SA_Blog_Jan14_HeaderAustralia is a big country, similar in area to mainland USA, yet our population is not quite 23 million. Of those, around 85% live within 50km (31 miles) of the coast. That leaves a very large part of the country with very few people in it! Most of the centre of our country is desert, and we city folk rarely travel inland. I live in Sydney, the biggest city, and in the eastern (coastal) part of the city at that. We tend to go to the beach for our vacations, or to other cities. Much to my shame I had never seen the heart of this country – until now.

On my bucket list for as long as I can remember was to do the trip all the way across the country, from coast to coast, on the iconic Indian-Pacific Train. The Indian Pacific has been crossing the country from Perth to Sydney and back since 1970, and it traverses some of the most inhospitable parts of the country. I take my hat off to those who live and work in those dry hot remote places!

Seeing the vast Nullarbor Plain was one of the highlights. Nullarbor sounds like an Aboriginal word, but it actually comes from Latin, meaning “No Trees”. It is a vast plain of red earth and small shrubs. According to Wikipedia,  it is the world’s largest single piece of limestone, and occupies an area of about 200,000 square kilometres (77,000 sq mi).  At its widest point, it stretches about 1,100 kilometres (684 mi) from east to west between South Australia and Western Australia. As we sat on the train the scenery barely changed from hour to hour the day we crossed the Nullarbor, yet it was endlessly fascinating. The whole time I had the song “Nullarbor (The Biggest Backyard)” by Kasey Chambers playing in my head – check it out if you haven’t heard it. It captures the feel of the outback perfectly.

Of course the Nullarbor was just a part of the 4,352 kilometre (2700 miles) journey. I’ll be posting pages to our Facebook page, so pop by & see some more of our beautiful country. Did you know you don’t even have to join Facebook to view our page? Meanwhile here are a couple of pages about the journey.

Biggest Backyard Crossing the Nullarbor











Page Details:

“Biggest backyard”

“Crossing the Nullarbor”


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18 Responses to Blog: Coast to coast across the nation

  1. Anita Albritton says:

    Fascinating, Shelley!! Really great info about Australia (which has been on my list of dream destinations since I was a child), and as always I am just in awe of your adventurous spirit!! Thanks for your blog, and looking forward to seeing your pages!!

  2. sistersunshine says:

    Leaving on a train in less than a month to travel from Chicago to L.A…. via San Antonio… it’s been a decade since my last long train trip… REALLY looking forward to this one… taking two of my sons with me while hubby stays home to pay for it… (that’s what he’s been telling EVERYONE! lol) looking forward to seeing parts of our country I have never traveled through… Train Travel is wonderful. *U* Kathleen

  3. Deanna Emmert says:

    If the United States had better cross-country train travel service that wasn’t so expensive, I would certainly love to do a train trip across the US. I would also love to cross-country train travel across Canada. Will have to add Australia to “the list” too. But since travel isn’t feasible for me, in the meantime I can console myself with the beautiful scenery and places we have in the Pacific Northwest. Good thing there are so many wonderful places to see all over the world. Thanks, Shelley, for your glimpses of so many other wonderful places.

  4. adakallen adakallen says:

    There are areas of the USA where I have not been. My bucket list is growing!
    Your layouts are fabulous!

  5. jolleyontheroad jolleyontheroad says:

    cool trip!! I’ve always wanted to do a train trip!

  6. Chris Schilling says:

    I have been to visit Sydney and able to travel just a wee bit to Victoria and Wagga Wagga. Someday I will visit your beautiful continent again and hope to travel it coast to coast as well. Thanks for the little preview!

  7. Glenna says:

    On my Bucket List to travel to Australia. I have never been there and want to see it so badly, especially after seeing your pages. The train trip must have been beautiful. We did a train trip around Italy and saw some beautiful country, but I’m sure nothing to compare to what you saw. Can’t wait to see your other pages.

  8. Liz Propst says:

    Such a sense of adventure. I had no idea that Aussies mostly live close to the beaches! Thanks for sharing a bit of culture!!

  9. judychronicles judychronicles says:

    I remember the Nullarbor. As kids in the early 70’s, we traveled by car from Victoria to Perth. It took 5 days…..I don’t know how Mum and Dad kept their sanity with 3 kids. I remember one part of the journey… took us a whole day to go about 100 miles….unsealed roads and deep holes with truck tyres over them. This was to warn us to stay away….as the car weaved all over the road to avoid them. Then we had the same on the return journey. I quite like the idea of a train ride. It is spectacular scenery though. Judy

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