Great Southern Rail
Multiple departures available. Enquire for more details.
Great Southern Rail
3 days/2 nights aboard The Ghan, Adelaide to Darwin (or v.v.), in Gold Service including all meals, beverages and Off Train Experiences in Marla, Alice Springs and Katherine
Transfer from Darwin Rail Terminal to Hotel (or v.v.)
3 nights accommodation in Darwin including breakfast daily
½ day Darwin City Sights including entry to attractions and touring
2 days/1 night Kakadu and East Alligator River including accommodation, 2 meals, guided touring with visits to Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Yellow Water Billabong, Nourlangie, Ubirr and Arnhem Land
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 savaged 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 (Sunday) THE GHAN, ADELAIDE
Depart Adelaide aboard The Ghan. Unwind over lunch while travelling through the outskirts of Adelaide. Marvel as the spectacular Flinders Ranges disappear into the horizon. This evening, relax and enjoy the company of new found friends in the Lounge and dine in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant. (L,D)
Day 2 (Monday) THE GHAN, ALICE SPRINGS
Wake up with a coffee or juice and witness an unforgettable outback sunrise off train at Marla, in the remote reaches of South Australia. Enjoy more incredible outback scenery, arriving into Alice Springs early in the afternoon and joining an Off Train Excursion to explore the many facets of this historic outback city. (B,L,D)
Day 3 (Tuesday) THE GHAN, DARWIN
The Ghan arrives into Katherine. Today you will discover the wonders of Nitmiluk Gorge with a variety of Off Train Excursions to choose from. Reboard The Ghan to continue your journey north, arriving in Darwin early evening. Transfer to your accommodation. (B,L)
Day 4 (Wednesday) DARWIN
This morning is at your leisure and in the afternoon join your City Sights tour for the perfect introduction to Darwin. See the lush Botanic Gardens and the Chinese Temple, which was re-built after it was demolished by Cyclone Tracy in 1974. Tour the historic sites of the city including the East Point Military Precinct. See the Stokes Hill Wharf area, the Mooring Basin and Darwin Aviation Museum. There is also time available to explore the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, whose collections encompass Aboriginal art, visual arts, and Northern Territory history and natural sciences. (B)
Day 5 (Thursday) KAKADU NATIONAL PARK
Join your two day tour of Kakadu National Park. Travel along the Arnhem Highway, their major river systems and wetlands, into Kakadu National Park. Located 257 kilometres east of Darwin, this national park covers 20,000 square kilometres of landscape from rocky escarpment home to historic Aboriginal rock art dating back thousands of years, to floodplains abundant with wildlife. Visit the Warradjan Cultural Centre to view the informative displays depicting the traditions of the Aboriginal people in Kakadu. Join your local guide on a cruise of Yellow Water Billabong. Search for saltwater crocodiles and the colourful range of birdlife for which this region is renowned. After lunch, stop at Nourlangie, where your guide will lead you on a walk to view the rock art galleries. (B,L)
Day 6 (Friday) KAKADU NATIONAL PARK
This morning explore the World Heritage Area of Ubirr, where you’ll climb up through the ancient Aboriginal rock art galleries, believed to be 20,000 years old, to the lookout for a view over the surrounding wetlands. Join the Guluyambi Cruise on the East Alligator River. An Aboriginal guide will provide an insight into their culture, including local mythology, the river’s abundant food chain, as well as bush survival skills. With special permission of the local people, you can go ashore in Arnhem Land. Visit the Bowali Visitor Centre before returning to Darwin and your overnight accommodation. (L)
Day 7 (Saturday) DARWIN
This morning after breakfast, check out of your hotel. (B)