The symbol of the Indian Pacific is Australia's Wedge Tail Eagle, the biggest eagle on earth. This regal bird, frequently seen by Indian Pacific passengers, symbolises the span of adventure and experience which unfolds during this magnificent journey.
The Indian Pacific is perhaps one of the greatest viewing platforms available from which to see the changing landscapes of Australia. Unfolding beyond the train's broad viewing windows are landscapes as diverse as the lush, heavily timbered panoramas of the spectacular Blue Mountains, the sprawling rural heartland of New South Wales, the harsh outback mining landscape of Broken Hill, the dramatic jagged ridges of South Australia's Flinders Ranges, and the vast treeless Nullarbor Plain.
It's a journey that takes passengers to three great Australian cities. Sydney, the nation's spectacular Pacific Ocean City. Adelaide, South Australia's elegant capital. And Perth, the west's dynamic city with its face to the tangy breezes of the Indian Ocean.
The Indian Pacific also passes through classic country towns that helped shape the Australian nation. The coal mining town of Lithgow in the Blue Mountains. Bathurst, site of Australia's first gold rush. Broken Hill, known as "Silver City" and the source of one of the richest ore supplies the world has ever seen. Port Augusta in South Australia, a unique seaside and outback town rolled into one. Kalgoorlie, known as the "Queen Of The Golden Mile", situated on the richest square mile of land in the world.
However, most people travel the Indian Pacific to experience the dauntingly flat emptiness of the Nullarbor Plain. Four times the size of Belgium, without a tree or running water for 1000 kilometres, the Nullarbor also provides passengers with the experience of travelling the longest straight stretch of railway track in the world....478 kilometres without a single curve. The Indian Pacific is a miniature air-conditioned city, a mobile and self-contained community that relies on no outside assistance on its crossing of the continent. Every passenger comfort and convenience is catered for.
The train's First Class Twinnette Sleepers feature a comfortable three seater lounge from which to admire the changing view during the day, which then converts to comfortable upper and lower sleeping berths at night.
The Indian Pacific's Dining Car is unique, offering three meals a day from a three- course a la carte menu and a uniquely Australian wine list. Whether you're enjoying breakfast, lunch or dinner, the knowledge that you're eating a delicious meal served by experienced stewards while aboard one of the world's great trains adds enormous flavour to the experience.
If the Indian Pacific is a city, then the Lounge Car is the local pub. Here strangers from around the world meet and get to know each other around the well-stocked bar which serves a good range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The Lounge Car also has a piano.
Update 7 December 1997: Great Southern Railway, who now operate the Indian Pacific, asked me to include a link to their new web page. This has details of the The Ghan (Adelaide to Alice Springs 1,555 kilometres) and The Overland (Melbourne to Adelaide 828 kilometres), as well as the Indian Pacific (Sydney to Perth 4,352 kilometres). There are fares, timetables and booking details. For background on the change in the IP's ownership, see "AN split up in $95m international sale", By Ian Thomas, Australian Financial Review, Friday 29 August 1997
Provided on the Internet by Tom Worthington, from material provided by Australian National.