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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.
The Dining Car
Platinum Service guests dine in the beautifully decorated Queen Adelaide Restaurant Car.
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.
A full breakfast may be taken here or a continental in the privacy of your cabin.
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. Fly over Simpson’s Gap and the Larapinta Trail on a helicopter or go quad biking across the desert. 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
Adelaide to Alice Springs or Darwin, and vice versa
1st April 2013 to 31 March 2014
From Adelaide, Sunday and some Wednesday departures
From Darwin, Wednesday and some Saturday departures
Price 2013 – 2014
AUD$3,390 per person in double occupancy, for adult or child, Adelaide to Darwin
AUD$2,290 per person in double occupancy, for adult or child, Adelaide to Alice Springs
In addition to the photos at the top of this page, see more images of The Ghan here:
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.
Booking & Reservations
All prices are at publicly-quoted rates.
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