Three Unique rail journeys

For rail buffs looking for something a bit different, here are a couple of ideas for ‘unique’ journeys.

New Zealand – Northern Explorer

New Zealand offers an extraordinary range of scenery and what better way to see it than by train, on the Northern Explorer. The line travels from Wellington at the bottom of the North Island, all the way to Auckland towards the top. The journey can be done in one day, or alternatively you can break it at a number of points. A highlight is the portion of the trip that travels through Tongariro National Park, showcasing snow-blanketed fields, ancient lava flows and volcanic mountains all side by side.

Mexico – El Chepe train

This scenic rail journey travels from Los Mochis to Chihuahua. Also known as the Copper Canyon train, it takes 14 hours to travel in one hit, but the best way to truly appreciate this trip is to break up your journey over a few days. The route stretches over 408 miles of railroad tracks, going through 86 tunnels and crossing 37 bridges. Take in everything from flat desert to scenic mountains and valleys. Make sure you stop at Divisadero and take in the view of the Copper Canyon, four times larger than the Grand Canyon.

Australia – Gulflander

Admire a part of Australia that many people never get the chance to see on the Gulflander train. Traversing wetlands and grasslands to the arid Savannah of north Queensland, the heritage-listed train line stretches from Normanton to Croydon. Normanton was the port for the gold rush town of Croydon, and was never connected to the state rail network. The train itself only carries a small number of passengers, and you can enjoy morning tea en route as Savannah Guides onboard keep you entertained with trivia and amusing stories of colourful characters.

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