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Tour departs Canberra Friday 25 October 2024

The Zig Zag Railway was first opened in 1869 as part of the western railway line that linked Sydney with western New South Wales. In 1910, a ten tunnel deviation was completed and the Great Lithgow Zig Zag closed, but 50 years later the Zig Zag Railway was born. Many will remember riding the Zig Zag Railway in the 70s, 80s or 90s.

Unfortunately, in 2012 the railway was forced to close due to rising costs and increasingly complex regulatory requirements. Following the closure, two significant bushfires and a flood devastated the railway and left the site damaged and volunteers with an enormous challenge. Since then, the wonderful local community has been working hard to return the railway to its former glory. This work has seen the restoration of locomotives, passenger carriages and all 11 kilometres of track!

Come with us on this 3 day, 2 night tour to experience, or ‘re-experience’ the Zig Zag Railway in all its glory, as well as some other fantastic sights and experiences of the Lithgow region.

 

Day 1 – Canberra to Lithgow – L

This morning we head north to Goulburn, and then on to Lithgow ‘the back way’ via Abercrombie Gorge, with a coffee stop in quaint Taralga. We arrive in Lithgow in time for lunch. After lunch we take a guided tour of the historic Eskbank House Museum in Lithgow and learn about the many, many lives and stories of this romantic 1841 cottage.

nineteenth century sandstone cottage with verandah and lawn in front

 

We will stretch the legs a little more and explore the town before checking in to our accommodation and enjoy dinner in-house.

Stay at Black Gold Motel, 121 Main St Wallerawang P:6355 7305

Day 2 – Lithgow – B,L

All aboard! This morning is all about our ride on the Zig Zag Railway, departing from Clarence Zig Zag Station on the Chifley road above Lithgow. The journey is 90 minutes from Clarence Station via Top Points to Bottom Points then return to Clarence. After the journey we will have time to enjoy the historic artefacts, trains and souvenir shop located at the refurbished Clarence Station.

old steam engine and carriages on the side of a hill crossing sandstone bridge

 

After lunch in Lithgow, we will visit Portland and the painted silos. The silos were painted in April and May 2018 by artist Guido Van Helten. The six individuals represented in the artwork are all former employees who shared their recollections of working at the Portland Cement Works and how their lives have been impacted by the industry in their town.

five painted silos with male figures in grey scale

Portland Painted Silos

 

We then head back into Lithgow for a very ‘Gang Gang’ surprise (!?) before dinner at the Lithgow Workies.

Stay at Black Gold Motel, 121 Main St Wallerawang P:6355 7305

 

Day 3 – Lithgow to Canberra – B,L

After some free time in town this morning, we will visit the Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum which was formed to celebrate the history of the factory. This unique history is about people – their aspirations, achievements and disappointments, the economic and social hardships endured, the influence of our British heritage on Australia in the early 1900s, and sheer human stubbornness. It is also about the introduction of new technologies into the emerging new nation, as the Lithgow Small Arms Factory was Australia’s first high precision mass production facility.

black and white photo of men sitting on stools in front of machines manufacturing small arms circa WWII?

After lunch in town, we will head back to Canberra via Taralga and Goulburn.

 

Tour departs Canberra Friday 15 March 2024 and Friday 25 October 2024

Inclusions:
Pick up from your door in the Canberra region
All transport
All accommodation
All activities as above
Meals as indicated above
Two fabulous tour guides and lots of fun and laughs!

Not included:
2 dinners
Coffee and/or cake at morning tea stops
Alcohol

Cost: 
$1460 per person double or twin share
Single supplement = $180

 

PLEASE NOTE:
This tour requires a minimum of 8 guests to run.
This tour involves walking (sometimes over uneven surfaces) and stairs at some locations. All accommodation is on ground level and has walk-in showers.
Booking with us is confirmation that you have read our Terms and Conditions HERE.

For a downloadable printable pdf version of the itinerary, please click HERE.

 

Thank you for your interest in our tour, and please do not hesitate in contacting us should you have any questions at all, including how to book your seat/s.

We look forward to having you on board soon!

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