The Indian Pacific – Ocean to Ocean
Written by: Jovanka Ristich
Date: 15th February 2016
The Indian Pacific, what better name for a train that links one ocean to another, and what better symbol for a train that spans one of the world’s largest continents than the wedge-tailed eagle with its magnificent two-meter wingspan.
The origins of the historic Indian Pacific can be traced back to the early 1900s, but it was not until 1970 that the train completed its first unbroken journey from Sydney to Perth via Adelaide.
Today, this coast to coast, east to west (or west to east) journey covers 4,352km and takes three nights and four days to complete, easily qualifying it as one of the world’s great train journeys.
And how, as a traveller to the Antipodes, could you resist choosing to travel across Australia by train replacing airport hustle, bustle and queues with the leisure and luxury that only a train of this caliber can provide.
There is time to immerse yourself in the landscape of the vast Nullarbor Plain as it rolls mile after dusty mile by your window; there is the opportunity to hear stories about the prospectors who came in search of gold and found it in Kalgoorlie; and there is time to listen to myths and legends about the Aboriginal ancestors who first walked across this land thousands of years ago.
Who can also resist the opportunity to star gaze across the southern skies before falling asleep in Gold and Platinum Class luxury as the train rhythmically pursues its course.
The Indian Pacific also goes to great lengths to showcase Australian cuisine at its best by exclusively using regionally sourced food. The result is a series of creative and dynamic menus bursting with regional flavours including Kangaroo Island honey, Top End barramundi, Margaret River cheeses, native Australian lamb, beef and kangaroo.
The wine list meanwhile reads like a who’s who of Australian vineyards spotlighting the Hunter Valley, Barossa and Margaret River.
But, it does not stop there. The championing of Australia’s burgeoning food and wine scene is further complemented by food and wine themed off-train touring.
At Rawlinna relish an under the stars outback dinner, whilst in the Barossa discover why this is one of the world’s most prolific and sought after wine producing regions. There are cellar door wine tastings topped off with a visit to a national icon – Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop. Maggie Beer is a living Australian culinary legend. She was one of the first people to use local produce to create genuine Australian fare. Her cookery books are best sellers and she is always a welcome face on television. A cooking demonstration at the Farm Shop is definitely a highlight of the day.