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The Westlander Train

A train journey across Queensland’s Outback

If you are visiting Queenland and want to get a taste of the real australian outback, then a train journey on the

The Westlander Train
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Westlander train can be a good idea, especially if you are travelling alone.  The Westlander train takes you from Brisbane to Charleville, in the south west of Queensland. From there you can either hire a car and hit the road to explore the area on the famous Matilda Highway and Adventure Way. For hundreds and hundreds of kilometers you will immerse yourself in a gorgeous outback landscape, by travelling across vast expanses, pastoral areas, small villages, you will get a feel of what the outback basic living is all about. This area has a very rich pastoral history, you will learn baout the great artesian basin, which flows underneath the surface. It’s incredible how much you can do and see in a vast outback area, which at first, looks terribly isolated and devoid of life.

From Brisbane to Cunnumulla on board of the Westlander Train

The Westlander train leaves from Bribsane in the evening twice a week and get to Charleville around midday of the

SleeperCabin Westlander
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following day. From there a coach service takes you to Cunnamulla. But you can also hire a car, which is the best option, since in Cunnumulla there is no car rental service. You can alternatively book  a local tour but if you want to make the most of the area you definitely have to hire a car. The Westlander train used to operate its service to Cunnumulla but due to the low demand this train service has been reduced to Charleville.  I travelled at the end of April last year, on the first ride after the floods devastation in the Toowoomba area. I had planned to stay a couple of days in Cunnumulla, but when I got there I realized it was too short, you need more time to explore the area. Everything is   spread out and you need time to go from one place to the next, so you’d better plan at least 3 full days. Charleville or Cunnumulla can be your starting point for a great outback road trip.

What to expect on board of the Westlander Train

The train offers seat and sleeper carriages. Overall I was happy with the train service, apart from the the seats that were old and not so

Dininigclubwestlander
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comfortable. I would recommend to book a sleeper. It’s definitely a better choice for the long journey and also good value for money. The sleeper cabins have ensuite wash basin and the showers were clean and in good conditions.

The Westlander train offers a good dining club with a spacious and comfortable lounge where you can sit back and relax, eat  your meal, enjoy the landscape, take photos, use your laptop or watch a movie. I found the lounge very comfortable and spent a few hours sitting in there sipping a good cuppa, and taking photos.

What can you see from the Westlander

Since the train leaves late in the evening from Brisbane much of the train journey is during the night. The train takes you through the lush green countryside of the Darling Downs stopping at Toowoomba, a little outback town whose surrounds were swept away last year from the floods,  to the soft hills of the Great Dividing Ranges. On the train back to Brisbane you will see more of this part of the forest and countryside.

mountain-forests
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Countryside
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Early in the morning the train arrives in Roma, another outback town… I was lucky to witness such a stunning sunrise… From Roma it takes 6 more hours to reach Charleville, right in the heart of the mulga country. The Mulga is a  tree that is peculiar to this outback area, you will come across vast areas covered with Mulgas.

Sunrise Roma
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Travelling Australia by train is a great way of enjoying the spectacular beauty of the australian outback at a more relaxed pace. The Westlander Train gives you the opportunity to discover hidden places of Queensland’s south west outback region, see its abundant and unique flora, its animals, its birds, learn its characters and friendly people.

A great rail journey that I can highly recommend to all solo travellers.

I have travelled Australia by train for over 14,000kilometers. You can learn more about other great rail journeys of australia and my experience on the australian trains, click on the links below.

 

From Sydney to Broken Hill by train

Crossing Australian on the Ghan train

Return to Train Travel in Australia

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