The Indian Pacific Train Journey From Adelaide To Perth
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 departing 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 across the country for over four thousand km of the diverse and stunning landscape.
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 was off 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.
Meeting the food artists behind the scenes.
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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November 30, 2014 @ 1:41 pm
I would love to explore Australia thoroughly. By a combination of train, road vehicle and perhaps even bicycle!
Would certainly take a few epic train rides across.
November 30, 2014 @ 3:57 pm
Combining ways of transport is a great idea and the best way to explore Australia! 🙂
Iain at 100trains
November 30, 2014 @ 4:43 pm
Wonderful article Michela. I’m SO jealous….
November 30, 2014 @ 5:55 pm
Glad you liked the article, Ian. I hope you can experience the Indian Pacific Train soon!:-)
December 1, 2014 @ 5:17 am
I agree with Rocky Travel assessment of the Indian Pacific. I too recently traveled on the Indian Pacific as a solo traveler departing Sydney New South Wales to Perth Western Australia, east coast to west coast and return. It is one of a couple of great rail journeys that you can experience throughout Australia. The Indian Pacific caters for the solo traveler in so many ways. You have you own cabin with fold out bed and wash basin. The only drawback is no en suite facility in the solo rooms. The lounge car is a hive of activity with so many travelers enjoying the hospitality of the free drinks and sharing stories of their travels. You are never really alone with so many new friends happy to chat and just sit back and enjoy the view as you traverse from one side of the county to the other. During meal times you are never short of a dinner party with your new found friends or pot luck who might be your dinner guest. But all fellow passengers have story’s to tell. Again 5 star dinning with a touch of class and well appointed menu to cater even to the fussiest eater. Menu is of local produce of Australia, salmon, lamb, beef and even kangaroo. There is no rush to eat as you may be lucky to take a wonderful sunset as you gaze out the window. It is so relaxing to just sit back and watch the Australian landscape change into the red dirt of the Nullabor. I have driven across the Nullabor on a few occasions and as a driver you need to be focused as you just sit there behind the wheel and sort of get white line fever. The Indian Pacific provides a different way to traverse Australia. The romance of train travel is very much alive. As a frequent train traveler around Australia it is number two on my list with the Sunlander travelling Brisbane to Cairns travelling Queenslander class only just wins out for superior appointments. Due to One restaurant car, one lounge car and accommodation car and a little more attention to detail.
My next solo travel experience will have to be on The Ghan, I look forward to my next train adventure through the heart of Australia finishing in the top end Darwin.
December 1, 2014 @ 8:48 am
Thanks for your spot-on report. I think you have captured the essence of what an experience on the Indian Pacific train is like! 🙂 You will love the GHAN, Richard and hope you can do that soon! I travelled 3 times and with no hesitation I would experience it again. With the new extended itinerary of 3 nights and 3 days, the GHAN is an epic train trip across Australia!
Red Nomad OZ
December 3, 2014 @ 11:18 am
I’ve been on the Indian Pacific only once. I was only four years old, and it was Christmas Day!! Even though I was so young, I still remember it – my sister and I LOVED the buffet car! There’s something so soothing about clicketty-clacking across the country, and I hope to travel that way again (hint, hint Great Southern Rail if you’re reading this :))
December 3, 2014 @ 2:41 pm
I Love the soothing effect of the clickety-clack too! Hope you can travel soon again on the Indian Pacific Train! 🙂
December 4, 2014 @ 3:31 am
Wow, so inspiring! I never thought of Australia as a place to see by train, but your experience is giving me the urge to do so. Such a great way to meet people and see the local culture. 🙂
December 4, 2014 @ 3:44 pm
Hi Erika, I am glad you liked the article and find it inspiring! 🙂 I hope you can experience the Indian Pacific Train soon and add it to your travel memories! Thanks for stopping by!
December 30, 2014 @ 6:25 am
Very well written article on Australia.I never thought that we can explore this place by by train.Love to get experience this.
December 30, 2014 @ 2:25 pm
Thanks for your compliment! I can highly recommend a train journey in Australia! Either the Ghan or the Indian Pacific, or both, you will love it! 🙂
November 1, 2015 @ 4:18 pm
I’ve seen posts about driving around Australia via camper and all these other ways of getting around that massive island but wow, this is the first I’ve seen about train travel! This is my favorite way to get around and after taking a night train up the coast of Vietnam just a week or so ago, I think your route along the Indian Pacific sounds right up my alley. I loved the way you described that one “lives” on the train instead of occupying a seat for the trip. This was a wonderful way of presenting something I’d yet to read about. Thanks for sharing, Michela and take care.
November 2, 2015 @ 11:00 am
Hey Duke, I’m glad you enjoyed the post and hope it has inspired you to travel by train in Australia too! Happy travels! 🙂
December 3, 2015 @ 10:52 am
What a fabulous journey. I had never considered Australia for great train voyages, so must definitely rethink that!
December 6, 2015 @ 6:22 pm
Hi Stephanie, glad you enjoyed this post about train travel in Australia. I personally prefer train travel or a a road trip rather than flying within Australia. A train journey takes 3 days to travel across the country, if you have time, then it’s absolutely worth it! 🙂