As part of our Great Railway Journey’s of the World we would like to Introduce you to the Epic Indian Pacific between Perth and Sydney
The History of The Indian Pacific
Travelling from Perth to Sydney (and vice versa) this epic train travels 4,352 kms. Stopping at Adelaide on its way though, many guests choose to take this train in part sectors, such as Perth to Adelaide or Adelaide to Sydney (and vice versa).
It might be a tourist and freight route today, but the line was built long before the era of air travel as a way of uniting the separate British colonies that made up Australia. Perth in Western Australia was and still is the most isolated city in the world, and was persuaded to join the federation of states by the promise of a transcontinental rail link.
The line was not opened throughout until 1917, when a “gap” in the rail network – from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia to Port Augusta in South Australia – was completed. The “gap” was nearly 2,000 km and the railway had to be built through harsh desert terrain.
The independent colonies that made up Australia in the nineteenth century had their own rules and regulations, and railways were constructed to different gauges meaning passengers travelling from coast to coast had to change trains several times. Even today it is not possible to travel between some Australian cities without changing trains, but the Indian Pacific started to operate as one train in 1970.
The Journey & Destinations
The Indian Pacific appeals to passengers who want to relax and unwind, meet new friends, and enjoy a landscape varying from arid desert to mountains and greenery. The Indian Pacific travels through Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales, and visits Perth, Kalgoorlie, Cook, Adelaide, Broken Hill and Sydney.
Like Darwin, Perth is a great gateway to Australia being only five hours’ flight from Singapore – much closer than Sydney. Many Indian Pacific passengers enjoy Perth’s beaches, the beauty of Kings Park and the great night life of the Northbridge district before joining the train. From Perth travellers can also visit the Swan River and Margaret River wine regions, the vast forests around Pemerberton and Albany on the south coast, once a centre for whaling.
Kalgoorlie, where an evening stop is made in each direction, enjoyed a huge gold rush after an Irishman called Paddy Hannan struck lucky in 1893 and is Australia’s biggest gold mining centre. You can view the Super Pit where gold is still produced in large quantities, but places including Kanowna were left behind by the gold rush and are now ghost towns – with large cemeteries.
After stopping at Adelaide – known as the Festival City – the train continues through South Australia and into the vast Outback of New South Wales where a stop is made at Broken Hill. Broken Hill is known as the Silver City because of its mining past.
There’s still another 16 hours of travel ahead before reaching Sydney, one of the world’s great cities, where the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, beaches, museums and night life await but not before travelling through the stunning Blue Mountains.
Sydney is not only the largest city and main gateway to Australia, but where European settlement started. Captain Cook landed in Botany Bay (now in the southern suburbs) in 1770 and settlement began in 1788, in what is now the fashionable harbour-side area called The Rocks.
Indian Pacific Departures
The Indian Pacific departs from Perth every Sunday and operates an additional second service on Wednesday in September and October.
The Indian Pacific departs from Sydney every Wednesday and the additional second service departs on Saturdays in September and October.
Did You Know?
The Indian Pacific travels over the longest stretch of straight railway track in the world – 478 km across the Nullarbor Plain (Nullarbor means treeless in Latin)!
The Indian Pacific travels through the Blue Mountains during daylight hours, in both directions to and from Sydney!
Reservations for The Indian Pacific
Bookings for “The Indian Pacific” as well as tours and excursions, accommodation, flights and car rental, can be made through World of Transport Travel. The reservation can be made on its own, or as part of a larger itinerary. Let me work with you to create your ideal travel experience, no matter where in the world you live, simply contact me via the link below and I will be pleased to provide you with a no obligation quote.
You may be interested to read other articles from our series on Great Railway Journeys;