Indian Pacific

2017 News from Australia’s Great Southern Rail – A Centenary, Doubled Departures and New Off Rail Tours

Written by: Jovanka Ristich
Date: 14th December 2016

Great Southern Rail, the company behind Australia’s two iconic cross continental rail experiences, namely The Ghan (Darwin to Adelaide and vice versa) and The Indian Pacific (Sydney to Perth and vice versa) has announced the following news for 2017:

  • THE INDIAN PACIFIC introduces new off train experiences for the centenary year marking the completion of the east-west railway line
  • THE GHAN EXPEDITION doubles its departures
  • Live performances introduced in Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Alice Springs’ stations, with further live on board entertainment on selected journeys

The Ghan Alice Springs to Darwin


THE INDIAN PACIFIC introduces new off train experiences for the centenary year marking the completion of the east-west railway line.

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the completion of the Sydney to Perth, east to west, cross continental railway line. However, the railway track was not standarised until 1969 with the ‘birth’ of the Indian Pacific coming the following year. 1970 saw travellers making a continuous journey on the same train, a feat previously impossible due to the different sized gauges that made up the Sydney to Perth line. At that time, cross continental travellers, who included the author Mark Twain, had to change trains several times in order to continue and complete their journey.

NEW OFF RAIL EXPERIENCES from Sydney to Perth include:

  • Adelaide Hills – an intimate foodie tour featuring a local artisan chocolate or cheese producer, followed by dinner in the historic town of Hahndorf

NEW OFF RAIL EXPERIENCES from Perth to Sydney include:

  • Kalgoorlie – a theatre performance of “Paddy Hannan’s Ounce of Luck” production, the story of boom and bust in this mining town
  • Rawlinna – a special Outback breakfast hosted in this remote Nullarbor town

From 2nd April 2017 fares start from AUD$2,399 for a one way Gold Service single fare.

THE GHAN EXPEDITION doubles departures

Back by popular demand the seasonal Darwin to Adelaide Ghan Expedition, which offers an extended three night/four day experience, is returning with double the departures making 26 in total. Note, the traditional Ghan experience takes two nights and three days and does not include a stop at Coober Pedy.

Weekly departures will commence on 3rd May running until 25th October with the same selection of inclusive off rail touring experiences as offered in 2016:

  • Katherine – either a Nitmiluk Gorge cruise or an authentic bushman’s experience
  • Alice Springs – an extended town tour with an optional upgrade to a scenic flight and ground tour at Uluru followed by dinner under the stars
  • Coober Pedy – a full day to explore this underground opal mining town

From 3rd April 2017 fares start from AUD$2,509 for an advance purchase, single Gold Service fare, Darwin to Adelaide.

Platinum & Gold Service prices all include meals, beverages and off train excursions.