The heritage Mary Valley Rattler will debut a new Tasting Train food experience on 12 November with famed chef and local food ambassador, Matt Golinski, on board to launch the culinary journey.
The Tasting Train will depart the fully-restored Gympie Station every Tuesday at 11am (returning 2pm) and take passengers through one of Australia’s richest and most picturesque food regions – Mary Valley.
The RM 76 railmotor, The Red Rocket, will draw the carriages stopping at historic stations along the way before arriving at Amamoor, in the heart of the Mary Valley.
Passengers will learn about Mary Valley’s evolution as a premium food destination and the Mary Valley Line’s role in connecting people and produce.
A tasting plate of local fare will be provided during the journey, with a lunch option on the platform at Amamoor Station. Join a communal table lunch setting showcasing local produce and Station made goodies
The Tasting Train journey is available for $59 ($49 concession) and $20 for the lunch option. Beverages can be purchased at the Platform No. 1 Café before departure or at the lunch stop.
The revival of the Rattler included a major investment in the development of the Platform No. 1 Café that also provides a showcase for local produce offering a quality range of bistro-style meals for breakfast and lunch.
Matt Golinski, the Gympie Region Food Ambassador, has already had a food association with the Mary Valley Rattler, having catered for the special DeguSTATION food event during The Curated Plate food festival.
He believes that the Rattler can play a tremendous role in opening up the produce and food experiences of the Mary Valley to new audiences.
“This is one of the most fertile farm areas in Australia – you can grow just about everything from meat and dairy to exotic fruits, vegetables and herbs, and it will be wonderful for passengers to get both a visual and actual taste of the Mary Valley as they travel on a heritage train,” he said.
“The return of the Rattler is opening up the Valley to wider tourism and that in turn will see more farmgate experiences launched. Tourism and food are natural bedfellows, and I believe the new Tasting Train is a great example of a tourism business linking up with food producers to create a product that really captures the essence of the destination.”
The Mary Valley heritage railway line dates back to the 1880s, when gold and agriculture opened up the Gympie region to a massive population increase. The service ran until the 1990s, when the Rattler was re-launched as a tourist train until it closed in 2012, due to the need for an upgrade of the line.
The Rattler got back on the rails last year, and has carried over 30,000 passengers since then, as well as doubling the number of operating days.
For bookings and further information: www.maryvalleyrattler.com.au