There’s no other experience quite like a train adventure. And if you thought you’d have to travel to another continent to discover the best rail journeys, think again! Some of the world’s most iconic rail expeditions are right on our doorstep. Enjoy the comfort of your own private sanctuary and scrumptious dining choices as you take in changing landscapes, terrains and wildlife from a truly unique vantage point. Embark on any of these Aussie rail journeys and get a front-row seat to breathtaking, close-to-home natural backdrops like never before.
A legendary rail journey between Adelaide and Darwin, The Ghan is widely recognised as one of the best rail journeys in the world. Taking 54 hours to complete the 2,979 km corridor along with a stop for four hours in Alice Springs, this three-day two-night adventure from Journey Beyond will take you back in history as you absorb ancient Indigenous rock art and discover the wonders of the Australian outback. Renowned for its luxurious onboard hospitality, try the delicious all-inclusive cuisine paired beautifully with a selection of some of the best local wines. Once you reach your destination, enjoy some immersive off-train expeditions as you explore the history, natural beauty and culture of Alice Springs, Katherine and Outback South Australia. In 2019, The Ghan completed 90 years of providing a legendary train experience to Australian and international travellers alike.
From Cairns to Kuranda, this epic 34-km journey over just two hours is the perfect way to sample the beauty of a train trip without having to commit to a lengthy journey. Meandering through a World-Heritage-listed rainforest that is home to diverse plant and animal life dating back millions of years, take in the most exclusive views of the Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef. Along the way, you’ll pass breathtaking waterfalls and scenery, while absorbing your Victorian-inspired rail carriage.
The Indian Pacific, from Sydney to Perth and vice versa, is named after the two oceans encountered during this epic 4,352km journey set over four days. On your rail trip, you will experience Australia’s spectacular outback and interior landscapes that make this island country so distinctive – from the lush greenery of the Blue Mountains in NSW to the flat, almost treeless Nullarbor Plain. On board, you will be greeted with the finest hospitality and excellent dining paired with fine local wines, while getting the opportunity to handpick exciting off-train excursions.
From Brisbane to Adelaide, Great Southern is a rail journey that ticks almost every box imaginable. On-board this latest luxury rail journey in Australia, you’ll have the opportunity to explore some of the finest landscapes up close and personal. The three-night journey from Brisbane to Adelaide includes a beachside dining experience in Coffs Harbour, an optional immersive day in NSW’s wine region – Hunter Valley and an afternoon of unique touring experiences in outback New South Wales, such as the Mad Max Museum in Silverton . Enjoy a regionally inspired menu and delicious local wines while you take in the jaw-dropping scenery around you.
An Australian train trip is a great way to discover the wonders of our own backyard – crafting an extraordinary travel experience like never before. And with hopes of the vaccine bringing Covid-19 to its much-anticipated end, work with the Discerning Traveller team to plan a rail itinerary like no other.
With unparalleled excitement around the Queensland border opening on 1st December 2020, Australians can look forward to a summer getaway in our very own tropical paradise – and it’s just a short flight away. Swathed in crystal-clear waters, lush rainforests and white sandy beaches, there is no dearth of things to do in the sunshine state for a relaxing short break. From world-famous attractions to the road less travelled, NOW is a great time to explore Queensland with your personal luxury and experiential agent Discerning Traveller.
Without a doubt, Queensland’s greatest attraction is the world’s largest living structure, the Great Barrier Reef. The reef’s astounding diversity or corals and marine life draws millions of visitors from all around the world every year. While 2020 is going to look a little different, local Aussies can take advantage of the raft of amazing guided tours and self-guided packages for exploring the Great Barrier Reef without having to worry about losing out to scores of international tourists.
Teeming with jaw-dropping natural beauty, these 74 gleaming islands along the Great Barrier Reef resemble the very best of what Queensland has to offer. Peppered with pristine beaches and clear waters, choose to stay in the comfort of a luxurious Whitsundays resort as you take in the gorgeous scenery around you. From activities like snorkeling, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding to relaxing sunbathing or local small ship cruises, get ready to discover utopia – on your doorstep.
With spectacular reefs fringing its untouched turquoise waters, Lizard Island is a decadent getaway for those seeking a romantic sojourn. From champagne on arrival to couples massages to incomparable coastal views to gourmet dining, get off to the best start on your honeymoon or 25th anniversary. Just want to hang out with your friends? Get a motorised dinghy and explore the array of beaches around or go kayaking in the clear waters.
Daintree National Park is the oldest surviving rainforest in the world and is also a World Heritage Area. During your safari, you will discover an abundance of endangered species and wildlife, like Boyd’s forest dragons, Bennett's and Lumholtz tree kangaroos, buff breasted paradise kingfishers, musky rat-kangaroos, cuscuses, spotted tailed quolls, Daintree river ringtail possums, flightless southern cassowaries and so much more. Plus, you’ll find yourself awed by over 18,000 plant species dotting the park. Haven’t heard of any of these before? Your tour guide will take good care of you.
A truly unique natural phenomenon, Fraser Island is made up of naturally formed champagne rock pools – creating the perfect swimming hole for those who don’t want to venture too deep. Fringing the pristine waters of the ocean, enjoy a stellar view of unspoiled waters crashing against the rocks to create champagne-resembling bubbles.
Queensland has something for everyone, which is why it’s no surprise that the border opening announcement was met with widespread celebration. Get in now to avoid missing out on some fantastic offers on Discerning Traveller. To make your getaway even better, give us a call now and we can help you with some exclusive upgrades.
The impact of Covid-19 on the travel industry has been devastating with border closures, cruise disruptions, airline shutdowns, and so much more. The reality is that things remain uncertain, but we are finding new ways to deal with it. As cruise lines embark on adjusting to a new normal, the face of cruising may be different – but it could still be the best holiday choice you make in the post-pandemic world.
Most cruise lines have gone above and beyond to offer significant incentives, full refunds and flexible booking cancellations. Greater flexibility in future cruise credits for cancellations even up to the day of departure has become the new norm, so bookings are better protected and travellers have more peace of mind than ever before.
Some cruise lines are even offering enhanced value options like 125% cruise credit, increased on-board credit, complimentary drinks and Wi-Fi packages and so much more. This is a welcome change, making it easier for you to commit to a cruise holiday knowing you will not lose out in case of a cancellation.
Health and hygiene will be given a considerable boost once cruising becomes a reality again. Strict medical protocols, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures, more hand sanitising stations, better monitoring and quarantine capabilities, improved air filtration systems and routine temperature checks could all become regular features in future cruises.
Global cruise lines have also committed to testing every crewmember and guest for Covid-19 before they board a ship. This makes it the first industry in travel and tourism to commit to worldwide passenger and crew testing. With so many health and hygiene improvements in the pipeline, cruise lines will be better positioned to protect travellers from the perils of on-board infections.
Cruise lines give you a wide choice of destinations without having to use multiple travel options. For instance, you don’t have to get on to a plane and check in to a hotel every single time you visit a new destination. You can choose to holiday domestically, closer to home or explore new international destinations – it’s totally up to you.
A cruise holiday will take you to exciting new destinations without forcing you to pack and unpack every time – making sure you are well looked after while on board. This could potentially reduce your exposure and risk.
A cruise holiday is almost synonymous with the classic self-serve buffet. But that is likely to see a significant change with more crew deployed to look after the stations and handle the food with improved care and caution.
This means better food handling and sanitation, keeping everyone safer on board and reducing the risk of contamination. Reservation systems for dining could also be implemented to comply with stricter limits and enhanced safety protocols.
Cruising remains the only holiday option that has something for everyone. While this may look different post Covid-19, there will still be a raft of dining and entertainment options for all age groups, from casinos and shows for the adults to splash zones and play areas for the kids.
If you are planning a much-needed family getaway or reuniting with family members from other countries after lockdown, a cruise holiday is a perfect choice.
In conclusion, there has already been an increasing appetite to cruise in 2021 and 2022 onwards. Reservations are already up as travellers rally to plan their future getaways. For complete peace of mind on your next cruise holiday, call the specialists at Discerning Traveller and let us make the whole experience easy for you.
Disclaimer: Airline protocols are subject to change at any time. The information provided below is accurate as of Tuesday 8 September 2020.
The list of safety protocols currently being implemented by airlines is extensive, however below we’ve provided a short outline of what to expect when you travel with some of our partner airlines. For more information on travel health and safety protocols or to plan your next getaway, whether it be near or far, make sure to contact our specialist sales team.
For more information on travel health and safety protocols or to plan your next getaway, whether it be near or far, make sure to contact our specialist sales team.
We are sure, that like us, you cannot wait for the day when we will be free to travel again. But we cannot ignore the fact that we are still battling to control community-transmitted Covid-19 cases. Before you even think of your next holiday, you’re probably worried about the next Covid-19 outbreak. Even if we get it under control again, what if the virus resurges this summer or next winter? How do you protect your booking? Follow these simple, but smart tips and you will not only score a great travel deal, but you’ll also protect yourself with better peace of mind – when you’re ready to book your next holiday, of course.
Lockdowns and travels restrictions across the world have unlocked two valuable benefits for travellers – discounted holiday deals and more flexible cancellation policies. Many travel providers are now combining exceptional savings with more flexibility, meaning you get a great price without having to worry about a hefty cancellation fee. You may only need to pay a small admin fee, which is a fraction of the cost of locking in a great holiday discount. Due to Covid-19, many airlines and hotels are also waiving change fees for new bookings, giving you even more flexibility.
Some travel providers are offering options like book now (small deposit may apply) and pay the rest closer to your holiday. This is a great way to lock in some attractive travel savings without having to commit a huge sum of money upfront – especially when things still remain uncertain. If you need to change your booking in the current environment, there’s a good chance you will be able to reschedule your trip to a later date without any hassle.
Travel insurance has historically been associated with international travel because of the high cost of medical assistance overseas. But it can also help protect you from unknown issues like travel delays, trip cancellations, hired car issues, and stolen or lost baggage – whether domestic or international. However, it’s important to know that most insurers are unlikely to cover pandemic related illnesses or cancellations once it becomes a known event. Research different companies to ensure you understand how policies will change for future travel. Don’t assume policies will remain the same. Always check the product disclosure statement (PDS) to know what is included and what isn’t.
With Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands still relatively low in their cases compared to the rest of the world, it’s more than likely that domestic or Trans-Tasman travel will be on the cards well before the international borders reopen. From self-drive itineraries to flight and accommodation packages, it’s such a great way to discover unforgettable gems in your own backyard whether you choose to indulge in the magnificent splendor of Ayers Rock; take in the breathtaking scenery of the Kimberleys; or island-hop across idyllic Fiji.
Travel will look different on the other side of this pandemic. The good news is you should be able to score some amazing, flexible travel deals in the meantime. Contact your friendly Discerning Traveller consultants and get complete peace of mind when you’re ready to book your next holiday.
DISCLAIMER: Discerning Traveller offers no guarantees on refunds and travel insurance. This is at the discretion of the suppliers.