After almost 100 years of planning and billions of Australian dollars, the 882-mile stretch of the legendary Ghan Railway from Alice Springs to Darwin finally opened in 2004 and was an instant success.
Seize your chance to take this epic journey from the arid red rock landscape of Alice to the tropical greenery of Darwin.
Sit back in comfort and enjoy the magnificent scenery as the ‘steel wheels’ rattle across the immensity of the Outback. Look out for wild kangaroos, dramatic landforms, plunging gorges, towering termite mounds and much more. Plus there's a great opportunity for sightseeing when the train stops at Katherine.
For the ultimate in luxury choose the Gold Service with meals included and spacious accommodation; or travel in comfort in Red Service but without the meals and some of the added extras.
Whichever option you choose, you can be sure that the Ghan journey will be the travel adventure of a lifetime!
Experience one of the greatest train journeys in the world when you take The Ghan from Alice Springs to Darwin. If you are wondering how the service got its name – it is an abbreviated version of its previous nickname ‘The Afghan Express’, which comes from the Afghan camel trains that trekked the same route before the advent of the railway.
For nearly 100 years Darwin's residents have been waiting for the Ghan railway to link them to Alice Springs. The 882-mile Alice-Darwin section was finally opened in February 2004 and has been a huge success.
This incredible journey takes you through the Red Centre to the tropical environment of Darwin. Sit back in comfortable seats and enjoy panoramic views across the immensity of this beautiful continent.
In the early days of the Ghan, the driver would stop the train and set off into the bush to shoot something for the passengers to eat! Needless to say this doesn’t happen now and the great trains have beautifully decorated and comfortable restaurant cars, each with its own special historic theme.
The Ghan provides two main levels of service – Gold Service and Red Service.
All meals are included in all options under the Gold Service fare and are served in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant Car. The superb meals are served by friendly waiters, on elegant china, accompanied by fine glassware and cutlery. Excellent wines and beverages are available for purchase. Breakfast meals include a choice of cooked or continental, lunch is a two-course meal with various choices, and dinner is a three-course meal with a number of dinner options.
The three options within the Gold Service are listed below:
Gold Superior Cabin: This super deluxe accommodation includes an extra large cabin with a double bed and additional fold-down single bed plus bar-fridge, complimentary wine with dinner and many other delightful extras. Two adults and one child can be accommodated in each cabin.
Gold Single Cabin: This provides superior, well appointed day and overnight single cabin accommodation including a lounge chair converting to a single sleeping berth with shower and toilet facilities located at the end of each carriage. The maximum number of passengers per cabin would be one child and one infant. A complimentary toilet bag, magazine and souvenir Certificate of Travel certificate are provided.
Gold Service Twin Cabin: These cabins are about half the size of the ones provided under the Gold Superior Cabin option. The twin cabins feature a three- seater lounge converting to upper and lower sleeping berths plus ensuite facilities with toilet, washbasin and shower. The cabins in this category can accommodate two adults and up to two infants.
Meals are not included in the Red Service fare but the Red Service provides a bright, cheery Diner Car where affordable, tasty light meals and drinks may be purchased. The Diner and Buffet Car are fully licensed. DVD players are available for hire at minimal cost. Showers and toilet facilities are at the end of each carriage with towels and soap provided. A complimentary onboard magazine is provided.
Red Day/Night Seat: Seating is in comfortable two abreast reclining chairs upholstered in pure woolen cloth trim, with individual reading lights. There is generous leg room and the seats can swivel to face each other. Overhead racks cater for hand luggage. DVD players are available for hire at minimal cost.
At around 0900h (9:00am) on Tuesday (or Friday) the train will arrive at Katherine and will stop there for about 4 hours. Passengers can leave the train and go sightseeing and a number of tours are available.
At 1300h (1:00pm) the train will set off again and arrive at Darwin at 1730h (5:30pm) on Tuesdays or 1830h (6:30pm) on Fridays.
01 Apr - 05 Jun & 30 Aug - 31 Mar: Monday
06 Jun - 29 Aug: Monday & Thursday
Approx. 24 Hours (4 hour stop in Katherine)
Start time: 1800h (6:00pm)
Duration: Approx. 24 Hours (4 hour stop in Katherine)
Your journey starts from Alice Springs Train Station, George Crescent, Alice Springs, Northern Territory.
Please report at the meeting point 45 minutes before the start time. This is mandatory to allow time for pre-departure briefing.
Your journey ends at Darwin railway station.
Space is limited in the cabins, so pack carefully. Dress code is smart casual attire for Gold Service and neat casual attire for Red Service. It is a good idea to bring a jumper for evenings as the air conditioning can be cool. Passengers on Red Service should bring their own rug and pillow. It is also recommended that guests pack a hat, sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes for off-train touring. Sensible shoes are also recommended for onboard the trains for walking between carriages. Pack a good book. Guests who bring electronic devices (eg. Laptop computer) should also pack a surge arrestor
Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to start of the tour for reconfirming departure details.
Please make any special dietary requests when booking. Vegetarian, children’s and limited special dietary meals can be catered for.
The railway company (Great Southern Rail) may refuse to confirm your booking or refuse you boarding if you suffer from any illness, disease or other condition which makes travel unsafe for you or other guests.
You have an obligation to inform us of any illness, disease or medical condition at time of booking. If you are greater than 30 weeks pregnant, have a multiple pregnancy or a complicated pregnancy, we do not recommend travel on this service. You may be required to produce a doctor’s letter of consent or an authorised medical certificate within 14 days of travel. Great Southern Rail (GSR) staff are trained to administer basic first aid, however staff are not able to provide routine medical aid during a journey. Guests requiring medical attention or mobility assistance on board any of the trains are required to arrange for their own Carer to travel with them. You can bring your own special dietary needs. You cannot bring your own alcohol or hot food. Electric and conventional wheelchairs, scooters, walkers and walking frames cannot be used aboard GSR trains due to the narrow width of corridors and doors (see overleaf for details). Special pushchairs (similar to those used aboard airlines) designed to fit in the train corridors are available for use. Guests are required to inform us of their requirement for a pushchair at the time of booking. No animals or pets on board. The only animals permitted on GSR services are specially trained dogs for the vision and hearing impaired.
Guests must be at the terminal at least 1 hour before the train departs.
Monday departures arrive in Darwin at 1730h (5:30pm) on Tuesday; Thursday departures arrive in Darwin at 1830h (6:30pm) on Friday.
Upgrade to Gold Service is subject to availability
Voucher information: You must print and surrender a paper version of your booking voucher for this activity (showing your voucher on a smartphone is not accepted). No refund can be given for customers without a printed copy of their voucher.
See the Cancellation policy for this product