The Nullarbor- a Long and very Straight Track

A late night in Kalgoorlie led to an early start in Rawlinna.

Clickity clack Clickity clack. Our train clicked away during the night. It’s funny how during the day it seems so calm and the night time turns the train into a Rockin’ rollin’ adventure.

The sunrise over Rawlinna was gorgeous. Soft light makes the deserted town beautiful.

We were off the train by 6.30am. It was cold!

The only sign of life on the deserted platform was a horse. He stood patiently letting us pat him as our entertainer set up then played country & western.

We drank hot tea and ate bacon egg rolls as we sang along and wondered why we had got out of a cosy bed! But how could you miss this little piece of the Australian outback. Very special.

The more energetic of us stretched our legs walking along the deserted dirt road of this huge sheep station. I was hoping someone could fill us in on details about this sheep station on the edge of the Nullarbor. I have since found out it is more than 2.5 mil acres in size with 65,000 sheep!

Today it was us and a horse at the railway station.

Back on board we dived back under the doona as the sun came through the window.

Lunchtime came and gave us a chance to chat to our fellow travellers and make some connections. Cath thought she knew me but her husband said she thinks she knows everyone.

Sitting on the jailhouse rock.

A second stop at Cook. This place has a population of 4. There are a few houses there which get used by railway works from time to time. Someone has a good sense of humour. There were signs around the empty town including one our side as male and female jail. In between was the musical ‘jailhouse rock’.

Miranda said I reminded her of her mum who, like me, loves a red lipstick! Miranda is a nurse from Manchester who despite 20 years of living in Perth still has a strong accent. She’s talkative and funny – the kind of nurse who would keep you entertained but take no nonsense!

More cards in the afternoon before cocktail hour! Today I had a margarita and was surprised that Jill, who only ever has one half strength coffee a day, had an expresso martini. It had two full shots of coffee and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Jill was later seen dancing on tables!!!!

It was our last night together on holidays and we were celebrating our great trip. If you’ve missed out please go back and read the earlier blogs on the Gibb River Road.

We have travelled over 4,300 kilometres. Over dusty roads, had several boat trips, swum in at least 8 gorges and in the ocean 7 times, waded in a tunnel creek, had two light plane trips, one epic train trip, enjoyed wine, beer and cocktails. Eaten too many chips! Had lots of laughs and card games and really enjoyed our travel buddies Chris & Jill.

Dinner was delicious. Lamb shanks! No chips. Beautiful Moss Wood wine and lots of chat.

A great cickity clack sleep and an early arrival in Adelaide. Our lively lovely crew including Layla, Georgia. Nick ….. farewelled us. It’s been great.

We have a few days with Steve’s sister before heading off to Wilpena Pound – a little sight seeing and a ride on the Pichi Richi rail journey in Quorn.

Keep following readers…… Wilpena is known as the jewel in the Flinders Rangers

Clickity Clack: The Indian Pacific Train.

Pick up from our hotel in Fremantle is part of the Platinium service for the Indian Pacific. We are being spoiled on this trip! So naturally we’ve been looking forward to this train journey for quite some time.

We arrive at East Perth Station and are checked in with Layla a lovely young girl wearing an Akubra hat. We are in carriage I, cabin 4.

First sight of the train.

It’s 9 a.m. when we board the train and the Bollinger has been popped. People start to smile. The service team introduce themselves and the guests start to chat. It may be expensive but the treatment is first class.

Our cabin is small but perfectly laid out. Our comfy seats face the way the train will be going and every little convenience has been included.

The seats fold out to become the bed.

It’s not long before it lunch time. the food is lovely.

The menu cover.
A sample menu. I had the camel curry! It was delicious.

Of course lunch was a accompanied by another Bollinger or two. This was followed by a nap!

We met some fellow travellers. Miranda and Gavin from Perth are on board celebrating a birthday. They are lowering the average age and look like fun – enjoy a drink and a chat!

Val & Jim from Melbourne are lovely and we swapped lots of stories. There are other keen train enthusiasts who are on their 2nd, 3rd and even 4th journey – the Ghan north to south and the Indian Pacific east to west !

Some are travelling Premium because they no longer like climbing up to a bunk style bed. I can identify with that feeling.

Card playing had become our afternoon or evening activity and it has continued. Today we multi-tasked! There was a trivia competition hosted by the resident guitar-playing entertainer. We played cards, played trivia and drank Bollinger.

Tonight after dinner we arrived into Kalgoorlie around 9 p.m. We left the warmth of the train for a tour of cool Kalgoorlie with Katherine.

She drove through the dark streets pointing out sights we couldn’t see. She told us stories and used the word ‘actually ‘ more times than necessary. She’d had a long day and sounded exhausted. We were all thinking our Katherine needed to be home in bed.

First stop was a yard housing a small museum and theatre where two locals put on a play about the discovery of gold by Paddy and Tom. Unfortunately it needed a better script & better actors.

Next stop was the giant pit. We went to a viewing platform but with few lights on it was hard to see anything. The photos told the story of a pit that is 5 km long, 2 km wide and 1 km deep.

The whole tour was ‘actually’ underwhelming. It would have been more effective to have an audio on the bus. We should have listened to fellow travellers Miranda and Gavin who were staying on the train in their cabin with a glass of wine and a Netflix movie.

Couldn’t wait to get back to the train, have a warm shower and tumble into bed.