We are always looking for fun and different things to do as a family. Recently we jumped aboard the Mary Valley Rattler, to find out what makes this little slice of history so loved by the local community.
Our adventure started at Amamoor station. Amamoor is an historic town bordered by Amamoor State Forest.
We caught the 11am train to Gympie, but make sure you get to Amamoor a little early so you can see the train turn on the restored turntable. There is also a lovely café at the station with great coffee and cakes (try the super-cute train biscuits!), so it’s worth stopping there before you board. You can also grab it as takeaway to take on the train.
Once you step aboard the beautifully restored train, the journey begins. Travel along tracks that have been brought back to life, enjoy the breathtaking scenery as the train winds its way through the Mary Valley, passing through the picturesque town of Dagun, alongside the Mary River, and on to Gympie.
During the journey, the staff come through the carriages to chat to you – to find out where you are from and why you are travelling. We were blown away with how friendly everyone was. The train announcer will also greet everyone over the loudspeaker and wish you a happy birthday, so make sure you let them know if it’s a special occasion as you will certainly get a mention!
The journey to Gympie was beautiful. The kids loved looking out the window, seeing the steam from the engine and taking the adventure in. And it was wonderful just to watch the world go by together – spotting animals in the fields, and cloud busting in the sky.
It takes around an hour to get to Gympie, arriving at midday. You then have an hour and a half at Gympie, where there is a museum with a historical display that shares stories of the Mary Valley Railway line and its people. There is also a gift shop and café for lunch. Then it’s back on the train to return to Amamoor.
It was such a lovely, enjoyable day, and a truly unique way to spend some quality time as a family. Plus, riding on a real steam train is something the kids will never forget!
For another memorable trip, catch the Picnic Train, where picnic hampers are available to enjoy on the journey. Or, if you have a very special occasion, you can travel in style in the iconic Club Car, where you are served local cheese and wine as you travel.
All rides on the Mary Valley Rattler are return trips, no one-way fares available. You can catch the train from Amamoor or from Gympie. Make sure you book ahead as it can get busy.
Find out more at maryvalleyrattler.com.au.