Rediscover the Romance of Rail with Gulf Savannah Train Tours

12 May 2022

Experience all the history, wildlife, indigenous culture and environmental diversity outback Australia has to offer. Taking a train tour of the Gulf Savannah country on the Savannahlander or other train tours is one of the most popular ways to travel the area. It’s a pretty neat way to get the full outback experience in North-west QLD and the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Kuranda Scenic Railway

This is one of Australia’s most unique railway journeys and is bucket-list worthy. The railway tours through 15 tunnels and over 37 bridges and guarantees magnificent scenery.

On our Savannah Gulf Tours, guests will enjoy the 2-hour railway journey from Cairns to Kuranda. This expedition takes guests through the world heritage listed tropical rainforest, past magnificent waterfalls and into the scenic Barron Gorge. Travellers will enjoy a guided experience as the railway rises from sea level up to 328m.


The Savannahlander is a classic 1970’s ‘Silver Bullet’ rail motor that departs Cairns and travels to Forsayth via old mining towns such as Mt Surprise. The train takes guests from the coast up the famous Kuranda Scenic Railway, winding through rainforests and the savannah to outback Australia. At a relaxed pace guests will enjoy a highly personalised experience alongside the drivers and experienced guides.

On our 13 Day Gulf Savannah Discovery Tour guests will board the Savannahlander train at Dimbulah and take a journey exploring the scenic Atherton Tablelands and disembark in Koah.

Additional Tour Options

There are a few day tour and overnight accommodation options offered on top of on your Savannahlander or Gulflander tour.

Not only is it an amazing journey in itself, you can also take a short tour to Cobbold Gorge and Undara. The Undara Volcanic National Park features the famous Undara Lava Tubes created over 190,000 years ago! You can even stay in a restored railway carriage.

You can also opt for a tour from the old gold mining town of Mount Surprise to the old copper mining town of Einasleigh which is home to the stunning Copperfield Gorge.

Take a guided tour of the Chillagoe Caves National Park through the iconic limestone caves and witness the galleries of indigenous rock art.


The Gulflander train was built to connect the once-bustling river port of Normanton with the rich goldfields of Croydon. The train started operating in 1981 and for all you history buffs – the train still runs on original rails and sleepers. The three-car rail motor set is a taste of the past as one of the last majestic characters of the rail world.

The rail exists today as a tourist attraction and is said to be more of an adventure than just a train ride. The crew takes passengers on a guided journey through the iconic Gulf Savannah landscapes stopping at all attractions along the way. The small number of passenger space ensures that all onboard have a peaceful and personal experience.

If you’re travelling to Normanton then make sure to visit The Big Barramundi.

Spirit of the Outback

The Spirit of the Outback is a 1,325km rail journey that operates between Brisbane and Longreach. The train travels past coastal landscapes, through the mountains, sunburnt plains and historic towns into the Australian Outback.

On our 13 Day Gulf Savannah Discovery Tour you will settle into your comfortable, reclining seat and enjoy the ever changing, spectacular scenery on the full-day rail adventure to Emerald. You’ll pass through Barcaldine, Jericho, and Alpha as well as the gem field town of Anakie.

Tilt Train

The Tilt Train is the most modern passenger train in Australia and is the world’s fastest narrow-gauge train. There are 2 journeys you can take onboard the tilt train – Brisbane to Bundaberg or Brisbane to Rockhampton. These journeys will transport you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Southern Queensland. The Tilt Train offers a convenient way to start off your holiday, visit family or commute for business. The train connects passengers to some of the iconic tourist destinations in Queensland including Southern Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Coast, Bundaberg, Capricorn Coast & Burnett.

On this world class journey guests will travel east enjoying the beautiful scenery of Southern Queensland before arriving in Brisbane, enjoying European-level comfort and service.


Explore your sense of adventure and take the track less travelled onboard the Inlander. Discover the rich history and natural wonders of North Queensland’s rugged inland. Travel through the Great Dividing Range past Charter Towers before pulling into the heart of Queensland. The forward-facing seats on the Inlander are perfect for relaxing as you watch the natural treasures of Queensland disappear over the horizon. Depending on the journey complementary snack packs will be offered.

You may also want to opt for a tour or adventure from Mount Isa to Lawn Hill National Park (Boodjamulla) or the World Heritage Riversleigh Fossil.


Discover the true spirit of Queensland’s legendary outback as you travel the path of past explorers onboard the Westlander. Travel across the Great Dividing Range from Brisbane, through the abundant Darling Downs farmlands to Charleville. Sit back and relax in style as you travel through some of Queensland’s most scenic outback regions. Light refreshments can be purchased and depending on the travel sector, snack packs can be delivered.

There are also historical steam train options such as the Ravenshoe Heritage Steam Railway which travels to Tumoulin. You can also opt for self-guided tours to the sleepy towns of Georgetown which west of Mount Surprise, and Karumba on the coast just up from Normanton.

Be sure to check your tour options and make sure you know whether you need to depart Cairns railway station or a different origin. Different tours will have different inclusions such as morning tea and lunch, ensuite, single or twin share accommodation, late check-ins and other hotel rules.

Discover our Gulf Savannah Train Tours today.