TRAINS OF THOUGHT
SBS had an unexpected ratings success last summer with its first foray into Slow TV – a three-hour documentary following The Ghan’s 3000km rail journey through Outback Australia. Some called it boring, but enough armchair travellers were so mesmerised that Slow TV is coming back all through January, featuring classic travel by rail, sea and road. Tonight the camera is trained on a second iconic Aussie train, the Indian Pacific on its 4000km transcontinental crossing from Perth to Sydney. The footage, from nine cameras on the train and one from a helicopter, embraces the journey across the Nullarbor, through South Australian farmland and the NSW Blue Mountains.
Next Sunday offers three hours of a cruise from Broome to Darwin on board Coral Expeditions’ Coral Discoverer in Kimberley Cruise: Australia’s Last Great Wilderness.
Boating on southern England’s historic Kennet and Avon Canal is the subject of the two-hour All Aboard! The Canal Trip on January 20, and
North to South, traversing New Zealand top to bottom by rail, boat and road, finishes the season on January 27. The documentaries start at 7.30pm each Sunday, with 17-hour versions of the Australian and NZ instalments on SBS Viceland the following Saturday. And if you’re looking for something to do on Australia Day, an encore of the extended Ghan trip is showing all day. SBS.COM.AU
GREAT RAIL JOURNEYS
New itineraries in Australia, NZ, Europe and South America are among booking site Rail Plus’s top five Great Train Journeys for the new year. On home tracks, the Great Southern is operating three and fourday trips between Adelaide and Brisbane from December 6 this year to January 21, 2020. In NZ’s South Island, the five-hour Coastal Pacific is running daily between Christchurch and Picton until April 28. The service had been suspended as track damage from the 2016 earthquake was fixed. RAILPLUS.COM.AU/GREAT-TRAIN-JOURNEYS
SPIRIT OF HISTORY
A heritage railway round-trip through NSW and Victoria on diesel and steam locomotives will leave from Sydney on May 30. A restored 1966 diesel locomotive hauling heritage carriages will pull out from Central Station on the six-day Great Southern Loop. The trip includes overnight stops in Albury, Melbourne, Griffith and Parkes, and a lunch cruise on a Murray River paddle-steamer in Echuca. The Albury to Melbourne leg will be on the Spirit of Progress, that served the Melbourne-Sydney route from 1937 to 1986, with original carriages. The tour is from $3440 a person, twin-share ($3790 for solo travellers). CRUISEEXPRESS.COM.AU/CRUISE-LIST/ GREAT-SOUTHERN-LOOP
The number of European countries where train travellers can use a Eurail Global Pass