The Indian-Pacific Railway: A 4,352-Kilometre Journey from Sydney to Perth

The Indian-Pacific Railway: A 4,352-Kilometre Journey from Sydney to Perth

Get on board the Indian-Pacific Railway, an incredible 4D3N train journey Down Under!

From the perilous outback to cosmopolitan cities, Australia has plenty to offer zippy travellers looking to discover the country. Many would rent a car and hit the road to explore untouched landscapes, while few would take on the other scenic and convenient option: a train ride.

Image credit: Simon Yeo

Unbeknownst to many, Australia is home to the only transcontinental train journey in the world, chugging through a colossal 4,352 kilometres from Sydney to Perth. The Indian-Pacific Railway cuts right through the heart of Australia’s barren deserts and promises breathtaking views of the remote wilderness. The whole journey takes 65 hours, promising an experience like no other.

Image credit: Great Southern Rail

Here is how you can explore the breadth of this great Southern land, from Sydney to Perth on the Indian-Pacific Railway:

Image credit: Skype Nomad

The Indian-Pacific Railway operates throughout the year and trains leave both Sydney and Perth weekly. Trains depart from Sydney Central Station on Wednesdays at 3pm and from East Perth Station on Sundays at 10am. Both the eastbound and westbound journey lasts four days and three nights.

On board the Indian-Pacific Railway, a luxurious experience awaits. Each sleeper cabin is equipped with power outlets and in-cabin radio channels with audio commentary. When you’d like a break from staring out of the window, there’s an Outback Explorer Lounge where you can meet fellow guests and help yourself to all-inclusive refreshments.

Of course, the rail holiday is not complete without a treat for the taste buds. In this aspect, the Indian-Pacific Railway delivers far more than you can ask for. Sample delectable outback cuisine sourced from different parts of Australia such as the grilled swordfish or tender lamb shoulder slow-cooked in Kangaroo Island honey and black vinegar. Make sure you save space for dessert as the train’s dining cabin also offers sweets such as the apple and wild rosella flower strudel or a regional cheese plate comprising Hunter Belle blue, Alexandrina cheddar and Margaret River brie.

More culinary delights can be enjoyed during the off train excursions. That’s right – you can actually get off the train and embark on hand-picked excursions covering food experiences and city sights. Think it cannot get any better? The trip is also inclusive of an Outback Experience where visitors can wine and dine under the stars.

There are three classes of tickets available: Gold Service Single Cabin, Gold Service Twin Cabin and Platinum Service. The low season Sydney-Perth fare starts from AU$2099, with advance purchase discounts available. Travellers who would like to experience a fraction of the journey can also take on the Adelaide to Sydney route or the Adelaide to Perth route.

indian pacific railway

Image credit: TheLeadSA

indian pacific railway

Image credit: denisbin

Regardless of which route you’ll be taking, it’ll be a grand adventure into the outbacks and beyond. With amazing sights encompassing the gigantic Blue Mountains, vast plains of the great outback and prodigious vineyards, travellers on the Indian-Pacific Railway will have a chance to savour Australia slowly.

Here are some of the notable places that the Sydney-Perth train will chug past:

Image credit: David Stanley

On the first day of the journey, the train winds through the magnificent Blue Mountains! Embrace the dramatic scenery as the train slowly navigates through the heights of the ranges.

indian pacific railway

Image credit: Ian Sanderson

Image credit: Ian Sanderson

The next day, you’ll arrive in Broken Hill, a historical mining city in the outbacks, featuring a peculiar series of sandstone sculptures and old mining caverns. There is a Mad Max Museum here dedicated to the cult classic film that was filmed in Broken Hill itself. Before breakfast, you’ll disembark for an off train excursion of the city. 

Image credit: albertstraub

In the afternoon, guests can choose between visiting Adelaide for leisurely walks through the Botanic Gardens and dinner at the National Wine Centre or Barossa Valley to visit boutique wineries and learn about how wine is made. 

Image credit: Amanda Slater

The next morning, you’ll wake up in Nullarbor Plains. Nullarbor means ‘no trees’ in Latin, and it definitely conjures a sense of limitless space as you gaze on in quiet contemplation. The train stops for a night in Rawlinna and guests will be treated to an authentic outback roast dinner in the desert under the starry skies.

Image credit: Amanda Slater

Enroute to Perth the next day, the Indian-Pacific Railway meanders along the Avon Valley region, and travellers can take in the countryside before the train rolls into the city.

No matter what route you choose, the picturesque expedition on board the Indian-Pacific Railway is truly more about the journey than the destination. How about that for your next holiday?

About Author

Kevin Mak
Kevin Mak

Apart from catching overly-dramatic movies, quenching his voracious appetite and just lounging in his free time, Kevin finds François Rabelais' quote "I am going to seek a grand perhaps" resonating with him at times. It is this very desire that sees him travelling to foreign lands in search of new experiences, and food. In his adventures, the only thing that can temporarily impede his journey is his soft spot for pizza.


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