by Belen

I’m excited to take you on an epic and unique expedition - a 2979 kilometer train journey through the fiery red center of Australia – The Ghan Expedition. 

This is Australia unadorned, raw and seen at its finest. The Ghan Expedition is a three-night, four-day journey that begins in Darwin stopping in Katherine, Alice Springs and Coober Pedy before it’s arrival to Adelaide. Every stop has off-train excursions. With the exception of scenic flights and helicopter rides, all excursions are included in the cost of the ticket.

You will meet travellers of all ages, classes and backgrounds aboard this train. There is a mix of international travellers as well as nationals. This expedition is very popular with the Aussies, “What a great way to meet the locals!” Passengers are retirees and younger couples attracted by active off-train excursions, the impressive food and wine menu (think great Australian wines!).

The Lounge car is the social hub followed by the restaurant – the restaurant is the stuff of romance novels: smart four-seater booths are set with starched white linen separated with cut-glass frames. Each booth has a full picture window: dining with a view unlike any other.

Jump aboard for a quick description of the Ghan Expedition:

DAY 1 - Board in Darwin at a very civilized time, 10:00 AM, check-out your digs for the next several days, followed by lunch.

Katherine is the first stop where you may choose from a gorge cruise, a cruise to see ancient Indigenous rock art, a visit to a cattle station or a helicopter or fixed-wing plane flight over the gorge.

The Nitmiluk Gorge (also known as Katherine Gorge) is a natural wonder created by an earthquake. The sandstone cliff faces of the gorge are orange, yellow and brown above calm waters and are accompanied with the stories of the Jawoyn, the indigenous people of this area.

Board the train for dinner and the evening and a good night’s sleep in your Gold or Platinum cabin. The cabins are designed to make the most efficient use of space, the bed linen is hotel quality, and the service by your cabin steward is professional yet not pretentious. In true Aussie style, the staff will call you by your first name.
Oops, there’s so much to share with you. Back to the rail expedition.

DAY 2 – wake up in Alice Springs and chose from are a camel trek, outback desert walk or a scenic flight over Uluru. Freshen up with a hot shower (to wash away the red dirt), A-N-D T-H-E-N a bus will take you to Telegraph Station. Waiting for your arrival is sparkling wine, yummy canapes, a singing cowboy amongst historical buildings and more sparkling wine. Dinner is a true Aussie BBQ served at white linen tables with a view of the sun setting over the train. Dessert, port and the night appear and the sky is blanketed with stars and a 2 man band gets everyone dancing.   

DAY 3 – Coober Pedy, an outback town famous for its underground homes and opal mines is today’s stop. Coober Pedy has a population of about 3500 and is considered a harsh town because it is very hot and dry. It’s a quirky, fascinating place where you’ll hear stories of fortunes won and lost.

This unique town has temperate underground homes and churches and is considered the opal mining capital of the world. The opals are exquisite and there are fabulous shopping opportunities. Lunch is served long table-style underground in a working opal mine make for an experience you’ll likely only have once in your lifetime. Of course, served with great Australian wine.

You are whisked to Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park, a registered Aboriginal site with spiritual significance. With a glass of sparkling wine in-hand (of course), watch the sun set over the multi-coloured hills and surrounding desert. Board the train for an elegant farewell dinner.  

After one last sleep you wake up in Adelaide and more of the great land of Oz awaits.

Yours In Travel