If you have been following my Australia Solo Adventures for a while, you may know that I am passionate about train travel. Here is my experience on the Indian Pacific from Adelaide to Perth. The train departs Sydney on the day before leaves from Adelaide once a week on Thursday evening, and arrives in Perth East 41 hours later. You spend two nights and nearly two days on the Indian Pacific train and have the chance to get off a few times and participate in a guided tour of Kalgoorlie and more places of the Australian Outback.
What is it like to travel on the Indian Pacific Train?
Going on the Indian Pacific Train is more about the train journey experience and less about the destination. I regard this train trip as a journey per se that cannot be compared to any other way of getting around Australia. It’s much about living on the train. You sleep while travelling, read, write, work, and take in the landscape. You chill out before a glass of wine, meet fellow travellers and linger in conversations over delicious Australian food. If you prefer to start your trip on the East Coast, you can do so. The three-day-and-three-night train journey on the Indian Pacific from Sydney to Perth takes you over four thousand km of the diverse and stunning landscape across the country.
I loved train travel in Australia. For me, it’s a very relaxed way to travel long distances that I wouldn’t want to ride alone. Beginning in November a few years ago, after an epic solo road trip on the Yorke Peninsula, I enjoyed travelling on the Indian Pacific from Adelaide to Perth. It’s a fabulous train journey across the Nullarbor Outback plains to the West Coast of Australia.
Indian Pacific Adelaide to Perth Train Journey Review
As I boarded the Indian Pacific in Adelaide, Kelsey welcomed me with a smile and the news about my upgrade from Red Cabin to the Gold Class Cabins. “How lovely is that,” I thought and smiled back, telling her how excited I was to get a cosy and larger room, all for myself. The 26-carriage train can host nearly 250 guests and has three kitchens, three lounges, three restaurants, and different train cabin services. You can sleep in double or single-night cabins in the Gold and Platinum Service.
Moreover, with a lounge restaurant, the Indian Pacific Red Service was available when I travelled, but it was terminated. So, only the Gold and Platinum Cabins are offered on the Indian Pacific Train. There are various packages and fares, with valuable offers for pensioners, so you’d better consult in advance their official website for all train packages and discounted fares for 2023.
How Food breaks down barriers and brings people together
I liked many things about my train journey on the Indian Pacific, but what I loved most was the food and drinks offerings. Soon after boarding the Indian Pacific, I went to the lounge and the Queen Adelaide Restaurant to have my first three-course meal and meet my fellow travellers. The food menu had a choice from the most beautiful local Australian products and produce; the meals were delicious and beautifully presented.
My favourite dish was the grilled salmon from Tasmania, the Crabs on Bruschetta from W.A., and my favourite sparkling wine from W.A.: Vasse Felix! (Australians call it Champagne!). By the way: all drinks, meals and snacks you have on the train are included as part of Indian Pacific Packages.
After having my first meals, I was keen to know more about who was behind the scenes, working and preparing our meals with passion, professionalism, and artistic flair. So, I asked Sonia, the restaurant manager, to meet the food artists and peer into their studio (kitchen).
I was delighted to attend one of the four chefs, Andrew, who welcomed me with a spark in his eyes and showed me around the kitchen.
90% of all food is freshly prepared in such a small area. Andrew told me he was relaxed to have a “quiet day”, serving “only 130 guests”; on most days, the train is full, hosting over 250 travellers. Kudos to this fantastic team of chefs!
The train journey is all about meeting people on the Indian Pacific Train
The Indian Pacific train journey is more about meeting people, creating connections and making new friends. On the first evening, I met Andy from the UK, travelling alone on a ten days trip around Australia, of which five spent on the train from Darwin to Adelaide and from Adelaide to Perth. We laugh as we discover to have the same passion for taking pictures of the food we eat. And not only on the train or when travelling. Every meal is a piece of art that deserves to be captured in a photo.
My fellow travellers on the train were a mixed bunch of couples, families and solo travellers like myself. I met beautiful people with amazing stories to tell. I was pleased to sit at the restaurant table and have dinner with three men on the second evening.
They introduced themselves, and Peter was overexcited to tell us his story. After riding his bike 4000 km from Perth to Sydney over six weeks, he was happy to be onboard the Indian Pacific Train, travelling back to his beloved Perth. After 20 years of preparations and workouts, he fulfilled a long-term dream to ride from Perth to Sydney by bike.
What an exhilarating story. I am delighted to have met some extraordinary people on the train with whom I hope to keep in touch and develop a more profound friendship.
Waking in my Indian Pacific Gold Cabin to Outback sunrise colours
While I wake up to the knocking on the door and an excellent fresh cuppa handed over, I smile back with gratitude and admire the scenery passing by from my cabin window. I contemplate what I have experienced the day before on the Indian Pacific train and at the stops in Cook and Kalgoorlie.
I realise time flies, and we will reach our destination in a few hours: Perth. Our lives separate, and we are ready to embark on our next travel quest. I reflect for a moment: what a lovely, meaningful trip.
Have you ever travelled on the Indian Pacific Train in Australia? If you have, please tell us what you loved most about your train journey experience by leaving a comment here below.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Journey Beyond Rail (former Great Southern Rail) on this Indian Pacific Train Journey from Adelaide to Perth. All opinions on this blog post are my own.
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More info for Travelling onboard long-distance trains in Australia
In 2011 I travelled on the GHAN Train from Adelaide to Darwin. I also bought an Ausrail Pass and covered 11 thousand km by rail; I went from North Tropical Queensland to Sydney, further down south from Sydney to Broken Hill and Adelaide, to cross the country from bottom to top and back. I had a great time.
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First published in 2015, last updated in Feb 2023
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