In September 2017, my son, Sam, and I embarked on a trip to Australia that I had planned and booked everything myself (this was the time when I started to really think that I would love to book travel for other people). The trip started with a two night stay in Perth which I hoped would give us chance to get over our jetlag before we embarked on our 4 day trip across Australia on the Indian Pacific Train which started in Perth and ended in Sydney.
We left Perth behind and had a lovely lunch and dinner on board the Indian Pacific. First stop that evening is the wild west town of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, home to the staggering 3.6km wide Super Pit – an open-cut gold mine that has yielded riches 24 hours a day since 1989. There was an opportunity to visit the gold mine. Excursions are included along with as much alcohol that you want to consume.
Waking up the following day and looking out the window, all the lush green had gone and all you could see was brown barren land. We were on the Nullarbor Plain. The Nullarbor Plain is part of the area of flat, almost treeless, and semi-arid country of southern Australia. Its located on the Great Australian Bight coast and the Great Victoria Desert to its North.
The following day, we arrived at Adelaide where we had a few hours to explore (or go on an excursion). Just before lunch we were back on the train heading to our next stop.
Broken Hill is one of Australia’s legendary Outback bases defined by its wide streets, country pubs and ties with the Royal Flying Doctors Service and School of the Air. Here, you can visit the late Pro Hart’s art studio or head for the Miners’ Memorial where the stark reality of working in Broken Hill’s mines over the ages is writ large. The striking architectural edifice and spectacular view over the city add emotional weight to the list of more than 800 miners who lost their lives on the job.
The following morning, we were then slowly making our way through the Blue Mountains to our final destination of Sydney (I have noticed that the Indian Pacific now (2018) stops in the Blue Mountains to give you chance to explore, which is a nice touch).
We spent three days in Sydney exploring. I’m not going to talk too much about Sydney as on my next trip, I am spending lots of time there and will share my experience with you.
Our next stop was Cairns where we went off on a boat to stay for 2 nights and to give us a chance to explore the Great Barrier Reef. The ride out to the main boat was a bit choppy and I ended up a bit wet from the sea. Sam decided he wanted to try scuba diving. He managed two dives but on the first one he got an ear ache and on the second one he had a nose bleed and the ear ache was worst so he decided that scuba diving wasn’t for him. I did a couple of snorkelling sessions, but found the sea very choppy. On one of the trips out, I did see a turtle which was really exciting for me. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera so have no photos of it.
We spent another night in Cairns before flying to Brisbane. We stayed with a friend of mine for a couple weeks in her fabulous home before flying home to the UK.