Holidays by train from Perth
While many of us are used to jumping in the car, trains offer a different experience for holidays from Perth.
For those looking to get away from it all, longer train journeys can be an enjoyable part of the holiday, allowing you to see Western Australia’s changing landscapes without having to keep your eyes on the road.
It can be a time to settle down and relax, without the early arrival times, boarding hassles — and sometimes anxiety — associated with air travel.
Whether it’s longer or shorter trips across town for a pie at the bakery, here are five ideas for train journeys in both the Perth and Peel region and beyond.
The ‘desert’ journey: Kalgoorlie
The red earth landscape around Kalgoorlie is not technically a desert but a forest of eucalypts, including the salmon gums named for the soft pink color of their bark.
The Prospector train will take you on a 650 kilometer journey to the historic gold mining town, where you will find the main street of Hannan Street lined with spectacular heritage buildings dating back to the gold rush of the late 1890s.
Departing from the East Perth terminal, the journey costs approximately $93 for an adult, $46 off each journey*. Children aged 5 to 15 travel half price, while children under 4 can travel free if they do not occupy a seat.
It takes just under 10 minutes on foot from the station to the main street, where you will find restaurants, hotels, shops, galleries and the museum. Taxis can also take you from the train if your accommodation is not on the main street.
South Coast: Bunbury
The Australind train travels south past dairy farms and through rolling fields towards the coastal town of Bunbury.
The sunny coastal town is set along a stretch of white sand beaches, while Koombana Bay and the estuaries are famous for the dolphins that call it home and can usually be seen daily at the Dolphin Discovery Centre.
With a relaxed vibe, it’s ideal for shopping sprees, gallery visits, laid-back cafes or family outings to the beach or Bunbury Wildlife Park, without the hustle and bustle of getting around Perth.
The Australianind departs from Perth and Bunbury central stations twice a day. It costs about $34 concession or $17 one way, and kids ride half price or free if they’re under four and don’t need their own seat.
Travel and accommodation
An express bus, which connects the station to the city center, will be waiting for you when the train arrives, but you may need to arrange a ride if your accommodation is further away. Accommodation ranges from hotels to self-catering townhouses and family huts in caravan parks.
Historic Hills: Toodyay and Northam
Departing from East Perth station three days a week, the Merredin Link weaves a route along the River Avon and east into the hills of Perth.
The first stop is the historic town of Toodyay, where there is a cozy cafe and shopping street in a cluster of historic buildings that show off the brilliance of WA architecture in the late 1800s. hike are accessible from the city center.
Alternatively, stay a little longer on the train and disembark in the town of Northam. Also dotted with historic buildings on the banks of the Avon River, it is home to the new Bilya Koort Boodja Center for Nyoongar Culture and Environmental Knowledge.
The Merredin Link departs East Perth at 8.50am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Whether you’re going to Northam or Toodyay, you’ll be there by 10:30 a.m. provided everything is on time. Day trippers can take the same train at 2:46 from Northam and 3:06 from Toodyay. The trip costs between 18 and 21 dollars each way for adults and between 9 and 11 dollars each way in concession.
Both stations are within walking distance of the city center and the river trails and there are historic hotels where you can stay in both towns.
The day of the weekend: Guildford
Opposite this station on the Transperth Midland Line is a cluster of shops and cafes that range from trendy to quirky and wonderful.
Within the three-block space there are crowded antique shops, art galleries, second-hand bookstores, high-end cafes and old-fashioned bakeries and, unexpectedly, a taxidermy museum. .
For history buffs, the Swan Guildford Historical Society runs tours of the Colonial Gaol, built by convicts in 1841, and Taylor’s Weatherboard Cottage.
The cost and journey time depends on where you are coming from in the city, but it takes around 20 minutes from Perth train station. This particular route would cost less than $5 for adults and children over four, and about $2 concession. Children under four travel free.
Travel and accommodation
It’s an easy day trip if you’re already in Perth, but there are a few historic-style hotels and guesthouses in the area for those planning a stay.
The mini break by the sea: Rockingham
Whether you want to lay on the beach or jet ski across it, Rockingham is synonymous with seaside living.
The calm waters of Rockingham Beach are ideal for children and there is a cafe strip for brunch or afternoon ice cream that runs along the foreshore and picnic area.
Dolphin swims, cruises and jetski tours depart from the waterfront, while the nearby museum chronicles Rockingham’s varied history. According to the Rockingham Historical Society, the area was originally named after a nearby shipwreck and became a major port in the late 1800s.
From Perth tube station it takes around 35-40 minutes to get to Rockingham on the Transperth Mandurah line. From there, the 555 bus provides a regular service from the station to the city center and the foreshore.
Travel and accommodation
The beach, shops and restaurants are within walking distance from the hotels, apartments and villas around the foreshore. Other nearby attractions, such as the ferry to Penguin Island and kayaking at the Shoalwater Islands, are a 30-minute bus ride away.
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