The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - Travel
FOUR STATES, THREE DAYS
Ideal for those short on time but big on sightseeing, the shiny, swift Great Southern train covers four states in 72 hours. Using exactly the same sleeper carriages as the iconic Ghan and Indian Pacific trains, the service runs between Adelaide and Brisbane (or vice versa) from December to February, when it’s too hot for the Ghan to operate.
Passing through the vineyards of Adelaide Hills, the train stops at several lookout points above Victoria’s rugged, rocky Grampians National Park (Gariwerd), allowing opportunities for short hikes and tastings at wineries. Although there isn’t time to do a full trek to the largest peak in the park, an optional helicopter ride soars above Mount William and the Sera Range, where granite outcrops rise like waves.
Man-made works of art and architecture are on the agenda for a stop in the
Perfect pit stop: take in the stunning views at the Grampians National Park national capital, Canberra. See famous faces in the National Portrait Gallery, unravel political history in the Old Parliament House and join a food and wine tour in the fertile Southern Tablelands.
Finally, you’ll reach the sea at Coffs Harbour, a short drive from the Forest Sky Pier, a platform jutting above the 2,300-mile Great Dividing Range – the third-longest mountain range in the world. Back by the water, spend a few hours inhaling the scent of tropical plants at the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden or head south to Urunga for nature walks and storytelling led by representatives of the Gumbaynggirr people.
A three-day full-board trip ( journeybeyondrail.com.au) from Adelaide to Brisbane costs from £1,310pp, including meals; excludes flights