The Carriageway Story

Anyone who travelled on the New South Wales rail network prior to 1989 would remember with some fondness the old ‘Red Rattlers’. These famous old train carriages were in commission for over six decades and were legendary for their durability. The Rattlers made their journey to Dungog station, the most northerly station on the Sydney Urban train network.

Dungog station is also listed as a heritage building as it represents one of the first examples of “Functionalist” architecture in a Railway setting. The station displays fine decorative brickwork, well detailed parapets, strong horizontal planes and wide steel awnings, which make it aesthetically congruous and representative of the Functionalist design.

Production of the Rattlers began in Newcastle in 1927 at the now defunct Walsh Island Dockyard situated in Newcastle Harbour, and the finished carriages were transported to the railyards by the steamer SS Minerva. Between 1927 and 1929 some 248 cars were produced at the site with a peak workforce of 2,200 workers. After more than sixty years of service they became affectionately known as the ‘Red Rattlers’due to their fading brick-red colour scheme and their noisy nature.
The Carriageway has five of the original carriages, four that have been lovingly converted to fully self-contained accommodation and the amazing dining room for the aptly named ‘Rattlers’ restaurant. The 1920’s art-deco aesthetic has been carefully respected in the conversions and delivers a truly unique experience for all who visit.

Carriageway has five original carriages

Destiny Haven

Carriageway Retreat is a new venture undertaken by Destiny Haven, a not for profit residential treatment program that exists to support women overcoming life controlling issues, broken relationships and domestic and childhood abuse. Destiny Haven’s mission is to provide women with a safe haven in which they can discover their full potential and true destiny.

"Our philosophy is simple: sustainability and hospitality under one roof."

Destiny Haven has a number of thriving social enterprise ventures including boutique handmade Belgian chocolates, jams and relishes, candles and diffusers, hand sewn products and hand-crafted jewellery. Our complex is only four kilometres up the road from Carriageway Retreat and we invite patrons to take the short drive up for a coffee and a look at our on-site shop and chocolate making kitchen. “Carriageway Retreat” joins our other holiday accommodation “Valley View Luxury Retreat” – both lovingly cleaned and managed by the women on our team – all of whom have at some stage completed the program at Destiny Haven. To find out more visit