The Savannahlander offers unforgettable journeys taking adventurous visitors west to explore the vast Gulf Savannah region of outback north Queensland. Riding in beautifully restored vintage ‘silver bullet’ rail motors dating as far back as 1963, Savannahlander outback tours are relaxed, informative and certainly entertaining, with drivers and guides giving impromptu talks and friendly humorous service along the way.
Savannahlander runs short trips and four-day journeys that include accommodation in country towns and visits to local attractions. The train rattles its way from the coast, up the scenic Kuranda Range, through World Heritage-listed rainforests, agricultural areas of the Atherton Tablelands, into the Gulf Savannah region to the outback. Stops may include Chillagoe Caves, Cobbold Gorge and the Undara Lava Tubes.
Fly into Cairns and ride the Kuranda Scenic Rail marveling at the ancient rainforests, dramatic gorges, and UNESCO World Heritage listed landscapes of Queensland’s tropical north. We then see the outback come to life as we traverse through the heart of the Gulf Savannah regions riding the legendary Gulflander and Savannahlander trains before an unforgettable tour of the Undara Lava Tubes in Cobbold Gorge.
Savannahlander Rail Journey invites passengers to explore north Queensland’s outback in a unique, informative, and fun way. The Savannahlander is a special train trip and a great way to see an amazing part of Australia.
The Gulf Savannah is described as the place where the outback meets the sea, a vast unaffected region stretching from the east coast right across the Gulf of Carpentaria. The Gulf Savannah is a place to slow down, look around, and breathe in the stillness.
Savannahlander rail journeys are highly personalised with drivers giving interesting commentary along the way and stopping frequently to allow passengers to photograph the sights. If there’s an animal near the tracks or something unusual, the driver may stop for an educational chat, a treat for all onboard. This truly is rail travel at a relaxed pace!
The Savannahlander rollingstock comprises three former two-car Queensland Railways 2000 class railmotor units built in 1963 and 1971. All three railmotors have undergone significant mechanical changes, replacing their original engines with modern diesel engines (250 HP Cummins) and automatic gearboxes (six-speed Allison.)
The exterior is mostly in its original condition, while the interiors have been modified to comfort passengers and give an outback feel. Some of the units have had the bulkhead separating the driver from the passengers removed allowing for a ‘driver’s eye view’ of the track ahead. The rail motors are not air-conditioned, but the windows open easily for natural cooling during travel. There are also toilets and drinking water on board.
Savannahlander is a wonderful way to travel in historic style through this most amazing part of Australia. Join us on a tour soon.
The Savannahlander was once a trip for mainly train enthusiasts, but in recent years, the focus has become more on the traditional Indigenous land, wildlife, and plant life, with drivers who give passengers an exciting new way to discover every aspect of northwest Queensland.
Travellers on a Savannahlander Rail Journey have the opportunity to experience the diverse landscapes, wildlife, and culture of the Australian outback. Wander through historic mining towns, and explore geological wonders and learn of the fascinating flora and fauna.
The best time to do a Savannahlander Rail Journey depends on your preferences and what you'd like to experience during the trip. The dry season from May to October is typically considered the best time to visit, as the weather is cooler and more comfortable and the landscapes are lush and vibrant from recent rainfall. Wildlife sightings are often more frequent during this time, as animals gather around water sources.
Our team is always happy to help if you have any questions about us or our tours. Fill out our form and we will get back to you soon.