Enquiries: AUS: 1300 190 418  NZ: 0800 102338

The Ghan

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.

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.

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.

Regarded as one of the world’s greatest rail journeys, The Ghan delivers so much more than an extended train ride.

PRE-REGISTER & SAVE

Due to huge demand in the past few years we are taking pre registrations for 2020 Platinum and Gold cabins.
PRE-REGISTER NOW for your $50 per person discount for every booking made.*

 
*this offer is subject to availability. NO booking will be made until we contact you and get your go ahead.

CALL US NOW FOR THE BEST PRICES

Platinum Service

Platinum Service

Platinum Service offers guests the most luxurious transcontinental holiday Australia has to offer. Boasting deluxe extras such as Platinum Transfers, in-cabin breakfasts and access to the Platinum Club, Platinum Service promises and delivers a journey beyond expectations.

The first thing you’ll notice about your Platinum cabin is the abundance of space, almost twice the size of a Gold Twin Cabin. By day your cabin is configured as a private lounge with deluxe lounge seating, a table and two ottomans. By night you’ll sleep easy as the lounges convert to a comfortable bedroom with either a double bed or twin beds.

Feeling peckish? Step out of your spacious cabin and into the Platinum Club where an all inclusive menu is prepared by on-board chefs using fresh local fare. Our seasonal menu features mouth-watering dishes such as saltwater barramundi and grilled kangaroo fillet.

Platinum Service fare includes hearty breakfasts, two course lunches and three course dinners. Vegetarian, children’s and limited special dietary meals are available when you make your booking. You may also choose to complement your meal with our selection of wines and beverages included in your fare.

Platinum Features

  • Full-size en suite equipped with shower, vanity with cupboard space, toilet and complimentary Australian bathroom amenities
  • Lockable door, power outlets and in-cabin safe
  • In-cabin music channels and journey audio commentary available
  • Picture windows offering views from both sides of the train
  • Platinum Service transfers at the start and end of your journey available for guests within 50km of the terminal
  • Freshly prepared continental in-cabin breakfasts served upon request
  • Refreshments served in-cabin
  • 90kg luggage allowance per guest (3 x 30kg each).

Gold Service

Gold Service

Through the big screen window of your cosy, well-appointed cabin, you’ll watch tremendous secrets unfold as the train transports you from one end of the continent to the other. Spend hours deep in conversation with a travelling partner or lose yourself in a lifetime of thoughts. And after a day of off-train activities, your cabin provides the perfect place to relax and recharge before heading for the lounge or dining carriage.

With room to stretch out and all the comforts of home, Gold Service is the most popular level of service aboard The Ghan and Indian Pacific. You’ll enjoy private cabin accommodation together with all-inclusive dining, beverages and a range of fascinating Off Train Excursions at key stops.

Gold Service accommodation is available in both single and twin-share so you can choose to travel with your partner, friends or roll solo.

During the day, the compact Twin Berth Sleeper Cabins offer a comfortable three seater lounge, converting to an upper and lower sleeping berth at night. And with top notch service from our hospitality attendant, you’ll enjoy fresh sheets, bath towels, pillows, doonas and complimentary toiletries. Twin Berth Sleeper Cabins have private en suite facilities with a hide-away compact toilet, wash basin and shower.

Feeling peckish? Step out of your spacious cabin and into the exclusive, classically styled Queen Adelaide Restaurant Car where an all inclusive menu is prepared by on-board chefs using fresh local fare. Our seasonal menu features mouth-watering dishes such as saltwater barramundi and grilled kangaroo fillet.

Platinum and Gold Service fare includes hearty breakfasts, two course lunches and three course dinners. Vegetarian, children’s and limited special dietary meals are available when you make your booking. You may also choose to complement your meal with our selection of wines and beverages included in your fare.

Gold Features

  • For Gold Twin, a comfortable sleeper cabin featuring private en suite and upper and lower berths that convert to a three-seater lounge by day
  • For Gold Single, a compact sleeper cabin featuring a bed that converts to a seat by day and shared shower/toilet facilities located at the end of the carriage
  • Power outlets in cabin
  • In-cabin music channels and journey audio commentary available
  • All-inclusive dining in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant
  • All-inclusive Australian wines, beers, base spirits and non-alcoholic beverages
  • All-inclusive Off Train Excursions and Short Stops
  • Luggage allowance is 60kg per guest
  • Complimentary Shuttle bus transfers available in Darwin to selected hotels in the city centre.

The Ghan Fares 2019 – 2020

HIGH SEASON FARES

Travel 05/05/19 to 26/08/19 (northbound)

Platinum Service*

$ Per Person One Way Everyday Advance Purchase^
Adelaide-Darwin $4199N/A
Adelaide-Alice Springs$2889N/A
Alice Springs-Darwin$2889N/A

Gold Service Twin Cabin*

$ Per Person One Way Everyday Advance Purchase^
Adelaide-Darwin $2889$2609
Adelaide-Alice Springs$1629$1459
Alice Springs-Darwin$1629$1459

Gold Service Single Cabin

$ Per Person One Way Everyday Advance Purchase^
Adelaide-Darwin $2729$2459
Adelaide-Alice Springs$1529$1369
Alice Springs-Darwin$1529$1369

SHOULDER SEASON FARES

07/04/19 to 29/04/19, 01/09/19 to 25/11/19 and 02/02/20 to 30/03/20 (northbound) 30/10/19 to 28/11/19 and 05/02/20 to 27/02/20 (southbound)

Platinum Service*

$ Per Person One Way Everyday Advance Purchase^
Adelaide-Darwin or VV$3979N/A
Adelaide-Alice Springs or VV$2749N/A
Alice Springs-Darwin or VV$2749N/A

Gold Service Twin Cabin*

$ Per Person One Way Everyday Advance Purchase^
Adelaide-Darwin or VV$2629$2099
Adelaide-Alice Springs or VV$1479$1179
Alice Springs-Darwin or VV$1479$1179

Gold Service Single Cabin

$ Per Person One Way Everyday Advance Purchase^
Adelaide-Darwin or VV $2349$1859
Adelaide-Alice Springs or VV$1319$1049
Alice Springs-Darwin or VV$1319$1049

THE GHAN EXPEDITION

4 Days. 3 Nights. From Darwin to Adelaide (Southbound).

HIGH SEASON FARES
Travel 01/05/19 to 29/08/19

$ Per Person One Way Everyday Advance Purchase^
Platinum Service$5999N/A
Gold Service - Twin$3889$3499
Gold Service - Single$3689$3319

SHOULDER SEASON FARES
03/04/19 to 25/04/19, 04/09/19 to 24/10/19 and 04/03/20 to 26/03/20

$ Per Person One Way Everyday Advance Purchase^
Platinum Service$5799N/A
Gold Service - Twin$3699$2949
Gold Service - Single$3489$2779

*Terms and Conditions 
* Fares based on twin share per person with single supplements applicable.
^ Advance Purchase fares are subject to availability and bookings must be made a minimum of 6 months in advance.
Fares are subject to availability and may not be available on all services. Gold Superior cabin fares available on request. Fares and timetables are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice. Children aged 4-15 inclusive, receive a 20% discount off the accompanying adult fare.

2019/2020 Timetable

Timetables operate all year*.

Adelaide – Alice Springs – Darwin

 Operates All Year^​
Sun
Operates All Year^​
Sun
Depart Adelaide
12.15pm
Mon
MarlaMarl - Morning Experience
Arrive Alice Springs1.45pm
Alice Springs - Afternoon Excursion
Depart Alice Springs 6.15pm
Tues
KatherineKatherine - Morning Excursion​
Arrive Darwin5.30pm
/

Darwin – Alice Springs – Adelaide

 Operates November 2019 to February 2020^​
Wed
Depart Darwin10.00am
KatherineKatherine - Afternoon Excursion​
Thurs
Arrive Alice Springs9.10am
Alice Springs - Morning Excursion​
Depart Alice Springs12.45pm
ManguriManguri - Evening Experience
Fri
Arrive Adelaide1.00pm
/

Darwin – Adelaide (The Ghan Expedition)

 Operates April 2019 to October 2019 and March 2020
Wed
Depart Darwin10.00am
KatherineKatherine - Afternoon Excursion​
Thurs
Alice SpringsAlice Springs - Full Day Excursion​
Fri
Coober PedyCoober Pedy - Full Day Excursion​
Sat
Arrive Adelaide10:50am
/

TIMES AND EXPERIENCES MAY VARY Final arrival and departure times on all our journeys may vary. We will advise of any changes prior to departure. All Off Train Experiences are subject to weather and changes through the year and may vary by season.

PRE-REGISTER & SAVE

Due to huge demand in the past few years we are taking pre registrations for 2020 Platinum and Gold cabins.
PRE-REGISTER NOW for your $50 per person discount for every booking made.*

 
*this offer is subject to availability. NO booking will be made until we contact you and get your go ahead.

Itinerary – Darwin to Adelaide – The Ghan Expedition

Ready yourself for an incredible, one-of-a-kind experience on The Ghan Expedition.

Beginning in Darwin, this epic four day, three night, 2979km tour will take you to some of the most remote yet captivating parts of Australia in style and luxury. 

DAY 1 - Depart Darwin to Katherine

Your journey aboard the legendary Ghan begins at Darwin Rail Station where you'll take the small but momentous step from platform to carriage.

Friendly staff will lead you through corridors to your comfortable private cabin where you can take your time settling in and exploring the amenities as the view outside your window begins its smooth and spectacular transformation.

Lunch in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant is bound to satisfy and delight with culinary wonders prepared onboard by our talented chefs.

All food is included in your fare, from a hearty full cooked breakfast to a delectable 3 course dinner.

And as you sit back and loosen your belt, you'll have arrived in Katherine ready to experience your first included Off Train Excursion to the magnificent and spiritual Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge.

Experience Katherine Outback Experience which provides a unique window into the real Australian Outback and the inner workings of life on a cattle station through the sharing of stories and experiences, cattle dog demonstrations and live music performances. The 'Stock Yards' is where the action takes place. Enjoy a live demonstration of the art of horse-breaking, depicting the psychology between man and horse, watch the Riverboyne Dog Team working cattle, goats or ducks in harmony, before interacting with Bernie the Buffalo, Tin Shaker the Brahman Steer and Legend the Trick Horse.

There is even time to sit back and relax, listening to live music including some well-known Aussie anthems and originals, often performed from a top of a horse.

If you'd prefer to ramp it up a notch, you're welcome to upgrade your excursion with a helicopter flight or scenic flight over Kakadu and Nitmiluk National Parks, providing unparalleled views of the geographic wonders that gave rise to many of the aboriginal Dreamtime stories.

Back on board you'll return to the Queen Adelaide Restaurant, enjoying dinner as the sun sets over the outback.

Then back in your room you'll find your bed turned down with a cheeky nightcap waiting on the bedside table. As the train rolls soothingly onwards, fall asleep in awe of wonders seen, and excited

DAY 2 - Alice Springs

Wake up to a new view outside your window, in a world which feels a million miles from home. An outback sunrise could be one of the most spectacular you'll ever see, setting the tone for the day ahead.

After coffee, a juice and a sumptuous breakfast you'll arrive in Alice Springs ready for another day of exploration.

Here you have the opportunity to embark on one of the included Off Train Excursions, taking in the delights of this famous outback town. A full day in Alice Springs gives you ample opportunity to visit the town landmarks, get up close and personal with Australia's incredible flora and fauna or explore the Alice at your own leisure.

At this point you may choose to upgrade your excursion with the ultimate outback experience; an intimate scenic fixed wing flight over Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

There really is no better way to comprehend the vastness of the Northern Territory.

Come the evening you'll dine beneath a canopy of stars at an authentic Outback Pioneer Dinner.

This is a truly unique experience with live Australiana music and a feast of mouthwatering steak and traditionally made damper.

After dessert, cast your eyes skyward and ponder life, the universe and everything with an informative astronomical talk.

And with a full belly and deep sense of wonderment, it's back on the train to rest up and roll out of Alice Springs, fulfilled in every sense of the word.

DAY 3 - Coober Pedy

After breakfast this morning you'll wake up and rub your eyes with disbelief as we pull into the middle-of-nowhere stop at Manguri.

Here, a friendly tour guide awaits ready to whisk you away for the day. Your destination - the sun-scorched opal mining capital of the world - Coober Pedy, where more than half of the residents live underground.

Venture into the tunnels and caves of this underground town, where you may even catch opal fever as you mine for riches, visit the otherworldly underground Serbian Orthodox church and take a glimpse of Umoona Opal Mine.

Below the earth's surface, you'll enjoy a gourmet lunch in the most unique of locations before setting off to the stunning outback moonscape that is the Breakaways.

After an eye-opening action-packed day - if you haven't chosen to stay and find your fortune - it's back on board with plenty of time to ease into a slower gear and prepare yourself for your final evening onboard The Ghan.

Dine in style in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant, meet and share stories with new friends in the Outback Explorer Lounge (open until late) or simply head back to the privacy of your cabin to wind down, read a book and plan your next epic journey.

DAY 4 - Arrive in Adelaide

Looking out of your window this morning you'll notice a dramatic change in landscape as the rich ochre tones of the outback make way for the beautiful green fields and pastoral lands of South Australia.

After breakfast you'll have time to reflect on your journey before The Ghan rolls into Adelaide. Here, you may wish to extend your stay with trips to the Barossa Valley or Kangaroo Island topping the to-do list.

Or stay close to the city, nibbling, sipping and munching your way through the famous Central Market, perusing the revitalised Riverbank precinct (including the updated Adelaide Oval and free Donald Bradman Exhibition), before exploring a myriad of chic laneway restaurants, bars and entertainment venues in this, Australia's City of Churches.

The Ghan Expedition promises the adventure of a lifetime taking you deep into the heart of Australia and back again.

Train Journeys

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Ghan History

The Ghan History

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'.

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.

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.

 

FAQs

Q: What time can I check in for my train departure?

A: Check in for your rail journey opens approximately two hours prior to your scheduled departure time. We ask all guests to check in at least 60 minutes prior to departure to be welcomed onboard.

Q: Can I fly out the same day as the train arrives?

A: We want you to enjoy your journey without concerns over flight times. We therefore would recommend you allow for an overnight stop before connecting to domestic or international flights. Great Southern Rail does not accept liability for any missed connections due to late train arrivals.

Q: Do I need any cash or credit cards onboard?

A: As our journeys are all-inclusive you will not need to buy anything unless you choose to purchase an Off Train Excursion upgrade or souvenirs, which you can do onboard utilising our EFTPOS or credit card facilities. Unfortunately we are unable to provide any cash out on our trains.

Q: Is there a standard of dress onboard?

A: It is your holiday and we want you to be comfortable so smart casual attire is recommended. We recommend warm clothes for Outback Experiences as mornings and evenings in the Outback can be cool. We also recommend you pack a hat, sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes for your Off Train Excursions.

Q: What weather should I pack for?

A: Travelling from one end of the country to the other can provide a variation in climates. On The Ghan you can experience mid-30 degree temperatures in Darwin or Katherine and 4 degree nights/early mornings in the desert during your Outback Experiences in Marla or Manguri. On the Indian Pacific, the summer months in Adelaide and Perth average around 30 degrees while temperatures at night on the Nullarbor at places like Rawlinna and Cook can average as low as 5 degrees during winter months. So it is best to pack everything you need plus a warm jacket or jumper, enclosed shoes, a hat and sunscreen into your carry-on luggage.