With a two-year-old that loves anything that ‘choo-choos’—from Thomas the Tank Engine to Pepper Pig’s Train Adventure—there were squeals of delight when we announced we were going on The Mary Valley Rattler. Our little cherub was amazed while watching the Polar Express, but nothing compared to the magic of this real rail experience!
We arrived early enough to wander through the station’s historic display, which was a fabulous insight into the story of the iconic train line.
Greeted by a very friendly volunteer named Robert, nickname ‘86’, we heard the whistle announcing departure from Gympie, and off we went!
Now, this trip was not just about the whooshes of steam, oh no! There was so much to learn on the journey, including how important the Rattler was to the community. I didn’t know that Gympie was said to be ‘the town that saved Queensland’ (with the discovery of Gold in 1867).
With so many cattle to view, tunnels to zoom through, rivers to cross and the locals waving as we passed, our little one was kept amused the whole way.
On arrival at Amamoor Station, there was a little market and a friendly café with live music. We enjoyed having a good dance to the band, who were delighted they had such a big (little) fan.
We also got to see the train turn on a turntable, which was quite exciting for all!
The train has refreshments to purchase onboard on the lovely, relaxing journey back to Gympie.
Our little one had a magical day aboard the Mary Valley Rattler! For kids through to grandparents, it is a magical slice of history for the whole family.
By Francesca Goad