Sydney to Perth by Train
August to December 2018

The Indian-Pacific train from Sydney to Perth has long been on our "to do" or "bucket" list. With limited time available in 2018 for overseas travel the train was an ideal solution. Once in Perth we could travel the region looking at the wildflowers. Late August suited us, so with all bookings made and paid for we flew off to Sydney. After a few days in Sydney and a road trip to the south circling back via the Jenolan Caves and we were ready to settle into the train and watch Australia travel by.

Well.... that was the plan, and in theory it was a good one, BUT (there is always a "but" to ruin good stories) the day before we boarded the train we received the news: our departure of the Indian- Pacific had been cancelled, yes CANCELLED, stopped, not going, stuffed, kaput.
What to do? Go home and try to claim the cancellation insurance (good luck, we were given a full refund from the train and a 20% discount if we rebooked, so what was the actual loss apart from the experience and memories?). So we flew to Perth instead and used the extra days to look around the city.

Perth was great, the wildflowers were out in full bloom. We had a good time. But what about that train? Forget about it? Try another year? No, we had unfinished business so we booked again for the first week of December. We flew to Perth and travelled by train the other way round this time.

Paul and Colma, December 2018

Our Itinerary

Day Date Event
Day 1 Thursday 16 August 2018 Flew Auckland to Sydney picked up the rental car and drove south.
Day 2 Friday 17 August 2018 A day around Nowra with relatives.
Day 3 Saturday 18 August 2018 Rural roads from Nowra to Albany and north to Jenolan Caves. A tour through the Lucas Cave and a night at the Caves Hotel
Day 4 Sunday 19 August 2018 We woke to snow on the hills. A tour of the Cave of Baal then a liesurely drive through the Blue Mountains back to Sydney.
Day 5 Monday 20 August 2018 The sights of Sydney
Day 6 Tuesday 21 August 2018 Decision time - Do we fly home or fly to Perth? More of Sydney
Day 7 Wednesday 22 August 2018 Flight to Perth
Day 8 Thursday 23 August 2018 Shops and architecture in Perth.
Day 9 Friday 24 August 2018 Wine and food on a tour boat up the Swan River
Day 10 Saturday 25 August 2018 A day excursion to Rottnest Island
Day 11 Sunday 26 August 2018 A walk around the Perth gardens
Day 12 Monday 27 August 2018 Visit to the Perth Mint.
Day 13 Tuesday 28 August 2018 The start of our road trip around a corner of Western Australia. The Pinnacles and National Parks then on to Cervantes.
Day 14 Wednesday 29 August 2018 More wilderness and National Parks; Geraldton for the night
Day 15 Thursday 30 August 2018 East then south with plenty of wildflowers and rural countryside to York.
Day 16 Friday 31 August 2018 By road to Wave Rock and the strange town of Hyden.
Day 17 Saturday 01 August 2018 The long/wrong way to Esperance on the south coast.
Day 18 Sunday 02 September 2018 Esperance to Albany.
Day 19 Monday 03 September 2018 Albany to Margaret River
Day 20 Tuesday 04 September 2018 Back to Perth airport and home.

Time passes...

Day Date Event
Day 21 Saturday 1 December 2018 Auckland to Perth
Day 22 Sunday 2 December 2018 Check into the Indian Pacific train and set off east, visit Kalgoolie at night
Day 23 Monday 3 December 2018 On and off the train: stops at Rawlinna and Cook (aka "The middle of Nowhere". Across the Nullabor Plain.
Day 24 Tuesday 4 December 2018 Arrive Adelaide, a quick tour of the city then breakfast at the Adelaide Oval. Continue on the train from Adelaide to Broken Hill.
Day 25 Wednesday 5 December 2018 Third night on the train, arrive Blue Mountains and the final run into Sydney.
Sunday 9 December 2018 Back home again

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Last updated: 20/02/2019