We have always loved travelling by rail. There is something so tranquil and comforting about the whole experience. From the relaxing nature of the check-in & boarding to the peaceful hum of the carriages as you take in the ever-changing views.
In Australia, we feel that travelling by rail is something that is overlooked. However, driving from city to city or state to state can take an exorbitant amount of time. Let’s face it, with Australia’s endless highways you really don’t get to take much in.
We decided to take a journey from Cairns to Brisbane on the Spirit of Queensland. This allowed us to experience Queensland in a light that we have never seen before. From the tropical rainforest, banana plantations and small town gems scattered in between, we were in awe. It is a beautiful way to see the countryside in complete comfort and style.
The journey was just shy of 1700 km and took us slightly over 24 hours. However, the time past quickly and before we knew it, we were watching the sun set on another perfect Queensland day. We aim to share our experience on board The Spirit of Queensland and hope to change the perspective on rail travel in Australia.
Table of Contents
Cairns to Brisbane on The Spirit of Queensland
Arriving & Departing with Absolute Ease (This Is No Airport Line Up)
We started off our journey at Cairns Central Station. We were met by the station staff who kindly advised us that our carriage was at the front of the train. You can check in luggage however with the baggage we had, we were able to fit in the overhead compartments.
We were seated in the Railbed carriage, these seats are a little more luxurious than the premium economy and offer a real business class feel. At our seats, we were greeted with a welcoming pack. This includes a bag with complimentary toiletries and a menu full of lovely food. To be honest this Railbed carriage put a lot of aeroplane business classes to shame.
Let Me Entertain You
The entertainment options were endless on the Spirit of Queensland. You know that feeling when you scroll the list of movies, then end up with 10 quality ones you want to watch straight away? It was just like that. They also had a great selection of audio books, music, TV shows.
The Glorious Food
With our Railbed seats, we were treated to three meals on board. We were impressed to see that there was an array of options for each meal, and even vegetarians were catered too. With each meal we were offered a complimentary wine, beer or juice.
Our meals were prepared freshly on board, this was something that we were not expecting and they tasted delicious. We went for a chicken curry and a spinach & pumpkin filo pastry. The curry was fragrant & spicy and the filo wrap was bursting with flavour and beautiful flaky pastry.
Sitting & Sleeping in Top Notch Comfort
We were pleasantly surprised by the comfort of the seats. We even discussed how they rivaled some lazy-boyz we had owned in the past. The seat console included two drink holders, a reading light, 240-volt powerpoint, and tv controller.
When it came to getting work done the fold-out table was more than enough room for our laptops. A great makeshift office for the afternoon.
When its Time to be Rocked to Sleep
Come night time the crew turned our seats into a completely lay flatbed. The bed felt like home, we had soft pillows, sheets, and a cozy doona. Considering we are both over six foot, we easily fitted in the bed, we were genuinely impressed! This was more than enough room for a good night’s sleep.
The Morning of Dreams
There is nothing like waking up and seeing the Queensland countryside flying by from the comfort of the bed.
We were advised that breakfast would be served within the hour. This allowed us time to have a lovely long shower and have our beds turned back into a reclinable seat.
Within minutes of sitting back down, we were delivered fresh coffee, orange juice, and breakfast. There is nothing quite like freshly prepared sausages, eggs and bacon served with a hot muffin.
An Arrival Fit For A Queen
When it comes to traveling one of our pet peeves is waiting in line to get on and off transport. However, when traveling by train it is always a pleasure boarding and alighting. The Spirit of Queensland was no exception, as the train gently rolled into the station the offloading process was quick, simple and easy.
We have never left long-distance transport feeling so revived and ready to face the day.
Included in our ticket was a full day of travel within Brisbane. So there was no need to mess around with any other tickets or maps. We were pointed in the right direction to our connecting train onto our next adventure. It was as easy as that.
All in all the journey was a lovely experience. We got the chance to see Queensland in such a relaxing environment. When you fly or drive, you just simply can’t see as much or get as much enjoyment out of the journey. Everything from the station staff to the driver updates was exceptional onboard the Spirit of Queensland.