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Discover South East Australia on "The Overland" Train

Mar 3, 2008
To discover the real essence of Australia, train travel is the way to go. There's no more relaxing or scenic way to enjoy the trip between Adelaide and Melbourne, Australia's southern capitals, than on "The Overland".

This historic train pioneered inter-capital rail travel way back in 1887, its name inspired by the historic "Overlanders" who traveled the route on horseback. A century on and the newly refurbished "Overland" is about relaxation, serene comfort, enjoying superb meals and being pampered by courteous and attentive staff.

Throughout this daytime interstate journey you can soak up a diverse range of landscapes from rugged scrubland to fields of golden crops, over vast open plains and through gently rolling hills dotted with vineyards and wheat fields.

The early part of the journey from Adelaide involves a climb through the Adelaide Hills to Mount Lofty with stunning views of the city and St Vincent's Gulf. The building of this section of the railway provided a major challenge for engineers in the 19th century.

The first major town along the way is Murray Bridge and this provides a great photo opportunity as the train crosses Australia's largest river, the Murray. This major waterway stretches over 1250km from its source in the Australian Alps to the Southern Ocean, just south of Murray Bridge. It is a major tourist attraction, provides 70% of Adelaide's water and is the economic lifeline for numerous orchards and vineyards along its banks.

At Bordertown, the train crosses into Victoria and journeys through scenic undulating hills supporting wheat and sheep farms. In the distance to the south you may notice the spectacular Grampian Mountains. No visit to Victoria would be complete without exploring this majestic landscape. The main town of Hall's Gap can be used as a base for bushwalking or visiting a number of the breathtaking scenic lookouts. Further south is another "must see" for visitors to Victoria - the world famous Great Ocean Road.

The major city on the journey to Melbourne is Geelong, Victoria's second biggest city. It is also a major tourism venue and a convenient base for travel on the Great Ocean Road or to the eastern side of Port Philip Bay.

Just over 10 hours after leaving Adelaide, The Overland glides smoothly into Melbourne's Southern Cross Station. This terminus in Spencer St, is right in the heart of the city and the convenient late afternoon arrival gives you time to freshen up at your accommodation, ready to enjoy the vibrant night life and trendy restaurants in Australia's second largest city.

The Overland is operated by Great Southern Rail and runs a daylight service between Adelaide and Melbourne in both directions three times a week. Guests have the choice of 2 levels of service; Red Service or Red Premium Service. Both provide a high standard of comfort, while Red Premium provides more services including quality meals delivered to your seat and more personal space. The licensed Caf'e Carriage provides the chance to meet your fellow travelers and socialize in a comfortable environment.

This train is an important link for travelers from Melbourne to join other major Australian train services In Adelaide. "The Ghan" provides a spectacular outback journey to Darwin, stopping at places of interest along the way including Alice Springs (the centre for visits to Ayers Rock or Uluru and King's Canyon) and Katherine for visits to the scenic Katherine Gorge).

The other major train stopping at Adelaide is the world famous "Indian Pacific". You have the choice of boarding the train for its 2 day journey west to Perth on the Indian Ocean or traveling to Sydney on the east coast.
About the Author
Discover the magic of Australia in travel writer Graeme Lanham's new book. It reveals secret travel hints, experiences and destinations.Visit: http://www.traveltipsaustralia.com
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