WHERE: VARIOUS, AUSTRALIA
Completed its first journey from Adelaide through the ruggedly beautiful Red Centre to Darwin in 2003, reviving a dream born in the colonial era.
It follows the trail blazed by the early explorers and Afghan ‘cameleers’ who tirelessly supplied the Overland Telegraph stations ensuring that the remote Outback and Red Centre kept in touch with the rest of the world.
The 1,850 mile two-night journey through the heart of Australia begins in Adelaide and proceeds to the Flinders Ranges before crossing the Simpson Desert and reaching Alice Springs in the Red Centre. The newest stretch of line heads across Australia’s arid heartland to Katherine, famous for its stunning gorges, before tracking through the lush tropical scenery of the Top End.
A twice weekly service operates the overnight journey between Adelaide and Darwin, while Adelaide to Alice Springs runs weekly. Guests boarding in Adelaide can connect with incoming train services from both Sydney and Melbourne.
As the name implies, The Indian Pacific links two oceans in one of the world’s longest and greatest train journeys. Travelling from Sydney to Perth, or vice versa, it covers a distance of 2,720 miles over three nights.
Starting in the spectacular Blue Mountains of New South Wales, you thread through the famous green and gold ‘Sun Belt’ of Australia, historic Broken Hill and Adelaide, before heading out into the treeless plains of the Nullarbor Plain on the world’s longest stretch of straight railway track, travelling for 299 miles without a bend. Here you pull into a remote outpost called Cook, before heading on to gold-rich Kalgoorlie and then onwards to Perth, capital of Western Australia.
On every side, unique landscapes unfold and you can spot mobs of kangaroo from the comfort of the lounge. Along the route, keep your eyes peeled for the elusive Australian wedge-tailed eagle, whose massive two-metre wingspan makes it easy to spot in a clear desert sky. The train departs twice weekly.