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7 Day Golden West Rail & Blue Mountains Tour

A portion of this tour runs as a group tour where you will be escorted by an expert tour leader. Another portion is self-guided, whether conducted by rail, cruise or land, and you will travel between destinations on your own, with free time to explore at your own pace.

Escorted Type
Partially Escorted

This tour is conducted at a medium-fast pace. Some long travel days may be required to complete this itinerary and you will typically spend two nights at each destination, with some one night stays required. This trip includes a mix of sightseeing and free time to explore at your own pace. You will be required to move about unassisted, including getting on and off vehicles, walking up and down stairs and some activities will be conducted on uneven or steep terrain. You will be required to handle your own luggage.

Pace
Moderate Pace

These tours allow you to experience the destination with a comfortable sized group. You will travel with between a maximum of 26-30 other guests depending on your selected tour. Please see the Important Information on your selected tour for exact group size. Enjoy features such as a wide range of included sightseeing, comfortable accommodation and a range of optional activities to choose from to best suit your travel style.

Group Size
Comfortable

Take advantage of our 7 day cooling-off period. 

Cooling Off Period
7 Days
Independent Tour
4287 people have travelled to this destination

✓ Incredible touring including exploration in the Hunter Valley, picturesque views aboard The Aurora Australis train, entry into the Werris Creek Railway Journeys Museum, visit a third generation orchard at Hillside Harvest, and guided touring through the Blue Mountains National Park
✓ 4 nights aboard The Aurora Australis train
✓ 2 nights at the unique, heritage-listed Carrington Hotel in Katoomba
✓ Breakfast daily, 5 lunches including a 2-course lunch at the famous Hydro Majestic, 5 dinners
✓ Lead by professional, English-speaking guides
✓ In-depth sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary

✈ Needing international airfares to accompany your Inspiring Vacation? You will be able to access our flight portal after securing your package to add international airfares to your booking.

What we love about this tour

Travel with the experts for a carefully curated, value-packed discovery of the world's most iconic destinations. Our tours are bursting with must-see sights, rich experiences and quality inclusions, all at an unbeatable price. Bucket list dreams are ticked off on these all-encompassing journeys.

Itinerary

Hotel
The Aurora Australis or Similar
Meals
Lunch, Dinner

Your Golden West adventure starts at 9:30am at Central Station in Sydney. Check-in will be at Platform 1 on the Grand Concourse at the Vintage Rail Journeys desk.

Once on board, you can choose to sit in the lounge or dining carriages, or your private compartment while we travel to the spectacular Hawkesbury River. You’ll then take a short walk to board the famous ‘Riverboat Postman’ for a lunch Cruise.

When you rejoin our train, you’ll enjoy views from the train which we think are some of the best in Australia. You’ll see the whole length of the train as we round the curves and the line traces the waters edge at Mullet Creek. The waterside theme is continued after we go through Woy Woy Tunnel and alongside Brisbane Water. We skirt around Newcastle and on to Maitland in the Hunter Valley. The train will be stabled for the night at The Rail Motor Society, Paterson.

Hotel
The Aurora Australis or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Today you will be visiting the Hunter Valley, and we have three choices for you.

  • Hunter Valley Gardens and the Village – Visit the 10 amazingly themed gardens with influences from all over the world. You will then have a choice of staying at the Gardens for longer, or walk/take the coach to the nearby Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village with it’s unique collection of boutique retailers promoting the best local produce, artistic talent, contemporary cafe dining and cellar door wine tasting
  • Hunter Valley Gardens and Audrey Wilkinson Wines – After viewing the gardens, board a coach to visit this winery established in 1866, set on top of a hill with spectacular views overlooking the vineyards. You will enjoy a guided wine tasting
  • Margan Wines – Travel by coach to Broke (this option does NOT visit the Hunter Valley Gardens). Walk down the garden path through the kitchen garden, then past the olives and vineyards into the winery for a guided, behind the scenes tour. learn how the single vineyard and sustainably farmed wines are made from vine to glass in this award winning winery. Note – to choose this option, you must have good mobility.

The coach will return you to Branxton Station where we will board our train, travelling the remainder of the Hunter Valley, and on through Ardglen Tunnel to Werris Creek. We will visit the Australian Rail Monument and Railway Journeys Museum. 

Dinner will be served on-board the train at Werris Creek Station, before we move to the rail yard where we will be stabled overnight.

Hotel
The Aurora Australis or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy breakfast on board the train, and take the opportunity to visit the Werris Creek Railway Journeys Museum, which the volunteers will open especially for you.  

You’ll then board coaches to meet with locals and gain a greater understanding of the Liverpool Plains, which boasts some of the best and most productive agricultural land in the country – it is our national food-bowl. We’ll spend the rest of the day travelling along the freight only line from Werris Creek, arriving at Binnaway Junction by mid-afternoon. At Binnaway Junction, you will have the opportunity to watch the locomotives go past the carriages while we change direction.

From Binnaway Junction we travel past Dubbo, where dinner will be served on-board the train on our way to Orange Railway Yard, where we will be stabled for the night.

Hotel
The Aurora Australis or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We’ll board coaches early this morning to enjoy breakfast hosted by Paula and Allen Charnock at Hillside Harvest. This is a third generation family run orchard, and the family has been growing fruit in the rich volcanic soils of Mount Canobolas since their first orchard was established in 1947. Their 75 acre property proudly yields many varieties of cherries, apples, pears, stone fruit and berries. After breakfast the coach will take you on a coach tour around Orange on the way to rejoin the train;

Our train will take you from Orange Railway Yard to Bathurst Railway Station.

A coach will then take you to Abercrombie House, an outstanding example of Victorian Tudor style architecture, built by the Stewart family in the 1870’s. The Morgan family purchased the house in 1969, have made major restorations and currently live in the house. Lunch will be provided at Abercrombie House. After lunch, the Coach will take you to Bathurst Railway Station to rejoin the train and continue our Golden West Rail Tour overnight train.

We will then have the rare opportunity to ride the closed Gwabegar Line from Wallerawang, up the Capertee Valley, the world’s widest canyon. The valley offers truly spectacular views and is credited as being one of the best railway journeys to be had anywhere. Enjoy Dinner on the train as we approach Rylstone where we will stabled for the night.

Hotel
Carrington Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy breakfast on board the train. We’ll then board coaches to explore Rylstone and surrounds. The district was settled in the 1820’s, making it one of the oldest settlements west of the Great Dividing Range. Rylstone’s streetscape features 19th century sandstone public houses, cottages and government buildings. You’ll enjoy a visit to either Rylstone Olive Press to see how cold pressed olive oil is made; or visit Kandos Museum to learn about the town’s industrial heritage including the production of cement that built the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

We’ll then reboard the train in time for lunch, as we travel back up the stunning Gwabegar Line and cross the Great Dividing Range to Wallerawang. At Lithgow we’ll travel through the 10 tunnels that replaced the Lithgow Zig-Zag, then cross the Darling Causeway on the way to Katoomba where we will overnight.

Hotel
Carrington Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Spend today at your leisure.

There are many suitable walks both within and outside of the Blue Mountains National Park which you may be interested in today.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch

The Blue Mountains National Park is one of seven national parks that make up the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. This wonderland of sandstone outcrops, deep ravines and hazy blue eucalypt forests boasts luxury retreats and stunning views. Today your guide will take you off the beaten track to visit remote lookout locations and discuss the history, flora and fauna of this magnificent region.

At approximately 10:00am, depart from your hotel in Katoomba to Eaglehawk Lookout, a remote lookout point away from the crowds for views of the famous Three Sisters. Whilst the Blue Mountains features so much more than this natural attraction you can’t help but admire the unquestionable beauty of this amazing rock formation. The character of the Three Sisters changes throughout the day and throughout the seasons as the sunlight brings out the magnificent colours. Here your guide will discuss the legends behind this famous rock formation and time available for you to take some great photos.

We then make our way around the mountain towards the village of Blackheath and our lunch venue the Hydro Majestic. Here in this relaxed venue with stunning views. We enjoy a 2-course lunch with tea/coffee. All diets are catered for (excluding Kosher Meals). Beverages can be purchased at your own expense from the bar.

The afternoon is spent visiting a selection of lookouts. Once you clap your eyes on the view from Govetts Leap you’ll know why it’s one of the most famous lookouts in Australia. The magnificent waterfall drops a whopping 180m to the base of the cliff. If you’re not mesmerised by the dancing waves of water spray, you’ll be transfixed by the sweeping views down the valley to the Grose Wilderness. We then stop briefly to enjoy a glass of sparkling wine or orange juice at the delightful Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens, our last stop, where we enjoy the sweeping views across to Sydney before travelling down the Bells Line of Road to arrive at Central Station approximately 4:30pm.

Inclusions

  • Incredible train journey aboard The Aurora Australis train
  • 4 nights in aboard The Aurora Australis train
  • 2 nights at the unique, heritage-listed Carrington Hotel in Katoomba
  • Breakfast daily, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
  • 2-course lunch at the Hydro Majestic
  • Lead by professional, English-speaking guides
  • Bespoke access and entrance to local sights and experiences
  • Meet and greet with third generation owners at Hillside Harvest orchard
  • Local guiding through the Blue Mountains National Park
  • Entry into the Werris Creek Railway Journeys Museum
  • In-depth sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary 

  • Hawkesbury River - Riverboat Postman cruise
  • Hunter Valley - Audrey Wilkinson Wines or Margan Wines visit
  • Werris Creek - Australian Rail Monument and Railway Journeys Museum
  • Werris Creek - local guiding through Liverpool Plains
  • Orange - breakfast at Hillside Harvest orchard
  • Bathurst - Abercrombie House visit
  • Capertee Valley - ride the close Gwabegar Line from Wallerawang 
  • Rylstone - explore the 19th century streetscape of Rylstone
  • Katoomba - be guided through the vistas within the Blue Mountains National Park
  • Katoomba - 2-course lunch at the Hydro Majestic
  • Katoomba - gawk at the 180m high Govetts Leap waterfall
  • Katoomba - complimentary sparkling wine or orange juice at Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens

  • By day, compartments feature lounge chairs for your comfort;
  • By evening, beds (double bunk or single bed) hinge down over the lounge chairs as your sleeping accommodation;
  • Twinette compartments include an ensuite with shower, toilet, and vanity;
  • Roomette (solo) compartments include a vanity & mirror. Two managed ensuite/showers are at one end of the carriage and a shared conventional toilet at the other end of the carriage;
  • High quality linen, towels (including face washers);
  • All carriages are air-conditioned;
  • 240V power outlet (CPAP suitable) in every compartment;
  • USB adapter power outlets in some compartments;
  • Drinking water in every compartment;
  • Shelving and hanging closet;
  • There is limited room in our compartments so please bring aircraft ‘carry on’ luggage and a garment bag.

Fine Print

Secure your trip with a $99.00 deposit per person.

Once we receive your deposit, we will send you an invoice with your remaining balance and payment options.

Instalment Schedule:

  1. At the time of booking pay a $99.00 deposit per person.
  2. Pay a 1st installment of $602.00 per person within 7 days.
  3. Pay a 2nd installment of $1,203.00 per person within 90 days.
  4. You will then be invoiced for final payment 120 days prior to departure.

This is a land only package.

This package does not include international airfares. If you would like to add airfares to your booking our flight portal will be available via your Traveller Hub. The flight portal will allow you to search for all available airfares to your destination. The function works like most general flight search engines allowing you to select your preferred airline, book different cabin classes (eg. Business class) and view flight durations and transit times to your destination. 

The flight portal will be available via your Traveller Hub once the following criteria has been met:

  • Your booking is confirmed
  • Your departure date is within 11 months
  • You  have completed your passenger detail form

Visit our Flight Hub for more information on terms and conditions, amending your flights and information on luggage allowances.

Some of our packages will include airport transfers in either one or both directions when arriving or departing from your destination. To know if transfers are included please view the ‘inclusions’ section of your selected package. If airport transfers are stated, transfers will be included as advised.

If transfers are not included, we also offer the option to book your airport transfers using our online portal. Access to this portal is available through your Traveller Hub once your booking is confirmed. Transfers are readily available and do not need to be booked until your final hotel list has been confirmed. Once you have made a transfer booking, please refer to your confirmation email for all transfer details including a local contact number for the transfer company.

It is the traveller's responsibility to ensure they have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the intended date of return. Visas may be required for your destination. For further visa information, click here.

Fitness Requirements
While the tour itinerary should give you some guidance and overview to the expected requirements, to determine if this tour is right for you we categorise each of our tours in terms of their intensity. These guidelines are to ensure that each tour group is conducted as expected and to ensure the overall satisfaction of all Inspiring Vacations customers.

As a general rule, porterage is not included, therefore at all times you are expected to handle your own luggage where help may not be available.

This particular tour is categorised as a”3”

Moderate Tour: A good level of fitness and mobility is required, as this tour includes a moderate level of physical activity and is considered a medium-fast paced tour. You should be able to walk up and down stairs, get on and off the coach and able to walk reasonable distances of approximately 2 kilometres per day or more with ease. Any physical ailments you may have must be disclosed at the time of booking to determine your suitability. If you have any form of walking aids, other than a walking stick or hiking poles, then this tour is not suitable.

Tipping
A friendly reminder that tipping is not included in your package. Tipping is not compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you feel that your guide and driver have done an impeccable job, you can choose to give a gratuity, but this is entirely your decision.

Accommodation
The accommodation listed is subject to change. Any changes will be of an equal or higher standard. Bedding configurations (double or twin) are requests only. All efforts will be made to meet your preferences, but we can’t guarantee your request will be available at all properties.

Single travellers
When booking this tour, solo travellers will be presented with two options:

1 - Single Supplement
By paying an additional $350.00 per person, in addition to the twin-share price, you guarantee the privacy of your own room throughout the entire trip.

2- Shared Room with a known friend
If travelling together with a friend, you can opt to share your room with him/her and avoid paying a single supplement. 

You and your friend can create a unique booking each. Creating a unique booking, gives each of you the flexibility of making different travel arrangements (such adding extra accommodation, flights, etc), make separate payments and have individual access to our Traveller’s Hub

During the purchase path, you will need to provide your friend’s booking ID (if known) or at a minimum, your friend’s full name

Twinette compartment - sole occupancy
Should you wish to have the twinette compartment to yourself, inclusive of private ensuite, you can upgrade to do so. Please refer to the On board section for the difference between twinette and roomette compartments.

Whilst on board the Aurora Australis, you will be allocated a roomette compartment, which includes a vanity & mirror. Two managed ensuite/showers are at one end of the carriage and a shared conventional toilet at the other end of the carriage as there is no private ensuite in your compartment. There is the option to upgrade to the twinette compartment for sole occupancy - please refer to the On board section for the difference between twinette and roomette compartments. 

During the 2 nights at the Carrington Hotel, you will have a private room with ensuite as part of the single supplement. 

Triple Share
Not available.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory for this tour to protect yourself against the unexpected. In addition to the support that a policy may provide, you may be asked to present a copy of your travel insurance documentation while traveling.

Children
Children must be 5 years old or above and share a room with parents at all times. Children are charged the same price as adults.

Tour Style
To meet the needs of various types of travelers, we choose to operate various types of tours, and depending on your selected package will mean different services are provided throughout your trip. The following descriptions of each tour style we hope will ensure that each traveller has appropriate expectations before they start their travels: 

  • Partially Escorted - A portion of these packages runs as a group tour where you will be escorted by an expert tour leader. Another portion is independent, whether conducted by rail, cruise or land, and you will travel between destinations on your own, with free time to explore at your own pace.

All participants must be in good physical condition to fully engage in this journey. For the safety and welfare of yourself and fellow travellers, if you are feeling unwell prior to departure, we advise staying home and contacting us to arrange alternate plans.

Prior to selecting your trip, carefully review the itinerary to assess your ability to comfortably manage our travel style. Please be aware that if, based on evaluation by our leader or local representative, a participant is deemed unable to safely complete the itinerary, we retain the right to exclude them from all or part of the trip without reimbursement.

It is advisable to consult your physician for current medical travel advisories and any required vaccinations before embarking. We recommend carrying a first aid kit and any necessary medications in their original packaging, as they may not be readily available during travel. For those carrying medication, it's essential to check your government's foreign travel guidelines for local restrictions or regulations.

  • International or domestic airfares
  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Departure airport transfer
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Tipping
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary
Why book with us
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