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Fay says, "What a way to travel across Australia, from the fertile country around Adelaide to the rusty hues of the Red Centre and then to the tropical splendour of the Top End. The Ghan is named after the Afghan cameleers who once traversed this route."
About the Ghan
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.
The Ghan is the ultimate 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.
Each of the 10 Platinum cabins has a double bed or twin beds, a spacious en suite bathroom and full room service with 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 movable 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.
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 Ghan's beautifully decorated Queen Adelaide Restaurant Cars. There is a Platinum Restaurant / Lounge Car for Platinum guests.
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.
Route & Map
Adelaide to Darwin, or vice versa
For three days and two nights, The Ghan travels between Adelaide and Darwin on one of the most fascinating luxury train journeys of the world. Darwin to Adelaide is the same journey in reverse.
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 whilst enjoying a delicious lunch. Marvel as the spectacular Flinders Ranges disappear into the horizon. Wander to the lounge car for afternoon tea whilst passing rustic railway towns and vast tracts of Aboriginal land, where communities have maintained their connection with the land for thousands of years. As darkness descends, partake of dinner.
Day 2. Alice Springs – Katherine. Before arriving in Alice Springs, wake up with a coffee or juice and witness an unforgettable outback sunrise at Marla, in the remote reaches of SA.**. Back onboard brunch is served. 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.
Day 3. Katherine to Darwin. In the morning we pass through gold-mining town of Tennant Creek and into the historic pioneering township of Katherine. 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. A late lunch is served. By late afternoon we arrive in tropical Darwin, where the journey ends.
The Ghan Expedition
4 days/3 nights. This expedition takes the same route as the Darwin to Adelaide journey, but with an additional stop at Manguri on day 3, to visit the opal mining capital of the world, Coober Pedy. Here you visit the opal mines, the underground Serbian Orthodox church and have lunch underground before setting off to the stunning outback moonscape - the Breakaways.
Dates and Prices 2017/2018/2019
The calendar has every date listed. The Ghan does not operate 17 December 2017 to 17 January 2018/16 December 2018 to 12 January 2019
GHAN EXPEDITION: Wednesday departures. Depart Darwin 10:00hrs/arrive Adelaide 10:50hrs
Dates and Prices 2018/2019
High Season 2018: 2 May to 29 August
Shoulder Season 2018/2019: 4-25 April. 5 September - 24 October. 2019: 6-27 March
GHAN ADELAIDE: Sunday/some Wednesday departures. Depart Adelaide 12:15hrs/arrive Darwin 17:30hrs.
GHAN DARWIN: Wednesday and some Saturday departures. Depart Darwin 10:00hrs/arrive Adelaide 13:00hrs
Dates and Prices 2017/2018/2019
Shoulder Season 2017/2018:
Adelaide to Darwin: 3 September-27 November. 2018: 4-28 March
Darwin to Adelaide: 1-23 November. 2018: 7-29 March
Low Season 2017/2018:
Adelaide to Darwin: 29 November 2017-1 March 2018
Darwin to Adelaide: 29 November 2017 -1 March 2018
High Season 2018:
Adelaide to Darwin: 6 May to 29 August
Adelaide to Darwin: 8-29 April. 2 September-25 November. 2019: 3-24 March
Darwin to Adelaide: 7-28 November.
Low Season 2017/2018:
Adelaide to Darwin: 9 December 2018 - 24 February 2019
Darwin to Adelaide: 5 December 2018 - 28 February 2019
*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. Additional luggage may be checked in as excess luggage at a cost of $50.00 per item, payable direct to the train.
Included: The complimentary inclusions are noted after each description of the cabin. They are payable direct to the train.
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. All times are local time and may be subject to change. Guests must be at the terminal at least one hour before train departs.
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. Guests must be at the terminal at least one hour before train departs.
Transfers: Platinum Service: Complimentary Platinum Service transfer to Darwin Rail Terminal are available for guests departing from selected Darwin hotels. Gold Service Guests: Complimentary coach transfers to Darwin Rail Terminal are available for Gold Service guests departing from selected Darwin hotels.Central hotel drop off is the Mantra on the esplanade. Please ask.
Excursions: Off Train excursions are booked by the guests on board. These excursions cannot be pre-booked. TBA is added to the ticket vouchers as this lets the train staff know to ask for the guests choice.
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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