1D0N The Overland - Ararat / Adelaide

Great Australian Rail Journeys - Ararat, Victoria

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The Overland - Linking the southern capitals in comfort


Travellers are blessed with choice as Australia offers the well-seasoned globetrotter some of the most spectacular rail experiences in the world: Journeys aboard legendary trains such as “The Ghan”, “Indian Pacific”, “The Overland” or “The Southern Spirit” are the pinnacle of every trip around the great Southern land!

An Australian rail journey allows you to explore the continent from coast to coast, from major cities to the vast expanse of the Outback and everywhere in between – Welcome aboard!

The Overland
The Journey – An overview

There is no better way to enjoy the trip between Melbourne in Victoria and Adelaide in South Australia, than on The Overland. Recently refurbished, The Overland provides a very comfortable, relaxing journey between the two state capitals and a great way to ease into a holiday in either Melbourne, Adelaide or surrounding regions.

Throughout this interstate journey, guests can soak up a diverse range of landscapes from rugged Mallee scrubland, to fields of golden crops, over vast open plains and through gently rolling hills.

The Overland passes through classic Australian country towns, including Murray Bridge, Bordertown, Nhill, Dimboola, Horsham, Ararat and Geelong. Whichever direction you travel, the journey is a wonderful opportunity to relax in comfort, mingle with fellow travellers and delight in the ever-changing countryside along the way.

The Overland runs a daylight service between Adelaide and Melbourne in both directions, three times a week. Guests also have the opportunity to disembark from the train to explore the many regions and towns The Overland passes through along its route, then simply re-join the train on another scheduled service that suits their holiday timetable.

The Overland also links Melbourne with two other great Australian train journeys: The mighty Indian Pacific, which traverses our huge continent between Sydney and Perth, via Adelaide, and the legendary Ghan, travelling between Adelaide and Darwin. The Overland opens up exciting train travel all over Australia from either Adelaide or Melbourne.

The Overland - Journey overview
Route Adelaide – Melbourne or vice versa
Duration Daylight Service in both directions
Distance 828 kilometres

Timetable The Overland
Timetables valid for travel from 01 April 2011 to 31 March 2012. Other sector timetables are available on request, please enquire with MyAussieHoliday.

Adelaide - Melbourne

Mon Wed Fri
Depart Adelaide 07.40 AM 07.40 AM 07.40 AM
Depart Murray Bridge 09.49 AM 09.49 AM 09.49 AM
Bordertown 11.42 AM 11.42 AM 11.42 AM
Depart Nhil 13.05 PM 13.05 PM 13.05 PM
Depart Dimboola 13.34 PM 13.34 PM 13.34 PM
Depart Horsham 13.58 PM 13.58 PM 13.58 PM
Depart Stawell 14.54 PM 14.54 PM 14.54 PM
Depart Ararat 15.31 PM 15.31 PM 15.31 PM
Depart North Shore Geelong 17.38 PM 17.38 PM 17.38 PM
Arrive Melbourne 18.50 PM 18.50 PM 18.50 PM

Melbourne - Adelaide

Tue Thu Sat
Depart Melbourne 08.05 AM 08.05 AM 08.05 AM
Depart North Shore Geelong 09.42 AM 09.42 AM 09.42 AM
Depart Ararat 11.40 AM 11.40 AM 11.40 AM
Depart Stawell 12.04 PM 12.04 PM 12.04 PM
Depart Horsham 12.55 PM 12.55 PM 12.55 PM
Depart Dimboola 13.18 PM 13.18 PM 13.18 PM
Depart Nhill 13.43 PM 13.43 PM 13.43 PM
Depart Bordertown 14.07 PM 14.07 PM 14.07 PM
Depart Murray Bridge 16.05 PM 16.05 PM 16.05 PM
Arrive Melbourne 17.55 PM 17.55 PM 17.55 PM

• Please be advised that these are standard operating timetables, however scheduled services are subject to change at any time and at the sole discretion of the train operator
• All times are local time and may be subject to change
• Guests must be at the terminal at least 30 minutes hour prior to the scheduled departure time

The story behind The Overland
Rail travel that linked the southern states of Australia began over 120 years ago, as what is today The Overland began humbly as the “Intercolonial Express”.

It was the South Australian state premier who in 1875 for the first time floated the idea to establish an intercapital rail link. Sir James Penn Boucaut’s plan was to have 850 km of track built to carry the wealth of the land from South Australia to the Port of Melbourne. The rolling stock was to be jointly owned by the two state governments and passenger traffic was to be primarily first class. It was anticipated that the journey would take 18 hours.

Finally, 12 years later, on 19 January 1887, the first train to make the journey left Adelaide mid-afternoon and with this historically significant milestone, inter-capital rail travel in Australia had begun. Not unexpectedly, it suffered from long journey times and initial operational difficulties. In the beginning, the railway was quite inefficient and it burdened the states’ finances heavily; investment in track- and bridgework were required so that a bigger amount of freight could be carried. More powerful engines had to be acquired so that the longer and heavier trains could be driven between Adelaide and Melbourne.

The original service ran overnight during the week, taking fourteen hours to compete the journey. Up to 29 November 1951, locomotives were steam-powered – only a few years after the end of WW II did the first diesel powered engine change for ever efficiency and timetables of what had become known as the “Melbourne Express”.

The name The Overland was derived from the affectionate term ‘Overlander’, who was generally an adventurer who had travelled across the country.

In May 2007, a major milestone was reached when the train’s comprehensive refurbishment project was completed. Today, The Overland continues to provide a convenient, reliable, efficient and enjoyable rail service with sophisticated levels of comfort and service.

Today The Overland is operated as a daylight service only, and passengers can travel three times a week in both directions and in just a little over ten hours.

The Journey – The facts – The Overland

Departing from Adelaide and Melbourne
Arriving at Melbourne and Adelaide

Length of journey 10 ½ hours

Distance 828 km

Average speed of train 85 km/hour [maximum speed is 115km/hour]

Train’s symbol An Emu – This uniquely Australian bird is recognised for its speed and grace as it runs through the wide open lands.

Total number of carriages 7 plus locomotive and motorail

Average length of train 189 metres [standard train]

Average weight of train 322 tonnes [standard train; excluding locomotive]

[Standard train for The Overland is based on a single consist]

Service levels
When travelling aboard The Overland rail service, you are spoiled with the following choice of cabin types:

Red Premium Service
Available on The Overland

Red Premium Service features include
• Comfortable reclining seats offering greater personal space. Two seats on one side of the aisle, one seat on the other side, with only 36 seats per carriage
• 67 cm pitch between seats
• Access to licensed Café Carriage, where meals are available for purchase
• Limited a la carte in-seat dining served via trolley service
• Snacks available for purchase from trolley service or licensed Café Carriage
• Free orange juice / water upon boarding
• Free ‘Platform’ magazine
• Priority luggage handling service
• Luggage allowance of 50 kg per person [maximum three items; two of maximum 20 kg and one at maximum 10 kg] #

# = Luggage items must not exceed 180 linear centimetres. Due to space constraints, guests are advised to take onboard only hand luggage containing the requirements for their rail journey. Checked in luggage cannot be accessed during the journey.

Red Service

This option is ideal for travellers looking for an economy option that offers an excellent level of comfort and the freedom to move around. When compared with flying or travelling on a long distance coach service, the Red Service seats are far more comfortable and offer greater personal leg room. Red Service seats are two abreast and the plush, reclining seats swivel to face each other if you prefer to mingle with your fellow travellers. For a drink, snack, or just a chance to stretch your legs, visit the licensed “Café 828” carriage.

Café 828
If you are travelling on the Overland, you have access to the “Café 828”. The licensed Café Carriage caters with meals or drinks, including espresso coffee. And in case you don’t want to leave your seat, enjoy an a la carte meal, snack or refreshing drink from the catering trolley onboard.

Due to cabin space constraints, it is recommended that guests take only an overnight bag containing all requirements for their journey in their cabin and check in excess luggage. Guests are permitted to check-in a maximum of 40 kg of luggage free of charge [two items not exceeding 20 kg per piece]. Please note that checked in luggage can not be accessed during your journey.

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Fine print

Prices are inclusive of applicable taxes. Australia's overland rail services can often be booked out long before the intended departure as there are only limited berth and seat numbers available on each departure. MyAussieHoliday recommends you book your Great Australian Rail Journey as early as possible. For credit card payments, a surcharge of 2% on the total package cost applies to all bookings.


Every holiday package can be customised to form your perfect holiday! We are made up of hundreds of package options, tours, small ship cruising, rail journeys and much, much more. If there is a particular activity or attraction that isn’t offered in this package that you’d like to add to, we’ll be able to arrange that for you – simply contact us with any special request you might have on our Contact Us page here.

No Addons available

$ 68

(per person)


• Prices per person in AUD $ and include applicable fuel surcharges
• Prices include passage in deluxe reclining seat [67 cm seat pitch], priority access to Red Premium Lounge, onboard magazine, priority luggage handling and generous 50 kg luggage allowance and more for guests travelling in Red Premium Service. Meals can be bought onboard
• Prices include passage in comfortable reclining seat only for guests travelling in Red Service. Meals can be bought onboard.
• Return fares are generally double the one-way fare
• Other sector fares available on request; please enquire with MyAussieHoliday

Accommodation Options

The Overland - Ararat / Adelaide
Red Service Available on The Overland This option is ideal for travellers looking for an economy option that offers an excellent level of comfort and the freedom to move around. When compared with flying or travelling on a long distance coach...

The Overland - Ararat / Adelaide
Red Premium Service Available on The Overland Red Premium Service features include • Comfortable reclining seats offering greater personal space. Two seats on one side of the aisle, one seat on the other side, with only 36 seats per...

Sorry, this option isn't available for this package – please check the other accommodation options by selecting the various tabs above

Sorry, this option isn't available for this package – please check the other accommodation options by selecting the various tabs above

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