Last updated: 16 November, 2022
This half-mile-long air-conditioned train travels from Darwin, in Australia’s far north, to Australia’s south coast at Adelaide, via Alice Springs. A modern train, it’s comfortable rather than luxurious – more like a four-star hotel on wheels – but provides a convenient way to get in to see Australia’s famed ‘Red Centre’.
Once the fertile areas north of Adelaide are left behind, the landscape becomes progressively more empty and harsh, with long gently undulating vistas to the horizon across ranches the size of Belgium – one wonders how livestock can find any sustenance in such sun-baked country.
Stops en route provide visceral experiences of life in places at the limits for human habitation. On the (recommended) longer Ghan Expedition route, there are stops at Katherine for a river cruise to the Nitmiluk Gorge, the underground opal mine at Manguri, and a longer stop with various options at Alice Springs; a scenic flight to magnificent Uluru, the Flying Doctor Service Museum, Anzac Hill, the Women Pioneers’ Hall of Fame, a reptile centre and the wonderfully atmospheric Telegraph Station. Options on the three-day option are naturally more limited.
Adding to the experience, dishes onboard use regional ingredients to produce such dishes as Maggie Beer ‘Pheasant Farm’ Pate from the Barossa Valley or Kangaroo Tenderloin.