While December in the Illawarra is traditionally a time for Santa photos, handmade gift markets and carolling, the pandemic has worked to curtail some of our most cherished Christmas events.
The Kiama Picnic Train is set to fill part of the void on the seasonal calendar with a special festive tour next month.
Wheels are in motion for the historic train - decked with decorations to put travellers in the festive mood and hauled by the legendary Baldwin steam locomotive, 5917 - to run two midweek tours in December.
After grinding to a halt in March due to the worldwide virus outbreak, the steam train rides returned in October under COVID-safe rules and sold out every run, Picnic Trains spokesman David Bottin said.
"We decided to run these two midweek tours in the lead-up to Christmas to provide those who haven't been able to experience our regular weekend tours - such as midweek tour groups, seniors groups and people looking to give an early present to family and friends - a chance to enjoy a steam train ride to Kiama," he said.
"We're also planning more tours next autumn, and fingers crossed restrictions will have eased all together by then."
The Kiama Picnic Train travels from Sydney to Kiama and back.
The rides will run on Wednesday and Thursday, December 16-17.
Details at www.picnictrain.com.au.
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