A delicious journey by train
CHOO-Choo! The train experience of a lifetime had begun.
Well, maybe chew-chew or even whoo-hoo would have better described the wining and dining extravaganza that is the Queensland Rail Master Class tour.
With celebrity chef Andrew Mirosch and winemaker extraordinaire Adam Chapman, from Sirromet, on board, not only did we sample the sumptuous fare but also learned much more about the “how to” and “why” of these culinary delights on this gastronomic getaway.
The excitement was palpable as we stepped aboard the Sunlander train to begin our journey, eagerly finding our way to our Queenslander Class cabins.
Not having enjoyed a real sleeper cabin before, I was impressed by the space and luxury comforts we were treated to on this renowned train that journeys from Brisbane to Cairns.
Once settled, high tea in the dining cabin was first on the menu. Delicately prepared sandwiches and a selection of wines were consumed while we gazed at the beautiful scenery.
Some lovely banter ensued with fellow diners before our first stop of interest at Gympie Station to learn more about the main ingredient for the night's degustation dinner.
With wine in hand, we stepped on to the platform to sample locally farmed red claw and chat with the owners of Cherax Park Aquaculture about how they produce these delicacies.
Back on the train, it was time to dress for dinner before making our way to the stylish dining car, guided by our maitre d'.
The seven-course degustation dinner was a celebration of diverse Queensland produce, with each plate having a specially selected complementary wine.
Lulled to sleep by gentle movement of the train on the tracks, we were carried towards Proserpine.
Nothing like fresh coffee in the morning, while dining on a gourmet tropical breakfast at the eco-friendly plantation.
After a stroll around we boarded the bus to Shute Harbour for our transfer to Hamilton Island.
After a smooth half-hour journey through the Whitsunday Islands, we were greeted by Hamilton Island staff and shuttled to the Reef View Hotel.
The next day, after a delightful sleep-in, we had the pleasure of enjoying a buffet breakfast with the resident koalas at the Wildlife Park on the island.
The next masterclass train departs on Thursday, May 5, with limited places for $1995 per person, twin-share.
Contact Queensland Rail Travel Centre on 1300 131 722 to book your place.
The writer was a guest of Queensland Rail.