11 Apr 24

Gold Premium cars join Journey Beyond trains

Courtesy of Journey Beyond.

Woods Bagot-designed Gold Premium carriages join Journey Beyond’s authentically Australian train journeys.   

Designed by Woods Bagot, the interior of Gold Premium references the richness of Australian culture in the colours and textures of the outback landscape. 

Woods Bagot Principal Rosina Di Maria said the overhaul of the carriages respects the legacy of Australia’s most iconic railways, while reinvigorating the carriages with a contemporary expression. 

“The carriages convey the beauty and romance long associated with slow travel, with a design response that is deeply contextual to the history and topography of Australia,” says Di Maria. “The Gold Premium carriages restore the glamour of transcontinental rail travel that capture a genuine sense of place.” 

Cross-country rail has long been a part of Australian travel, tracing back to the nineteenth century. The design captures the old-world elegance of rail travel with art deco detailing and a recreation of the pressed metal ceiling that was once present in the Queen Adelaide dining car.  

As well as retaining the historic detail, the design narrative references the lands across which the train travels, and the people who live on it.   

“We were inspired by First Nations artist Albert Namatjira (1902-1959) and his celebrated paintings that capture the landscape the train travels through,” says  Woods Bagot interior designer Bonnie Hamilton. The palette responds to Namatjira’s works, from the silver ghost gums to the terracotta tones woven through the spaces. 

Courtesy Journey Beyond.

Courtesy Journey Beyond.

Interior detailing.

“The Ghan, Indian Pacific and Great Southern are an integral part of Australia’s tourism story and the journeys are designed to forge a greater connection to country for our guests,” says David Donald, Executive General Manager, Rail at Journey Beyond. “Woods Bagot’s design story extends this connection into the interior design, contributing to the sense of place throughout the journey.”

Aboriginal prints are woven into Gold Premium upholstery, with “Milamara” by the late Jean Baptiste Apuatimi referencing the ochre patterning traditionally painted on dancers’ bodies. Durrmu “Terra” by Kathleen Korda – a ceremonial dot paint design digitally printed on velvet – has been incorporated in the lounge banquettes and restaurant seating.  

JamFactory “Poke” wall lights in freeform blown glass were custom-made by local artists, showcased in the lounge and restaurant. Natural stone with dramatic veining evokes the topography of the outback, while custom carpet references the leaves of the silvered ghost gums.

The design team was engaged on the Gold Premium project following its successful rejuvenation of Journey Beyond’s Platinum carriages in 2019.  

The refurbished carriages are rolling out on Journey Beyond trains in stages, starting April 2024 with The Ghan (Adelaide – Darwin) before joining the Great Southern in December 2024 (Adelaide – Brisbane) and the Indian Pacific (Sydney – Perth) in 2025.

Journey Beyond is an experiential tourism group, focused on providing its guests with uniquely Australian travel experiences.


Courtesy of Journey Beyond.

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Isla Sutherland
Content and Communications Specialist (Australia & New Zealand)

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