The Ghan - sister train to the trans-Australian Indian Pacific - intersects Australia vertically, travelling for three days and two nights over distances of around 3000km between the coastal capital of the Northern Territory, Darwin, right through Alice Springs and Australia’s “Red Centre”, and on to Adelaide on the south coast – in either direction.
The Ghan is an abbreviation of “The Afghan Express”, so-called in memory of the Afghan camel drivers who accompanied colonial explorers in the nineteenth century. As you wait to board at the station with a cold refreshment accompanied by live entertainment, you can take in the size of the train, which can reach lengths of over a kilometre at full capacity!
Once on board, there’s time to settle into your modern cabin as the train departs Darwin and make its way through the greenery of tropical Northern Territory to Katherine where there is a choice from a selection of off-train excursions, including cruising through spectacular russet-coloured cliffs of the Nitmiluk Gorge in the extensive national park of the same name.
Once back on board, there’s ample opportunity to watch the sun set over unmistakably Australian vistas ahead of an exquisite evening meal in the Edwardian-style dining car, with dishes inspired by indigenous flavours and produce.
On Day 2, the sun glints off the sparkling silver carriages as the train pulls into Alice Springs, deep in the heart of this enormous country, where you’ll have the chance to take a guided walk in the arid landscape of choose from other included excursions. In the evening, after dinner on the train, you’ll enjoy a star-gazing experience like no other under the huge skies of the desolate outback.
Day 3 sees a distinct change in scenery as the deep ochre tones of the Red Centre give way to the luscious, green fields and winelands of South Australia. There is one last delicious brunch as you glide through the dramatic Flinders Ranges before rolling into Adelaide and the conclusion of your epic journey.
If taking The Ghan Expedition Route (which includes an extra day) there is the opportunity to add on an optional scenic flight to majestic Uluru and explore the giant sacred monolith from the air and the ground as well as a visit to Coober Pedy and the middle-of-nowhere station of Manguri - so remote there really is no other way to access this desolate outpost.
We can arrange pre- and post- travel hotel stays, flights and further exploration around Australia on a tailor-made holiday, please call our team of helpful specialists to help you build this train into your dream holiday on 0800 988 3369.
Please note The Ghan does not operate mid December to mid January
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