Australian Luxury Trains More Popular Than Ever: Plan Now for 2024
Are you dreaming of a deluxe rail journey in Australia?
If so, patience is no longer just a virtue, but a necessity: Platinum Class, the top class of service on the Indian Pacific and The Ghan, is completely sold out for 2023.
But don’t despair. Bookings for these trains just opened for 2024.
Why else is Australia cropping up on luxury travel lovers’ bucket lists? In addition to the incredible luxury trains crisscrossing the country, IRT guests are raving about the phenomenal resorts and unique hotels, world-class food and wine, and utterly unique scenery.
2022 Australia travelers told us they had a ball — and that their trips were “worth every penny.” Here’s our advice after reflecting on our most recent travel season:
When to Travel:
Travel April-May, when it’s autumn Down Under, or June-August, when it’s winter. The beginning of fall in the Southern Hemisphere — March — and the beginning of spring — September — are also great times to travel but have a slightly higher chance of inclement weather. We would caution against traveling in October or November because of the potential for flooding.
Go the Extra Mile with a Custom Journey:
All of our Australia journeys are customized to fit your interests. Check out our fabulous sample itinerary to use as a starting point. Our Virtuoso partners in Australia will help us find the perfect itinerary/guide for you. How perfect?
One of our guests, a biologist, wanted to learn about the forest fires that blackened Kangaroo Island and Adelaide in 2019. We were able to match her with fantastic guides, who showed her how dramatically the island had recovered.
Other guests were wine aficionados, for whom we planned extensive private tasting tours through Australia’s most famous wine-producing regions surrounding Adelaide. They were able to meet with local vintners and sample the finest shiraz and Syrah that the Barossa Valley has to offer.
Luxury Resorts Nestled in Nature:
Australia has some of the most thrilling and far-flung resorts in the world. Once you’ve made the long trek to the continent, don’t hurry — and don’t scrimp on accommodations.
Instead of settling straight into city life when you land in Sydney, why not add on a few days to experience the grandeur of the Blue Mountains at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley? Our 2022 travelers called it a “truly spectacular spot.”
And what could be more wonderful than seeing Ayers Rock from your luxury tent? “Longitude 131 is quite an amazing place,” one IRT guest told us. We recommend staying at least three nights because of the logistics involved.
Or, fly to Tasmania and spend a few days at Saffire Freycinet, one of Australia’s most storied luxury resorts, recently voted World’s Best Boutique Hotel, whose 20 suites allow stunning views of Coles Bay.
Gone are the days when Australia’s most famous food export was vegemite! There is no shortage of amazing restaurants, despite the Michelin guide still not covering the continent. Get reservations well before travel, and keep in mind that most of Australia’s fine dining restaurants close over either Sunday/Monday or Monday/Tuesday.
One unmissable dining experience is the exquisite tasting menu at Wildflower at COMO The Treasury in Perth. (Bonus: IRT guests get $100 AUD F&B credit).
Other favorites include Quay, with impressive Sydney Opera House views, and Attica in Melbourne.
Our guests exclusively traveled in Platinum Class this year — and they overwhelmingly recommended it.
Platinum Class cabins are available on both The Ghan and the Indian Pacific — but availability is very limited. 24 cabins are available on each departure.
Each Platinum class cabin is 82.5 square feet, including private, en-suite shower, sink and toilet, which is almost twice the size of Gold Service. The cabin is converted to a lounge area by day, with a moveable table and two ottomans. At night, it converts to a double or twin beds; the interior is finished in Tasmanian Myrtle wood. Each compartment has full-size shower, vanity with storage space, mirror and oversized panoramic windows that allow views from both sides of the train.
What’s more, Platinum Class is truly an all-inclusive experience. All outings, except helicopter flights, are included. (Gold passengers have to pay extra for some offerings.)
The food & beverage service on the Darwin-Alice Springs-Adelaide Ghan is particularly excellent—and it never quits. (Order breakfast in bed on the Ghan. It’s such a treat — exclusive to Platinum Class guests.)
“I never find trains boring if you sit in the club car and meet the people,” said one guest. Plus, in Platinum Class, you will have your own dining and lounge just for Platinum Class guests.
“Those of us in Platinum were very, very happy to be there. I’m sure the people in Gold had a lovely time. But we got more perks!”
“When we were at Alice Springs, and we had the dinner outside, the Platinum tables were served,” one guest said.
“The Gold people lined up for the buffet!”
Any other suggestions from our intrepid Australia travelers?
“Tell people to go to Australia,” said one. “The eucalyptus are all back and thriving. I was just floored.”
“Kakadu National Forest is a must-do,” another said.
“We are both going to hit 80; we should be taking shorter trips. But it was a great value. We decided splurging and doing fewer trips is the way to go.”
And what about IRT’s service?
“Your service was wonderful,” said one guest.
Said another: “When we missed the Virgin Australian flight to Melbourne, you got that all straightened out…The agent met us right at the door as we got off the plane and whisked us right through.”
Is Australia on your list? Don’t wait.
Click here to schedule a complimentary, 15-minute consultation about our process with our award-winning agency President and Australia specialist, Eleanor Hardy. You can also email us at email@example.com, or complete our booking request form.