4 best days onboard the Indian Pacific Train
Traverse the nation on a spectacular train excursion between Sydney and Perth, discovering Australia’s outback in luxury.
By Alissa Jenkins
Few railway excursions are as legendary as the Indian Pacific.
From Sydney on Australia’s east coast across the whole continent to Perth in the west, it travels through scenery as different as the majestic Blue Mountains and the unending flat, otherworldly regions of the Nullarbor Plain.
Expect spacious accommodations, delicious cuisine and exciting day tours, which alter on the return journey.
What to anticipate
Get a glance of Broken Hill’s rich art history
Sample some of South Australia’s best cuisine and wine
Witness the strange beauty of the Nullarbor Plain\sFast facts
Time: 4 days
Distance: 4,352 kilometres (2,704 miles) (2,704 miles)
Nearest big city: Sydney, Perth and Adelaide
DAY 1: SYDNEY TO OUTBACK NEW SOUTH WALES
Board at Sydney’s Central Station and relax into your cabin, where you’ll spend the afternoon soaking in the view as it transitions from skyscrapers and traffic lights to the wooded valleys and sandstone cliffs of the spectacular Blue Mountains. Your on-board radio provides an audio commentary option.
The journey’s eastern service (Perth to Sydney) includes an off-train excursion through the gorgeous Blue Mountains, which includes excursions to the stately Three Sisters at Echo Point and the picturesque Jamison Valley.
As the sun sets behind mountain ranges you will begin to explore the more dry districts of New South Wales, distinguished by tenacious mulga (a tiny native Australian tree) and huge plains.
After supper at the Queen Adelaide Restaurant, meet other guests in the Outback Explorer Lounge for a welcome drink.
DAY 2: BROKEN HILL TO ADELAIDE
The day starts at Broken Hill, previously a flourishing mining town, which has inspired an assortment of artists throughout the years with its peculiar desert setting.
On a one-hour walking tour, see the city’s unique Living Desert Sculptures then visit the Pro Hart Gallery, where you’ll learn more about one of Australia’s most recognized painters, whose paintings embody the essence of the outback.
After an onboard lunch, the voyage continues into the verdant and golden fields of South Australia’s food bowl.
You have an option between many off-train excursions. You may select to spend the afternoon and evening in the scenic Barossa Valley or McLaren Vale wine area, the quaint historic village of Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills or a private guided tour of the South Australian Museum.
All excursions include beverages and food. Afterwards, all guests rejoin the train in Adelaide to continue the trip through the Nullarbor Plain.
On the eastbound service, which includes a morning stop in Adelaide, your excursion choices include an Adelaide city sights bus tour, a progressive breakfast at the famed Adelaide Central Markets, a guided tour of Adelaide Oval or a city and river area strolling tour.
DAY 3: NULLARBOR PLAIN TO RAWLINNA
You’ll be welcomed at morning by the stark, raw beauty of the Nullarbor.
Taking its name from the Latin for “no trees”, this immense desert plain has baffled and fascinated generations of Australians and tourists alike.
A apparently infinite stretch of rusty dirt and tenacious desert vegetation, the Nullarbor encompasses 200,000 square kilometres (77,000 square miles) of South Australia and Western Australia and is regarded a “bucket list”‘ experience.
Having reached Western Australia, celebrate traversing Australia’s most renowned plain with a special meal at the remote outpost of Rawlinna.
Here, visitors are encouraged to dismount and enjoy in a traditional long-table meal beneath the beautiful stars of the outback sky (seasonal) (seasonal).
Surrounded by nothing but enormous sheep ranches (the closest town, Kalgoorlie, is more than 400 kilometres, or 250 miles distant), this is one outdoor dining experience to remember.
The Indian Pacific eastbound route (Perth to Sydney) provides an extra excursion in the wild west gold rush town of Kalgoorlie.
DAY 4: OUTBACK WESTERN AUSTRALIA TO PERTH
The environment shifts again as the Indian Pacific continues through the lovely Avon Valley, a mosaic of undulating hills and flowing streams.
After traversing lush countryside and the odd hot air balloon, the trip nears the finish as Perth’s outer city boundaries come into view.
When the Indian Pacific arrives in the west after its epic transcontinental trip, you have the opportunity to be taken straight to your hotel or to join an optional upgrading excursion to visit Perth.
On the Perth trip, you’ll observe stunning city views from Kings Park, travel down the Swan River and scenic shoreline parklands, explore Subiaco with its fashionable shops and restaurants, and Claremont with its premium shopping and famed ‘Millionaire’s Row.’
You’ll also appreciate city sights including the WACA Cricket Ground, Town Hall, Perth Mint, Parliament House, Crown Casino and Barracks Arch.
Perth has smooth travel choices to visit gorgeous Rottnest Island and its cute quokkas, the funky culture and art scene of portside Fremantle, the wineries of the Swan Valley and quaint Cottesloe Beach where you can have a dip in the Indian Ocean.
To appreciate the rich history of Perth, visit Barrack Square to view The Bell Tower, Perth Mint, the WA Maritime Museum and stroll the winding alleyways of Fremantle before seeing its World Heritage-listed jail.
Topic: onboard the Indian Pacific Train
I am arguably the most popular Australian writer of all time. I am from the town of Karrinyup in rural Western Australia. When I was young, I was fascinated by the unique landscape of Australia, and I decided to support himself by writing books about the Australian landscape.
Leave a Reply