Australia by train and foot. Sydney to Perth.

I flew into Sydney a little over a week ago and landed in Mascot, a bustling suburb w a decent selection of cafes and coffee bars. But my first foray was to Circular Key, south of Sydney Bridge. I walked all over but managed to wait just a little too long and both places i wanted to eat at were closed. But i got a foto of a bird that looked like an American curlew but “dressed” in black and white. Cadging french fries instead of working for a living in a pasture near you.
Odd. For me it was like seeing a penguin hunting for bugs in a farmyard, seemingly backwards somehow.

Then i grabbed a Tiger Pie at Harry’s which was rather good. Traditional meat pie but topped with mashed potatoes, mashy peas, (did i taste a touch of curry?) and gravy. Not bad!

Turned to head back to the Underground and spotted half the Royal Australian Navy in port. 2 Hobart Class destroyers, 2 Anzac Class frigates, 2 Canberra Class LHD helicopter “carriers”, a Supply Class oiler/resupply vessel and one i can not remember right now. Beautiful ships.

Walked about a bit, Sydney is a beautiful city!

Obligatory Opera House photo inserted here.


Great report! Such a beautiful city! I was seconded there once for a month and made many subsequent trips and have always loved it.

Cannot wait to hear about the train trip!!


First meals were Chinese and Vietnamese, welcome to Sydney! LOL! Hit Longmenzhu for Chinese Hot Pot, really good, spiced just right. My only mistake was including Spam out of curiousity. It was rather Spam’like…

Then i hit Ha Hong for Banh Mi, good, not great. They used a spread that looked and tasted like mayo, odd. Moved from Mascot to Potts, place called the Macleay. Indirect view of the water.

Then i hit the Little Italian Place for pasta and smoked salmon. Nicely done.

I walked over by the bridge again, beautiful!

What a great city Sydney is!
Visited Pad Thai Choi Yo for some tame Moo Krob. Owner is nice but the spicing is dumbed down a bit and i did not go often enough for the chef to dial in my prefered spice level.

Then i ran out of time and got a $20Aus mixed kabob at 5 Star. Ouch! Kind of a flavor mishmash, but filling, though.


That bird is an Australian white ibis, or as I believe the locals call it, a “bin chicken”.

Good looking pie!


Thank you! I would not have guessed it was a ibis. Interesting.
I am from Montana and we have a curlew that has that inverse curve beak. I can not find a link to one with the more curvy beak but it must be closely linked to the one i linked to below.
The pie was pretty tasty! The filling actually had a reasonable amount of meat and the toppings were on point. Not hand-made by any stretch but good.
The bird-shat concrete on the pier gave it a certain earthy charm.


I do not think i posted any fotos from the Indian Pacific rail journey i took from Sydney to Adelaide and then on to Perth. It took 3 days and was a phenomenal experience!

I ate w new acquaitances at every meal and the company was almost as good as the food. We had silly stuff like camel curry, which was surprisingly good. Tasted like a combo of goat and mutton. Kangaroo was too bland.
But the best dining experience was lamb shanks, roast beef, sausage, some cabbage salad and many glasses of wine served trackside in Rawlinna.

But i can hear some of you saying, “What about the food in Perth?” And here we come to one of the fundamental questions that has vexed humanity for so many years. What constitutes good pizza? I am pretty sure this is a question that has no satisfactory, no conclusive, answer. But the restaurant that was recommended to me by two different locals, The Island, does not fit the bill in my book. I ordered the Meatatarian Pizza and got a decent crust but a bland sauce and little in the way of meat.
I think good pizza is whatever we grew up with, hence the unending debate, Chicago Deep Dish or NY Thin Crust? But the hazy IPA was rather good!
And what was up w the greens sprawling all over my pie? That seemed a bit impertinent.

I have to include a foto of the Swan River and South Perth from Kings Park near the War Memorial. What a beautiful place!

Elizabeth Quay looks like a great place for families!


Neither - Neapolitan pizza tops both of them :wink:

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I hear you, my favorite pizza in NoVA/Arlington is Pupatella which is the real Neapolitan deal, AVPN certified. Stone oven and the servers of the fire god wear cool Italian hats. Well, I think the hats are Italian…
But I have to admit that buffalo mozzarella is an acquired taste and I usually go Diavola not Margherita.
And their Arancini are pretty good too.
If you ever get to Northern Virginia, give them a try.

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I’ve been waiting to hear about the train trip! If you are willing please tell us more. Did they get you off the train for dinner every night or was that a special dinner in the photo? What about breakfasts and lunches? How was the scenery? And are you feeling better??

Thanks for posting, your trip is endlessly fascinating!


Hi Gretchen, we had a mix of dinner arrangements, but breakfast and lunch were usually on board. We arrived at Sydney’s train station around noon on the 21st and Indian Pacific set up a lunch for us in a cafe at the station. We ended up leaving Sydney at around 2pm, but we left on buses due to the damaged tracks from flooding. We rode the buses for 2 hours until we met the train at Goulburn so we did not take the usual route through Broken HIlls. We got our coach assignments and immediately met our coach attendants. The train is a huge one, 830 meters long with 33 passenger coaches, bar cars and dining cars grouped in sections of 5 or 6. My section had four sleeper cars, one bar car and one dining car. Our attendant was Caitlyn and she was excellent. She gave us two choices for dinner times and I took the later one. We all went to the bar car a few minutes before our dinner time and got a drink or a glass of wine or beer. The first night I had the kangaroo filet and it was a bit bland. Tender, but not that memorable. But our server, Amy, was friendly and professional. After dinner we all hit the bar car and I had a Coopers Original Pale Ale. None of the couples or individuals had met each other before today so it was a rather fun session of getting to know our neighbors. I returned to my little compartment and Caitlyn had turned the bed down. There was barely enough room to stand up with the bed down, but it worked well. We were on a freight line track that had not been maintained for higher speeds so it was a bit bouncy that night. The bar cars became the social spots for the rest of the trip, some drank coffee/espresso/flat whites, some wine, some beer, but no one overindulged and the bar car was the place to be.
I woke up early on the 22nd and watched a rather verdant countryside roll by. We got to Adelaide around 4pm and the on board staff handed us off to the tour staff. We went to an overlook point, but the outlook visitor center was closed. So we went around the side and took in the view but the haze was pretty bad and the views were not that good. Then I took the bus to Hohnford, a town that had been settled by German immigrants and it had maintained its German character. We started at a cheese shop where a woman talked at us while we munched on 5 small pieces of cheese. I would have been happier with more cheese and cider and less talking.
Then we hit Haus, a German cafe for a decent dinner. I had the sausage and it was ok but not great. The pork chop looked better. We returned to Adelaide and the tour guide gave us a rather odd night tour of Adeleaide. We returned to the train at 10 and off we went an hour later.
I woke at 4am on the 23rd and we were idling in Port Augusta. We set off to the West at around 6am and the difference in ride quality was marked. We were back on passenger rail tracks that are maintained for higher speed trains and it showed, the ride was much more comfortable. I asked Caitlyn to leave my bed down which was kind of cool, I took a nap mid-day. For breakfast I had a full English Breakfast on the third day. We hit Cook for a refueling stop around noon and it was the first time we had seen the locomotive so a lot of us walked up to see it. We rumbled off at 1 and rolled through the magnificent desolation of Nullarbor while we ate lunch. I had a Croque Monsieur sandwich then gelato with fruit for desert. Nullarbor is dry but it varies a lot, making it an interesting area to traverse. We arrived in Rawlinna around 6pm. The India Pacific traditionally has a track side dinner there if the weather allows, with 8 people per picnic table and maybe 30 tables. We had lamb, roast beef and sausage and some forgettable side dishes. And all the wine or beer you wanted. There was an acoustic duo that played there and they boarded the train and rode with us to Perth, playing in the bar cars. So we all hit the bar car after our twilight dinner and chatted until late.
We all woke up on the 24th, and most of us were kind of sad to see the last day. My breakfast was a really thick hot cake with fruit on top. The landscape turned greener by the hour and we went from seeing desolate cattle stations the day before to seeing “country” homes that morning, if memory serves. My lunch was a camel curry that was pretty darned good. The people at my table tried to figure out what camel reminded us of. The consensus was either mutton or goat. We got to Perth around 3pm and we all headed to our destinations.
I really can not praise the experience, the train or the staff enough. It was a ton of fun! I was pretty much over my cold by the time I boarded the train, but I was still exhausted. Being able to sleep in every day was a treat.


@ZivBnd thanks so much for taking the time to write all that up! It sounds so interesting and so different from most travel experiences. And I’m sure it takes a certain kind of traveler to decide to go on that trip which must’ve made for a very interesting conversations in the bar car! Glad you are feeling better and hope you are enjoying Perth! Can’t wait to hear what’s next.


I’m travelling vicariously through your photos. I used to travel a lot, and I miss it. I am unlikely to travel beyond road trips for the foreseeable future.

I appreciate you posting your photos and stories.

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yes, a bin chicken. hopefully you have looked up the history of the flock, i found it fascinating.

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So Bin Chickens are eating poisonous toads now? That is some chicken! LOL!