Trains run between Adelaide and Melbourne 6 times a week on a service named The Overland.
The 828 kilometer journey takes about 10 hours, passing many fields full of grain and sheep. It’s no problem to take bicycles along in the cargo car. Theoretically there’s a charge (A$15/boxed and A$40/unpacked) but our bikes were checked in for free.
You also get a checked luggage allowance of 2 bags (20kg each) per person.
If you don’t want to join the service in either Adelaide or Melbourne, you could also pick it up en route at Murray Bridge, Bordertown, Dimboola, Horsham, Ararat or Geelong.
On board, there’s a cafe with light snacks and drinks as well as a sit-down dining car serving bigger meals. While prices are fairly reasonable, given the captive audience, you’ll still want to pack a picnic lunch if you’re on a budget. Typical prices are A$2.50 for a cup of tea or a muffin, A$5 for a hot dog and A$8 for a baked potato with a spoonful of chili and sour cream on top.
There’s no drinking fountain on board so bring a bottle of water along.
If you want to plug in your laptop (electrical outlets are in the cafe and dining car), surge protectors are also recommended.
You can book your train journey and get more information on the GSR website.