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Gold on the Ghan

Gold on the Ghan

The Ghan
The Ghan
The Ghan

Welcome to Australia’s most iconic train trip, the Ghan

It’s the colours – the rich rusty ochres of the soil, the silvery green of the scrub, sandy coloured dunes and the vibrant bright blues skies occasionally punctured with snowy white clouds, that I can’t take my eyes off.

Even when the sun has set and it’s pitch black with the occasional lights flickering in the distance, the vast landscape that flashes by is just as mesmerising.

Darwin to Adelaide

Welcome to travel on The Ghan, Australia’s most iconic train trip that stretches 2979 kilometres from Darwin to Adelaide.

It is one of the very best ways to discover the secrets of this vast country from north to south, aboard the iconic red locomotive with The Ghan emblazoned on it and the kilometre-long silver carriages.

The Ghan
The Ghan

Katherine, Alice Springs and Coober Pedy

This four-day expedition journey also offers off-train excursions at Katherine, Alice Springs and Coober Pedy that showcase experiences that leave an indelible impression.

At Katherine, we join the Nitmiluk Gorge Cruise and are immersed in the ancient landscape amid towering “pleated” cliff faces and spot lazy “freshies” – freshwater crocodiles sunning themselves on the rocks.

In Alice Springs, it’s a 40-minute drive to the atmospheric Standley Chasm, where we enjoy a cultural walk through the enchanting landscape.

Then from Coober Pedy we take to the skies on a Painted Hills and Lake Eyre Scenic Flight with Wrightsair that includes lunch at the iconic outback William Creek pub, which was a pit stop for the Old Ghan.

At the Painted Hills site, we gaze at quartzite boulders encased in weathered bulldog shale that was deposited in a shallow sea about 1200 million years ago.

Australia: The Ghan
Australia: The Ghan

Gold on the Ghan

Back on the train, there’s plenty of chatter and drinks in the Outback Explorer Lounge, before dinner in the elegant art-deco inspired Queen Adelaide restaurant with crisp white linen tablecloths, fine china and glassware.

Gold fares include hearty breakfasts – think ricotta hotcakes with fresh berries, and two-course lunches – fancy curry? The verdict – delicious.

It is three courses for dinner starting with venison carpaccio, followed by grilled saltwater barramundi with seaweed and sweet potato noodles and a finale of chocolate praline mousse gateau, accompanied by some of Australia’s best drops.

An off-train dinner under the stars at the Old Telegraph Station near Alice Springs is a memorable night out with crackling bonfires and barbecues, along with a short camel ride and an insight into the historic site.

My compact gold class cabin, which is cosy, is magically transformed from a lounge area by day to a cosy bedroom at night.

Accommodation Platinum Service Cabin on the Ghan
Accommodation Platinum Service Cabin on the Ghan

There’s a sense of adventure about this train trip that I love. The name conjures up images of those first tenacious Afghan cameleers, who helped open up the Outback from the mid-1850s by transporting people and supplies on their sturdy camels across a network of routes.

The Ghan remains a fitting tribute to those early pioneers, who helped build the railway back in 1929 and is still going strong – 95 years later.

Fast Facts

The Ghan
The Ghan

The four-day/three-night Ghan Expedition is operated by Journey Beyond from April to October. Some excursions are extra.

The new Gold Premium class is the latest addition to The Ghan and features contemporary cabins with exclusive access to the Gold Premium Lounge and Gold Premium Dining carriage for meals and socialising.  journeybeyondrail.com.au


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