The Ghan is a living legend in Australian history. Originally the Afghan Express, the name ‘The Ghan’ was inspired by the pioneering Afghan cameleers who blazed a permanent trail into the Red Centre of Australia over 150 years ago.
When The Ghan first departed Adelaide for Alice Springs in 1929, it was always intended that it would one day travel through to Darwin. More than 70 years on, in 2004, that dream became a reality.
Boarding The Ghan in Adelaide or Darwin, you’ll experience one of the most fascinating great train journeys of the world. Marvel at the spectacular Australian landscapes; from the rusty reds of the MacDonnell Ranges surrounding a town called Alice, gateway to Ayers Rock and the Red Centre, then north to Tennant Creek, Katherine and the tropical splendor of Darwin.
Guests can choose to travel in one of three service levels; Platinum Service, Gold Service or Red Service.
Platinum Service was launched on The Ghan in 2008 and has been an overwhelming success.
“Platinum Service has been designed to meet the needs of the discerning traveler who is looking for a world-class standard of rail travel,” said Tony Braxton-Smith, Chief Executive of Great Southern Rail.
Platinum Service cabins are of a distinctly Australian character and are approximately twice the size of Gold Service cabins with a modern full ensuite bathroom.
The classic Gold Service remains a popular choice, offering the comforts of the golden days of rail travel, with a comfortable lounge seat in a compact cabin converting to twin bunk beds overnight.
Guests travelling in both Platinum and Gold Service enjoy all meals inclusive in the price, served in the beautifully decorated Queen Adelaide Restaurant.
Red Service offers a more affordable way to experience Australia’s Great Train Journeys in either a Red Sleeper cabin or a Red Day / Nighter seat.
The Ghan service features whistle stop touring opportunities at a modest cost to make the most of your Outback adventure.
An extended stop over in Alice Springs to see the sunrise over Uluru, or a stay at the remote Bamarru Plains on the Mary River Flood plains west of Kakadu National Park, is ideal for those looking to experience the seclusion of the Australian Outback in luxury style.
In Alice Springs, guests can visit the award winning Alice Springs Desert Wildlife Park, or tour the towns iconic attractions including the Royal Flying Doctor Service base and the historic Telegraph Station. For the adventurous experience the grandeur of the region and the MacDonnell Ranges from the sky with a Helicopter Tour.
In Katherine, guests have the option of taking an optional whistle stop tour of Katherine Gorge at extra cost. In the stunning list of Northern Territory natural wonders, Katherine Gorge ranks very high. The two hour boat cruise through two of the spectacular gorges provides a great way to experience it. For those guests looking for that extra little bit of excitement a helicopter tour of the Katherine Gorge is also offered.
The Ghan operates twice weekly return service between Adelaide and Darwin in high season and once weekly return service during low season. The new north-south 2,979 kilometre journey through outback Australia further enhances what is already considered one of the world’s great train experiences.