Image credit: Journey Beyond Rail
The Ghan Experience
The Ghan, one of the most popular rail journeys in the world, makes for a relaxing voyage between Adelaide and Darwin or vice versa. Those on board will feel the never-ending beauty of the iconic Australian outback as they travel towards the heart of our glorious country – the Red Centre in the Northern Territory. The journey either way includes stops in unique locations paired with quintessential Australian off-train excursions or exciting optional ventures that completely immerse you into the local landscape, wildlife, and culture.
If you are heading towards Darwin, watching the remote desert come to life at sunrise, freshly brewed coffee in hand, is a truly a one of a kind experience to be had in Marla, an outback outpost in the remote reaches of South Australia. For those heading towards Adelaide, dinner on the train is followed by an extraordinary evening experience in outback Manguri where you will see the Milky Way like you have never seen it before. Simply breathtaking.
Your time in the ‘capital out of the outback’ offers numerous opportunities to explore its historic legacy and unique environment. One of the included excursions in Alice Springs include the Alice Springs Desert Park – an inspiring portrayal of Australia’s desert environment that effortlessly blends the plants, animals and people of the arid regions. With over 200 desert animals and 400 plants to explore at the base of the MacDonnell Ranges, the Desert Park is a living field guide to Central Australia. The Simpsons Gap Discovery Walk, just out of Alice Springs, is an enjoyable 4 kilometre walk through one of the most prominent gaps in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Featuring the towering cliffs of Simpsons Range, a permanent waterhole, and a magical location where important elements of flora, fauna and Indigenous culture all come together.
Stopping in Katherine provides you with the opportunity to experience the iconic Nitmiluk Gorge Cruise, in one of the Northern Territory’s most monumental natural wonders. Relax and breathe in the serenity as you cruise along the Katherine River with the impressive sandstone cliffs tower from either side encompassing the stories of the traditional Indigenous owners, the Jawoyn people. It is one of the most connective experiences I have enjoyed in all my travels. The Katherine Outback Experience makes for a unique afternoon, run by Tom Curtain and is another optional experience on The Ghan journey. It’s a show but no day is ever the same as the ‘cast’ changes continuously depending on which animals Tom and his team are currently training. So much so, Tom mentioned that he’s been thrown off horses and there have been plenty of times when the horses or dogs won’t listen to instructions when they’re new. Enjoy watching and learning how he trains horses and working dogs and seeing their progression on the spot, all paired with Tom’s music – he is also a singer-songwriter adding to his extended repertoire!
An unforgettable Australian adventure awaits you, ready to provide you with a bunch of unforgettable memories and pinch-me moments coupled with regionally-inspired all inclusive meals and fine wines. All you need to do is step aboard.