Getting to Adelaide is easy from Hong Kong, with direct flights on Cathay Pacific, but if you have the time, there’s a far more relaxing way to arrive. From either Perth or Sydney, you can take the train ($5,000 from Perth, $4,400 from Sydney; greatsouthernrail.com.au) as Adelaide is perfectly positioned along the line served by The Indian Pacific. This venerable old service, running 4,352km all the way from one coast to another, provides an extraordinary experience, the vastness of Australia’s interiors engulfing you as you ride.
The Indian Pacific is comfortable in the extreme. It is, in fact, like a rolling luxury hotel. The train windows provide a constant flow of landscape images like something from a John Ford western. For example the Nullarbor Plain – twice the size of England – takes its name from the Latin ‘nullus arbor’ or ‘no trees’ because vast tracts are devoid of any discernible fauna. They’re just rocky moonscapes. And where else in the world can you get to pass through a succession of double-entendre locales such as Ghooli, Cocklebiddy and Pinkawillinie?