Rail Travel Across South Australia

Old Jul 4th, 2010, 02:55 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 50
Rail Travel Across South Australia

I am looking for feedback on the 3 day train ride across south Australia - Sydney to Perth. If you have ventured so far as to experience the trip, was it worth the USD1,000+ cost (private berth w/toilet & shower)? What did you like most? What was your least favorite part? Did you sit the entire time in your own berth or did you mix with the others? Is there a "viewing" car or solely berths and a dining car. Did you get off the train before Perth and visit other towns?

My husband and I (51 and 46) will continue on from Perth to Bali for the rest of our holiday. Perhaps this isn't the most direct route but it would break up the long trip from the middle of the USA.

All comments welcome.

Thank you
MrsTheo is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2010, 05:00 AM
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Hi Mrs. Theo,

I haven't done it myself, but I've sent clients on it -- what I always ask them is are you seriously interested in trains or looking for scenery. If it's the latter, this is not the trip for you.

I don't think anyone spends the time in their berth; mixing with the others would be one of the highlights; you do make a stop at a town that's pretty much a wide spot in the road, but as they say "there's no THERE, there", so don't count on that as sightseeing.

Hope thi is helpful!

Certified Aussie Specialist
wlzmatilida is offline  
Old Jul 6th, 2010, 01:46 AM
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I think I would go somewhere else - its about as boring as you can get!
ivenotbeeneverywhere is offline  
Old Jul 6th, 2010, 08:51 PM
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Hi Mrs Theo
I'm not an expert by any means! but Mr SB and I are planning our first trip to Australia and New Zealand starting in October. After much to and fro-ing about where to go and what to do, we added a leg to fly from Uluru to Perth, spend a few days there, then take the Indian Pacific train back to Adelaide. Partly because it's one of the great rides of a lifetime and Mr SB is a big train fan -- we've done Amtrak around the USA as well, and have great memories of that trip.

When I posted a question here about the train, I got a very helpful reply from a couple who blogged about their NZ and Australia trip here www.aroundtheworldin132days.blogspot.com/
Look in the January section for the Indian Pacific information -- they also did the Ghan from Darwin.

I also found this site helpful: http://www.seat61.com/Australia.htm (they cover train travel all over the world).

I had to call GSR in Adelaide to take advantage of a wildflower season discount that was shown on their website, and got a lot of help with my questions. We went for the gold cabin which includes meals -- I think sitting with other passengers at mealtimes is part of the fun of the trip. We're looking forward to all of it! Good luck with planning.
SB_Travlr is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2010, 12:05 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I've done it (many years ago) and loved it - but one way only.

It's a bloody long way (like Melnq8's trip!) - and can be boring - but you get to see some of the country you wouldn't usually see.

If you like trains, and have the time and money - do it!
margo_oz is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2010, 04:20 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Yep, it’s a long way. And I think it’s a great way to appreciate just how vast Australia is. I’ve not taken the train, but I’ve driven Melbourne to Perth and back via Ularu. I’ve done Perth to Melbourne on a bicycle too – and then you REALLY know how big Australia is.

Somehow, the flat, wide landscape becomes quite seductive. I don’t think it is boring, but maybe that’s just me. If you like train travel, then I’d say “go for it”.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2010, 11:40 AM
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 50
Thank you to all for your feedback. I doubt I would have ever thought of such a trip had it not been for Bill Bryson's book "In A Sunburned Country". Having lived in Europe for two years, train travel was like what butter is to toast. Though neither my husband nor I are train buffs, I think we'd both enjoy the adventure. As Bill Bryson wrote, "It's not a question of brute distance-though goodness knows there is plenty enough of that-but of the incredible emptiness that lies within all that distance. Five hundred miles in Australia is not like five hundred miles elsewhere, and the only way to appreciate that is to cross the country at ground level." I'm just hoping my pocketbook can afford it! Again, thanks for the great feedback.
MrsTheo is offline  
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