In a country the size of Australia, trying to see it all can prove overwhelming. A great way to explore is by luxury train, allowing you to cover vast distances in comfort and style while admiring the epic landscapes pass by. There are also off-train excursions so you can really connect with your surroundings rather than simply pass through.
There are different trains depending on whether you want to go north to south or east to west. The Ghan – named after the cameleers who used to travel into Australia’s Red Centre – runs between Darwin and Adelaide, while the Indian Pacific goes, as you might suspect, between Perth and Sydney on the Indian and Pacific coasts. With both trains, there is the option to shorten the route so you can choose to spend between one and three nights on board.
All train journeys are fully inclusive, so once you’ve checked into your private cabin, all there is left to do is relax, enjoy fine food and wine, and marvel at the ever-changing beauty of Australia’s cities and wilderness. There are planned excursions included in the packages which, depending on your route, range from exploring Aboriginal culture in the Katherine region and visiting the Royal Flying Doctor Service base, to discovering the wine producing region of Barossa Valley.
Train travel is also a wonderfully social experience. Of course you have your own private cabin but the dining car and the explorer lounge are great places to meet your fellow passengers and exchange travel stories over a glass of wine. Both The Ghan and the Indian Express work really well combined with longer itineraries, so speak to your travel designer to see how you could work one into your trip.
When to travel
The Ghan operates for most of the year, once a week, only stopping between mid December to mid January. However, temperatures between November and February in Darwin and Alice Springs will be very high.
The Indian Pacific operates all year, running once a week. Again temperatures will be high between November and February, especially between Adelaide and Perth, but the excursions will still be enjoyable.
What to do
- Relax and enjoy the beautiful landscape unfold
- Fine dining in the Queen Adelaide Dining Car
- Chat to fellow passengers in the Observation Lounge
- Off-board excursions