Days 19 and 20: Adelaide – Broken Hill – Sydney

We were taken on an early morning tour of Adelaide just as the sun was rising over the city. This is a statue of Colonel Light who surveyed the area, chose the site and laid out the plans for the city. Adelaide is the only state capital city in Australia that did not begin its life as a convict settlement.
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This is Adelaide Oval, home of International Cricket in South Australia. It is currently being rebuilt.
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And this is a view of the Adelaide Hills from Colonel Light’s Lookout.
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This life-size bronze statue, by Silvio Apponyi, is in the Adelaide Parklands Railway Station. The inscription reads:

Indian Pacific, a journey that spans a continent. The largest eagle on earth, the Australian wedge-tail eagle, conveys a sense of power, momentum and purpose. It is used as a symbol of the freedom and adventure experienced by one of the world’s great rail journeys.

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These “glasshouses” were seen north of Adelaide as the train continued its journey.
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Gladstone (seen from the train) is a small town in the mid north of South Australia.
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This semi-desert landscape was seen as we crossed into New South Wales, our home state.
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We entered the town of Broken Hill (near the border with South Australia) just on dusk. We were taken on a brief tour of the township and then to an art gallery containing paintings by the late (Kevin) “Pro” Hart.

This building is the Miners’ Memorial and lists the names of more than 800 miners that have died in the mines in Broken Hill.
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Outside Pro Hart’s Gallery, are three of his beloved Rolls Royce cars. This is the only one he painted.
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This organ is the only one of its kind in Australia.
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This is a replica of Pro’s studio, just as he left it, with his last art work on the easel. His family took photos then carefully moved all the gear into the gallery using the photos to show them where to put it all!
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This is the paint gun used for his series of “cannon” paintings. On the right end of the shelf are some of the Christmas tree glass ornaments he had not yet filled with paint and fired!
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Before taking up art full time, Pro worked as miner. This is is his safety gear and lunch box.
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Some of Pro’s art works — you can see the different styles by comparing the large mural with the portrait of his wife above!
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The next morning, having crossed 1100+ kilometres since leaving Broken Hill, we arrived at Sydney’s Central terminal station 45 minutes late. Between Redfern and Central, the train was split into two parts so that it could fit onto the platforms!
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After collecting our luggage, we went to the suburban platforms to catch a train home. Mum was waiting for us at the station which was so much better than having to catch a cab.

Our adventure was over and what remains are this blog, a lot more photos and some wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing this journey with us, we hope you enjoyed it too!

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Day 18: on the Nullabor Plain

We woke just before sunrise, somewhere out on the Nullabor Plain.
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“Nullabor” comes from Latin, meaning “no trees”; it’s easy to see how it got its name! In fact, it is the largest limestone plateau in the world.
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The next few photos were taken near Forrest, a former railway town, now used as part of a chain of airstrips across the country used by the Department of Defence. All the photos were taken from inside the train.
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The next group of photos was taken when the train stopped and the passengers were allowed to stretch their legs for 30 minutes or so in the small former railway town of Cook.
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These were the timber and iron jail cells where prisoners were kept until the next train came through.
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This was the post office, repeater station and general store.
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This is the space between the public buildings that stand beside the railway line and what remains of the homes.
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This is one of a line of the last six houses remaining.
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This is the back view of the line of houses.
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This is a building in the school yard.
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The saddest sights were the filled-in former public swimming pool (no photo) and the upstairs classroom in the now disused school with children’s art work still hanging on the wall and the door and two of the windows left open when the teacher left for the last time!20130613-225558.jpg
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We’re not sure what this building, which stands beside the swimming pool, was used for.
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This is the railway station.
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These last three photos were taken shortly after the train left Cook.
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Day 17: Perth – Kalgoorlie

Our taxi, which we had booked for 10am, was waiting for us when we went downstairs at 9:50. We were at the station by 10:10, even though we didn’t need to be there until 10:45! Herself worked on the blog while Himself booked in the luggage and took some photos.

This carriage is one of the two original carriages used on the first railway line in Western Australia.
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The train we caught is called the Indian Pacific because it crosses the continent from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean (and back again, of course).
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According to Himself, the train had one locomotive, twenty six carriages and four car transports! You can see here that it just stretches away into the distance on East Perth railway station.
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At first the train passed through the Western Australian wheat belt.
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As we travelled further east, we saw less wheat, more cattle grazing and a scrubbier landscape.
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At 10:30pm, we arrived in the gold mining town of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. We were taken on a tour, despite the late hour, of the largest open-cut gold mine in Australia.
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Those lights are the dump trucks going up and down inside the pit!
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This is the “shovel” from one of the big machines. It really doesn’t give you an indication of size.
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Perhaps this will help! (Yes, it’s cold in the desert at night in winter)!
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At the Miners’ Hall of Fame, we were given a talk about one of the dump trucks. These are the controls and cab on one of these monsters!
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And the man standing on top (who gave the talk), gives a great demonstration of scale! Those things are huge!
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Inside the Hall of Fame, we were treated to warm drinks and savoury pastries as well as some sweet slices. The place was very interesting but there wasn’t enough time to see it properly and, at 1am, most of us were too tired to appreciate it! Himself liked sitting in the cab of the Caterpillar 990 and playing with the controls (men will be boys!)
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Back at Kalgoorlie station there was time for a few more photos before re-boarding the train and much needed sleep!
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