The Central West Christmas Explorer
From Sydney To Bathurst, Dubbo, Mudgee, Rylstone, Kandos, Tarana, Millthorpe, Gulgong, Muswellbrook, Paterson. - 5 Nights

Departing from:
Bathurst, Dubbo, Mudgee, Rylstone, Kandos, Tarana, Millthorpe, Gulgong, Muswellbrook, Paterson.
5 Nights
Travel Dates:
10/12/22 to 15/12/22
Offer Expires:
Tour Operator:
Railway Adventures
Reference Code:



Price per person

Package Details


Join Scott McGregor and the team for six days aboard the Central West Explorer, your privately chartered vintage 1960s Rail-Motor with plenty of extra seats for comfort and space on your own hop on hop off private train on a loop around the heart of NSW, enjoying the best of the region’s food, wine, entertainment and accommodation.


New South Wales is blessed with a number of interesting ‘cross country’ railways, linking the main lines radiating out from Sydney, allowing trains to follow a circular path in different regions of the state. One of these is the ‘Sandy Hollow line’, started in 1937, and completed, in part, in 1985. This normally freight-only line is open to special trains from time to time and on this occasion our privately chartered nifty little Rail Motor has specific accreditation to traverse this scenic run. The interesting route of this cross-country link has allowed us to create a special Railway Adventure looping around the captivating highlights of the Central West of NSW. Here is a region rich with history; appealing characters, great scenery, fine food, wine and places to stay. There are museums to fossils and folk history, legendary images and colonial incarceration and, not to be missed, Australia’s newest railway museum in Bathurst. There’s quaint Gold Rush era villages and bustling regional hubs, snaking rivers, cavernous coal mines, pristine bushland, canyons, ranges, and some of the finest farms, vineyards, grazing country, studs and native bush that you’re likely to see anywhere in the country. Sometimes along comes the right train, at the right time, in the right place and here it is; a tour hosted by a central west local, on your own hop on hop off private train on a loop around the heart of NSW, enjoying the best of the regions food, wine, entertainment, and accommodation. Join me, Scott McGregor on this very special short escape to one of Australia’s most appealing and intriguing regions.


Meet your hosts and train staff at Central Station bright and early for the departure of our adventure, which initially takes us across the Cumberland Plain and up the Blue Mountains while morning tea is served on board. We pause at Wallerawang west of Lithgow to stretch our legs and have a look around before our train continues onto the Mudgee branch line and a journey that skirts the scenic Capertee Valley. We arrive at Kandos for lunch on the platform, and a visit to the excellent museum dedicated to the crucial cement industry. The train will be standing by to take us back down the Capertee Valley to the junction of the main western line at Wallerawang. A short run further on we stop at the village of Tarana where the pub, adjacent to the station, offers an ideal watering hole and venue for our first dinner together. From here it’s a short scenic run to Bathurst where we transfer to our hotel to check-in for two nights. Overnight: Rydges Mount Panorama, Bathurst (L, D)

Day 2 • Sunday: BATHURST

This morning after breakfast we take a tour of the Mt Panorama Circuit and down into the city where we visit the newly opened Bathurst Railway Museum to learn of the impact of the railway on the culture of the city and marvel at the extraordinary working model of the Great Western line on show. Next, we’ll view the beautifully curated collection at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, home to the extraordinary lifetime work of Warren Somerville AM. It features some of the finest and rarest specimens of mineral crystals and fossils from around the world. You then have some free time to explore the city and have some lunch on your own before splitting off on one of two options. Choose to either explore more of Bathurst and visit its excellent Motor Museum, or take a tour out to the spectacular Mayfield Gardens, one of the country’s most extensive private high-country gardens in the English style. Or you can simply relax at the hotel. Later in the evening we’ll head out to the astounding Abercrombie House for a sunset viewing and a lavish dinner in the grand ballroom. Overnight: Rydges Mount Panorama, Bathurst (B, D)


Depart Bathurst this morning, travelling on the steep run up to Blayney and on to Millthorpe. Here we pause for a while to explore the atmospheric heritage village before continuing through Orange, the villages of Mullion Creek, Euchareena and then Stuart Town where the Ironbark Inn, the local pub near the station, will host a light lunch. We then continue to the fair city of Dubbo on the mighty Macquarie River. Here you have time to relax before heading out for a dinner at an atmospheric venue on the banks of the Macquarie River. Overnight: Quest, Dubbo (B, L, D)

Day 4 • Tuesday: DUBBO – MUDGEE

This morning is a little different with a picnic style breakfast hosted in the grounds of the Old Dubbo Gaol. You’ll have time to explore this interesting historic site right in the heart of town while enjoying local bakery and breakfast offerings. You then have the option to travel by train to Narromine to visit the wonderful Aviation Museum there, or to take a tour of the Dubbo Western Plains Zoo. Both tours will have you back on the train in time for the short run out to the Ballimore Pub for lunch. We’ll then continue travelling the cross-country line to Gulgong, via the junction of the Mudgee line at Merrygoen and the regional town of Dunedoo with its stunning silo art. Further south across the fertile slopes is the historic gold rush era town of Gulgong and a meeting with our affable coach captain for the transfer to our hotel in Mudgee. You have some time to relax before heading out to one of Mudgee’s premier winery restaurants for an evening of fine wine, food and music.  Overnight: Parklands Resort, Mudgee (B, L, D)

Day 5 • Wednesday: MUDGEE – GULGONG – MUDGEE

After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, we gather to begin a series of local explorations. First up are a couple of short tours, one of the history and heritage of the town and another of the surrounding wine growing area. You’ll then have some time for a wander around town and a coffee break before heading out for lunch at a popular winery, in the scenic Mudgee Hills. Gulgong is home to a rich collection of museums and gold rush heritage buildings, including the new Gulgong Holtermann Photographic Museum, and the vast Gulgong Pioneer’s Museum. You will have a guided tour of this classic gold-rush town and enjoy some special viewings of the numerous collections and venues.

In the late afternoon we’ll take a short excursion north to Cooks Gap on the Great Dividing Range for a sunset soiree reception at Scott McGregor’s private and unique railway themed retreat, Ruwenzori. Perched high on the mountains overlooking the valleys below, Ruwenzori is a collection of vintage railway carriages, restored in the Orient-express style, set amongst themed gardens and memorabilia. Featured in many travel articles and TV shows, it is a place Scott loves to share with special friends. Here, on top of the mountain, you’ll enjoy a Mudgee sunset with canapés and local beer and wine before heading back to your hotel, or if you’re interested to kick on, go into town and enjoy the atmosphere at one of the many venues in Mudgee’s main street.  Overnight: Parklands Resort, Mudgee (B, L, D)

Day 6 • Thursday: MUDGEE – GULGONG – SYDNEY

Today it’s up early to take advantage of one of the truly unique rail experiences in the state, a rare opportunity to ride the Sandy Hollow railway down the Bylong and Hunter Valleys on the normally freight only line. Departing Gulgong early, we head east through fields, bush, and the wooded hills of the Great Divide before we strike the first of the vast coal mines that are the reason for the lines’ reconstruction. We pass the towns of Sandy Hollow and Denman before pulling in for an early hearty pub lunch, at the appropriately named Railway Hotel, opposite the Muswellbrook railway station. The last stage of the journey is the run down the main North Line across the mighty Hawkesbury River and into Sydney in the early evening, stopping at Hornsby for anyone who may wish to alight here, before pulling into Central Station and the end of our adventure around the wonderful Golden West of NSW.  (B, L)


Price includes
5 nights’ accommodation in quality hotels
Breakfast daily, 3 lunches and 3 dinners
Comfortable chartered coaches
Entrances to museums and wineries as mentioned in the itinerary
Specially chartered Rail Motor for rail travel throughout including on board morning and afternoon teas
Winery and Heritage tours

Price does not include
All other personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, laundry services, camera fees where applicable
Meals and services not mentioned in itinerary
Transfers to and from Central Station in Sydney

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