Transcontinental Adventures on Australia’s The Ghan Railway

May 11, 2012 by

Day Trips, Sightseeing, Things To Do, Tours & Activities

The Ghan

The Ghan. Photo courtesy of Train Chartering & Private Rail Cars via Flickr.

A trip on The Ghan through central Australia is considered one of the world’s great train journeys. Traveling between Adelaide in South Australia to Alice Springs in Central Australia and then onto Darwin in the Northern Territory, The Ghan travels almost 3,000 kilometers (1,850 miles) from one edge of the vast Australian continent to the other.

Following a route that was once traversed by Afghan cameleers in the 1800s, The Ghan takes passengers on an incredible transcontinental journey through Australia’s Red Centre to its sub tropical Top End.

Beginning its journey in north or South Australia, The Ghan travels through Australia’s most unique and memorable landscapes. Ride through South Australia’s beautiful Flinders Ranges; see the red earth, endless blue sky and desert landscapes of central Australia before entering the lush and sub tropical Top End with its huge National Parks, rivers, waterfalls and gorges.

The journey from north to south (or south to north!) takes three days and two nights, but passengers on The Ghan have the option to stop off for a few hours – or a few days – in the outback towns of Alice Springs and Katherine. There are several optional tours available that take in the highlights of the Red Centre and the Katherine region by helicopter, shuttle bus or even camel! One such tour that should not be missed is the opportunity to experience the incredibly beautiful Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) by helicopter or boat.

If you’ve chosen to travel from South to North on The Ghan you’ll finish your journey in laid-back, tropical Darwin with its fantastic night market and access to Kakadu National Park. If you ride south to Adelaide then the wineries of the Barossa Valley or the natural landscapes of the Flinders Ranges and Kangaroo Island await.

- Emma McMahon

Planning a trip? Browse Viator’s Australia tours and things to do, Australia attractions, and Australia travel recommendations. Or book a private tour guide in Australia for a customized tour!

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