January 2021 I decided to plan a winter holiday. I am a Queensland Pensioner so that entitles me to four concession vouchers a year that can only be used with Queensland Rail.I booked a return trip Brisbane to Cairns and only had to pay a booking fee ( used two vouchers).
June 14th I set off from home on a local bus to Roma Street Station where the Long Distance Trains departs from. I travelled by local bus to Roma Street Station where the Long Distance Trains depart from.
After arriving at Roma Street I headed straight to the booking office. Sorry the photo below is a tad blurry.
I had to book in by 2.45pm. I later found out that was only if I intended to book luggage through. The train is scheduled to depart at 3.45pm. While I am waiting for the train to arrive at the station I should say a bit about Cairns. Mr Google explains it well.
Numerous people especially the Grey Nomads from other Australian States where the winter months are very cold head north to enjoy the warm weather.Now for a bit about the train.
I managed to find a map . Follow the blue line from for 24 hours from bottom to top 🙂.
Guess what it’s 3.30pm. There has just been an announcement letting passengers know the train will be one hour late due to a technical issue.The Spirit of Queensland finally arrived
A few minutes later I was allowed to board the train.This is my premium seat and accommodation for the next 24 hours.
Seated now and ready for my journey
The rail service is running at full capacity, no social distancing. (That could all change tomorrow). I have had my first covid vaccine, am 70% covered. A young lady sits next to me, she is travelling through to Townsville with her two teenage daughters. We started up a conversation, seems friendly enough. Works in food service in an Aged Care facility, not yet vaccinated because she has been having cluster headaches, has been having blood tests and scans.Time to read necessary information to make my trip safe and more comfortable.
The trains finally departs from Brisbane one hour behind time.A couple of hours into the trip I make my way to the Gallery Cafe to buy some dinner and a cuppa. I needed to walk through two carriages to get there. I could sit in the Gallery but decided to take my meal back to my seat. Cashless payments only. Back in my seat I enjoyed a lovely feed of fish and chips with a skinny latte.
I love taking photos but it’s a bit hard to that in a fast moving train. I did manage to get a sunset.
Trying to sleep in a seat that barely reclines is not easy but you do your best. Rail beds look good but not budget friendly, plus you need to book months ahead. I have heard good and bad reports about them, my brother said they are not worth it. I found some photos thanks again to Mr Google.
I had a somewhat restless night. There were several brief stops for people leave the train and new passengers to board. The lady in the seat in front of had her above head night light on, she was doing craft and kept cutting out pictures. The man in the seat behind was intermittently munching on biscuits. Fortunately no screaming children and no snoring to be heard.
Daylight finally arrived. The environment had changed because we were heading into tropical territory.I tried to take photos of sugar cane plantations.
Afer we had made a stop at Townsville the train was able to make up time.The further north the train went I spotted plantations of bananas.
Finally arrived at Cairns only about 10 minutes late. I survived my 24 hour train trip. I hailed a cab and headed for my accommodation where I planned to stay for three nights.
Now booked into my room ,top floor left end of the building.
Feeling wrecked, time for dinner and a good sleep. There is a cafe attached to the Hotel / Motel.
I enjoyed a meal of Surf and Turf (steak and shrimps).
Time to sleep now. I will write more tomorrow about my adventures in Cairns.