A Travel Guide For The Queensland Explorer Pass.

The Queensland Explorer Pass is one of the most attractive rail passes in Australia. The railway lines run through Queensland along the coast and connect Brisbane with Cairns at the Great Barrier Reef and also leads into the outback. The city of Cairns is considered the gateway to the reef and the tropical Daintree Rainforest.

Queensland’s capital, Brisbane, is located between the surf beaches of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. You can travel the route without a limit, which gives you extra flexibility and freedom to travel Queensland at your own pace and according to your individual plans.


What is the Queensland Explorer Pass?

With the Queensland Explorer Pass, you can travel unlimited on all Queensland Rail long-distance routes for 1 or 2 months, including domestic routes to Mount Isa, Longreach and Charleville where you can explore the outback.

All railbuses that run from inland stations to the coast (e.g. Hervey Bay, Airlie Beach, Yeppoon) are included.

Who can use the Queensland Explorer Pass?

All non-Australian citizens can buy the Pass. It is not possible to buy the rail pass as an Australian or as a person with a ‘Permanent Resident’ status.

Where can I use the Queensland Explorer Pass?

You can travel on all 4 major rail routes in the Australian state Queensland with the Queensland Explorer Pass. The following trains are included in the pass:


  • Spirit of Queensland: Brisbane – Cairns
  • Tilt Train: Brisbane – Rockhampton
  • Spirit of the Outback: Brisbane – Longreach
  • The Inlander: Townsville – Mount Isa
  • The Westlander: Brisbane – Charleville

How much does it cost?

1 Month (Consecutive)
AUD $ 210
2 Months (Consecutive) 
AUD $ 273

ROUTES FOR THE Qeensland Explorer PASS

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How does it work?

You can buy your train pass for Australia either online, at a travel agency, or directly at the station.
If you choose to book online, all you need to do is enter your planned departure date, pay and your ticket will be sent by email.

After purchasing the Queensland Coastal Pass, you will receive a voucher that you need to exchange for the actual travel pass. You can just go to a ticket office exchange location in Australia before you take your first train. Exchange your Queensland Explorer Pass in time as shipping may take 3-5 business days.

The first leg of your journey must be commenced no later than 6 months after purchase. From this day on the pass is valid for 1 or 2 months.
The Queensland Explorer Pass, unlike the Queensland Coastal Pass, is not directional. So you can go back and forth in each direction as often as you like.


The rail pass entitles you to travel but does not include a seat. As standing room is not permitted on Australian trains, it is necessary to reserve a seat free of charge in advance for each part of the journey via “Queensland Rail” or “NSW TrainLink”.

Please note that you should book your reservation at least 24 hours before departure. During the high season between December and February, it is recommended that you book your seat a few weeks in advance. The easiest way to make a reservation is by phone or e-mail.

Depending on your pass, you will need to contact either Queensland Rail or NSW TrainLink to finalize your reservation. Please have your ticket number ready. You should also carry your passport with you at all times as the ticket number may be checked. Contact details for the reservation will be provided with your travel documents.

Good to know

The Queensland Explorer Pass includes not only train travel but also coach travel on the following routes:


  • Maryborough – Hervey Bay
  • Proserpine – Airlie Beach
  • Barcaldine – Winton
  • Charleville – Quilpie
  • Charleville – Cunnamulla

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