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15 Day Ghan Train Experience Adelaide | Alice Springs | Darwin

Adelaide - Darwin - Alice Springs - Kings Creek Cattle Station - Kakadu National Park

  • 2020 & 2021 departure dates available 
  • Book now with only 50% deposit required 
  • Enjoy the stunning journey between Adelaide & Darwin in style
  • All off-train excursions and accommodation included

From $7,299 Typically $8,099 pp twin share

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Description


The legendary Ghan... This remarkable journey connects Darwin and Adelaide, travelling through the red heart of Australia.  The contrast of the opulent Ghan journeying through the rugged outback is a memory you will treasure.  From Adelaide witness South Australia's rolling green hills gradually change to the ochre red of the Flinders Ranges, then travel through the Red Centre to Alice Springs, before reaching the tropical Top End through Katherine to Darwin.  You will feel the true spirit of our ancient land.  Enjoy the off-train touring and activities and savour the delicious food and wines.

Itinerary


Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14 Day 15

Day 1

Arrive Adelaide Depart on the Ghan 

Fly into Adelaide and be personally transferred from the airport to the Ghan railway station by taxi begin your journey to Alice Springs. Train departs at 12.30 pm.  The journey from Adelaide to Alice Springs takes you through some of the most dramatic and breathtaking scenery on the planet. As you travel from south Australia up toward its red centre you’ll be amazed at the sheer size and beauty of this spectacular country, Adelaide’s green hills and country vistas transform into dramatic mountain ranges and rocky outcrops, as you head further north the ochre earth and blue skies contrast in a show of incredible natural beauty. As you arrive into the Red Centre of Australia you can still sense the strong pioneering outback spirit of Alice Springs.

Accommodation: On the Ghan in a Gold Service^ cabin

Meals included: lunch and dinner

Day 2

Alice Springs

Arrive in Alice Springs on the Ghan and enjoy your morning at leisure. Transfer to your hotel and overnight. Alice Springs is a remote town in Australia’s Northern Territory, halfway between Darwin and Adelaide, both 1,500km away. It’s a popular gateway for exploring the Red Centre, the country’s interior desert region. Its 1872 origin as part of the Overland Telegraph Line (linking Darwin and Adelaide) is preserved in the vintage buildings and equipment at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve.

Accommodation: Quest Hotel or similar, Alice Springs

Meals included: breakfast

Day 3

Alice Springs 

This morning you have some free time to explore Alice Springs at leisure. This afternoon enjoy the best touring sights of “The Alice”. We will visit the School of the Air. We learn how children who cannot access schools are educated by radio and may have the opportunity to listen to and observe actual lessons in progress on air. Stop at the historic Telegraph Station, which marks the original site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs. Visit the Royal Flying Doctors Service, where you will see how medical aid reaches those who live in the remote ‘outback’. We also make a stop at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre, where you can see up close and maybe touch some of the lizards and snakes that frequent Central Australia’s semi-arid desert, such as the Perentie Lizard and the Thorny Devil. The tour concludes with a panoramic view of the township of Alice Springs and the MacDonnell Ranges from the top of Anzac Hill.

Accommodation: Quest Hotel or similar, Alice Springs

Meals included: breakfast

Day 4

West MacDonnell Ranges Day Tour

Departing from Alice Springs at approximately 6.00 am, our adventure begins as we travel towards the mighty West MacDonnell Ranges. Our first stop is Ormiston Gorge, keep your eyes peeled for Perentie Lizards lazing along the banks and take a swim in the rock holes. Hike the “Ghost Gum Walk”, a 1.5 hour loop that takes in views down through the majestic Ormiston Gorge, before following the trail as it descends down close to the gorge and along the rocky floor and Ormiston Waterhole. Enjoy a BBQ lunch at Ormiston Gorge. Afterwards, we journey on to the Ochre Pits, a registered sacred site offering a unique experience to view the Ochre deposit still used to this day by the Traditional owners. See the natural ochres that have provided materials for Indigenous people for thousands of years. Travelling on to Ellery Creek Big Hole, one of the most picturesque swimming and walking spots in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Surrounded by high red cliffs and the sandy Ellery Creek, the waterhole has been carved out by thousands of years of massive floods and is an internationally significant geological site. The permanent water here made it a special meeting place for the local Arrernte people and is known to them as Udepata. Late in the afternoon we travel back to Alice Springs, arriving at approximately 5.30pm.

Accommodation: Quest Hotel or similar, Alice Springs

Meals included: breakfast and lunch

Day 5

Alice Springs to Uluru

After picking you up from your accommodation in Alice Springs bright and early, we hit the road on our adventure of a lifetime. (For those commencing the tour at Uluru we will collect you from the Outback Pioneer Hotel. Our journey begins heading south to Erldunda travelling through the Waterhouse and James Ranges with a stop at the Camel Farm for refreshments and a Camel ride if you’re keen (own expense). On the way to Uluru we stop to view Atila (Mount Connor), a mesa tableland and the first significant rock formation of our trip. After a stop for lunch and our arrival at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, we travel to the base of Uluru where your guide will lead you on an interpretive walk, hearing of the Aboriginal law and religion (Tjukurpa). Continuing on, we meet our local Aboriginal Guide who will provide a once in a lifetime authentic Indigenous cultural experience sharing stories and passing on traditional methods of painting that plays an important part in the sustainability of Aboriginal Culture. Starting with a walk to the cave paintings near Mutitjulu Waterhole, at the base of Uluru, be guided by the Anangu hearing stories of this unique landscape and the connection between the art, culture and connection to the land. We conclude at the Cultural Centre, where you may explore the displays and learn of the flora and fauna of this unique area. Experience the famous changing colours of Uluru at sunset, complete with sparkling wine and nibbles. It’s a great time to kick back and contemplate the day and the vastness of the desert. Afterwards settle in at our remote private camp, complete with our Endless Star dining experience before retiring to your swag under the amazing night sky or your comfortable safari tent complete with beds. After dinner this evening, you may choose to view the Field of Light art installation (optional and additional expense). After being collected from a location close to your campsite you will be transferred to the Field of Light. Enjoy a walk through this incredible light display at your own pace before being transferred back to our campsite. The exhibition, aptly named Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku or ‘looking at lots of beautiful lights’ in local Pitjantjatjara is Bruce Munro’s largest work to date. Overwhelming in size, covering more than seven football fields, it invites immersion in its fantasy garden of 50,000 spindles of light, the stems breathing and swaying through a sympathetic desert spectrum of ochre, deep violet, blue and gentle white. We highly recommend booking your Field of Light experience in advance as this does book out in advance. This can be done at the same time as placing your reservation with us. 

Accommodation: Private permanent tented camp on twin share basis

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 6

Uluru to Kings Creek Station

Rising early, take a short walk to a lookout close to our campsite to view sunrise over Uluru and Kata Tjuta without the hustle and bustle of the public viewing areas before heading off to Kata Tjuta for a walk through the”Valley of the Winds”. Afterwards, we’re off to Kings Creek Cattle Station for our second nights’ private bush camp, complete with a bush toilet and shower. With nobody else for miles, this camp has stunning views out over the George Gill Ranges and gives you a real feel for the outback. Dinner around the campfire makes for a very social time with another night out under the stars. Tonight, listen for the sound of dingoes howling in the distance while watching the desert sky light up above you.

Accommodation: Private permanent tented camp on twin share basis

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 7

Kings Creek Station to Alice Springs

Today we head off to Watarrka (Kings Canyon) for a mind blowing 6km walk through the towering walls, crevices and plateaus of Watarrka. We’ll visit the Amphitheatre, Lost City and the tranquil ‘Garden of Eden’. Later we start making our way back to Alice Springs travelling on a typical outback dirt road. We’ll drop you back at your accommodation early evening and usually all meet later for a bit of a night on the town (Alice seems like the big smoke after 3 days in the bush). 

Accommodation: Quest Hotel or similar, Alice Springs

Meals included: breakfast and lunch

Day 8

Alice Springs

Today is a free day to explore Alice Springs at leisure. Alice Springs is a remote town in Australia’s Northern Territory, halfway between Darwin and Adelaide, both 1,500km away. It’s a popular gateway for exploring the Red Centre, the country’s interior desert region. Its 1872 origin as part of the Overland Telegraph Line (linking Darwin and Adelaide) is preserved in the vintage buildings and equipment at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve.

Accommodation: Quest Hotel or similar, Alice Springs

Meals included: breakfast

Day 9

The Ghan (depart Alice Springs)

The train races through the gold mining town of Tennant Creek as you’re eating breakfast. It stops at the historic pioneering township of Katherine, where numerous excursion options await. You could enjoy a leisurely cruise in  Nitmiluk National Park ’s Katherine Gorge, and admire towering sandstone cliffs and crocodiles basking in the sun. Alternatively, head out to Katherine Outback Experience, owned by multiple Golden Guitar winner Tom Curtain. This fantastic show celebrates life on the land through real horse-starting and working dog demonstrations entwined with live music and humorous bush tales. Optional upgrades include a scenic helicopter flight over the 13 gorges of Nitmiluk National Park or a 90-minute fixed-wing scenic flight over both Kakadu and Nitmiluk national parks. Back on board, enjoy a late lunch as the rainforest of the Northern Territory outback rushes by the window. Pass through the old gold mining town of Pine Creek and Adelaide River, once a World War II military Headquarters.

Accommodation: On the Ghan in a Gold Service^ cabin

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 10

Darwin

The Ghan train will roll into the Northern Territory’s tropical capital of Darwin in the evening. Please catch a taxi to your overnight hotel for the next 4 nights. Darwin is the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory and a former frontier outpost. It’s also a gateway to massive Kakadu National Park. Its popular waterfront area has several beaches and green areas like Bicentennial Park. Also near the water is the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, displaying Southeast Asian and Pacific art, plus a pearling lugger and other seafaring vessels.

Accommodation: Frontier Hotel or similar, Darwin

Meals included: breakfast

Day 11

Darwin Hop on Hop off Bus

Rich in cultural heritage, known for its balmy weather, and boasting an eclectic dining scene, the laid-back city of Darwin is a visitor’s delight. Explore the sights from atop a double-decker bus and set your own pace around the Northern Territory’s biggest town. This hop-on hop-off adventure hits all the top attractions, giving you plenty of time to explore sites like the Darwin Military Museum or get up close and personal with crocodiles in the Cage of Death at Crocosaurus Cove. Zip around the city, hopping on and off at your leisure to immerse yourself in Darwin’s mix of frontier heritage and modern bustle. At the Aquascene Fish Feeding at Doctors Gully, watch the tide bring in an array of gentle fish species and wade into the water to feed them bread. Wander around the SKYCITY Casino, shop for arts and crafts at the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, and check out the pools, waterfalls, and tropical scenery of the Botanic Gardens. Visit The Defence of Darwin Experience to discover Darwin’s role during World War II, and check out the city’s shopping, dining, and entertainment scene at the Parap Markets, Waterfront Precinct, and Fort Hill Wharf. Your pass lets you hop back on the bus as many times as you’d like, so be sure to keep it handy as you tour.

Accommodation: Frontier Hotel or similar, Darwin

Meals included: breakfast

Day 12

Jim Jim Falls & Twin Falls from Jabiru

The jewels of Kakadu National Park await. Departing from your Jabiru accommodation, we travel to Twin and Jim Jim Falls. Explore Twin Falls Gorge which is accessed by 4-wheel drive track, a boat shuttle service and a rocky walking track and floating boardwalk. Once there relax on the sandy banks and admire the falls. Enjoy a picnic lunch before 4-wheel driving on to Jim Jim Falls where a walk through monsoon forests and over boulders takes us to the waterfall and plunge pool which are surrounded by 150 metre cliffs. Mid-afternoon we make our way back to the township of Jabiru.

Accommodation: Cooinda Lodge or similar, Jabiru

Meals included: breakfast and lunch

Day 13

Adelaide River - Marrakai Plains

Visit the fascinating wetlands of the Top End and get up close to fearsome saltwater crocodiles on the famous Jumping Crocodile Cruise. Just 60km from Darwin lies the Adelaide River, home to over 1600 Crocodiles and the location of the famous Jumping Crocodiles. Join this tour in the afternoon and travel down the Stuart Highway to the Adelaide River, enjoying commentary about the outskirts of Darwin along the way. Cruise the river and thrill as these awesome creatures launch themselves out of the water. The cruise will enable you to see these prehistoric creatures at close range. Afterwards continue to the Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre for view over the Marrakai Plains and then it’s on to Fogg Dam Nature Reserve to view a wetland ecosystem up close. It’s also a good opportunity to spot for birds and other wildlife.

Accommodation: Cooinda Lodge or similar, Jabiru

Meals included: breakfast and lunch

Day 14

Litchfield - Buley Rockhole - Tolmer Falls - Wangi Falls

Spend a relaxing day exploring the Table Top Range and wonder at the magnificent waterfalls. A full day introducing you to the main sights of Litchfield National Park. Leaving Darwin, we follow the Stuart Highway via the township of Batchelor to Litchfield National Park. Visit the main falls of the Park, you have the opportunity for scenic and interpretive bush and monsoon vine forest walks. View Florence Falls from a high vantage point before making your way down the stairs to the plunge pool below with an opportunity to swim, making your way back via the monsoon forest and open woodland. Head to Buley Rockhole for a swim the travel on to Tolmer Falls for a magnificent view of the water cascading down to the deep waterhole at the base of the waterfall. We venture to Wangi Falls for another opportunity for a swim in the large crystal clear pool and an optional steady climb through the rainforest to the top of the falls. It’s a great day for taking fascinating photos, including the amazing stand of termite mounds, one of Litchfield National Parks unique sights.

Accommodation: Frontier Hotel or similar, Darwin

Meals included: breakfast and lunch

Day 15

Depart from Darwin

Your tour comes to an end in the morning. Please catch a taxi to Darwin airport for your onward flights.

Meals included: breakfast

Inclusions & Exclusions


Inclusions

  • 3 nights onboard The Ghan in a Gold Service^ cabin from Adelaide to Alice Springs on twin share basis (^upgrade to Platinum Class cabins at additional cost, subject to availability)
  • All onboard meals and drinks
  • All off-train excursions and activities 
  • 5 nights hotel accommodation in Alice Springs on twin share basis
  • 3 day/2 night escorted permanent tented camping tour in Central Australia
  • 5 nights hotel accommodation in Darwin on twin share basis
  • Meals as indicated: 14 breakfasts, 9 lunches, and 4 dinners
  • Alice Springs Half day Tour
  • West MacDonnell Ranges Escorted Coach Tour
  • Kakadu Park Escorted Day Tour - Jim Jim Falls & Twin Falls from Jabiru.
  • Litchfield National Park Luxury Day Tour
  • Darwin Hop on Hop off Coach Tour
  • Adelaide River - Marrakai Plains Escorted Day Tour

 

Accommodation

The Ghan - Gold Service^ cabin from Adelaide to Alice Springs on twin share basis (^upgrade to Platinum Class cabins at additional cost, subject to availability)

Alice Springs - Quest Hotel

Uluru - Private permanent tented camp on twin share basis

Kings Creek Station - Private permanent tented camp on twin share basis

Darwin - Frontier Hotel

Kakadu National Park - Cooinda Lodge

 

 

Exclusions

  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Airfares
  • Meals (unless specified)
  • Airport transfers
  • Anything not listed in the itinerary.
  • Tipping - suggested at $10 per person per day

 

Single Supplement

The additional supplement for a single traveller is $2120.

 

Child Policy 

Children that are 2 to 11 years of age are eligible for a 10% discount. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult 18 years old and over to travel. No unaccompanied minors are allowed.

 

Fitness Requirements 

Fitness level required: to undertake most Off Train Experiences a good level of fitness is required, including the ability to walk and balance on uneven ground. Sensible walking shoes are required.

Departure Dates


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