Australia has two famous train journeys, one of which is the Indian Pacific.
On the 23rd of February 1970, the Indian Pacific train made its inaugural transcontinental journey from Sydney to Perth along an uninterrupted railway line.
On one of our trips to Australia, we took the Indian Pacific train for the 1647 mile journey from Adelaide to Perth which took 3 days and 2 nights and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
Boarding the train in Adelaide I felt unashamedly excited for the journey that lay ahead. Our private Gold Class cabin was compact but well appointed with everything needed for comfort. A three seater lounge by day converts to an upper and lower sleeping berth by night. A large picture window affords you a wonderful moving picture of the diverse landscape as the train journeys towards Perth.
Each cabin is serviced with fresh sheets, fluffy towels, pillows and complimentary toiletries. The en suite bathroom is a miracle in compatibility and includes a hide away toilet, wash basin and even a shower. As long as you don’t both try and use the bathroom at the same time the space is fine and you quickly get used to its layout.
Other cabin essentials include power outlets, music channels, journey audio commentary and hairdryer.
After getting aquainted with our new surroundings, its time for dinner which is an all inclusive affair including alcoholic beverages. Life on board is extremely relaxed including the dress code, which considering the fact that most of our luggage is in storage is just as well.
The Queen Adelaide Restaurant has an old world charm, warmly styled in a classic decor, and we are seated at a table covered in a crisp white tablecloth. Experienced staff relay the menu in detail and serve a selection of wine as we sit back and enjoy the atmosphere and view from the windows. We feast on fresh local fare including mouth watering barramundi, on of my favourite dishes. Dinner consists of three mouthwatering courses which are heartily devoured by all at our table of four. Our dinner guests this evening are an Aussie couple who run a backpacker hostel back in Sydney and the conversation flows as easily as the night slides by.
There is something romantic about walking back along the corridor to our cabin which has been made up into two berths for our night ahead. As we lie back gently lolled by the moving train, sleep doesn’t come easily as your body needs to get used to this motion but eventually night slips into morning and the start of a new day.
Waking up to the beauty and rawness of the Nullarbor is marvellous. Meaning “no trees” the ancient Nullarbor is flat, arid and desert like but strikingly beautiful.
We head straight to the Queen Adelaide Restaurant for breakfast, which consists of bagels, cereals, juices, cooked Aussie breakfast and the obligatory coffee.
This morning we share a table with a South African couple who left 5 years previously to live in Melbourne, and who regaled us with interesting tales about South Africa which does nothing to enamour Richard to the country!
Fully satiated we relax in the Outback Explorer Lounge and take in the vistas of this striking landscape. Seeing a wild kangaroo hopping along in the distance is mesmerising and a special memory to keep as a memento of this wonderful trip.
We make a brief stop at the town of Cook, formerly a small thriving settlement of about 40 people, with its own school, bush hospital and golf course back in the day. Established when the railway was built in 1917, it was named after Joseph Cook, the sixth Prime minister of Australia. It lies on the longest stretch of railway in the world and at the time of our visit, there were still about 4 or 6 inhabitants and we were presented with a certificate to state that we had visited!
I took the opportunity to have my photograph taken alongside this iconic train during our stop.
Another sumptuous meal awaits, this time a two course lunch and more chilling out. I find the scenery outside striking but I can imagine that some may find it repetitive.
Another stop is made early evening in Kalgoorlie and we are transported by coach into the town which has a dynamic and diverse cultural scene. Originally known as Hannan’s after a prospector, mining of gold has been a major industry here for over a hundred years and is expected to continue until about 2029.
The “Super Pit” is an open-cut gold mine approximately 3.6 kilometres long, 1.6 kilometres wide and 512 metres deep and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The sheer size is hard to describe and it is only when we are able to stand inside the bucket of a dump truck that you start the grasp the enormity of this mine and how the city has prospered as a result.
Returning to the train, we enjoy our last sumptuous dinner of the trip, before continuing our journey through the night to our final destination, the beautiful city of Perth.
Arriving into Perth, the cosmoplitan and vibrant capital of Western Australia we have come to the end of our epic journey which has been a truly unforgettable trip.
We are spending some time in the city and then hiring a car and driving down to Margaret River, but this train journey has been a fantastic way of crossing the country and we have been rewarded with striking views of this colourful landscape which will stay with us forever.
- Great Southern Rail have a great information packed website.
- Gold Service is the most popular due to the prices, but a Platinum Service is also available.
- Motorail Services are available between Adelaide and Perth (and vice-versa) so you can take your vehicle.
- View an Online Brochure Here.
PIN TO SHARE :