Journey Beyond Rail – Great Value for Money

Published: July 27, 2020.
Written by: Jason - Destination Specialist, Calgary

For us at Downunder Travel, we have always been able to spot great value products for our Canadian customers–and we’re now doing this for Australian and New Zealand travellers too.

The Indian Pacific and The Ghan trains both represent amazing value for money.  Especially when you compare with similar type of products from around the world.

To demonstrate this claim, we have put together the comparison chart below based on a 3-night journey.  Of course ALL of these trains below also offer more than a 3-night journey, and sometimes also offer a 2 and 1-night journey, but for the sake of comparing apples to apples, the 3-night example works best.

We have also converted all the rates from local currencies to Aussie Dollars using the exchange rate found on XE.COM today, 27 July 2020.

Please note: these rates were taken from all their respective web sites as of 27 July 2020.  These rates are always subject to change. 

Indian Pacific/Ghan Rovos Rail  Orient Express Rocky Mountaineer Eastern Orient Express Maharaja’s Express
Sleep on Board YES YES 2 Nights NO 2 Nights YES
Include 3 Meals per Day YES YES 2 Meals per day 2 Meals per day YES YES
Include Beverages YES YES NO NO YES NO
Tours Included YES YES NO NO YES YES
Include Tips YES NO NO NO NO NO
Cost Per Person (Double Occupancy) $1,519.00   $2,700.00   $7,789.00  $2,680.00   $4,583.00   $5,390.00 

The inclusions were also taken from all respective websites, therefore, if we have not included beverages, it is because it does not state this on the supplier’s actual website.  We apologise if there are any errors in the above information that has stemmed from misinformation on their own supplier websites.

This chart is not supposed to make the other rail products appear expensive, rather this is simply to represent the good value for money an Australian rail experience is.  I believe these trains do receive subsidies from the Australian government, which likely helps with product pricing.

It is clear to see how good of a value the Indian Pacific and The Ghan journeys are to travellers touring Australia.

A long time ago when I first began my career in the travel industry, the Indian Pacific and The Ghan were a lot more expensive and they’ve instead offered lower rates for senior Australian travellers (these rates were about 50% less than the rates internationals would pay).  This policy has long since changed and low rates are now offered to all Australians and international travellers.

As the prejudice pricing policy for Aussie Seniors was in place for so many years, most Aussies put this trip off until they retired–and are still doing this today as this rail journey has become synonymous with a retired person’s dream trip!  I am now 49 years of age at writing this article and have traveled on the Indian Pacific and Ghan Trains five separate times collectively–the first time being at the young age of 30!

The Ghan and Indian Pacific is not a product I would recommend inviting young children or teenagers aboard.  However, for everyone else, these luxury trains are simply magnificent and certainly very affordable.

The level of service onboard the Indian Pacific and Ghan trains is second to none.

The cabins are very comfortable.  The food is sensational. The ambience is kind of like being in the setting of a novel featuring you, with all the other passengers as characters in the story where you all experience the story unfolding as you travel along (I know this seems like a strange analogy, but I get this feeling every time!).

Our Team at Downunder Travel have been booking these train journeys for decades now; we are all across this very unique and special product.  Touch base with us today or email us for more information on how you can travel the iconic railways in classic luxury.

Almost forgot:  The Indian Pacific and  Ghan also offer 1 night / 20 – 22 hour journeys.  The journey between Sydney/Adelaide v.v can be done for under A$850 per person…..there really is no excuse for all Aussies to enjoy this much loved train well before their golden years too.