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Great Southern Rail - Indian Pacific

Home > Sydney > Escape the City | Railway Journeys | Tours | Trains
by Todd Newton (subscribe)
Published January 13th 2013
A sequence of landscapes

For those looking for a week getaway whilst seeing some breathtaking sights, a trip on the Indian Pacific train is something for all to consider.

In operating for more than forty years and in booking over three million passengers in it's history, the Indian Pacific train makes the 4,352 kilometre journey between Sydney and Perth. With it being a 3 day and 3 night trip, you may think sitting for days on a train may be unbearable but the seats are very comfy and the train makes scheduled pit stops through numerous towns in the outback.

So what is the schedule?

Departing Sydney

The Indian Pacific leaves Central Station on Wednesdays at 2:55 pm but it is highly recommended to arrive a few hours before the departure time. The train will then move through the metropolitan and suburban areas of Western Sydney before crawling through the Blue Mountains through the many twists and bends in the track.

Indian Pacific
Blue Mountains

Country New South Wales

As the train exits the mountains, it will move into the country as the train moves among the many farming fields and communities. The sun beams down on the dry grass of the fields creating a burnishing image as you look out the large panoramic windows in the late afternoon. The train then progresses into the dry, barren outer reaches of the true outback at night.

Broken Hill

Indian Pacific
Broken Hill

The next morning, the Indian Pacific arrives on the cusp of the NSW border as it stops in the heart of Broken Hill for a 90 minute break. Here you may explore the local heritage buildings around the town or grab a bite to eat and relax at the town's pubs. A historic tour is also offered around the town.


Indian Pacific
Indian Pacific train at Adelaide

Once you leave Broken Hill, you will then begin to travel south-west through the South-Australian countryside for just under 6 hours before the train heads into Adelaide by 3pm for yet another pit stop. Here you can divulge in some local shopping and sightseeing before the train departs yet again at 6:40 pm.


Cook is a rather strange place! The Indian Pacific makes a brief stop here as it crosses the Nullabor Plain. With a population of only four people, Cook is virtually a ghost town with just a couple of buildings. It is even more startling due to the fact that the tiny town is completely surrounded by nothing but the dry desert landscape of the Nullabor Plain for vast kilometres.

Indian Pacific
View of the Nullabor Plain from Train


Indian Pacific

The train travels further into the desolate depths of the Nullabor Plain of Western Australia and completes the world's longest stretch of dead-straight railway track which spans 478 kilometres before heading into the outback town of Kalgoolie by 7:10 pm the next day. Here you can enjoy a nice dinenr at one of the local pubs and restaurants before boarding the train again for it's 10:40 pm departure time.

Arriving in Perth

Indian Pacific
Avon Valley

On the final stretch of it's journey, the Indian Pacific moves through the expansive wheat belt of Western Australia and into the breathtaking sights of the Avon valley at dusk, creating a luminescent image from the windows of the train as the sun rises. The Indian Pacific proceeds into the outskirts of Perth where the train terminates at the city's main station by Friday morning.

Indian Pacific
Indian Pacific train arriving at East Perth Railway Station

It must be mentioned that the trip is very expensive, depending on whether you travel in platinum or gold class carriages, but it is certainly worth it! With so many breathtaking scenary to be seen and many experiences to be had along the journey, the Indian Pacific is an exploration that should be accomplished in one's lifetime. Be sure to try not to miss it.

For more details, check the website given below.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons,,,,, and
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Why? Breathtaking scenic journey
Phone: (08) 8213 4444
Where: Central Railway Station
Cost: See website
Your Comment
Have done this great journey and the Ghan plus written about them. Both are world class train journeys.
by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (score: 3|5695) 2492 days ago
Thanks for all the information I found it very helpful and interesting will be doing some of these trips plenty of information
by lynn3 (score: 0|2) 2487 days ago
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