Kakadu Splendour

The rail journey from Adelaide to Darwin features incredible landscapes and off train excursions along the way. For an even deeper connection with nature, our Kakadu Splendour itinerary takes you to the heart of this World Heritage wonderland.

Members from: $3,489 P.P Twin ShareNon-members from: $3,559 P.P Twin Share

  • Type

    Train Journeys

  • Destination


  • Supplier

    Great Southern Rail

  • Booking Code


  • Departs

    Multiple departures available. Enquire for more details.


  • View the 19 aircraft on display at the Darwin Aviation Museum

  • See the largest permanent display of Aboriginal artwork

  • Stroll the George Brown Botanic Gardens

  • Visit Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre

  • Cruise Yellow Water Billabong in search of saltwater crocodiles

  • Discover the beauty of Nourlangie and Ubirr

  • Go ashore in Arnhem Land

  • Three days/two nights aboard The Ghan, Adelaide to Darwin, including all meals, beverages and off train excursions in Marla, Alice Springs and Katherine

  • Transfer from Darwin Rail Terminal to hotel

  • Three nights accommodation in Darwin including breakfast daily

  • Half day Darwin city sights tour

  • Two days/one night Kakadu and East Alligator River including accommodation and guided touring

  • Five breakfasts, five lunches, two dinners

Regarded as one of the world’s greatest rail journeys, The Ghan delivers so much more than an extended train ride. It promises access to parts of Australia no other holiday can come close to – the perfect balance of comfort and adventure culminating in an experience that will move you in every sense of the word. Prepare for a holiday of unimaginable proportions as the legendary Ghan takes you deep into the heart of Australia. Enjoy the comfort and solitude of your private cabin, lose yourself in conversation with newfound travelling companions, or simply gaze out of the window taking inspiration from the ever changing landscape. And when the train stops along the way, the adventures begin. 

Take your time tapping into the rich creative soul of Adelaide. Experience the dramatic scenery of central Australia on the back of a camel and explore the ancient, awe-inspiring wonders of the Northern Territory. Originally dubbed the Afghan Express, The Ghan train was named for the pioneering cameleers who blazed a permanent trail into the Red Centre of Australia more than 150 years ago. Many cameleers were migrants from an area now known as Pakistan. However, according to outback lore in the 1800s, these men were believed to come from the mysterious outpost of Afghanistan and were considered Afghans - 'Ghans'. The original Ghan line followed the route of explorer John MacDouall Stuart. On Sunday 4 August, 1929, an excited crowd gathered at the Adelaide Railway Station to farewell the first Ghan train. This train carried supplies and over 100 passengers bound for the remote town of Stuart, later to be called Alice Springs. The train’s whistle pierced the silence of the MacDonnell Ranges surrounding Alice Springs two days later, on 6 August. 

The train was steam hauled, and the service had to contend with extreme conditions including flash flooding and intense heat. As such, it was often an irregular service. The old Ghan ran on a light, narrow-gauge track well to the east of the track it travels today.

As well as termite damage, the track was often ravaged by fire and flood. Flash flooding, when the normally parched river beds spilled out onto the low lying desert plains, frequently washed away the track completely. Legend has it The Old Ghan was once stranded for two weeks in one spot and the engine driver shot wild goats to feed his passengers.


Day 1: Board the Ghan in Adelaide

Step aboard The Ghan in Adelaide for your unforgettable adventure to the Top End. As the train leaves the city heading for the Flinders Ranges and beyond, it’s your chance to settle in to your cabin and watch the changes in landscape from your very own window.

OVERNIGHT: Two nights The Ghan (L,D)

Day 2: The Ghan, Alice Springs

After your first night enjoying the fine dining and relaxed luxury of this iconic train, you’ll wake to an amazing outback sunrise at Marla – a remote outpost 160 kilometres from the Northern Territory border that marks the start of the Oodnadatta Track. Enjoy more incredible outback scenery before arriving into Alice Springs early in the afternoon to enjoy an off train excursion that reveals more of this historic outback town. (B,L,D)

Day 3: The Ghan, Katherine and Darwin

As you head further north into the tropics, prepare to experience one of the Top End’s most impressive natural wonders near Katherine. The stunning Nitmiluk Gorge lies within the massive 292,000 hectares of Nitmiluk National Park. You’ll have the chance to explore it from the water with a guided cruise – an off train excursion you’ll never forget. A few hours later, you’ll arrive in Darwin for a transfer to your accommodation.

OVERNIGHT: Two nights DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade (B,L)

Day 4: Darwin

Take in the top sights of this tropical city on a morning tour, including the Stokes Hill Wharf area, Botanic Gardens, the Chinese Temple, the Mooring Basin and Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, plus Darwin Aviation Museum. This afternoon enjoy a stroll around Darwin, discovering its fascinating history at your own pace. The evening is yours to enjoy one of Darwin’s many dining options — you can even choose to enjoy dinner as you sail the harbour on a ‘Charles Darwin’ Sunset Dinner Cruise. (B)

Day 5: Darwin to Kakadu National Park

It’s time to visit one of the world’s most incredible natural environments. As you travel along the Arnhem Highway south-east of Darwin, the anticipation builds. Soon you’ll be in the heart of the world famous Kakadu National Park enjoying a full day of immersive experiences. You’ll cruise the Yellow Water Billabong, search for saltwater crocodiles, see a variety of informative displays depicting the rich Aboriginal history of the area at the Warradjan Cultural Centre and be guided to ancient rock art galleries at Nourlangie.

OVERNIGHT: Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel (B,L)

Day 6: Farewell

Your Top End experience comes to an end this morning as you farewell Darwin and check out of your accommodation after breakfast. (B)

Day 7: (Saturday) Darwin

This morning after breakfast, check out of your hotel. (B)

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Heartland Voyager

Heartland Voyager

Members from: $3,975 P.P


*Prices based on twin share. Single supplements apply for single travellers. Please see our Terms and Conditions page for booking conditions.