They had spent the day in Sydney taking in the sights and watching the Lion King stage production.
But when Jade Marr and her two young children Kendall, 10, and Jackson, 7, hopped onto a train bound for Newcastle on Wednesday afternoon they said it felt like stepping onto the set of a movie.
''It's really hard to explain,'' the Warners Bay mother of two told the Newcastle Herald last night.
''It's like you were watching it, but it wasn't real. It was unbelievable to think somebody would say those things and act like that.''
The trouble started at Central railway station when Marr, her two kids, her mother Julie Phillips, Marr's sister and her children boarded the 4.15pm train to Newcastle.
Not far behind them was 55-year-old Sue Wilkins - or at least, that's what she said her name was. It was later revealed the 55-year-old is actually Karen Bailey from Buff Point, who previously has worked as a legal secretary at some of Sydney's top law firms.
The video of her vile, racist and expletive-laden tirade would go viral by the next morning. The 55-year-old will appear in court later this month after being issued with a Field Court Attendance Notice for offensive language on Thursday evening.
Marr said her mother was sitting with three of the children on one seat in the packed carriage when Bailey approached.
''She walked straight on the train, looked at my mum and said 'get your f...ing bogan children off the seat','' Marr said. ''Then she said 'there are people here that need to sit down, I want to sit down'.''
Marr said Bailey began swearing and responded to her request to stop by: ''screaming the f-word in my son's face 10 times. She said 'you need to learn this word kid'.''
Marr said her children were ''frightened'' by Bailey's behaviour and ''terrified'' when she said she was going to call the police on them for not giving up their seats.
Ironically, the children, who Marr described as ''polite and lovely'', moved later in the journey to let two elderly women sit down.
''I wasn't going to make them move, I wasn't going to allow them to be bullied into something,'' Marr said. ''The kids did the right thing and I really didn't want them to see someone doing the wrong thing get their way.''
Marr said Lake Macquarie police visited their home at Warners Bay on Thursday to put the children's minds at ease.
''They were great, they just made sure the kids knew they weren't doing anything wrong,'' she said.
As passengers began filming Bailey's behaviour, she began to turn her attention on others, including one man who was sitting with a woman of Asian appearance.
''Who is this little jerk-off ... he can't even get a regular girlfriend. It is so sad,'' she said, going on to mock the woman's language and facial features.
Marr said her children started crying then and couldn't understand why her race mattered.
Ms Bailey was arrested at Wyong train station on Thursday night after footage of her racist and expletive-laden tirade went viral. She will appear in Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court later this month.
Bailey apologised on Thursday to the woman of Asian appearance, saying she was deeply ashamed of her behaviour.
She had had a rotten day and had been scammed out of A$100,000 (NZ$106,891) from a man she had met on a dating website, she said.
Marr said Bailey hadn't apologised to her children.
''It sounded like she really wanted to hurt people's feelings,'' Marr said.
''People need to be accountable for their actions and their words, she will definitely have to live with that now.''
- Sydney Morning Herald