This transcontinental adventure offers an unsurpassed view of Australia – North to South over three unforgettable days.
Travel by rail between Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin and you are embarking on one of the great train journeys of the world. Named after the Afghan cameleers who once traversed this route, The Ghan will take you from one edge of this continent to the other, through the very centre of Australia.
A journey on The Ghan is an incomparable way to travel to the two jewels of Australia’s Northern Territory – the Red Centre and the tropical Top End. No journey aboard The Ghan is complete without taking in both of these must-see destinations.
The Ghan’s timetable makes the most of the daylight hours to offer unsurpassed views of the passing landscape. From the sweeping Adelaide Plains unfolding before your eyes to the majestic Flinders Ranges, this first stage of the journey offers a perspective on South Australia you simply can’t afford to miss.
Each new day begins with a fresh panorama of this changing landscape. Red earth and cobalt blue skies – the essence of Central Australia takes on a character of its own with every passing hour.
Leave the train in Alice Springs to tour locations close to Australia’s heart with Whistle Stop and Optional Tours. These tours, which last from a few hours to a few days, include an extraordinary range of opportunities for discovering the region’s most fascinating sites.
Entering the Top End, the landscape mellows with subtropical flora staking its claim over the passing scenery. Whistle Stop Tours in the northern town of Katherine offer you the opportunity to experience the inspiring wonders of Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) before your rail journey concludes in tropical Darwin, the relaxed capital city of Australia’s Northern Territory.
Of course, you can always travel from Darwin to Adelaide – it’s just as impressive.
North Bound Journey
Northbound service operates on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday all year round and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9Jun12 to 29Aug12. Soutbound service operates on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday all year round and departures Sunday, Monday and Tuesday from 9Jun12 to 01Sep12. Timetables valid for travel from the 1st April 2011 to March 31st 2012.
Meals as indicated (B = breakfast, R = brunch, L = lunch, D = dinner)
Adelaide to Alice Springs/Uluru
This is the perfect Red Centre short break. Travel overnight on The Ghan from Adelaide to Alice Springs, then discover the outback town of Alice Springs and spectacular Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
Day 1: The Ghan Adelaide to Alice Springs (LD)
After boarding The Ghan in Adelaide, enjoy a light lunch as the train travels north towards the Spencer Gulf and Port Augusta. Overnight on board The Ghan.
Day 2: Alice Springs (BL)
Wake up to views of the Red Centre and enjoy breakfast and lunch on board the train before your arrival in Alice Springs. Transfer to the hotel then the afternoon is free to explore the town or just relax. Overnight at Aurora Alice Springs.
Day 3: Alice Springs (B)
This morning is at leisure to explore Alice Springs. In the afternoon, enjoy a guided tour into magnificent Standley Chasm, a deep red cleft rising 80 metres. See the immense cliffs of quartzite at Simpsons Gap. Overnight at Aurora Alice Springs.
Day 4: Alice Springs to Uluru (Ayers Rock) (B)
Depart Alice Springs by coach and travel through rugged outback landscapes. Visit the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre and Maruku Arts and Craft Cooperative, before a guided walk to Mutitjulu waterhole. Tour the base of Uluru then join your guide on the Mala Walk and explore Kantju Gorge. As the sun sets, enjoy a glass of wine at Uluru. Overnight at Voyages Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort.
Day 5: Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Rise early and return to Uluru to watch the sunrise. With the sun climbing in the morning sky,
travel to the 36 immense rock domes of Kata Tjuta. Enjoy a guided walk into Walpa Gorge. Your tour concludes at Ayers Rock Resort or the Airport.
Adelaide to Darwin
The ideal introduction to the Top End. Travel on The Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin, then stay three nights in Darwin and enjoy some of the Top End’s most famous attractions.
Day 1: The Ghan Adelaide to Alice Springs (LD)
Your first day on The Ghan begins with a light lunch as you enjoy the journey to Alice Springs. Overnight on board The Ghan.
Day 2: The Ghan Alice Springs to Katherine (BLD)
Arriving in Alice Springs in the afternoon, the train stops for approximately four hours, allowing time to explore the town or join a tour (own expense). Reboard the train and continue the journey north. Overnight on board The Ghan.
Day 3: The Ghan Katherine to Darwin (BL)
Arrive in Katherine this morning. There’s time to look around or to enjoy a tour to spectacular Katherine (Nitmiluk) Gorge (own expense). Continue the journey to Darwin. On arrival, transfer to your hotel where you will stay for the next three nights. Overnight at Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront.
Day 4: Darwin (B)
The morning is free to relax or shop before joining the afternoon Darwin City Sights tour. Tour the East Point
Reserve, see the Stokes Hill Wharf area and explore the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Overnight at Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront.
Day 5: Darwin (B)
Enjoy time at leisure this morning before travelling to Adelaide River, home to over 1,600 saltwater crocodiles and the famous Jumping Crocodiles cruise. Local guides entice the crocodiles to leap out of the water at close range, bringing you almost face to face with these prehistoric-looking creatures. Continue on to the Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre and Fogg Dam Nature Reserve. Overnight at Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront.
Day 6: Darwin (B)
Tour concludes upon check-out from your hotel.
Darwin to Adelaide
Discover one of the Top End’s most incredible natural attractions, Kakadu National Park. Explore Kakadu and
the Northern Territory’s tropical capital, Darwin, before a leisurely yet spectacular journey on The Ghan to Adelaide.
Day 1: Darwin
Today is a free day to enjoy all Darwin has to offer. Arrive at anytime and check in to your hotel in the afternoon. Overnight at Darwin Central Hotel.
Day 2: Darwin to Kakadu National Park (BL)
Depart Darwin and head east into World Heritage Listed Kakadu National Park. Visit Warradjan Aboriginal cultural Centre and join a guided cruise on the Yellow Water Billabong, keeping a look out for saltwater crocodiles. After lunch, travel to Nourlangie Rock and view the ancient galleries of Aboriginal rock art. Overnight at Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn.
Day 3: Kakadu National Park to Darwin (L)
Travel by 4WD to Ubirr to see superbly preserved Aboriginal rock art. Join an Aboriginal guide for the Guluyambi Cultural cruise on the East Alligator River and with special permission, take a short walk into Arnhem Land (conditions permitting). Stop at Window on the Wetlands before returning to Darwin. Overnight at Darwin Central Hotel.
Day 4: The Ghan Darwin to Alice Springs (RD)
Depart on The Ghan this morning, stopping at Katherine for the afternoon on the way to Alice Springs. Reboard The Ghan for the overnight journey to Alice Springs.
Day 5: The Ghan Alice Springs to Adelaide (BD)
Arrive in Alice Springs this morning, where you can enjoy free time or one of the optional tours of Alice Springs (own expense). Overnight on board The Ghan.
Day 6: Adelaide (B)
Enjoy a final breakfast on board the train before arriving in Adelaide around lunch time.