Indian Pacific is name of the train connecting eastern and western of Australia. It is named after two great oceans it joins, and symbolized by the magnificent wedge-tailed eagle that often soars above. The Indian Pacific traverses 4352 km between Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. It is a famous train holiday promising an epic journey which spans a continent – travelling the whole distance over three days and three nights.
The Indian Pacific is one of holiday train service provided by Great Southern Rail (GSR), Australia’s train holiday specialist. The other train services are The Ghan (connecting Adelaide-Alice Spring-Darwin) and The Southern Spirit (connecting Adelaide-Melbourne-Sydney).
The trains is attractively and widely advertised by the Australian Tourism, so that I determined to experience travelling on one of these trains whenever I get chance to visit Australia. The opportunity came on October 2010, after spent 6 days in Western Australia (Perth, Fremantle, and Kwinana) for training; I flew to Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, just to get the experience travelling by Indian Pacific back to Perth.
The process to get on the train is very easy. I bought the ticket online in Indonesia, and then the confirmed ticket is sent via email. All I have to do is bring the printed ticket to Keswick Rail Terminal in Adelaide. A shuttle bus services is provided to take passengers to the terminal from the hotel or airport and it can also booked online along with the train ticket. The total cost to travel with Indian Pacific on Red Service Cabin (Day/Nighter Seat) from Adelaide to Perth is 196.5 AUD (including transfer to rail terminal). The more comfortable cabins with more expensive price (up to 3450 AUD) are also provided.
The journey from Adelaide to Perth with Indian Pacific takes one day and two nights. I departed from Adelaide on 24 October 2010 at 6.40 PM and arrived at Perth on 26 October 2010 at 09.10 AM. This Indian Pacific route is right across the middle of Nullarbor Plain on the longest straight piece of railway track in the world (478 km). The Nullarbor Plain is a huge expanse that sits at the bottom of the continent of Australia, straddling the border between Western Australia and South Australia. It is notable because it has no trees. The name is derived from the Latin nullus arbor, meaning ‘no tree’. It serves as a physical and metaphorical barrier between Western Australia and the rest of the country. The train journey crosses through the heart of the desert, where there’s nothing but earth as far as I can see to the left and to the right, no matter which direction I am facing. Some wild kangaroos and camels are spotted along the journey.
There are two stops over within this route, where the passengers are given a chance to join a quick tour named as whistle stop tours which can be purchased onboard. The first stop is Cook Town. Cook is one of the world’s most isolated township; it is situated on the South Australian side of the Nullarbor Plain. The permanent population of Cook is currently only 5 people. The next stop is Kalgoorlie, site of the world’s largest open-cut gold mine which size approximately 3.6 kilometres long, 1.6 kilometres wide and 512 metres deep, known as a super pit. Approximately 8 hours after passing Kalgoorlie, the dessert is end as the train start to enter outside of Perth.
So, are you ready to experience the real Australian dessert? Try the Indian Pacific!