DID you know you could travel 2885 kilometres across Australia in just 70 hours and still fit in plenty of time for sightseeing, leisurely lunches and three-course dinners?
Impossible? No. The secret is to hop aboard The Great Southern, Australia's newest long-distance rail journey which runs between Adelaide and Brisbane and vice versa.
While you and the other 200 passengers are tucked up in the comfortable cabins fast asleep, the train powers through the night, its journey incorporating five States and Territories - South Australia, Victoria, the ACT, NSW and Queensland.
Each day, an off-train adventure, like dinner on the beach or a winery visit, awaits. When the three quarters of a kilometre-long train pulls to a halt, coaches await to seamlessly transport you on a pre-selected outing.
Feel the sand between your toes at Coffs Harbour, sip wine with matching chocolates in the Hunter Valley and travel the Great Ocean Road on the journey south from Brisbane to Adelaide or visit the Grampians and Canberra on the shorter two-night journey from Adelaide up to Brisbane.
While you are enjoying yourself off train back on board, the crew responsible for the train's 28 carriages of Gold and Platinum carriages, restaurants and lounges will be busy preparing for the evening rush.
During the evening, dinner (if not already enjoyed off train) and drinks will be served, beds will be turned down and every wish or whim attended to.
The Great Southern is operated by Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions which operates The Ghan and the Indian Pacific. It will run during December and January during The Ghan's hiatus.
A few cabins still remain for the 19/20 season and bookings are also being taken for the 20/21 season.
Prices start at $1779 per person twin share for the Adelaide-Brisbane two-night journey and $2269 per person twin share for the three-night Brisbane-Adelaide journey.
The new Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane in a wonderful historic building in George Street is a good place to stay before the start, or at the end, of your journey with the excellent Donna Chang restaurant conveniently located just next door.
Sue Preston was a guest of Journey Beyond, Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane and Donna Chang.