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Let the train take the strain

Experience

This

ENJOY THE GHAN AND THE RED CENTRE – 24 DAYS FROM £5,649PP

Enjoy spectacular wildlife, Aboriginal culture and rugged landscapes on this suggested itinerary between Darwin and Adelaide. 

Highlights include:

  • Fly with Singapore Airlines
  • Complimentary Singapore stopover*
  • Visit Kakadu National Park and Uluru
  • Enjoy the iconic Ghan rail journey
  • Explore nature-rich Kangaroo Island

Price includes international and internal flights, accommodation and touring.

To find out more, go to austravel.com/oceantooutback or call 0808 278 3953 and speak to one of Austravel’s expert travel designers.

*Limited time only, see austravel.com/oceantooutback for more information

If, like most Brits, all you know of rail travel is standing-room-only, rush-hour commuter trains with poorly ventilated carriages and befouled windows, you won’t know what to do with yourself on The Ghan.

The sumptuous service, which winds its way north to south and vice versa through the centre of Australia, merits mention in the same breath as the Orient Express and India’s Palace on Wheels. But the epic route it follows – beginning in the tropical opulence of Darwin, passing through the Martian-red Outback, and ending up in the Mediterranean-style wine country of Adelaide – really has no competition.

The service’s name is a diminutive form of its previous nickname, the Afghan Express, which is thought to have been bestowed in the 1920s by one of its crews. It was a tribute to the Afghan cameleers (camel caravanners) who arrived in Australia in the late 19th century and helped chiefly British explorers carry goods into the country’s interior, and sleepers and supplies for the rail effort.

Board The Ghan for one of the world’s great train journeys to Australia’s Red Centre

The Ghan is named in honour of the Afghan camel herders who transported materials into the Outback to build the railway



When the original line, from Adelaide to Alice Springs, was completed in 1929, the camel herders were out of a job, and they set their animals free in the desert. Hence, there’s now about a million wild camels in Australia.

The Ghan is a classy operation. Expect a picture window with every restaurant booth; two cabin classes that live up to their name – gold and platinum – for hotel-quality comfort and refinement; a choice of day excursions; and food and wine menus that know the value of a sit-down dinner.

The Ghan Expedition is a four-day, three-night, 1,851-mile tour, taking you in great style and luxury to some of the most remote yet fascinating parts of Australia.

The Ghan is named in honour of the Afghan camel herders who transported materials into the Outback to build the railway

Passengers can take a sunset cruise through the stunning Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge



It’s not all rail travel either.

Excursions give you a chance to stretch out, hop off and sample the local environment. At Katherine in the Northern Territory, you can enjoy a spectacular cruise through the Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge or a helicopter flight over it. Alternatively, visit a working cattle station, with lessons in horsebreaking on offer.

When you alight at Alice Springs, you’re spoilt for choice: take a helicopter ride over the MacDonnell Ranges; a plane flight to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park; or even book a camel ride across the region’s red earth. After all that exploring, settle down for a barbecue dinner and an evening spent stargazing with astronomers.

Middle-of-nowhere Manguri in South Australia might seem an unlikely stop, but here you can experience Coober Pedy, the opal-mining capital of the world, where many of the residents escape the heat by living underground; take in the labyrinth of tunnels in this subterranean town, where you can try your hand at opal discovery; or visit a mine or the below-decks Serbian Orthodox church.

After lunch, take giant steps at the Breakaways, a desert-like moonscape with fossilised shells and soft clay dirt with deep fissures.

Next on your adventure, comes Wilpena Pound, a magnificent natural amphitheatre and the centrepiece of the Flinders Ranges National Park.

Passengers can take a sunset cruise through the stunning Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge

One of the unforgettable stops is the Gunlom Falls at Kakadu National Park



Finally, there’s beautiful Adelaide.

Enjoy a wine tour of the Barossa and Clare valleys; a circuit of the city’s many museums and galleries; and a swanky dinner in one of its laneway restaurants.

After all, The Ghan is all about old style, elegance and luxury, so it’s the perfect beginning or end of your adventure…

One of the unforgettable stops is the Gunlom Falls at Kakadu National Park