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Fay says, “The Ghan follows what must surely be one of the world’s most remarkable routes, and if there is a railway that physically links such different landscapes, including a view into pre-history, this is it; all the while, passengers travel in the comfort of a luxury train.”
About the Train
The Ghan is an elegantly luxurious train with comfortable interiors. The modern suites with their wooden surroundings contrast to the fantastic retro-Edwardian décor of the dining car, all complete with panoramic windows for perfect observation.
What a way to travel across Australia, being able to admire spectacular Australian landscapes, from fertile country around Adelaide to the rusty hues of the Red Centre (named after the red soil and orange-red hues in the centre of Australia) and then onto the tropical splendour of the Top End. The Top End has been constantly occupied for more than 60,000 years. It has spectacular wetlands and Precambrian escarpments up to 1.6 billion years old. Wildlife includes fresh and sea-water crocodiles, whilst the rock art is amongst the oldest on Earth. The Ghan is named after the Afghan cameleers who one traversed this route.
The Ghan is the ultimate luxury train journey through the heart of the Australian continent, each new day beginning with a fresh panorama of this changing landscape.
Each cabin has a double bed, a spacious en suite bathroom and full room service; they have all the modern comforts in a classic style, with a distinctly Australian character.
Platinum Cabin: Each Platinum cabin has a double bed or twin beds, a spacious en suite bathroom and full room service; they have all the modern comforts in a classic style, with a distinctly Australian character. The interior is finished in polished Tasmanian Myrtle and there are plush pile floor coverings. By day it is a private lounge with a moveable table, 2 ottomans and a writing desk next to the window. By night the cabin converts to either a double or twin beds. There are large panoramic windows as an additional interior window, allowing views on both sides of the train. The cabin is 3.65m x 2.1m, including en suite bathroom.
There are just up to 20 guests in 10 Platinum Service cabins.
Included: Various off-train excursions. Personalised cabin steward service. Generous luggage limit (3 x 25kg). All on-board meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast served to you in your cabin if you choose. Turn-down service with chocolates. Wide choice of wines, beers, spirits, cocktails, soft drinks, tea and coffee, night-caps and welcome drinks. Chauffeur driven transfers to and from your hotel to the station (up to 50kms).
Gold Cabin: During the day, the compact Twin Berth Sleeper Cabins offer a comfortable three-seater lounge, converting to an upper and lower sleeping berth at night. Steward service from the hospitality attendant includes fresh sheets, bath towels, pillows and complimentary toiletries. Twin Berth Sleeper Cabins have private en suite facilities with a hide-away compact toilet, wash basin and shower. Single Berth Sleeper Cabins feature a comfortable lounge chair and foot rest by day and a single level sleeping berth by night. Cabins are fitted with a wash basin. Showers and toilets are located at either end of the Gold Service carriage.
Each Gold Service carriage accommodates 18 guests – 9 twin cabins with upper and lower berth and 18 single cabins with one berth.
Included: Various off -train excursions. All on-board meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Wide choice of wines, beers, spirits, cocktails, soft drinks, tea and coffee. Turn-down service with chocolates. Coach transfers to and from selected hotels to the station.
The Dining Car
Guests dine in the beautifully decorated Queen Adelaide Restaurant Cars.
The frequently-changing menus feature a blend of Australian and International cuisine, cooked by on-board chefs. Quality wines and beverages are available for purchase. Vegetarian, children’s and some special dietary meals can be accommodated – please request these when booking.
Note: breakfast packs will be delivered to cabins on some services to cater for early morning destination arrivals and off-train tour requirements.
The welcoming Outback Explorer Lounge has a friendly atmosphere and is often the centre of activity on the journey, with its panoramic windows enabling passengers to see the passing scenery. Socialise with other passengers or quietly relax and read.
Adelaide to Darwin, or vice versa
Route & Map
For three days and two nights, The Ghan travels between Adelaide and Darwin (or vice versa) on one of the most fascinating luxury train journeys of the world.
Day 1. Adelaide – Alice Springs. What a way to travel from Adelaide into wine country, desert and scrubs. The comfort of the train allows one the luxury to gaze at the panorama as we pass through coastal Coonamia and Port Augusta. Crossing over Dog Fence, the world’s longest fence, we pass through Cadney Homestead at the gateway to the Painted Desert, passing rustic railway towns and vast tracts of Aboriginal land, where communities have maintained their connection with the land for thousands of years. In the morning, crossing the Northern Territory border and travelling through the small bush town of Kulgera one can take in the multicoloured vistas before arriving in Alice Springs.
Day 2. Alice Springs – Katherine. Explore Alice Springs on one of the many whistle stop tours. Learn about the area’s outback pioneers or immerse yourself in its Aboriginal history with a Central Arrernte guide. Visit a working camel farm or see the region’s birds and wildlife at Alice Springs Desert Park.
Optional extra: Spirit of Mt. Gillen Helicopter Flight - Take a helicopter flight up and over Alice Springs to experience amazing views of Simpson’s Gap – one of the most prominent water holes in the region – Mt. Gillen Ridgeline, and the Larapinta Trail. Fare: AUD$145.00 per person payable direct to your Lounge Host on board. If you choose this excursion, you will not be able to participate in the included Off Train Excursions. Please note weight restrictions of 130kgs per person do apply.
To see the sights at your own pace, take the 70-minute shuttle bus with an experienced guide and hop off as you wish at the major attractions. Reboarding the train in the late afternoon allows one to gaze at the sunset as dusk descends whilst travelling into the darkness and dinner. In the morning we pass through gold-mining town of Tennant Creek and into the historic pioneering township of Katherine.
Day 3. Katherine to Darwin. After breakfast we go on one of the many half-day tours. One can cruise down Katherine Gorge past magnificent sandstone cliffs or fly over its interconnecting gorges on a helicopter. See the wonderful birds and animals of Nitmiluk National Park on a nature cruise or canoe down the Katherine River. Or wander around the town, using the shuttle bus to hop off at attractions such as the Railway Museum, historic Springvale Homestead and the local Aboriginal art gallery. As we depart Katherine we pass through the old gold mining town of Pine Creek and Adelaide River, once a World War II military headquarters when the Japanese were bombing Darwin. By late afternoon we arrive in tropical Darwin, where the journey ends.
Dates and Prices 2014/2015
Dates: 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015
From Adelaide, Sunday and some Wednesday departures
From Darwin, Wednesday and some Saturday departures
Advanced purchase* AUD$3,139 per person in double occupancy, adult or child
Standard purchase AUD$3, 489 per person in double occupancy, adult or child
Advanced purchase* AUD$1,759 per person in double occupancy, AUD$1,209 child
Standard purchase AUD$2,489 per person in double occupancy, AUD$1,622 child
*Advance Purchase fares must be booked a minimum of 6 months in advance
Luggage: Due to cabin space constraints, it is recommended guests take an ‘overnight bag’ containing all requirements for their journey with them in their cabin and check-in all other luggage. Each guest is permitted to check-in a maximum 40kg luggage free of charge (2 items not exceeding 20kg each). Note: Checked-in luggage cannot be accessed during the journey.
Included: The complimentary inclusions are noted after each description of the cabin.
Travel Documents: Travel documents are sent by email which outline when and where to board as well as luggage arrangements. The document is an itinerary which represents the tickets for the train and any other arrangements. A pre-departure email is issued 7 days prior to travel that contains practical information for the upcoming journey.
Stations : Adelaide Parklands Terminal (Keswick Terminal), Richmond, Off Sir Donald Bradman Drive, South Australia. View Map. Darwin Train Station, Berrimah Road, East Arm, Northern Territory. View Map
In addition to the photos at the top of this page, see more images of The Ghan here:
Booking & Reservations
All prices are at publicly-quoted rates.
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