Andrew’s Australian Rail Holiday – Travel Diary Part 1
Travel Diary Part 1: Australia: Here I am
Day 1: Welcome to Sydney
As soon as I came out of the terminal, the first thing I saw was a “Welcome to Sydney” sign. It’s a little bit offsetting to go that far and think you’re in another world yet still find people who speak English and have a somewhat similar culture to what you are used to. It’s remarkable to go that far and still feel at home in some respects.
What’s really interesting in the Airport is that they have these things called Travel Concierge and you can go to their kiosk to learn about the different tours and different transport systems that are around Sydney. It’s a great service to orient yourself and plan some activities.
I took the airport link, a train that connects you from the airport to downtown. It goes straight into Circular Quay, which is where most people will want to spend their time. It’s just a beautiful place to walk around. You can also take a ferry boat to tour the harbour.
Day 2: Going to Darwin
The next day, when I woke up, I took a low cost airline to Darwin so I could meet with representatives from Great Southern Rail in time to arrange for my journey on The Ghan, a spectacular train you can board with a Rail Explorer Pass. Low cost airlines make it affordable to travel across the country when you have time constraints.
In Darwin, as you get off the airplane, the steam hits you and you’re almost not prepared for how muggy it is. You feel like you’re completely in another world because it’s absolutely tropical. Also, they use the colors and the painting from the aboriginal arts… To put it simply, it doesn’t have the big city feel of Sydney. It just feels much more rugged Australia.
I arrived there in the evening and got to my hotel as the sun was setting. It’s just quite neat to get a picture of the sunset in another part of the world. It puts things in perspective when you stop to think that as the sun is setting in front of you, it is rising back home in America.