Perth August & December 2018 - Day 24

Adelaide to Broken Hill


After a more comfortable sleep we woke the next morning on the outskirts of Adelaide. The train stops here for a few hours to load fuel and food and to drop off some passengers and pick up a few new ones. During this time we were offered a choice of excursions - we chose the city sights followed by breakfast at the Adelaide Oval. we then reboarded the train and headed for Broken Hill. Our travel east was delayed by several long freight trains; they have priority over the rail tracks so we had to wait for some time to let each one pass. This delayed our arrival in Broken Hill by over an hour, cutting short our excursion of the mining town.

Train: Day 3 - Adelaide

We arrived early in Adelaide, climbed onto the bus and drove around the central part of the city. We were told a lot about the history of the city, the architecture and the various redevelopments (good and bad) that were taking place. The problem for us was ou seating in the bus. On arrival in Adelaide the buses were waiting at the front of the train but we were at the back. By the time we had walked to the front only rear seating was left on the bus, and the windows were obscured by advertising. Hence no photos of Adelaide. After a less than memorable view of Adelaide we headed for the Adelaide Oval for breakfast. The Oval is the home of cricket in South Australia. We were taken up to the member's stand where breakfast awaited - fresh fruit and various small bacon and egg-type sliders. But the room had a magnificent view of the Oval iteself and we could just imagine the uproar back on 1 February 1981 when the Australian cricket team sank to a new low point by bowling the last ball of the match against New Zealand underarm (now outlawed after this game of course).

The Perth Oval, home to cricket and the infamous "underarm" bowl.

Adelaide to Broken Hill

We headed out of Adelaide and retraced our traces for a while before turning northeast towards Sydney. We passed through agricultural lands with plenty of fruit trees before the land became near-barren and open sheep and cattle farms.

We were nearing Broken Hill and signs of mining started to appear.

Broken Hill

Nearing Broken Hill and the Miners Museum is the most prominent building on the skyline. Unfortunmately we did not have time to visit, you can do this on the Sydney-Perth journey. We were offered a quick tour of the town and then drinks at the art gallery. Arriving late to the town our excursion was shortened somewhat but the drinks and nibbles were appreciated.

The Miners Museum
The front half passengers heading for the buses.
The Palace Hotel - home of Priscilla of the Outback.
Art in the gallery.

Sunset and good night

We returned to the train, found our cabin and then headed to the adjacent car for a nightcap. It was a clear evening but with a few clouds to the west, making for a wonderful sunset. We sat and watched the shy until it was dark adnthen retired for the night. The next morning we were in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney and the weather had turned to rain. We decided against the bus excursion to the Blue Mountains and we were soon disembarking from the train in Sydney. Our Indian-Pacific train experience was over. All that was left was to find our way to the airport and fly back home to New Zealand.

Our train catches the last of the sun.
Inside for a quiet drink and to watch the sunset.
Our bunk beds made up.
In the Blue Mountains - mist and rain greeted us.

This trip took us longer than planned, with a break of 3 months in the middle. We journeyed on the Indian-Pacific train in December rather than August and we went from Perth to Sydney rather than the other way. But the train journey was defintiely worth the time and expence. You pass through scenery that would be difficult to view by other means (unless you drove the long distances by car). The train is a comfortable means of travel, with service, food and drinks much better than you might have expected. The fellow travellers in our part of the train were a pleasant group from all over the world.If we were to take this train again, I would recommend a trip earlier in the year, perhaps August when the weather is cooler and you are in time for the sunrise at Rawlinna. You could go to or from Sydney, but perhaps the Sydney-Perth direction offers better off-train excursions. Now, where is that timetable for The Ghan?

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Last updated: 20/02/2019