If you’ve seen the movie The Bucket List, then you’ll grasp the concept of experiences that must be had before your inevitable exit. One such experience is a great train journey across our vast continent.
After years of shameful neglect by both Commonwealth and state governments of all political complexions, long distance passenger trains are enjoying a revival. Never have we had so many options to travel in such comfort, or over such distances and through such diverse country. You can take The Ghan from Darwin south to Adelaide via Alice Springs, or vice versa. Or, you can choose to traverse the continent from Sydney to Perth via Adelaide, or vice versa, on the Indian Pacific. You have a range of classes between luxurious Platinum to Gold or Red, you can save and sit-up or lie-down and select from a multitude of packages which allow you to alight, explore and then rejoin a train, even days later.
In these days of ever greater luggage restrictions, higher tension and stricter security at airports, the ease with which you board and disembark from a long distance train comes as a refreshing surprise. There’s no cramped seating, no restrictions on movement, meeting new travelling companions, sharing experiences and, above all, there is no better way to see and soak-up the amazing diversity of Australia.
If you haven’t experienced waking to the gentle motion of a long distance train or the blazing gold of an outback sunset, you haven’t truly lived. Put it at the top of your personal bucket list!