Day 4 of the The Indian Pacific Sydney – Perth: Arrival Day!

Day 4 of the “Ultimate Australian Rail Holiday” Saturday 21st May 2016 

Indian Pacific Map

We are now “as one” with the rhythm of the train and its life on board. We look forward to each meal, wondering what choice of delicacies will be on offer. We enjoy the variety in the company, and have discovered there are twelve of us who have signed up for the “Ultimate Australian Rail Holiday” package. I enjoy a brandy and dry before dinner, and am working my way through the wine list – beverages are all inclusive, only top-shelf spirits are additional. Our cabin is comfortable, and the staff responsive. The rocking, rolling, dragging and stopping of the train is variable, but we have discovered that showering on a moving train is not that difficult. I also discovered that the bottom bunk is more comfortable than the top. It is wider, and somehow more “encompassing”, like being in a cot at sea, but both bunks enable a good night’s rest.

As we slept away our third night, vast expanses of Western Australia rolled past our window unobserved. By breakfast time, we have reached Southern Cross (see map above) and have a “mere” 370 km (230 mi) to our destination. Not that the driver is rushing this section. We are not due into Perth until 3pm, and the scenery becomes more picturesque as we get closer, winding through the bushland of the Perth Hills. It goes on for much longer than I expected, and I am not sure if that is because they are so extensive, or whether we are at low speed.

4352km (2700 mi) after leaving Sydney (NSW) we finally arrive in Perth (WA).

The 2016 pop of Australia = 24.17 million. The State of Western Australia consumes about one-third of the land mass of Australia, yet its population is only 2.6 million, 75% of whom live in and around the capital. . Perth is closer to Singapore and Jakarta than it is to Australia’s federal capital, Canberra. It was colonised in 1829, about forty years after the First Fleet landed in Sydney. It was the last state to cease transportation of convicts, with the ultimate vessel being the Hougoumont, arriving in the Swan River Colony (Fremantle) on 9 January 1868 with 279 convicts aboard. (source: Convicts of Australia website).

Perth is renowned for sunny skies and a generally dry climate, so it is our luck to arrive during a rain deluge. Since we will be here for four nights, I take advantage to do some washing, order room service and jump into my pyjamas for a night snuggled in front of the television.

However! I have been to Perth before, and on that occasion I wandered around with camera in hand, recording the action in the city streets, strolling through a park filled with beautiful sculptures and unusual drinking fountains, and watching the sun set down by the river. For a person raised on the east coast of Australia, sun setting over water is very disorienting the first time you see it. Anyway, it’s cheating I know, but here are some photos from that 2007 trip:

For Reference: We booked our tour through the Australian Holiday Centre.

15 thoughts on “Day 4 of the The Indian Pacific Sydney – Perth: Arrival Day!

  1. Pingback: An Autumn Day in Perth, Western Australia, May 2016 | The Reluctant Retiree

  2. Wow. The history in the location of Perth was so fascinating to me. It so hard for me to wrap my head around these parts of the world. I need to look at a map often! ( It’s not really cheating, is it?)

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    • Back in the early 70s I was trying to work my way around Australia, but only got as far as Adelaide where I stayed for four years, then jetted off to Europe for another four. When I came back “home” to Sydney, I too met my “fate/doom”. Now I’m trying to plant the seed with hubbie to move west for a year or two before it’s too late. I am very drawn to it. I assure him they have golf courses there too. No luck so far. But one day, he might suggest we move to Perth, and I will say, “What a fabulous idea! How on earth did you think of that?”

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        • With such a small population, you would imagine the living would be easier. And from what I observed, they are well served for public transport and other facilities, at least in Perth environs. They were even building a new Perth hospital. The roads down to the southern population centres of Bunbury and so on were well maintained. Might be a little car dependent there, but who isn’t these days, to a greater or lesser degree?

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    • Amazing! Did you see me waving to you? I was there the first week in February. It was for work, so I would have had a few days with a weekend tacked on. I am definitely wearing summer clothes in the photo! Although the “Fremantle Doctor” does cool things off in the late of day. Your comment caused me to check the photos from our 2007 Christmas Day. It was in our previous apartment, with the grandchildren much younger than they are now. They were so cute. naaaw.

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        • Ah, we were living in Pyrmont, just a few blocks back from Darling Harbour, so we would have been very close if you were in a CBD hotel. I used to walk to work at the bottom of Clarence Street, near the Harbour Bridge road approach. I probably walked past you 🙂 Was it a hot summer in Sydney that year? I can’t remember. I used to tell people not to come in February because of the humidity, but these days – who can predict what the weather will be? Were you staying with friends perhaps?

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        • I wrote a wonderful reply on my iPad a few days ago, touched something, and your comment as well as my reply deleted. Anyway, I have now tracked down the comment, and I think my reply was something about the family connections now dropping into place. Sam, the cute marathon runner, married Holly in the Margaret River region of Perth. Louisa, the “pretty as a picture” sleeping blonde toddler, married Errol, in the church that was across the road from where their mother, Jessica, spent her childhood, and then went on to name their baby (first daughter?) also Jessica. Did I connect all that correctly? Phew! Your cryptic crosswords might be easier Mordred 🙂 And didn’t he have something to do with King Arthur’s death? – signing off now as Guinevere.

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