Australia Rail Travel

"Enjoy some of the best Rail Journeys ever"

Australia rail travel is unfortunately limited. Given the small population of Australia, the country has just never really been able to support an extensive railway system.

Where there is a railway, the journeys tend to be very long!

That said, there are some absolutely amazing train journeys where you can really enjoy Australia train travel. Not only that, there are some beautiful train stations (Melbourne's Flinders station is pictured below)

This page aims to introduce you to some of these!

Australia Rail travel - Getting Around

Australia rail travel just doesn't have the infra structure to let you see the country by train.

That said, the east coast has a reasonable service.

My advice - forget it! Yes, it's marginally cheaper than the cost of a domestic flight but the journeys take longer than it would to drive! For example Sydney to Melbourne takes 10.5 hours and you could drive it in 9 hours.

The best time to use Australia rail travel is when you are in the cities. There is usually a good train service operating to the suburbs and places suitable for day trips.

For example, I use the train to get from the centre of Sydney to Bondi Beach. It would take 50 minutes by bus but I can combine a train journey and a short bus journey and be there in 20 minutes.

Stunning Train Journeys

Whilst the train system doesn't work for getting around, it does work for some amazing experiences where you get to see the scale and beauty of Australia.

There are two journeys that I would strongly recommend you try to incorporate into your visit:

The Ghan - which runs from Adelaide to Darwin through the Red Centre and

The Indian Pacific which runs from Perth to Sydney crossing the Nullarbor Plain.

The Ghan

The Ghan travels from Darwin to Adelaide via Alice Springs taking you through the Australian outback on a sleeper train. The scenery is spectacular and its a must do if you have the cash.

Accommodation ranges from Platinum (luxury cabins) to normal seats, with the journey taking 2 days. You can just do the Alice Springs to Adelaide leg which reduces the costs. They do reduced fares for backpackers.

It's an expensive experience...but is it worth it? Go to my page on the Ghan Train to find out.

The Indian Pacific

The other great journey to experience rail travel is the Indian Pacific route.

The Indian Pacific takes you from Sydney to Perth via Adelaide over 3 days and again the scenery is spectacular.

Over the three days you cover 4,352km and the 478km crossing of the Nullarbor Plain is on the world's longest length of straight railway track.

Nullabor means "no trees" in latin and indeed this is a vast tree-less plain.

A range of accommodation exists and you can do part of this australia rail travel journey to reduce costs. Discounts for backpackers here too.

Take me back to travel around Australia

Travel Guide Australia

Tell me more about Darwin

Travel Guide Australia

Take me back to the Real Australia Travel home page