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Northern Weekender - Friday 7th to Monday 10th June 2019

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Steamrail invites you to experience the era of long-distance overnight steam-hauled trains as we travel to Swan Hill and Echuca, two of Victoria’s most beautiful river destinations.  Departing Melbourne on Friday evening, with steam locomotive R711 and diesel locomotive S313, you will enjoy the distinctive sounds of steam as you relax between crisp white sheets in your comfortable sleeping berth.  During the night, we will climb the steady grades to Bendigo and sprint through the remote settlements of Dingee, Pyramid Hill, and Mitiamo.  While you sleep, R711 will be watered and serviced at selected stops. Our train will initially travel through Swan Hill where we will drop off S313 and travel to the end of the line at Piangil. Here we will enjoy a country cooked breakfast on Saturday morning.  Afterwards, we will return to Swan Hill where you can delight in the sights and sounds of the Murray River, and enjoy the rest of Saturday exploring historic Swan Hill at your own leisure.

Alternatively, those who choose Option 1 will be taken by coach to the fascinating Pioneer Settlement Museum, which will include a one hour cruise on the PS Pyap with morning tea served on the boat, free time to explore the museum, with a vintage car ride or horse drawn ride.  After a two course lunch in the Paragon cafe you will be transferred to the Catalina Boat Museum then returned back to Swan Hill at 4pm.  There is also an opportunity to enjoy the action of the Swan Hill June Racing Carnival for those who choose Option 2.  A late night departure will see us retracing our steps to Bendigo, where the engines will be turned and serviced.  Setting off in the still of night, we will creep through Elmore and Rochester before arriving in Echuca early Sunday morning.

There is so much to see and do in Echuca!  Explore the rich history of the region with its art, culture, food, wine, and picturesque landscapes; or inspect the Port of Echuca and cruise the Murray on the paddle steamer ‘Emmylou’ (see Option 4).  Fans of steam locomotion may like to attend the famous Echuca Steam Rally, an annual event that has been running for many years (see Option 7).  Monday morning we will say farewell to Echuca as we go back the way we came, but this time in daylight.  Enjoy the shimmering beauty of the Campaspe River region, a few hours to explore Bendigo, historic tunnels at Big Hill and Elphinstone, and the spectacular views afforded by the Taradale Viaduct and various stone bridges.  Our journey will conclude early evening as we alight at Southern Cross with many wonderful memories.

Please note: All linen is supplied in the sleeping carriages.

PAYMENT PLAN OPTION / CHILD FARES
You can opt to pay everything in full or pay a 25% deposit on booking, with payment to be made in full by Friday 17th May 2019.
Part payments can be made at any time by ringing the office on (03) 9397 1953. Part payments are unable to be processed automatically online. There are also child fares available upon request to Steamrail.

ON TRAIN SERVICE
Our on-train facilities include kiosks, which stock a wide range of light refreshments, sandwiches, souvenirs and hot and cold drinks.  A licensed bar will also be open serving a range of wine, beers and spirits.  Our courteous train officers will be on hand throughout the journey to provide any assistance to ensure an enjoyable and safe journey.

BREAKFAST
Breakfast is included each morning for all passengers at no extra cost.

OPTION 1 - SATURDAY DAY TOUR
Coach transfer to and from Swan Hill Station to the Pioneer Settlement Museum which will include a one hour cruise on the PS Pyap with morning tea served on the boat, free time to explore the museum, with a vintage car ride or horse drawn ride.  After a two course lunch in the Paragon cafe you will be transferred to the Catalina Boat Museum then returned back to Swan Hill at 4pm.

OPTION 2 - SATURDAY DAY TOUR
Coach transfer to and from Swan Hill station to the Swan Hill Jockey Club for the Murray Downs Golf and Country Club Swan Hill June Racing Carnival. 

OPTION 3 - SATURDAY HEARTBEAT OF THE MURRAY LASER SPECTACULAR
Set on the banks of the Little Murray River, the world-class Heartbeat of the Murray is a 360-degree multi-media spectacular unlike anything ever seen in Australia.  Using water, light, laser, sound and special effects to tell the story of the Murray, you’ll be transported back 30 million years, before travelling forward through time to the Murray River as we know it today.  This state-of-the-art show is the first of its kind in the world to use a natural river environment and setting as the background.  This starts at 7.30pm Saturday evening.

OPTION 4 - SUNDAY LUNCHEON CRUISE
Luncheon cruise on the Paddlesteamer Emmylou at 1.15pm.  Includes a delicious two course meal with a two hour cruise along the Murray.

OPTION 5 - SUNDAY CRUISE ON THE CANBERRA
One hour cruise on the Canberra with a packed lunch of sandwiches and slices.

OPTION 6 - SUNDAY ECHUCA DAY PASS
Echuca day pass includes coach transfer from the Echuca station to the Port of Echuca, guided tour of the Port, one hour cruise on the PS Canberra with a packed lunch of sandwiches and slices and tea or coffee, a visit to the Great Aussie Beer shed and the Historical Society, bringing you back to the station at around 4pm.

OPTION 7 - SUNDAY ECHUCA STEAM RALLY
Admission to the famous annual Echuca Steam Rally, where over 600 exhibitors display steam traction engines, model steam engines and boats, vintage cars and trucks and traditional pioneer and heritage skills.

OPTION 8 - SUNDAY RIVERLIGHTS SPECTACULAR
Riverlights spectacular on board the Pride of the Murray paddleboat.  Departing at 6.30pm, is a two hour cruise including a spit roast dinner, dessert and light show, with coach transfers included.

-TIMETABLE-
SUBJECT TO CHANGE. PLEASE CHECK THE TIME SHOWN ON YOUR TICKETS.

SOUTHERN CROSS DEPART (FRIDAY NIGHT) 9.52pm
PIANGIL ARRIVE (SATURDAY MORNING) 7.40am
PIANGIL DEPART (SATURDAY MORNING) 9.00am
SWAN HILL ARRIVE (SATURDAY MORNING) 10.10am
SWAN HILL DEPART (SUNDAY MORNING) 12.40am
ECHUCA ARRIVE (SUNDAY MORNING) 7.00am
ECHUCA DEPART (MONDAY MORNING) 9.20am
BENDIGO DEPART (MONDAY AFTERNOON) 1.55pm
SOUTHERN CROSS ARRIVE (MONDAY EVENING) 5.22pm

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