Regarded as one of the world’s greatest rail journeys, The Ghan in Australia delivers so much more than an extended train ride. It promises access to parts of Australia no other holiday can come close to – the perfect balance of comfort and adventure, culminating in an experience that will move you in every sense of the word.
The Ghan is meant for all explorers around the world, always eager for an adventure, but not willing to give up luxury and comfort. It runs twice a week and, with it, the opportunity to embark on a journey through the heart of the Australian continent.
In 2019, The Ghan marked 90 years of outback crossings. The current route, which departs from Adelaide in the south towards Darwin in the north and then travels the reverse way, only began in 2004, but the history of this mode of transport goes back to the 19th century, notes “Condé Nast Traveler”. If the name – a tribute to the Afghan camel trainers and riders who helped chart a course through the country’s interior, has remained unchanged since 1929 – the same cannot be said of the offer passengers find on board.
This legendary train evokes a frontier spirit, a romantic connection to the land, and traveling on it creates a moving and unforgettable life experience. The legend of the The Ghan stems from the 1930s when the first Afghan cameleers arrived in Australia. On that journey, the train was dubbed ‘The Afghan Express’ and then shortened to the legend it is today, ‘The Ghan’.
Regarded as one of the world’s greatest rail journeys, The Ghan delivers so much more than an extended train ride. It promises access to parts of Australia no other holiday can come close to – the perfect balance of comfort and adventure culminating in an experience that will move you in every sense of the word.
Now, more than just the possibility of moving between two points, travelers encounter a sumptuous environment marked by exclusive dining experiences, elegant private cabins, and attentive service. Along the three-day, two-night journey, there are also plenty of adventures to be had off the train.
Towering canyons, sacred rocks, salt lakes, underground cities, and waterfalls make up the breathtaking landscape that you can enjoy from the nearest window, or during breaks in the journey – and it is as arid as it is beautiful. Kangaroos, camels, snakes, and termites are also frequently sighted in the desert.
With stops included, 54 hours is the time it takes to cover the 2,979 kilometers of the route. The train is just as long, with 36 carriages stretching 774 meters, so arrival times vary according to where it is based. Passengers in the first carriages have a 15-minute head start over those in the last.
When booking, travelers can choose between Gold or Platinum service. The former includes accommodation in private cabins, all meals and drinks, and access to a shared lounge. The latter adds even more luxury and detail to these offerings, as well as access to the Platinum Club, with cocktails and snacks. Dinner is served in this carriage, at the Queen Adelaide restaurant. The most affordable trip starts at €2,196.