By Rail, Adelaide

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  • Port Adelaide Passenger Terminal
    Port Adelaide Passenger Terminal
    by wabat
  • Outer Harbor Station
    Outer Harbor Station
    by wabat
  • Outer Harbor Station
    Outer Harbor Station
    by wabat
  • 850prc's Profile Photo

    The Ghan, Adelaide-Alice Springs-Darwin

    by 850prc Updated Nov 29, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    All three of Australia's great interstate trains (The Ghan, The Overland and The Indian-Pacific) service Adelaide. The Ghan crosses Oz, on a north-south axis, running from Adelaide (on the Great Southern Ocean) to Darwin (on the Indian Ocean).

    The Ghan's most appropriate motto is "The legendary journey through the heart of Australia".

    The Ghan runs from Adelaide to Alice Springs twice a week, and one of those times, it goes on north to Darwin. So from Alice Springs, you have two opportunities per week to travel to/from Adelaide, and one to travel to/from Darwin.

    If you have the time and the knack for an adventure, I seriously suggest that you take the Ghan either into or out of Adelaide.

    If you're traveling in first class (Gold Kangaroo) and you make advance booking, you can bring your automobile along on the train's motorail for a reasonable cost...something like A$100.

    For all you train lovers, here are a few Ghan facts, courtesy of "Platform Magazine", published by the Great Southern Railway Company of Australia...

    Adelaide to Alice, one night, 1559 km
    Alice to Darwin, one night, 1420 km

    Average length of train, 403 meters, 15 passenger cars + locomotive + motorail

    Average speed of the Ghan 85 km/hr
    Max speed of the Ghan 115 km/hr

    Weight of the train is 735 tons. (It gets heavier after dinner. : )

    The basic routing of the train, starting with Adelaide and continuing to Darwin is as follows:

    Adelaide - Coonamia - Port Germein - Port Augusta - Tent Hill - Pimba - Kingoonya - Coondambo - Tarcoola - Manguri (near Coober Pedy) - Kulgera - The Iron Man - Finke River - ALICE SPRINGS - Tennant Creek - Katherine - Pine Creek - Adelaide River (a long way FROM Adelaide, mind you...) - Darwin

    The Ghan in Keswick Station, Adelaide Sara readies for her ride on the Ghan, Keswick Sta Sara and Bonnie in our Ghan cabin Bonnie onboard the Ghan, enroute to The Ghan, Carriage

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    The Indian-Pacific, Sydney to Perth

    by 850prc Updated Nov 29, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    All three of Australia's great interstate trains (The Ghan, The Overland and The Indian-Pacific) service Adelaide. The Indian-Pacific crosses Oz, on an east-west axis, running from Perth (on the Indian Ocean) to Sydney (on the Pacific Ocean). Adelaide's "slightly mid-point" status on the run is basically the "end" of civilization (until you reach Perth) heading west, and the first signs of city folk when you're headed back east. I'm sure, however that the citizens of Port Augusta and Cook would take issue with that notion.

    The Indian-Pacific's motto is "The adventure that spans Australia". We didn't ride on the Indian-Pacific during this visit. However, having ridden on the sister line, the Ghan, we feel completely competent in recommending the Indian-Pacific to those travelling anywhere across Australia on the Sydney-Adelaide-Perth line.

    The Indian-Pacific makes the Sydney-Perth journey twice weekly in both directions. If you have the time and the knack for an adventure, I seriously suggest that you take the Indian-Pacific on at least part of your transcontinental journey. I'd think that the Adelaide-Perth run across the desert of Western Australia would be awe-inspiring.

    If you're traveling in first class (Gold Kangaroo) and you make advance booking, you can bring your automobile along on the train's motorail for a reasonable cost...something like A$100.

    For all you train lovers, here are a few Indian-Pacific facts, courtesy of "Platform Magazine", published by the Great Southern Railway Company of Australia...

    Sydney to Perth, 4352 km (one way), the trip takes 65 hours.

    Average length of train, 403 meters, 15 passenger cars + locomotive + motorail

    Average speed of the Ghan 85 km/hr/max speed 115 km/hr

    Weight of the train is 735 tons.

    The emblem of the train is the wedge-tailed eagle. Its massive two meter wingspan symbolizes the epic journey of the Indian-Pacific.

    The basic routing of the train, is as follows:

    Sydney - Broken Hill - Adelaide - Port Augusta - Cook - Kalgoorlie - Perth

    The Indian-Pacific passes through Adelaide

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    The Overland, Adelaide - Melbourne

    by 850prc Updated Feb 11, 2006

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    All three of Australia's great interstate trains (The Ghan, The Overland and The Indian-Pacific) service Adelaide. The Overland provides first-rate rail service between Melbourne and Adelaide. The century-old term "Overland" comes from the affectionate term "overlander", which means an adventurer who has travelled all around Oz.

    We didn't actually ride on the Overland during this visit. However, having ridden on the sister line, the Ghan, we feel completely competent in recommending the Overland to those travelling between Melbourne and Adelaide who'd prefer a gentle and relaxed journey to the hubbub of catching a plane or driving. : ) The Overland makes the Melbourne-Adelaide journey four times a week in both directions.

    For all you train lovers, here are a few Overland facts, courtesy of "Platform Magazine", published by the Great Southern Railway Company of Australia...

    Melbourne to Adelaide, 828 km (one way), the trip takes 10.5 hours.

    Average length of train, 361 meters, 13 passenger cars + locomotive + motorail. (Speaking of motorail, if you're traveling in first class (Gold Kangaroo) and you make advance booking, you can bring your automobile along on the train's motorail for a reasonable cost.

    Average speed of the Overland 85 km/hr/max speed 115 km/hr

    Weight of the train is 640 tons.

    The emblem of the train is the kookaburra, which is meant to reflect the symbol of the new day.

    The basic routing of the train, is as follows:

    Melbourne-Geelong (North Shore)-Ararat-Horsham-Dimboola-Bordertown-Murray Bridge-Adelaide

    Australia's interstate trains are great!
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    The Indian Pacific

    by bijo69 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Indian Pacific passes Adelaide on its 4352 km long journey from Sydney to Perth.
    I took the train from Adelaide to Kalgoorlie and enjoyed the trip a lot. Just had a place in the "cheap" seater section, but it was comfy enough for me. There's a lot of legroom, the seats do recline and there's even a shower in the carriage!
    I had to change the date on my ticket and was pleasantly surprised that it was done without any problems nor a fee!
    Before buying your ticket, get a YHA (Youth Hostel Association)card. It saved me 50%!
    The train departs from Keswick Station which is a bit out of town.

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    INDIAN PACIFIC TRAIN SYDNEY TO ADELAIDE

    by DennyP Updated Dec 18, 2011

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    ADELAIDE
    When some cheap tickets became available I jumped at the chance to not only return to Adelaide but also to ride the famous Indian Pacific train.. in Adelaide I would then link up with the Ghan" which travels across the continent from north to south right through the "Red Centre"..The Indian Pacific travels right across the Australian continent from Sydney to Perth (east to west) linking the two cities and also the two oceans ..The Indian and the Pacific oceans hence the name..a journey of some four days and 4000 kilometers...one of the greatest train journeys of the world..having the longest straight section of railway line in the world of 478 kilometers.. I only travelled the section from Sydney to Adelaide a journey of some 24 hours and around 1800 plus kilometers..The train left Sydney in the afternoon and travelled through the Blue Mountains as the sun was setting and then over the Great Dividing Range..through western New South Wales through the night making a few stops for passengers to get on and off.. daylight saw the train arrive in Broken Hill where it stopped for about an hour or so..I took this opportunity to look through the town and also have a wonderful breakfast at the local RSL.I then reboarded the train for the trip to Adelaide..The change in the Landscape was just so varied from the mountains of the Great Dividing Range to Western New South Wales dry plains to the greeness of South Australia..This is a train journey that I would recommend ..the trip was a lot of fun with the interaction of so many foreign travellers enjoying themselves..I found the food to be good and the seats to be very comfortable..one day I will go all the way to Perth on this train....tickets from Great Southern Rail.

    THE INDIAN PACIFIC TRAIN ..SYDNEY INDIAN PACIFIC ENGINES.AT BROKEN HILL N.S.W. BROKEN HILL STATION... THE MILLIONTH SLEEPER LAID...PT.AUGUSTA..STH AUST. ADELAIDE MAIN TRAIN TERMINAL PARKLANDS
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    Keswick Station (Interstate Rail Terminal)

    by 850prc Updated Feb 11, 2006

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is just a little note to explain that there are TWO railway stations in Adelaide. One is downtown, and serves all of the regional railways, along with being a conduit for bus traffic connections.

    But, if you're taking one of the large interstate trains (The Ghan, The Indian Pacific or The Overland), you'll need to head out to Keswick Station. It's located approximately 2 km west of the city center. (a cheap taxi ride. :)

    Keswick itself is clean, comfortable and has a few little eateries and shops on site. Nothing huge, mind you.... but you'll have your opportunity to get a meat pie or a burger and drink, and you can buy yourself a "Ghan" t-shirt or cap.

    So, when you get into a cab, tell the driver which train you're on or where you're headed before you just say "TRAIN STATION". : )

    It's my 49th birthday, Adelaide's Keswick Station Keswick Station, Adelaide Commemorative, 1st Adelaide-Darwin Ghan, 2004 The Ghan Tavern at Keswick
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    BeesLine

    by FOotFetish Written Aug 8, 2003

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    Beeline buses (in yellow) runs around city.NOt sure whether it is free or not. But certainly there is a one moving around in city.

    Average costs for bus transport is about $2. Tertiary students from other interstates universities entitled no discounts.

    To genelg beach is best to take the tram.IT takes you directly right in front of the stop. Keep the tickets with you all times and if you are able to return before the time indicated on the ticket, then you need not pay for a return ticket.

    Get it?? :D

    Me taking a tram.
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    Outer Harbor Station

    by wabat Updated Jan 17, 2015

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    Adelaide’s Outer Harbor train line runs, not surprisingly, between Adelaide Railway Station and Outer Harbor Station on the northern tip of the Lefevre Peninsula on the Gulf St Vincent.

    I include a review on this specific station for two reasons:

    1. Port Adelaide Passenger Terminal is at Outer Harbor. This is the terminal used by ocean going vessels, including cruise ships visiting Adelaide. As such, depending on your ships time of arrival / departure the train may present a very cost effective option to get to or from the city centre. Note that a day-trip ticket which covers all Adelaide train, bus and tram transport to 4.30am the following day costs about the same as a return fare from Outer Harbor to the City. The station is a 200m walk from the passenger terminal.

    2. It is a perfect starting or finishing point for a cycling trip along the beautiful Gulf St Vincent coast. Please be aware that you cannot take bicycles on buses or the Glenelg tram but you can on the train.

    A timetable for the service can be seen at https://www.adelaidemetro.com.au/timetables/trains Select OUTHA for the Outer Harbor line.

    On weekdays trains run every 30 minutes (slightly less late evening and very early morning). First train 5.20 am and the last, the following morning at 1am from Outer Harbor (from Adelaide 40 mins earlier). The trip takes 40mins.

    Saturdays/Sundays – first train from Outer Harbor – 7am with trains hourly from 7pm, otherwise as per weekdays.

    The Outer Harbor line also has convenient stops for Port Adelaide (Port Adelaide Station), Largs Bay (Largs Station) and Semaphore (Granville Station – requires a 1km ride or walk to the beach).

    Please be aware that all three stations are unmanned and apart from being wheelchair accessible, having automated train announcements and offering shelter from the weather they offer no other facilities and that includes toilets. Tickets can be purchased from vending machines on the train – the machines accept coins and credit cards but not bank notes.

    See my separate review Bus, Tram, Train - Tickets and Routes for ticket details and more general information on public transport in Adelaide.

    Apart for the reasons mentioned above, the average visitor would have no cause to go to Outer Harbor – the other stations mentioned, plenty of reasons to go to them. That said, if you are at Outer Harbor for the reasons mentioned above or you are otherwise especially keen, there are a couple of pieces of artwork worth a look. See my separate review - “Artwork at Outer Harbor Station”.


    Next Adelaide by the Sea Review

    Outer Harbor Station Outer Harbor Station Adelaide Metro Train - Two Carriage Port Adelaide Passenger Terminal
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    THE OVERLAND

    by BerniShand Written Jan 8, 2005

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    We travelled to Adelaide from Melbourne on the Overland overnight, it was a miserable journey in the "comfortable day/night seat", the train was chilly, the seats were uncomfortable and the train crawled along at a snails pace

    frequest travellers arrived laden with pillows and duvets, we had the tiny cushions and blankets provided

    it wasnt an experience wed like to repeat, and the cost was about the same as a flight

    the Overland
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    The Ghan

    by sirgaw Written Aug 20, 2012

    Tip duplicated on my Darwin, Alice Springs and Adelaide pages.

    The Ghan is one of the Australian legendary journeys that I have been reading about since I was a kid and then as I grew up – although there are some who’d say that never did happen – another story for another day perhaps.

    The Ghan run by Great Southern Railways (GSR) is number 29 on the impressive list of the Wikipedia article ‘Longest Rail Services’ and the train is well known for its luxury form of travel that has appealed to the more senior citizens – the ‘youngies’ would not put up with a 2,979 train journey from Adelaide in South Australia to Darwin in the Northern Territory that takes 3 days when they could hop on an aircraft and be there in say 4 hours. Oldies, like Lady Gaw and myself, are more content to sit back and watch the scenery, enjoy the great meals and all that is part of the Great Southern Railways service.

    I have put together a long travelogue ‘The Ghan for beginners’ on our journey that we really enjoyed in July 2012 when we travelled from Darwin all those kilometers to south to Adelaide. There are 2 so called ‘Whistle stops’ in Katherine and Alice Springs for 4 hours each, however the train does stop at other locations depending on your needs – check with GSR

    Some may consider a trip on The Ghan to be expensive – OK compared to cattle class crammed into a tiny seat on an aircraft with a budget carrier, perhaps it is. However a better way of comparison would be comparing business class airfares (about $A1, 500 each) and adding the cost of 2 nights accommodation (difficult to compare accom in a cramped train twin bunk compartment plus a phone box sized all included bathroom with a hotel, but say $50 each x 2 nights), then add the value of the 1 lunch, 2 dinners, 2 breakfasts and 1 morning tea (guessing $A225 each but probably more). I would think the overall price for the other-than-train way would be $A3,650 against The Ghan listed price for 2 in Gold Class at 2 X $A2,116 = $A4,232 or Child/Pensioner/CSHC 2 X $A1,464 = $A2,928. Lady Gaw and I are in the latter category (Pensioner), so not considering the amazing savings we enjoyed of ‘buy one get one free’ The Ghan is a cheaper way of ‘travel’ and has the added bonus of the scenery, Whistle Stop options, fellow crazy travelers and great on board crew.

    There are 3 classes of travel – Red is economy and there are sit up all the way seats, however that class does have twin share cabins without private facilities – walk to the end of the carriage. Next is Gold Class and all have sleeper cabins either ‘roomette’ (single) of doubles with own on-suite (very small) facilities – there is also a Gold Class Superior Cabin with extras and off course more expensive than ‘basic’ Gold. Last is Platinum which is luxury cabins, with very high price tags. Gold and Platinum include all on-board meals, which are a very high standard served up by great staff.

    I would strongly suggest signing up with the GSR ‘All Aboard Club’ for regular e newsletters which do contain special prices – see web site for details on The Ghan. The trains run once a week in both directions all year and twice a week both directions in the peak winter season

    About the photos:
    1. Just one of the 29 carriages
    2. Katherine Station and note there is no raised platform. A set of steps awaits at each door position.
    3. Queen Adelaide restaurant carriage for Gold and Platinum class.
    4. Explorers Lounge carriage - bar and gift shop
    5. Was that sun rise or set?

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  • The Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin

    by Elleeng Updated Apr 5, 2011

    I recently travelled on The Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin using Platinum class, I thought it would be a superb and memorable experience, one that many travellers long to do. It was memorable but for all the wrong reasons. It costs a lot of money to buy a ticket and one is promised luxurious travel, attentive service, super food in fact the journey of a life time.
    It was a long journey in a train with staff who cared little about the service to customers, in fact they couldn't get everything over and done quickly enough so they could either dissappear or eat their meals all together. The food arrived cold in most cases and often well before the wine so the meals were not 'fine dining'. Even the breakfasts were dissappointing how difficult is it to cook eggs & bacon and serve it hot, impossible it seems to these staff.
    The weather outside was lovely very hot during the day and quite magnificent thunder storms with lightening both nights but the temperature in the train was a fairly constant cold I'm glad I packed some cashmere jumpers and I noticed a few folks shivering in the restaurant during meals.
    The loudspeaker system wakes you at 6-30 am telling you information about other breakfasts which you will not be attending.
    I think that perhaps the Red service is best, cheaper, food from a very nice canteen style service station and you buy what you want and the chairs you sleep in are like a 'comfy coach'. Except for the uneccessary piped music all around the train it is possibly good.
    For those people who do not like flying to get to Dawin from Adelaide is difficult but I would not recommend The Ghan. In Platinum class it is champagne prices for mediocre beer type service.
    The only consolation is the sleeping accomodation it is comfortable but because it's cold another blanket would be good. The small en-suite is lovely plenty of towels and the shower works surprisingly well as it is tiny. Large people would have a problem.
    I have journeyed in Europe in trains on many times but this is the worst experience I have ever had. Think seriously fellow travellers if you are/were intending to take this trip. Save your money.

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    Indian-Pacific railway...

    by Goulu Written Aug 25, 2002

    Indian-Pacific railway connects Sydney-Melbourne-Adelaide-Perth. From/to Melbourne, it is much more interesting to drive the 'Great Ocean Road', but from/to Perth, the train is an excellent way to 'enjoy' the desert, watching at the immensity of the 'Null Harbor Plains' in confort...
    in 'Holiday Class' you get a confortable 2 beds cabin, acess to the lounge wagon with video, bar, and the train's restaurant is definitely correct.
    On a 36h trip to Perth, you will have plenty of time to meet locals and share a beer or two.

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    Glenelg Tram

    by MJL Written Mar 8, 2010

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    I think rail traffic (metro, tram, train) is one on the best transportation for tourist. You know where you are heading.

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