Overland from Oz Itinerary Overview: Northern Queensland

“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – Mark Twain

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quiestest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” – Pat Conroy

Brisbane to Cairns - Northern QueenslandOn to Northern Queensland. This leg starts with a 30 hour train journey to travel most of a single state. If you were ever in any doubt about how big australia is, this single leg of the journey should put paid to that!

I’ve driven from Northern NSW to Queensland before, though admittedly I wasn’t the one driving, but I’ve never hugged the coast like I will on this leg of the journey. Though at least 1/4 of the journey will be in darkness, I am looking forward to seeing Queensland, and particularly Northern Queensland, in a brand new way: from the window of a train carriage.

I’ll be catching a service run by Queensland North Coast Railway, and in particular the Sunlander. It leaves twice a week from Roma Street before heading north through such gems like Mackay and Proserpine, Rockhampton and Townsville, and home hill. I always thought Home Hill was a nice name for a town.

The Sunlander has been voted Australia’s top rail journey and has been named as one of the world’s top 25 rail journeys. I’m not exactly sure who by, but that’s what Queensland Rail has on their press materials and it sounds pretty good in any case.

I’m still debating whether to sit on this leg in economy or pay for a sleeper – 31 hours is a long journey, even on a train. Prices for an economy seat for this leg range from $161 to 269.00, and sleepers only go up from there.  It’s a

economy sunlandertriple sleeping on sunlanderdifference between this view on the left – open saloon style (like airline seats) or this one on the right which would mean sharing with a couple of others but a much higher likelihood of sleep — and most importantly access to a powerpoint. That is a given in Europe on trains, but unfortunately not in Australia. The price for the one on the right?

They range between $268 and $349.

It’s definitely a hit to the wallet – flying this route has cost me about $150 each way both times I’ve done it in the last year. Yes, train travel is not always cheaper!

Day 5

  • Depart Roma Street, Brisbane (early PM)

Day 6

  • Arrive Cairns, Queensland (early evening)

Day 7

  • TBA

Day 8

  • TBA

Day 9

  • TBA

Day 10

  • TBA

Day 11

  • Depart for Singapore. (By Plane). Read Why

 

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Where you come in!

Are there any places I should go in Northern Queensland? Artists i should talk to? great places for street art I should visit? Do you want me to visit with you group, organisation or church?

I’d love any ideas, feedback, suggestions or thoughts you might have. This is sort of a ‘choose your own adventure’ so on the  facebook page I’ll be asking questions about where you think I should go on this trip. Your comments, advice and links to other resources that might be useful will be most welcome on the posts I’ll be putting up about the whole Overland from Oz adventure. The planning is just as much part of the adventure as the actual trip!

Listening. Observing. Participating. Writing. Photographing. Reflecting.

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DSC_0003Traveler. Scholar. Photographer. Writer. Dreamer. Teacher. Not a Pedestrian Life is a crazy adventure marked with photos and word and inspired by the incredible women in Anna’s family, especially her late grandmother, whom she knew as Nan-Nan.

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