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. 

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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. 

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.

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Darwin to Adelaide

The Ghan Expedition

Three nights and Four days via Alice Springs and Katherine, one way, 2,979km. Coast to coast, through the fiery red centre, experience Australia at its dramatic best.

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The Ghan Expedition

Number of Days/Nights:

Four days and three nights

Length of journey:

2979km or 1851 miles

Departures:

Departs 23 May to 22 August 2015

Off Train Excursions:

Katherine, Alice Springs and Coober Pedy

Adelaide to Darwin or V.v.

Two nights and three days via Alice Springs and Katherine, one way, 2,979km. Coast to coast, through the fiery red centre, experience Australia at its dramatic best.

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Adelaide - Darwin

Number of Days/Nights:

Three days and Two nights

Length of journey:

2979km or 1851 miles

Departures:

Departs year round

Off Train Excursions & Short Stops:

Off Train Excursions: Katherine and Alice Springs

Short Stop: Marla (north bound) and Manguri (south bound)

Darwin to Alice Springs or V.v.

One night and two days via Katherine, one way, 1,420km. Weave your way through the wet and wild landscapes of the magnificent top end.

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Alice Springs - Darwin

Number of Days/Nights:

Two days and one nights

Length of journey:

1420km or 882 miles

Departures:

Departs year round

Off Train Excursions:

Off Train Excursions: Katherine

Adelaide to Alice Springs or V.v.

One night and two days, one way, 1,559km. Roll from the deep green pastures of the South into rich red outback splendour.

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Adelaide - Alice Springs

Number of Days/Nights:

Two days and one night

Length of journey:

1559km or 969 miles

Departures:

Departs year round

Short Stop:

Short Stop: Marla (north bound) and Manguri (south bound)

The Ghan stats

Average length of train: 

774m

Average weight of train: 

1400 tonnes (based on locomotives and 30 carriages)

Length of track: 

2979km

Length of journey: 

54 hours – 2979km

Average speed of train: 

85km/hour (max speed 115km/hour)

Symbol: 

The Ghan's symbol is a camel and its handler in recognition of the pioneering Afghan cameleers.

Average number of carriages: 

30 including guest carriages, crew quarters, restaurants, lounges and power vans.

 

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.

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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.

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In 1980, the old Ghan rail track was abandoned in favour of a new standard-gauge rail line built with termite-proof concrete sleepers. The track was laid further to the west to mitigate the flooding problems encountered along the old route. 

It was always intended for The Ghan to one day travel from Adelaide through to the Northern Territory capital city of Darwin. With the completion of the Alice Springs to Darwin rail link, this dream became a reality. The Ghan embarked on its inaugural transcontinental journey on 1 February, 2004.

Today, the north-south cross-country journey covers 2979 kilometres and encounters spectacular and diverse landscapes from the pastoral hues of the South Australian plains, the rusty reds of the MacDonnell Ranges and the tropical greens of Katherine and Darwin.

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All Inclusive Journeys

Our holiday packages have been specially selected to offer a range of unique and varied experiences. By combining accommodation, sightseeing, transfers and of course your train travel, we can offer the perfect Australian ‘all-in-one’ holiday option.

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Onboard Experience

From magnificent gourmet meals prepared by our professional chefs to that cheeky nightcap waiting on your bedside table at the end of the day, the experience onboard the Ghan will take your breath away.

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Off Train Excursions

This distinctly Australian holiday includes a series of immersive off train excursions. Camel rides, river cruises and optional helicopter flights add another exciting dimension to your journey, giving you a chance to breathe in the beauty you’ve been watching pass by.

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