Crossing the Nullarbor on the Indian Pacific

Wednesday, 22nd May 2019

Liz Lunnon

australia kangaroo indian pacific train gsr

The desert heat enveloped us as soon we stepped off the train. Rust red earth with a sparse covering of low scrub stretched in every direction as far as the eye could see. Just a smattering of abandoned buildings broke the endless flat terrain: we had arrived in Cook, with its resident population of just 4 people. This ghost town sits in the heart of Australia’s Nullarbor Plain; a desert area twice the size of England. 27 hours had passed since we first rattled out of Perth on the Indian Pacific train.

Celebrating 50 Years of the Indian Pacific

The Indian Pacific celebrates 50 years of operation next year. Crossing Australia from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, this 4352km journey traverses the longest straight stretch of railway in the world, right through the heart of the vast Nullarbor Plain. As well as an outback stop in Cook, the journey also includes time to learn about gold mining past and present in Kalgoorlie. You explore the city of Adelaide and meet Broken Hill’s colourful drag artists before completing the 4-day adventure in Sydney.

The Train

The train itself is something to behold – its 29 carriages stretch 3/4 of a kilometre in length and weigh a total of nearly 1400 tons. No wonder the kangaroos bounded safely away from the tracks at our approach, disappearing towards the horizon with a characteristic skip. Grazing cattle, sheep and wild horses also raised their heads as we rumbled past.

Farewell

Back on board, we chatted to new friends over a gourmet dinner as the desert rolled past the windows. After a final night being gently rocked to sleep in my comfortable cabin we reached Adelaide. This is where my rail journey ended some 44 hours after leaving Perth. I sadly disembarked and waved goodbye as the Indian Pacific continued on to her final destination in Sydney without me

australia liz with indian pacific train liz 1

Feeling Inspired?

Want to follow in Liz’ tracks? Crossing a continent from ocean to ocean, the Indian Pacific is one of the world’s longest and greatest train journeys. Get in touch with our Travel Specialists for more information.

Speak to a specialist

Popular blog posts

Top Things to Do in Svalbard

An alluring haven at world's end; the Svalbard archipelago is one of the world’s largest untouched wilderness areas and it’s precisely this vast area of raw nature that puts it on the bucket list for many. Read our top favourite things to do...
  • Adventure
  • Inspire Me
  • Northern Lights

Thursday, 13th June 2019

Becky Masih

Why We Love Iceland

Over 40 years ago, our managing director, Clive Stacey, himself began a love affair with Iceland and it's diverse landscapes, countless natural wonders and vibrant culture!  To celebrate Valentine's Day, we’ve asked our Discover the World team why they love the incredible land of fire and ice...
  • Inspire Me
  • Travel Stories

Thursday, 14th February 2019

Becky Masih

Top 10 Trips of a Lifetime

From northern lights to safari holidays, we've listed some of our favourite destinations and holidays to spark your imagination. Remember, all of our itineraries can be tailor-made for a trip of YOUR life.

Monday, 21st January 2019

Becky Masih

Cathy Harlow: Hiking in East Greenland Tour Highlights

In summer 2019, Wanderlust award-winning guide Cathy Harlow is travelling again to the wild and remote East Greenland coast to guide our nine-day ‘Hiking in East Greenland’ adventure. There’s so much about East Greenland that inspires Cathy but there are a few truly special experiences that make this trip stand out, read on to find out more…
  • Adventure
  • Inspire Me

Wednesday, 24th October 2018

Cathy Harlow

Related holidays

Tropics, Outback and Australia’s Top End

from £3239
excluding flights
13 nights Year round
Explore the pristine beaches, lush rainforest and rugged outback on this spectacular 2-week itinerary.
  • Independent
  • Rail
Australia