Australia’s transcontinental Indian Pacific offers a twice-weekly service in both directions between Perth and Sydney, via Adelaide, across more than 2,704 miles (4,352 km) during peak seasons, and once a week in less busy times.
Almost 300 miles (482 km) of it is across the longest straight track in the world, the Nullarbor Plain.
The journey takes three nights, and our travelers report it’s frequently a very jolly departure, with many Aussies traveling the route, especially around holiday periods.
In 1849, Australia’s first railway lines were built—but on three different rail gauges. The beginnings of the modern-day Indian Pacific can be traced to 1917, but the first unbroken journey of the new Indian Pacific departed Sydney Central Station on Feb. 20, 1970, arriving at Perth five days later to a welcoming crowd of 10,000.
Both service levels include dining, beverages and off-train excursions.
In September 2008, the Ghan kicked off a new luxury service, limited to 24 Platinum class cabins. The same service is now being offered on Indian Pacific departures.
Each Platinum class cabin is 82.5 square feet, including private, en-suite shower, sink and toilet, which is almost twice the size of Gold Service. The cabin is converted to lounge area by day, with a moveable table and two ottomans. At night, it converts to a double or twin beds; the interior is finished in Tasmanian Myrtle wood. Each compartment has full-size shower, vanity with storage space, mirror and oversized panoramic window.
Additional amenities for Platinum Service guests include: included transfers at the beginning and end of your journey; access to the exclusive Platinum Club for dining and socializing; option to have continental breakfast served in your room.
Gold Service offers three cabin options: Gold Superior, Gold Twin & Gold Single.
Gold Superior cabins feature a 3/4 size double bed plus a fold-down upper berth, lounge area, minibar and full en-suite bathroom. There are a very limited number of Gold Superior cabins on each departure.
The Gold Twin cabin is a three-seater lounge area by day, converting to upper and lower sleeping berths at night. These cabins also have a compact en-suite bathroom with shower, sink and toilet.
The Gold Single cabin features a twin bed that converts to a seat by day. Shower/toilet facilities are shared and located at the end of each carriage.
All passengers have their all-inclusive meals in the Queen Adelaide restaurant cars: breakfast, two-course lunch and three-course dinner. Seasonal, local ingredients are featured.
The Outback Explorer Lounge is the social hub of the train — with wide picture windows, bar service and snacks served throughout the day.
The Platinum Club is exclusive for Platinum Service guests. A Platinum Host serves cocktails, barista coffee and snacks. Dinner can also be taken in the Platinum Club.
The last guests we had on this train felt that the dining service was rushed, with all courses served at once. Hopefully, this criticism has been addressed and service has improved.
If you want to go all out, book exclusive use of The Chairman’s Carriage, which accommodates up to eight people. It has three Platinum Service double cabins and one Platinum Service twin cabin, as well as a private dining/lounge area and attendant. Contact us for availability and pricing.