days ago.

The food was great, the drinks were plenty and the conversation enthusiastic, albeit tinged with a hint of sadness that our adventures had come to an end.

Our Summary Of Our Awesome Foursome Train Tour Review. Was It Worth It & Would We Do It Again?

Was the tour worth it – Yes

Would we do it against – yes, in a heartbeat

From the minute we booked this tour we were very pleased with the level of communication and quality of the information provided by Ash and the team at Great Value Holidays.

Everything that was promised was delivered, in fact, I would say they underpromised and over delivered in multiple ways.

There were a couple of people on the tour who would have a bit of a whinge about aspects that I felt weren’t justified. The tour promotional material was clear in describing the standard of accommodation and meals.

We were in remote outback towns with tiny populations and limited access to supplies. I am pretty sure that the populations of these towns doubled when we showed up.

The standard of meals was very good and it was certainly plentiful. No one was ever hungry. Did roast and veg get a little monotonous, maybe but if someone is cooking and cleaning for me, I’m happy.

I’m not sure why anyone would be expecting a la carte menus in a pub or hotel in a town of 40 people. It just doesn’t make sense at any level.

We couldn’t find anything to complain about. The whole experience is one we will remember and hold dear for many years. In fact, we are looking at doing other tours with Great Value Holidays in the near future. Stay tuned for that one.

Check out this tour and the other interesting tours run by Great Value Holidays by clicking here.

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