Vintage Rail Journeys: North Coast Rail Tour

4 Day Rail Holiday Experience

From AU$2,789*
per person twin share or solo

This exceptional 4 day, 3 night journey takes you along the scenic North Coast Line through the Central Coast, the Mid-North Coast and Northern Rivers regions of New South Wales. You’ll discover the crystal clear creeks and uncrowded surf beaches of the Macleay Valley Coast, the breathtaking hinterland rainforest and eclectic community of Byron Bay, before crossing the border to the Queensland capital of Brisbane.

Prices are Per Person
2021 Journey Solo Cabin Twin Share Cabin
23 June Sydney to Brisbane AU$2,789* AU$2,789*
26 June Brisbane to Sydney AU$2,789* AU$2,789*
Bookings subject to availability. Valid for sale until 31 May 2021, Unless Sold Out Prior


  • 4 days plus 3 nights experience aboard the newly restored, iconic 1960’s ex-Southern Aurora Sleeping Train, travelling along the scenic North Coast Rail Line.
  • Sleep onboard in your own cabin, 6 meals, off-train excursions, ‘Aurora Explorer’ shuttle bus
    • By day, cabins feature lounge chairs for your comfort;
    • By evening, beds (double bunk or single bed) hinge down over the lounge chairs as your sleeping accommodation;
    • Twin cabin includes ensuite with shower, toilet, and vanity;
    • Single cabin includes vanity with two shared ensuite/shower at the end of the carriage;
    • USB adapter power outlets;
    • Drinking water in every cabin;
    • Air-conditioning;
    • Shelving and hanging closet;
    • All bedding; and
    • 30kg per person luggage allowance.
    • Lounge and dining cars

Itinerary Sydney to Brisbane (Alternate journey operates in reverse):

Your North Coast adventure starts at Sydney’s Central Station. Welcome aboard the Aurora Australis where you can choose to sit in the lounge or dining cars, or your private cabin while we travel over the spectacular Hawkesbury River, alongside Mullet Creek and through the ‘Venice of Australia’ to Brisbane Water. We skirt around Newcastle and on to Maitland in the Hunter Valley.

At Maitland we disembark and have two options for you: Discover Maitland where you will spend time at the Visitor Information Centre, Maitland Regional Art Gallery, and take a walk along the Levee, a shopping precinct running parallel to the Hunter River. Or, Discover Morpeth, a historic inland river port alongside the Hunter River. A visit to Morpeth is a real journey through time. Visit the narrow laneways, walk along sandstone footpaths and into heritage buildings where you’ll discover unique shopping, artisan treasures and delightful treats.

Lunch today is at your own choice and cost.

Your ‘Aurora Explorer’ buses will return you to Paterson throughout the afternoon where we will be stabling at the Paterson Rail Motor Museum.

Dinner will be served on-board the train this evening.

Enjoy breakfast on board as we head along the North Coast Railway line to Kempsey. The ‘Aurora Explorer‘ bus will take you into Kempsey where you will visit this mid-north coast town sitting by the Macleay River. We will visit the Slim Dusty Centre, an innovative museum dedicated to Australia’s iconic legend Slim Dusty where you will experience a wealth of music history and Australian culture and art. We will also visit the Kempsey Museum, where you can experience Aboriginal history, boot making, timber industry, military history, natural history, dairy industry, shipping, historical vehicles to name just a few subjects touched on in the collections, displays and historic artifacts. You can also spend time in the Dunghutti-Ngaku Aboriginal Art Gallery, the gallery showcases and markets works of prominent, established and emerging Aboriginal artists of the Dunghutti region and Mid North Coast area.

Weather permitting we will also spend time in the Arakoon National Park and the South West Rocks area. National Parks in this area have the best vantage points to see whales during their annual migration (from May to November). Guests will walk through the Trial Bay Gaol, an open-air museum that captures the history of the gaol.

Lunch today is at your own choice and cost.

Your ‘Aurora Explorer’ buses will return you to Kempsey station throughout the afternoon where we will be stabling for the night.

Dinner will be served on-board the train this evening.

Enjoy breakfast on board as we keep travelling towards the Northern Rivers Region and today stop at the Casino Railway Station. The ‘Aurora Explorer’ buses will once again meet us to take you to Byron Bay, a place known for its natural attractions and eclectic community. You will have the opportunity to ride the Byron Bay Solar Train the world’s first solar train.

While at Byron Bay, guests will have the opportunity to join the ‘Aurora Explorer’ bus with stops including The Farm, an 86-acre working biological farm in Ewingsdale; Stone and Wood Brewery who are local, independent and inspired by the idea of the ‘village brewery’.

Lovers of shopping and fashion are in for a treat today in Byron Bay. The ‘Aurora Explorer’ bus will take you to Habitat North Beach which is nestled in the heart of the Arts and Industry Estate and is Byron Bay’s latest community and lifestyle hub. Of course, no trip to Byron Bay is complete without a walk along Fletcher Street in the CBD. Dotted with all the best Byron Bay shops including charming boutiques, stocking luxuriant fashion labels and one-of-a-kind homeware pieces. You can also go to the beach, visit the many cafes, restaurants and bars or just wander through Byron Bay today.

Lunch today is at your own choice and cost.

Your ‘Aurora Explorer’ buses will return you to the heritage listed Old Casino Railway Station throughout the afternoon where we will be stabling for the night.

Dinner will be served on-board the train this evening.

Enjoy your last breakfast on board with us this morning at the Old Casino Railway Station. Today you leave the Aurora Australis and board Heritage Rail Cars heading towards the border and into Queensland. Similar to the Rail Car you travelled on yesterday in Byron Bay, these self-propelled vintage trains are as cute as a button! As part of your journey today you will traverse the Border Loop Spiral and tunnels, where the railway climbs 30 metres without making any forward progress. We hope you enjoy spending time on these rail motors today as you take the last leg of your North Coast Rail Tour with us.

Due to the limited capacity of the Heritage Rail Cars, there will be an early and late departure from Casino.

The early departure from Casino will enjoy an afternoon guided tour in the Queensland capital, Brisbane.

The late departure from Casino will spend the morning exploring the vibrant regional centre of Lismore, home to one of NSW’s most artistic communities, full of performers, painters, poets and musicians.

Concluding at Roma Street Station at 5:00 pm, it’s time to say goodbye to your Vintage Rail Journeys crew as you either head home or to your next adventure in sunny Queensland.

We hope you have had a truly memorable Vintage Rail Journey!  

*Terms & Conditions:

  • Bookings subject to availability.
  • Prices are per person twin share, in Australian Dollars.
  • Pricing correct as of 27 April 2021 and may fluctuate due to changes in availability, surcharges, fees or taxes.
  • Standard Travel Club Terms and Conditions apply.
  • This tour is offered and managed by Vintage Rail Journeys and their terms and conditions apply. In the event of cancellations due to covid, a credit will be offered. Twin Share cabins offer en-suite facilities. Solo cabins offer shared facilities.
  • No airfares are included in the featured package, but assistance with booking can be provided.
  • Cancellation and change fees apply. Bookings are non-transferable.
  • Travel insurance is not included in the package. Please ensure you have valid Travel Insurance, or request a quotation.