A NEW rail experience aboard a vintage sleeping train through regional NSW launches next April.
Over five days and four nights, the Aurora Australis - named after the 1960s Southern Aurora sleeping carriages that make up the train - will take travellers from the heart of Sydney to previously unexplored places as well as perennial favourites.
"The carriages have recently been painstakingly restored back to their original condition, and anyone on board this trip will be among the first to travel in them post-restoration," said Vintage Rail Journeys chief executive Simon Mitchell.
The itinerary has been designed to provide exciting contrasts over some 1500km.
"We will travel along the stunning coastal scenery of the Hawkesbury River, through the farm regions of the Central West, and then alongside huge sandstone cliffs in the Blue Mountains," Mr Mitchell said.
"All of this will be viewed from the comfort of your private cabin.
"Importantly, the train will only travel during daylight hours, so you don't miss any of the spectacular scenery."
Mr Mitchell said the company had scoured the rail network to find quiet places to stay for the night so passengers enjoyed the best sleep on board.
"I'm really excited to be able to take the train along a private railway, goods-only rail lines and a normally closed railway branch, making it a truly great rail adventure," he said.
"You only need to unpack once in your private single or twin cabin, and meals will be provided in the dining cars. You can also relax with a drink in the lounge cars."
Limited off-train accommodation is also available in three-four star hotels.
The tour includes a Hawkesbury River cruise, the Hunter Valley and Mayfield Gardens, wine tasting in the Hunter Valley and Orange regions, visits to Blue Mountains villages on the Blue Mountains Explorer Bus, and the chance to experience railway history at Werris Creek and industrial history at Kandos.
- 1300-421-422, www.vintagerailjourneys.com.au
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