Office closures

Our offices will be closed from 1pm on Friday the 18th December and we will return at 9am on January the 4th 2021.

We hope that you can enjoy a break as well! While we appreciate your interest in the Savannahlander we would prefer it if you can hold your query until we return.

You are welcome to leave an email enquiry or phone message but please be aware that they will be checked later in the first week of January as we will prioritise bookings that have been received during the holiday closure.

Please note that while our office is close we will not be processing bookings but will process them in the order that they are received when we return in January 2021. At that stage you may appreciate that both us and our suppliers will be inundated so your patience is appreciated. We would not expect to be able to start confirming tours until the second week in January at the earliest.

The year that was…

As 2020 draws to a close it is time for us to take a break and perhaps have a look back on the year that was. For many 2020 will be a time that is etched in their memory for years to come.

Thank you to all those who have supported us, travelled with us and been patient with us during what has been a tumultuous year. To those who have lost loved ones through this pandemic, our thoughts go out to you understanding that for some, this holiday season will be tempered with sadness.

While we will be back in the office in January- the Savannahlander itself will start it’s weekly service from Cairns to Forsayth commencing March 3rd in 2021. We look forward to heading out again and hope that you may join us sometime through the year.

2021 Bookings now open

After a tumultuous 2020 season, the Savannahlander has returned from it’s last trip of the year. Whilst our drivers will have a well earned break – we are busy in the office organising your trip in 2021.

It’s easy to book and we have made notes on the various pages as you go. A good place to start is our Departure Dates and Tour Availability page.

We understand that the world has changed and that everyone is a little uncertain about plans for the future relating to the coronavirus. To allow you to book with confidence we would like to extend our “Covid Cancellation Money Back Guarantee”

Book with confidence – if you are unable to travel due to covid related reasons (border closures, local quarantine etc) we will refund your money back in full including your deposit.

Please view our booking terms and conditions for full details.

2020 Covid Cancellation Policy

At the Savannahlander we understand that travel in these times has proven to be far less certain than in the past and that unexpected change is the new way of life.

Travel in these times is a privilege and we would like to encourage and support those who wish to enjoy our wonderful region and support the many families and businesses who work to make this one of Australia’s most unique outback rail experiences.

We have developed a “covid cancellation policy” with the aim to achieve the following:

  • encourage travel on the Savannahlander by reducing financial risk for the passengers due to changing travel conditions;
  • maintain availability of the product for those who can still travel;
  • increase safety for our staff and passengers by not penalising those who need to cancel travel due to coronavirus related illness, thus encouraging them to stay home.

Whilst we have an open and compassionate policy, we also have been inundated with requests to “speculatively” book by people who cannot travel at the moment but hope to do so if travel restrictions ease.

Out standard cancellation policy still applies as noted in our booking terms and conditions. In addition to this we have the following policy in place relating to coronavirus and cancellation due to related illness and/or related travel restrictions.

  1. If you are unable to travel due to coronavirus related travel restrictions (ie. border closures) that have come into effect after you made your booking, we will offer you a full refund of your deposit or we can hold your deposit for priority booking for a tour package in 2021. (priority booking explained below)
  2. If you have made a booking while you are unable to travel (ie. in the hope that restrictions ease) and are unable to travel – your deposit is forfeit.
  3. Full payment for your tour is due 30 days prior to departure unless you have made alternative arrangements with our office.
  4. There are no refund for cancellations under any circumstance (covid or non-covid related) for cancellations made 14 days or less from departure.
  5. If you have a covid related reason that you cannot travel with 14 days or less notice from departure – we will approach our suppliers on your behalf with the circumstances of your cancellation and pass on any refund that that give us in full to you. You may be asked to provide some documentation to support your claim in this case.

Priority booking for the 2021 season will be managed by opening the bookings process for 2021 only to those people for whom we are holding a deposit. We will keep this open for 2 weeks before opening bookings to those registered on our advance booking list for another 2 weeks. After this bookings will be open to tour agents and the general public.

Services to Restart

With the recent announcement by the QLD premier that travel restrictions being eased we have been a part of a larger community of tour and transport operators who have been working to interpret the new guidelines to ensure the safety of our staff and passengers.

While the accelerated easing of restrictions has been welcomed, the planning required to start booking passengers on all of our tour packages takes a little more time.

We will be resuming weekly services on the Savannahlander on the 10th June, however this will be for staff training purposes so that we can test our new Covid operating procedures. Passenger services are scheduled to resume as of the 17th June and will continue weekly until the last service departing Cairns on the 25th November.

Bookings will be opened on June 10th for all tours that are available under the new Covid-Safe operating plans.

As part of our services resuming there are a few important changes for all passengers, regardless of when they have booked with us:

  1. Not all tour packages are available for booking at this time – please refer to the website for available packages which will be updated as options become available
  2. We will happily make changes to your booking if new options become available with no administrative cost – you will be invoiced just the difference in cost of the tour packages (ie. you may add a tour when/if it becomes available and just pay the difference)
  3. For those with current bookings your tour will proceed as originally booked, unless you hear from us specifically about any changes.
  4. We will start to take bookings via our website on the 10th June for a selection of tours.

As with so many businesses throughout Queensland, we are responding to a rapidly changing environment and we hope that you understand that some details may change. Please check our website for the latest information.

Our website will have the relevant booking forms for the tours that are available and we will process completed bookings as they are received. Please note that any bookings made via telephone will be processed in the same order as those received online.

2020 Standby / Updates List

If your preferred date or tour is not available, why not join our 2020 Stand By list? It’s FREE and all you need to give us is your name and email address.

If you are unsure about the situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and how that affects your travel plans – this is the perfect list to sign up to as we will broadcast to this list with information regarding schedules and availability.

Use the form below to sign up for our 2020 standby list. You will be sent an email to confirm your subscription. As soon as we have some new availabilities due to cancellations or releases from our suppliers – we will let this email list know FIRST.

Please note that we simply broadcast out to the group and the first to reply will be offered the places, we do not manage a “queue” or numbered waiting list.



Christmas Office Hours

With 2019 drawing to a close, the team at the Savannahlander would like to wish you all the best for a safe and happy Christmas.

Our super drivers Leigh, Wil and Anthony will all be having a well-earned break over the shut-down period and will return to their roles driving and guiding the Savannahlander in 2020.

Our first trip for 2020 is scheduled for the 4th March and we will continue our established weekly schedule until the last trip on the 25th November 2020.

Our offices will be closed from the 20th December and re-open on the 6th January but you can still book online at . Bookings will be processed in the order that they are received – so with dates starting to fill already it will pay to get in early!

Once again – best wishes for the holidays and we will see you in the new year.

Welcome Sandra!

With the 2019 season coming to a close, the rails will be a little quieter for the next few months and our drivers can take a well-deserved break. However in the office we are as busy as every getting things ready for the 2020 season! As part of this, we would like to welcome Sandra, the newest member of the team at the Savannahlander.

“Born and bred” in Far North Queensland, Sandra is familiar with the area and has been on the Savannahlander before – apparently it was so good that she has agreed to work with us!

So if you are booking with us or calling the office there is a good chance that you will have the opportunity to say hello.

2020 Bookings are now OPEN

After a fantastic year we are happy to announce that the 2020 season bookings are now available to be made online. While the itineraries have been kept similar we have made some adjustments to the way you can book your tour and to the room type/fare classes.

You can see all the tours and book them via our tours page on the website.

Our schedule will be the same as this year, we will run 39 weeks of the year starting in the first week of March (4th) until the last trip of the year on the 25th November.

There will be some slight changes to the tour packages available, such as:

  • Accommodation at the Undara Lava Lodge in the converted railway carriages will only be available on tours departing :
    • 30th March / 1st April
    • 6th / 8th April
    • 27th / 29th April
    • 14th /16th September
    • 12th / 14th October
    • 19th / 21st October
  • Three different accommodation options will now be available on the Savannah Explorer tour package
  • A new pricing structure will see tours in June, July and August (peak season) increase in price, but only slightly in the off-peak season.
  • Our Single Supplements will be raised in the peak season.
  • A new fare class “Happy to Share” will allow solo travellers to travel throughout the year on a greatly reduced single supplement (or none at all) if they are willing to be matched with another traveller of the same gender in a twin-share room or 2 room cabin.

Job Vacancy at the Savannahlander

Are you organised, have a keen attention to detail and have that super ability to answer the phone with a smile that our customers can hear in your voice ?

Well – the Savannahlander may just be the right place for you!

We are hiring an administration support person for our offices. This is filling an existing position that has recently become vacant with a slightly expanded role to complement planned changes in our business systems.

Key Details

  • Please do not telephone the office for questions or additional details (we are short staffed without you already!).
  • Please direct all queries and applications to
  • You may address your application to the Business Development Manager, Robert Rutten.
  • A full Position Description is available online here.
  • Please view the information on our website to familiarise yourself with our product and operation.
  • Your application should include your resume with a cover letter.
  • Please email your application no later than the 21st October, however please note that we are motivated to hire and will accept early applications and may start interviews with successful applicants prior to this date.
  • All applications will receive a response by the 23rd October.