The Ghan rail journey carves its way through the heart of Australia, striking the perfect balance of adventure and luxury. It showcases remote regions that are difficult to access without compromising on creature comforts along the way. Watch in awe as scorched red earth and vast landscapes unravel before you and get an insight into the ancient cultures that call these precious pockets of Outback Australia home. A true privilege to experience.
The full Ghan rail journey traverses 2,979 kilometres between Adelaide and Darwin following the route forged by Afghan cameleers in the late 19th century. Nowadays, travellers can enjoy the journey at a leisurely pace of 80 to 115 kilometres an hour in complete air-conditioned comfort. Rail travel evokes a certain sense of romance and adds a level of luxury to the experience that is unrivalled by other journeys through the Northern Territory.
Scenic’s Territory Explorer itinerary joins The Ghan in Alice Springs for an overnight journey to Darwin, allowing more time for exploration in the Red Centre. Guests will enjoy two nights at Uluru to commence this guided tour, where the shifting colours of sandstone at sunrise and sunset never fail to impress.
During the day travellers can enjoy a camel trek or guided walk around the base of Uluru or ride by motorcycle to a viewing point with spectacular views of the commanding monolith before discovering the wonders of nearby Kata Tjuta. In the evening, watch as the sun passes the baton to the twinkling Field of Light display that illuminates the landscape at night.
Guests will also spend a night at Kings Canyon where walking trails and waterholes await, and the East MacDonnell Ranges make the perfect backdrop for the drive into Alice Springs. Here travellers can choose from an array of activities that include a visit to the Royal Flying Doctors’ service. Take a 4WD to the mesmerising oasis of Palm Valley in the Finke Gorge National Park (inspiration to the renowned watercolourist Albert Namatjira). Perhaps explore of the West MacDonnell Ranges and the dramatic Standley Chasm. The following day, the outback adventure continues on The Ghan for the two-day journey north to Darwin, via Katherine.
While on board, Scenic guests are treated to the charm of the Gold Service experience complete with en suite twin cabins or single cabins with shared facilities. An optional Platinum Service upgrade offers more spacious twin or double cabins with a modern finish. Regardless of how you choose to travel, outstanding service staff are on hand to assist with everything from your mealtime seating arrangements and turn down service to your Off Train Excursions.
Stopping in Katherine, guests can enjoy a guided boat tour through the Nitmiluk Gorge (also known as Katherine Gorge) and marvel at the ochre cliffs that create this incredible chasm. Hear the stories of the Jawoyn people and marvel at Aboriginal rock art.
Alternatively, an Outback experience tells the story of station owner and country musician Tom Curtain. Cap off either experience with a sumptuous meal championing the regional cuisine of the area, paired with a delightful glass of wine.
As The Ghan rocks its way into Darwin, the landscape begins to change from the ochre of the outback to the lush greens of the tropics, however the exemplary service and comfort never waivers. It is an experience that moves you in every sense of the word and one that you will remember fondly for years to come. The Ghan is on everyone’s bucket list, why not tick it off on this guided tour from the Red Centre to Darwin with Scenic.