TRAINS OF THOUGHT

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - TRAVEL NEWS - SU­SAN BUGG

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

IN­DIAN PA­CIFIC

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

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