The Red Centre of Australia is an iconic destination that draws scores of tourists each year. Travelling through the centre of Australia can be done in a number of ways but a truly unique experience is taking The Ghan train from Adelaide to Darwin. Making your way through this landscape on a train is a one-of-a-kind experience that is sure to leave lasting memories for the most seasoned traveller. A personal travel manager should be your first stop for an epic ride through the heartland of our nation.
The Ghan is one of the longest rail rides in Australia, stretching from Adelaide in South Australia to Darwin in the Northern Territory. Originally named ‘The Afghan Express’, The Ghan was named to pay tribute to the Afghan Camel Drivers who provided invaluable help navigating and exploring Australia’s centre in the early 1900s.
Stretching almost 3,000km, The Ghan is a monumental trip that takes on average 54 hours to complete. Package options include:
The Ghan Expedition starts in Darwin and stops at Katherine, Alice Springs, Uluru (optional upgrade), Manguri, Coober Pedy and Adelaide.
The Ghan starts in either Adelaide or Darwin, with northbound and southbound trips stopping at Darwin, Katherine, Alice Springs, Marla, Manguri and Adelaide.
Each of the stops offers an opportunity for travellers to break up the journey with an overnight stay so they may experience more of the stunning desert landscapes found in each stop.
Darwin is a city with a melting pot of cultures. It’s close proximity to Indonesia has created a unique fusion of food, culture and colours. The Mindil Beach Sunset Markets are the best indicator of Darwin’s cultural diversity. Each Thursday and Sunday the Mindil Beach precinct is transformed into a market place full of food, clothing and interesting trinkets. Travellers more inclined for an adventure can take an overnight trip to Kakadu or Litchfield National Park.
Located just south of Darwin, Katherine plays host to a huge array of natural marvels. The Jurassic Cycad Gardens is a phenomenal experience to behold; hundreds of prehistoric plants have been nurtured to create a one of a kind park with plants from the time of dinosaurs. Tours are conducted through the gardens to see the plants that grew during the reign of T-Rex. Lovers of history that is a little more modern should visit the Katherine Museum. The museum is the site of the former airport terminal and has since been transformed into the home of the original plane flown by the first Flying Doctor, Dr Clyde Fenton. The museum also houses other one-of-a-kind artifacts and images of the 1998 flood that impacted the region.
Alice Springs is an obvious tourist stop to see while travelling on The Ghan. Aside from Uluru, Alice Springs has some sites that are much closer than the six-hour drive to The Rock. Breathtaking national parks and gardens such as the MacDonnell Ranges, The Alice Springs Desert Park and the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens are all sites to see whilst in Alice Springs. These two locations provide a fantastic glimpse at the natural environment of this harsh landscape. For tourists more focused on culture there are scores of indigenous art galleries and tours through some of the regions’ cultural landmarks with local indigenous leaders. For travellers with children, a stop at the Reptile Centre is sure to keep the young ones entertained on the journey.