The Cape - travel options

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 08:46
ThreadID: 105983 Views:1735 Replies:5 FollowUps:5
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I'm thinking about doing a Cape trip with some friends and one of them suggested the option of training the Prado to Cairns and driving from there. I wondering if anyone else has done this and was it cost effective? It would no doubt be more comfortable and faster. I've done the Cape before, many years ago by bike from Port Douglas. I have also driven from Sydney to Port many times and don't particularly want to do it again.
Has anyone else done this or considered it's worth?
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Reply By: Member - Chris_K - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 08:50

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 08:50
Hi Bazza

We considered this ourselves but in the end the cost was a little prohibitive. Also not all the services take vehicles, and from memory there were also height restrictions, and restrictions on what could be taken in the vehicle. Perhaps a call to Queensland Rail or a check of their web site would assist. The drive to Cairns is PITA I know why you would consider it!

AnswerID: 525253

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 12:06

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 12:06
We did it in 2012. Both our son and his wife and the two of us travelled in a couple of 5 star dual berth cabins on the Queenslander between Brisbane and cairs with our two car on a car carriage on the same train. Very comfortable and all top restaurant rated meals included.

Cost effective. No way. But it was a good experience. We have also travelled, with car, on the Ghan to and from Darwin and the Indian Pacific to Perth. A great experience but was it cost effective.


AnswerID: 525265

Follow Up By: Bazza - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 12:25

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 12:25
Hi Phil,
That's the sort of info I'm after. Thank you.
When you say it wasn't cost effective, is that priced against the cost of vehicle fuel, accommodation & meals, if you'd driven up and back to Brisbane? I don't mind paying more for the experience and comfort, I just don't want to pay twice as much for it.
FollowupID: 807154

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 12:35

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 12:35
If we hadn't taken the train we would have driven non stop to Cairns. We had a schedule to be in Cairns and to meet others there. So we didn't even bother looking at the cost side of it as it was a non stop ride on a luxury train with great meals thrown in or a non stop drive with hamburgers and pies in the car. We chose the luxury. After all we deserved it and we like trains to boot.

Really can't compare costs as we never added any up for that section.

FollowupID: 807155

Follow Up By: Bazza - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 14:10

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 14:10
That's a fair call. I like trains too. I like to know the cost of all the available options before making a choice on things, must be the Scotsman in me.
Thanks Phil.
FollowupID: 807164

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 14:36

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 14:36
I am doing a bucket list with the Canning as the last entry.32rd Dec2009 I was diagnosed and buggered if I am going to miss out. You may have the time to save the pennies. I may not. So we went. It wasn't really a lot of money. Just dearer than driving. A lot.

Just a brief scan of QR site gave me these. $900 each one way. Motorail is $500 per car Brisbane to Cairns.

I would most definitely say that it was way, way cheaper driving.


FollowupID: 807166

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 14:37

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 14:37
Oops That should have read On the 23rd Dec 2009 . . . .
FollowupID: 807167

Reply By: Hoyks - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 18:27

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 18:27

This is from Brissy, Then you also need tickets for the passengers. It can add up easily to a grand, but then if you are driving you have wear on the vehicle, tyres, fuel and accommodation, but you step off the train ready to go, rather than 1/2 shattered from driving for 20+ hours.

I was seriously tempted, but then read everything has to be within the vehicle.... roof top tent, sorry.
AnswerID: 525284

Reply By: aboutfivebucks (Pilbara) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 19:13

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 19:13
you also have the option of throwing your car on the Sea Swift barge from Cairns to the tip and sleeping in passenger comfort.
again, not economic - but a good experience.
you'll save some wear and tear on your vehicle and wont miss anything in the cape.
AnswerID: 525290

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 13:13

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 13:13
If you are thinking of using a train between Brisbane and Cairns then check this out.Spirit of Queensland

QR is taking all the romance out of travel. Need more money spinning alternatives.

They are dumping the Queenslander class and also the whole Sunlander.

We would have rated that train above the Indian Pacific and Ghan for everything. Replacing it with those stupid single seat capsule things they use on planes and making it a tilt train. I can't sleep in a baby's capsule so if you are the same and expect to be able to get off the other end and just drive forget the train.

Another stuff up by Queensland.

Stick to the highways people and smell the roses ionstead of a carriage full of baby capsules and only one shower. I bet not every one would shower or even get much sleep.

AnswerID: 525626

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