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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

SYDNEY! {XPT Train}

Our Trip to Sydney for four days via the XPT train.

 ^^ 6am Bye Bye Brisbane


 ^^Comfy Seats. Plenty of Leg room and recline 40%

^^ On a train you draw a train of course

 ^^ 14 hours equals lots of this, cards, drawing, eating, ipad, colouring, crocheting


^^ The only bit of ocean you see the entire time. 5 seconds at Coffs Harbour





 ^^ You only start to go crazy about 8 hours in :)

 ^^ Several River Crossings

 ^^ Beautiful Farms

^^ 8pm Hello Sydney!!


We woke at 4:30 am to get ready
The Mr, our chauffeur drove us to Roma St Station in the rain to hop aboard our train that left at 5:55
We found our platform (2) and in the dark boarded our train and quietly slipped out of Brisbane
14!! hours upon the train we did.
Through hills and countryside and farms and trees and rivers.
Sydney/NSW was having it's coldest day in 20 years. Glad we couldnt tell from inside the train :)
To arrive in the rain at 8pm in Sydney in the dark standing on a platform not knowing where to go
Till The Mr (who flew and had done a hard days work in the mean time) ran about 20 blocks (far) to meet us and whisked us into two taxi's to our amazing hotel with conceirges awaiting our arrival, where we had room service waiting and chocolates on our pillows. Fanciest Hotel I've stayed at.

For a few weeks I had been trying to work out ways our family could travel to Sydney to annoy The Mr on a work trip. Most ways we tried were a little out of budget. I got a little excited when I remembered about NSW trainlink offer kids for $1. Yep $1 all the way to SYDNEY! Turns out a kid is anyone under 16 too! And unusually - no limit on amount of kids (as long as they are yours!) My pet hate of family always meaning 2 adults 2 kids. Nice to have something more inclusive for once!
Deal was done. 5 of us travelling to Sydney for the price of 1. Hard earned hotel points and room was covered. Frequent Flier points and flight home covered. Here we come Sydney!


My thoughts on the XPT.

I wish it went faster. If it did, even a little would consider it a more viable travel option.
I was surprised at how good my kids were. They seemed to get titchy around 10 am and 3pm. Was able to refocus them on doing something (eating, cards, colouring, music etc) and all was fine. Probably last two hours was difficult (it was dark and they were ready and we seemed near Sydney)
Should have bought more food. Thought I packed pretty good, but its never enough
Chairs were very comfy and lots of leg room.
There is a food cabin. Mainly pies, sausage rolls, sandwiches, chocolates.
Train was half empty for first 5 hours. Plenty of room to spread out.
Beautiful scenery out the window. Sadly its hard to photograph from inside a train with reflections.
I was pleasantly surprised that it was pretty good and nowhere near as bad as I imagined it could be.

Call me crazy but I would definitely consider doing it again.
(It helps that we flew back.)


Things seen from the train

Mist
Tunnels (think I counted 5.. maybe a couple more)
Cows (most seen item the WHOLE WAY - COWS!)
Goats
Horses
Abandoned buildings
Farms
Gorgeous clouds
90% of the time - Bushland

My saddest regret was I fully expected an amazing sunrise and sunset being up so early and late with expansive views from the train. Due to clouds there was neither. Not even a little bit. Sad face.



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