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Indian Pacific

This epic journey, which reflects the vastness of the terrain of this continent, takes the passenger from the Pacific Ocean on the east end to the Indian Ocean on its west end, and runs from the cities of Sydney to Perth; a three day journey for a total of 2704 miles, it is a unique way to fully experience the interior country’s Outback, with its many terrains, lands, and cultures.

Crossing varied landscapes that will include the lush Blue Mountains, the Sun Belt region, the Red Outback, the awe-inspiring Nullarbor plains and desert (here runs the world’s longest straight train track), and more, one will get a sense of the various ecological landscapes that this country has to offer. This train ride is designed in such a way that the traveller also experiences the Outback in as authentic a manner (this translates to rugged and laid back) as comfortably possible; as such, the views, tours, and train stops are chosen with this theme in mind, and the train ride itself also reflects this as well. As such, this train is not known for its luxury but is overall a rather standard train, transporting its passengers in a style reflecting the rugged Outback style of this territory; although the food and service are good, this particular train ride is not for those seeking a comfortable and pampered train ride but rather for the more hardy traveller willing to experience the Australian Outback in somewhat more rugged conditions.

Cabins are small, bathrooms are somewhat less than ideal, and the viewing and dining carriages are not ornately furnished; however, live entertainment aboard the train, 24 hour room service, and an open decked observation car (this allows the visitor to breathe in the fresh morning air and view the rolling landscapes, vineyards, kangaroos, emus, and other exotic Australian wildlife) are available. Although this train ride focuses more on the passing landscape and scenery rather than any famous sites or landmark destinations (unlike many other train rides) it also offers the passenger a glimpse of terrain and interior deserts that otherwise would be too harsh to traverse by car on one’s own, and impossible to travel by foot or by bicycle. One will also pass through some of the most un-inhabited and sparsely populated areas on earth that are still visited by any means of transportation. With unique side tours and destinations to see, this train ride is also one of the most unique that Australia has to offer as well.

Commencing in the harbor city of Sydney, this epic train journey will first take you through the Blue Mountains and its lush blue-green eucalyptus trees, and then over the New South Wales outback, where the landscape will change from lush forestry to endless and dry plains, spectacular in an entirely opposite way from the Blue Mountains; the next day you will pass through a number of small towns and their various industries, including the rolling vineyards of Menindee, the wheat fields of Peterborough, and the mines of Broken Hill before reaching the town of Adelaide (famous for its wine industry).

After a brief stop over here, you will next cross some of the most deserted and desolate regions of the Australian continent as you cross the Nullarbor plains, getting a true sense of the vastness and expansiveness of this part of the country. With red sand and plains stretching as far as the eye can see, this is said to be a mesmerizing and awe-inspiring site; with magnificent sunrises and sunsets, and sights of Australian wildlife including emus and kangaroos, this portion of the trip will begin to give the traveler a true sense of the spirit of the magnificent Outback region. (Incidentally, this part of the journey through the Nullarbor Desert is also the world’s longest straight running train track, with 478 miles of perfectly straight track.). You will also pass through the world’s smallest town of Cook, where one will feel as if one is in the middle of nowhere, as well as the famous Super Pit, an immense gold pit, in the town of Kalgoorlie and view from your window a number of Aborigine sites and people as well. As one approaches the city of Perth, the landscape will again shift abruptly to green fields, streams, and a more farm-like countryside as it coasts to its final destination city.

Overall, the Indian Pacific exemplifies the Australian Outback experience to a tee in almost every way; from the laid-back scenery and tours (its sightseeing and types of tours are not for those who like excitement, tons of sites to visit and view, and constantly changing scenery – for those who prefer this type of train experience, please see the Australia Great Pacific Orient Express railway below), the deserted, desolate, and at times barren views, the hardy and rugged traveling conditions of the train, and the vast, un-ending, and sparsely inhabited aura of the entire journey. The train ride that most closely resembles the culture, living conditions, and overall spirit of the territory it crosses, it is one of the most unique train rides in the world today.

(Note: the bathrooms and showers that come with the compartments of this train are fold-out, ensuite bathrooms that are said to be rather cramped, smelly, and sometimes less than hygienic. They have been compared to those found in camping grounds or portable restrooms. One must remember, again, that this is an adventure train ride rather than a luxury train ride, and travel with this in mind if choosing to ride this railway.)

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