Train Travel

Trains arrive at Cairns Railway Station in the city center. The Sunlander, with its coach seats, fine-dining carriages and, on some services, luxury Queenslander-class sleeping cars, makes the 1,681-km (1,045-mile) journey between Brisbane and Cairns thrice-weekly in each direction, taking 31 hours (from A$161.20 for a nonrefundable economy seat, to A$499 for a flexible single/twin sleeping berth). The fast, modern Cairns Tilt Train plies the coast between Brisbane and Cairns twice-weekly each way, taking just under 24 hours: it has wide, reclinable business seats with individual 240-volt power sockets, built-in seatback TV/entertainment consoles, in-seat and galley dining, showers, and other comforts (A$221.40-A$369). Or travel even more comfortably on the new Spirit of Queensland, which takes an hour longer than the Tilt Train but includes state-of-the-art RailBed seats, which convert to pod-like beds (premium economy A$369; RailBed A$519, includes three meals). The Savannahlander links Cairns and Forsyth, taking up to four days (with overnight stops en route) to traverse 229 km (142 miles) of varying terrain including rain forest, savanna land, and arid Outback (A$690-A$1,200, accommodation and tours included). You can also take shorter segments of all these journeys.