Is This the World’s Best Long Distance Train?

Distance

Imagine seeing the real Australia that few ever have the chance to experience? To stop, explore and discover places reserved for the lucky few. As the Indian Pacific cruised towards Perth on the last stages of its 3 day transcontinental journey from Sydney, passengers sat in the lounge car reflecting on a unique experience.

For many, it was the journey of a lifetime. What makes this adventure so unique?

The Indian Pacific is not a high speed dash across Australia.

The train’s itinerary is carefully designed with the appropriate balance of whistle stop tours, all planned to unlock the vast and diverse continent’s richness and diversity.

Those magic moments impossible for you to arrange, if travelling on your own.

I was fortunate to travel on this unique journey and I share with you the highlights and experiences of fellow passengers Sydney Brothel.

Sydney.

Australia’s largest city is the county’s main port of entry for overseas visitors and the start of the 3796 km odyssey across Australia.

In the late afternoon we cruised through Sydney’s outer suburbs and climbed through the majestic Blue Mountains with its deep ravines and amazing scenery.

Broken Hill.

The following morning we were greeted with a spectacular desert sunrise and an introduction to the Australian Outback. Overnight we travelled from heavily timbered mountains to flat, almost treeless plains.

Broken Hill is a large inland city built following the discovery of huge silver deposits. Australia’s major industrial company BHP had its origins here and although mining is still a major industry, tourism also plays an important role in the region’s economy.

We were given a number of tour options during our tour hour stop here. I chose the tour of the mines as well as the city highlights. Broken Hill was the location of the popular movie Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and also featured in the movie Mad Max.

Adelaide.

South Australia’s capital was the end of the journey for some passengers. They were either stopping in Adelaide or spending a short time here before joining the Ghan train for its trip north to Darwin or The Overland for its daylight journey to Melbourne.

Adelaide has many attractions. The well planned city is nestled alongside the Torrens River and is the base for exploration to many popular tourist destinations including the famous Barossa Valley wine region, Flinders Ranges and Murray River.

Cook.

This isolated tiny town in the middle of the Nullabor Plain was a real eye opener and a totally new experience for everyone. This was the true Outback. Seemingly in the middle of nowhere, Cook’s sole reason for existence was as a base for rail maintenance crews. It now has a population of 4.

Before our cabin attendant Nikki opened the doors for our 1 hour stopover, she warned us with a glorious piece of understatement: “It’s pretty warm out there!”
She wasn’t joking! When the furnace- like blast hit us we felt like retreating to the comfort of the train. Most of us braved the 47c ( 120f ) heat and we were rewarded with the discovery of a town that once boasted a school, hospital and general store.

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