This was a terrific tour of Tasmania and their Railways! Tony the tour guide was incredibly well informed and fun. He gave a great introduction to railway history in Tasmania. The entire trip from start to finish was professionally done and fabulous.We had a wonderful, funny, informative tour and Tony kept everyone on time so we got to see all and more than expected. The places we stayed in at night, lunches and dinners were all great. We had wonderful weather, only a little rain one morning, which made this trip extra special.My wife and I are not train enthusiast as most people on the tour, who were all lovely and very friendly. However saying that, we felt that this tour suited both train enthusiast, and people who just love train travel and hearing history of railways in Tasmania and Tasmania’s past. Over view: Great tour, great accommodations, great food, great company and the best guide we have ever had on any tour. We will highly recommend it to everyone.
from Christene Just wanted to thank you from all of us – Danny, Chris, Ed and Keith for such a greatly planned tour.
The variety of items of interest that was seen was excellent. My brother was very impressed (he is not a train buff) – he saw parts of Tasmania he never thought he would. The food was also excellent (I think you fed us a bit too well). Accommodation was older but clean and comfortable and that is all you want. So thank you and Tony for a job well done and one with wonderful memories. P.S. Can you give us details for next year’s program, a lot of people are asking about your tour and perhaps would like to go next year’s.
from Keith GRET was a most enjoyable and memorable trip. Tony’s Rail knowledge and local knowledge enhanced the experience for all.
Mark said What a wonderful tour you organised for us. I had never been to Tasmania nor been on an organised tour before. I have been recommending the 2018 tour to my friends. It was well worth while arriving in Launceston 2 days before the start of the tour. This gave me time to explore the city and also meet Bruce & Jan, Keith & Tony.
Tony was a fantastic driver & guide. His knowledge of Tasmania & especially it’s railways was very much appreciated by all. Towards the end of the tour he asked what we thought was the highlight & if any improvements could be made. The highlight for me was the west coast with the Gordon River Cruise & the WCWR from Strahan to Queenstown. Honestly I don’t know what improvements could be made. I came home a satisfied tourist. My fellow travellers were a very nice group. We all got on very well together. I now have 15 more friends. Thank you again for a great experience. Regards Mark Hollins.
First passengers from New Zealand: Bruce and Jan wrote:
Being the first two Kiwis to join the 8 day Gret tour we hadn’t realised there were so many steam trains and transport museums still operating in Tasmania giving old and young alike so much pleasure.
We had Airpoints to use up before some expired, so Jan was given the task of finding something to do in Australia. She didn’t want to do Sydney or Brisbane as we had done them too many times and the Steam train at Cairns hasn’t run for a decade. Having been brought up travelling the Christchurch-Greymouth steam train (South Island, New Zealand) as a child in the early 50’s she had a passion for Steam trains. When Jan saw the advertisement on the web for the GRET tour she said we had just had to do it.
Although there were only 15 people on the tour, we thoroughly enjoyed our new found Aussie tour friends and our fantastic leader and coach driver, Tasmanian Tony Coen was very knowledge on everything Tasmania, friendly, considerate and a safe excellent driver which just made the tour. Sixteen of us including Tony on a 1980’s 57 seater Denning coach kept in amazing comfortable condition by Redline Coaches.
The hotels/motels we stayed at were ‘spot on’, no complaints. Meals were excellent – at times a little large but were lovely and fresh.
While travelling along the West Coast Wilderness Railway from Regatta Point station, Strahan with glistening polished old Mt Lyell Railway engines (ABT) lovingly restored, then after lunchbox changing train to a ‘Rack and Gorge line’ onto Queenstown we thought we were back home on the West Coast of the South Island – the scenery is identical. We were also surprised to come across so many towns with the same names as New Zealand towns, eg Queenstown, Glenorchy, Sheffield, Murchison and more.
We were asked by Tony “What was our favourite part of the tour”. Jan’s was the SteamFest at Sheffield – just magic and very hard to leave. Steam train & miniature train rides, steam transaction engines, threshing mills, old tractors and vintage cars and much, much more. We just loved the whole week of steam trains, museums and river cruises, the food and the great OZ travelling mates and even greater memories. Overall there were too many highlights as they were all great which included the World Heritage Dinner cruise out of Strahan on the Gordon River, the Wee Georgie Wood Railway at Tullah, the Rail Track Riders (specially designed jiggers for pedalling along 3km of rail track through bush at Maydena in the Derwent Valley (Puff, Puff), the Tasmanian Transport museum at Glenorchy, Hobart and even the short Tram ride at the Launceston Tramway Museum especially opened for us to conclude the tour.
Bruce enjoyed the huge steam collection and train trip along the Don River Railway. Who could forget the lovely old quaint open two carriage train on the Ida Bay Railway, the line constructed in the 1920’s for limestone cartage, and the fantastic luncheon put on by its amazing host Meg Thornton.
This was our first visit to Tasmania – wished we had known before of the steam sites that are available or we would have been there earlier.
This tour is highly recommended and we will be promoting it around several steam attractions, organisations and mini railways in New Zealand.