Lisa travels on the Indian Pacific

Staff member: Lisa // Trip date: Aug 2013


The Indian Pacific was due to leave at 10.45am on the Sunday morning, so we arrived 45 minutes prior to this to check in our luggage. We were allowed to take an overnight bag on the train, and were asked to check in our larger luggage. The terminal is very well sign posted, with a queue and tag system for your check-in luggage.

We were showed through the train prior to customers boarding. Normally a client would check in their luggage and then be advised what carriage they will be travelling in. Once boarding commences clients are directed to their cabin and then advised by the staff regarding the cabin and train facilities and options for excursions.

On arrival in my cabin which was in the Gold category I received water bottles, maps and additional information about excursions and meal time.

Red Service: comfortable seats that recline 45 degrees and also swivel around so that you can face the person behind you, which would be great when socialising. Shower and toilet facilities are at either end of the carriage. There is also a bright café called the Matilda, which offers light meals, that need to be purchased.

Gold Single: These cabins are small but comfortable. There is room for one bed, which during the day provides one full comfortable seat, with another stool like seat and table. There are shared bathroom facilities at either end of the carriage. The great benefit from what I have been told is that clients tend to sleep better when lying front to back of the train, as opposed to left - right or v.v as with the Gold Twin cabin. They are very compact.

Gold Twin: This was the cabin that I used for my 3 nights, 4 day journey. I found the seating very comfortable with plenty of room. I slept well at night for the first 2 nights when the train was travelling in a relatively straight direction. I didn't sleep as well between Adelaide - Sydney as there were more turns and sounds on this leg. The private bathroom facilities were excellent, although compact. The shower had great pressure and temperatures. There is a table I could use and sound system for music when required. They also provided a bathroom bag, which included soap, shampoo, conditioner, skin cream and ear plugs.

Platinum Service: Although similar to what is offered in the Gold cabins, these rooms are more spacifous, rooms allow for a double bed or two singles and are in the front to back direction (better sleeping apparently). A separate shower, and larger bathroom. Also nibbles are provided in the room - nuts/chips etc. Transfers to/from hotel and train station are also included for this category.

 

With Gold and Platinum Service there is a turn down service, which includes a nice chocolate on your pillow and normally will happen when you are having your evening meal.

 

Food and Beverage

 

The main dining carriage for Gold and Platinum service is called the Queen Adelaide Restaurant. This provides 3 meals a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. At all these meals, 3 courses were provided with 2 - 5 options for each course. The food was divine, and all the group commented on the quality of food. The food is created around the regions we were travelling to, for example when we were travelling in the outback there was kangaroo on the menu. Restaurant quality plus. A good selection of wines and spirits, with additional costs associated with only the top liqueurs and spirits. For Gold and Platinum this is now fully inclusive of the journey.

Explore and Discover Tours

 

There were several stops with excursions at each stop. This is fully inclusive unless you are travelling in the Red Service where costs ranged from $20 - $59 depending on the excursion you choose. There were normally 2 excursions available per stop, which you could choose with the staff before arriving.

 

Kalgoorlie - we arrived at 10.30pm (in the other direction the train arrives slightly earlier although it would still be dark), which meant that we were unable to see a lot due to it being dark. Coaches picked us up and did a town tour, with stops at the open mine, (we could only see lights moving in the distance) and the mine museum. The museum was interesting and I would have liked more time here.

 

Cook - this is a town in the middle of Nullarbour Plain with nothing around it. Population of 4, but use to be a lot bigger. This is a ghost town with buildings for schools, pool, hospital, jail. I loved this stop as it was unique and it was great to experience the desert outlook.



Adelaide - we arrived early in the morning so did a 7.30am produce market tour, which included breakfast. For this stop only a light breakfast is provided on the train between 6 - 6.30am. The markets were interesting and we had a great guide to show us around. The breakfast at the market is light and I know the group looked forward to lunch that day.

 

Broken Hill - the group split up for this stop. Some did the Pro Hart Gallery and said it was fantastic and included a city tour and drinks and nibbles. I did the Palace Hotel tour, which also included a city tour. Interesting and the Palace Hotel has been in many films - they provide a free drink with this tour. Both these tours were the most expensive if clients were travelling in the Red service and having to pay - I was told around $50 which to me seems excessive for what was provided. The train is only a short walk from the town (2 - 4 mins) so very easy if you were in the Red service to have a look around yourself.

 

Overview

What surprised me about this journey was the range of scenery that we saw. From the green hills and rivers of surrounding Perth, to the barren but beautiful desert of Nullarbour Plain, and farmland and forests of Adelaide and outer Sydney. It was mesmerising and I found myself drawn to this view all the time. There was more wildlife than I expected, and I saw camels, Kangaroos, lizards, cattle, sheep and a range of birds.

 

Some of the agents found sleeping on the train difficult, although they did use the ear plugs provided and that seemed to help. I had no issues sleeping except for the last night between Adelaide and Sydney when the trains had more turns. The staff told me this was very normal.

 

The staff were fantastic, so friendly and helpful and nothing was ever an issue. In the lounge area there were games, books, magazines. It was very well set up to assist with meeting others aboard the train and was the central meeting place before going to the restaurant carriage. This was also where the bar was located. Because of the range of activities, meals, excursions and areas you could go to I never got bored on this journey, it was extremely relaxing.

 

We did arrive in Sydney over an hour later than expected. The train needs to stop along the way to allow other trains to pass, which depending on traffic, can cause delays. At Sydney central train station the train is too long for one platform, so the train stops and splits into two so it can be accommodated.

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