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Our clients’ satisfaction and their letters after each tour are our motivation to plan the next trip. It is our great pleasure to travel with our clients, many whom have become friends.  St James Rail has become a large happy family of travellers. We value our many regular clients whose support makes it possible to operate the tours.  


An SJR trip is simply a group of friends travelling together in the Journey of Life !

Scott Walker (Brisbane QLD)

I have been sitting here in the sun, reflecting on life and thinking about all the wonderful trips I have done with SJR.


I am not sure when I first came on board, I remember the trip to South Australia vividly, but I think it would have been 10 or 12 years ago. Since then, I have been on many journeys, both in Australia and to many parts of the globe.

Why is it so ? As the famous professor said, Why is it so ? Why would someone keep coming back to the same travel group ?


The answer is quite simple ! The trips are very well researched and planned to the finest detail. We have been on some amazing journeys, visited some remarkable places, seen some mind boggling scenery, stayed at some fantastic hotels, journeyed on some unusual trains, enjoyed some wonderful meals, AND lets not forget Takako’s amazing Culinary Creations !


But, it’s the people, the SJR travellers, that makes everything so special ! I could say that we are a group of like minded people traveling together, but we're not. We are anything but like minded, we are from all walks of life, different backgrounds, but moulded together enjoying a wonderful travel experience. An SJR trip is simply a group of friends travelling together in the Journey of Life !

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“Each new day was an adventure, visiting places that I would not normally have an opportunity to go to”

Marion Kelly (Wollongong NSW)

Thank you so much for an absolutely wonderful trip with our St. James Rail family. It was great to catch up with people I had travelled with previously as well as meet new ones. Once again your organising, tour activities, food presentation and accommodation were perfect.

“St James Rail tours have been the best in its specialised field”

Joseph and Wai Yoong (Newcastle NSW)

Wai Yoong and I have travelled with various tour groups and companies. We have seen between 55 and 70 nations around the globe respectively. So far, St James Rail tours have been the best in its specialised field. They offer the best value for money, balance for competing demands and still somewhat maximize what one can see or can do within limited hours and limited days.

“their customers are people returning time after time”

Trevor Dallen (Oyster Bay NSW)

Discover a tour group that is so successful they do not advertise, as most of their customers are returning time after time. It’s a testimonial of the meticulous planning and value added details by Owen Johnstone-Donnet and his wife Takako Ishige, who accompany each Australian & overseas tour. I discovered St James Rail by accident in 2013.  After booking a trip on the heritage Southern Aurora train to the Flinders Ranges it was so enjoyable I took two more holidays with St James Rail in 2014 and have booked two more for 2015.

YES I still find myself returning to travel with this excellent, hands on group, going in 2016 to Japan “WOW”. In 2017 Sri Lanka on our own private train, the Anzac week tours on the Southern Aurora. 2018 driving golf carts along a 142 km rail line in New Zealand, etc. It is now 2020 and despite Covid-19 restrictions I have been able to escape lockdown for some small 4-day escapes in NSW. Why do I keep coming back? It’s because their rail orientated and flexible tours, personally escorted by SJR’s director Owen Johnstone - Donnet & his Japanese wife Takako are like travelling with family, very flexible on the tour changes while discovering the most interesting places to visit & the best food to eat!

“an experience that I will always remember”

Tony Bradshaw (Greenwich NSW)

From the first day when Takako met me at Narita airport, until the final day when you saw me off at the same airport, the whole tour was - thanks to you both - for me a great success and provided an experience that I will always remember.

'incredibly well researched and meticulously planned'

Peter and Joan (Mosman, NSW)

There is no better way to travel than with St James Rail. The journeys are incredibly well researched and meticulously planned, by Owen Johnstone-Donnet, the founder and leader, but the experience is what it is all about. It is not just another tour group.

'group touring at its best'

Roger and Elizabeth (Medlow Bath, NSW)

To travel with SJR is to experience group touring at its best. The tours planned by Owen Johnstone-Donnet and Takako Ishige are innovative, meticulously researched, with many unique features. 


John and Gail (Summer  Hill, NSW)

You are unique in what you do and I know no other organisation like you. We would love to go everywhere with you, and we remember the Japanese tours as highlights of our life.

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