Sharing travel experiences with a group creates as many memories from your trip as the locations you discover along the way. And if that group is friends to start with, you have the makings of a trip you’ll always remember.
To have fun travelling with friends doesn’t require an epic three continent, five-star extravaganza, increasingly, keen travellers are enjoying refreshing short local breaks with a bunch of pals – and what simpler way to do it than jump on a train?
All sitting together, swapping stories and having a laugh is part of the group travel experience. Booking a cluster of seats in a single carriage is ideal for that. Just ask the regulars who converge on Parkes in NSW every year on board the Elvis Express from Sydney!
Compared to the cost, hassle and relative cramped conditions of a mini-bus for example, travelling by train is an ideal ‘getaway plan’.
And the same applies for much larger groups, community organisations and social clubs for instance. In fact, the regional rail network in NSW caters to thousands of people travelling in groups every year.
Apart from the convenience of easy station access at most departure and arrival points, there’s also accessibility options for passengers who may need mobility assistance, a meal service, toilets on board and generous luggage allowances (2 x 20kg bags + carry-on). That mini-bus is now really starting to feel the heat!
And then there’s the cost. While rail travel is arguably already the most cost effective solution for group travel, making it even more attractive, NSW TrainLink has discounts for groups of 10 or more. Of course, seniors can also take advantage of their special concession entitlements.
The only conditions on receiving a reduced fare are that all members of the group must book at the same time and travel together – from the same location to the same destination – in the same class of seat.
It should also be noted that group bookings of 10 or more must be made directly with NSW TrainLink by calling 13 22 32.
So, if you’re ready to assemble the troops and head off on a group tour, all you need to do is decide where you’re going.
To take your pick of the extensive destinations on offer in regional NSW, click the map below. (Click again to close).
For short breaks, understandably, the most popular destinations are those within a few hours’ travel of the major centres.
If you board or pass through Coffs Harbour or Grafton on the XPT Service for example, you’ll regularly come across chirpy groups of travellers – often with Devonshire tea in hand – heading up and down the North Coast of NSW for a day-trip or short escape.
From Sydney’s Central Station, the train journey to Canberra takes about the same time as it does to drive but the comfort and stress levels are appreciably different.
It’s quite common to see groups of friends heading to the ACT to take in the National Gallery and War Museum for example and many groups combine seeing our national treasures with a visit to Floriade, the spectacular celebration of flowers held from mid September to mid-October every year.
And opening up the central west of the State, catching the daily service from Sydney to Dubbo for an overnight stay is another very popular route for groups who can extend their trip by coach to Broken Hill to take in the wonders of the outback en-route.
To book or enquire about your next group tour with NSW TrainLink services, call 13 22 32.