Stepping aboard the Indian Pacific, you’ll feel a great sense of anticipation as this unforgettable Australian adventure begins to unfold. Whether you’re journeying from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific or the other way round, you’ll be making your way across the longest stretch of straight railway track in the world.
This is a journey defined by contrast, encompassing the towering majesty of the Blue Mountains to the barren expanse of the Nullabor and every goldmine, ghost town and grapevine in between. Outside your window, the landscape shifts over and over, revealing hidden secrets, from long abandoned homesteads of the Nullarbor to the marvellously resilient wildflowers of Western Australia. With all of its variance, this is the definitive Australia.
From inside and outside your cabin, you’ll touch and be touched by the vast beauty of this magnificent country – the textures, the light, the unimaginable hues. And alighting from this iconic coast-to-coast journey, you’ll be far richer for the experience.
Three nights and four days via Broken Hill, Adelaide, Cook and Kalgoorlie, one way, 4,352km. This definitive Australian adventure takes you the breadth of this great Southern land.
As the different colonies in Australia were headed towards Federation at the end of the 19th century, Western Australia was persuaded to join this new nation by promise of a transcontinental railway linking this isolated western region with the rest of the eastern colonies.
A skeleton rail link already extended from the west to east coasts of Australia except for a 1996km gap between the Western Australian mining town of Kalgoorlie and Port Augusta in South Australia. On 17 October 1917, in what was a remarkable surveying and engineering feat, two construction teams - one starting from Port Augusta and other from Kalgoorlie - met to complete the track. The teams joined the line at what is now known as the tiny South Australian siding of Ooldea on the Nullarbor Plain. This was the longest stretch of railway ever built as a single project in Australia, taking five years to complete. It was constructed using the most basic tools - pick and shovel, carthouse and camel.
At 10.15 am on 25 October, 1917, the first eastbound passenger train, the Transcontinental Express, departed Kalgoorlie for Port Augusta. The different rail gauges required guests to change trains several times along the journey.
From then on, travellers wanting to ride the rails from Sydney to Perth were required to change trains at least five times to complete their journey.
It was not until 1969 that an uninterrupted rail link from the Indian Ocean in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east existed. The newly-named Indian Pacific train embarked on its inaugural transcontinental journey on 23 February 1970, arriving in Perth to the crowd of more than 10,000 well-wishers.
It is this rich history that has made the Indian Pacific one of Australia’s most treasured icons.
The diversity of the Australian landscape that can be viewed on this remarkable 4,352 kilometre transcontinental journey and the wonderful hospitality afforded to guests aboard the train, makes the Indian Pacific one of the world’s greatest train journeys.