The holiday you dreamed of!
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The Ghan Expedition
03 Sep 2017 - 12 Sep 2017
Location: Australia
Price: From $5,795* pp

The Ghan Expedition

Discover Australia’s rugged heartland. Begin with three nights in Darwin followed by an epic three night, 2979km train journey on board The Ghan taking you to some of the most remote yet captivating parts of Australia in style & luxury. End your holiday with three nights in Adelaide.

Prepare for a holiday of unimaginable proportions as the legendary Ghan takes you deep into the heart of Australia. Enjoy the comfort and solitude of your private cabin, lose yourself in conversation with newfound travelling companions, or simply gaze out of the window taking inspiration from the ever changing landscape. And when the train stops along the way, the adventures begin. Take your time tapping into the rich creative soul of Adelaide. Experience the dramatic scenery of central Australia on the back of a camel and explore the ancient, awe-inspiring wonders of the Northern Territory.

Highlights

  • Wander the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets
  • Sunset dinner cruise on Darwin Harbour
  • 2 free days in Darwin at leisure or choose optional tours
  • The Ghan Expedition from Darwin to Adelaide stopping at Katherine, Alice Springs, Manguri & Coober Pedy
  • Katherine Gorge Cruise
  • Katherine Outback Experience including horse & cattle dog demonstrations, live music & entertainments
  • Alice Springs full day tour visiting the towns landmarks & the opportunity to get up close and personal with Australia’s flora & fauna
  • Dine under the stars during an authentic Pioneer Outback dinner including traditionally made damper
  • Explore Coober Pedy and venture underground to see a Serbian Orthodox Church, take a glimpse of Umoona Opal Mine & dine in an underground cave
  • 2 free days in Adelaide at leisure or choose optional tours
  • Farewell dinner at Jamie Oliver’s Italian Restaurant

Inclusions

  • Return economy flights from Mackay or Brisbane to Darwin and Adelaide to Brisbane or Mackay with Virgin Australia, with the option to upgrade (other departure ports available)
  • Return airport/hotel transfers throughout
  • 3 nights in Darwin (Harbour View Room)
  • 3 nights in Adelaide (City View Room)
  • 3 nights on board The Ghan with Gold Leaf Service in a twin cabin including private en suite, in cabin music channels & journey audio commentary, all inclusive dining in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant, all inclusive Australian wines, beers, base spirits & non alcoholic beverages & all inclusive “Off Train Excursions”
  • Services of an experienced tour host
  • 9 breakfasts, 4 lunches & 5 dinners

Day 1

Sun 03 September 2017 – HOME PORT OR BRISBANE – DARWIN
North Queensland travellers will meet our Host at the Mackay Airport and begin our journey to Darwin. Upon arrival into Brisbane, we will meet our fellow travellers at the Brisbane Domestic Airport, for our flight to Darwin. Upon arrival in the early afternoon, we are transferred to our hotel, centrally located in the city. From 4pm, you might like to wander the popular Mindil Beach Sunset Markets for a bite to eat. The warm dry evenings and the great variety of food stalls, street theatre and entertainment ensure an enjoyable tropical experience.

Day 2

Mon 04 September 2017 – DARWIN, DAY AT LEISURE
Today is at leisure to explore Darwin at your own pace. You might like to do some shopping, visit Crocosaurus Cove or learn about the local war history at the Military Museum. This evening we are in for a special treat with a beautiful two and a half hour buffet dinner cruise on board the “Charles Darwin” for great sunset views over Darwin Harbour and the beautiful skyline. We meet at the hotel lobby at 5:15pm. The wharf is a short 10-15 minute walk from our hotel.

Day 3

Tue 05 September 2017 – DARWIN, DAY AT LEISURE
Today you might like to explore the surrounding region on a day trip to either Litchfield National Park, Kakadu National Park or Arnhem Land. Please refer to the brochure insert for further details.

Day 4

Wed 06 September 2017 – DEPART DARWIN, BOARD THE GHAN
This morning we are transferred from our hotel to the train station. Take your time settling in as the view outside begins its smooth and spectacular transformation. Lunch in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant is bound to satisfy with culinary wonders prepared onboard by our talented chefs. As we sit back and loosen our belt, we’ll have arrived in Katherine ready to experience our first included Off Train Excursion to the magnificent Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge. There are two cruise options to learn about the local Indigenous Jawoyn people and their stories which centre around the gorge.

Afterwards, the Katherine Outback Experience provides a unique window into the real Australian Outback and the inner workings of life on a cattle station. The ‘Stock Yards’ is where the action takes place. Enjoy a live demonstration of horse breaking, watch the Riverboyne Dog Team working cattle, goats or ducks, before interacting with Bernie the Buffalo, Tin Shaker the Brahman Steer and Legend the Trick Horse. Sit back, relax and listen to live music and favourite Aussie anthems.

If you’d prefer to ramp it up a notch, you’re welcome to upgrade your excursion with a helicopter flight or scenic flight over Kakadu and Nitmiluk National Parks, providing unparalleled views of the geographic wonders that gave rise to many of the aboriginal Dreamtime stories.

Back on board we’ll return to the Queen Adelaide Restaurant, enjoying dinner as the sun sets over the outback. Then back in your room you’ll find your bed turned down with a cheeky nightcap waiting on the bedside table. As the train rolls onwards, fall asleep in awe of wonders seen, and excited by those yet to come.

Day 5

Thu 07 September 2017 – ALICE SPRINGS
Wake up to a new view outside your window, in a world which feels a million miles from home. An outback sunrise could be one of the most spectacular you’ll ever see, setting the tone for the day ahead.

After a sumptuous breakfast you’ll arrive in Alice Springs ready for another day of exploration. Here you have the opportunity to embark on one of the included Off Train Excursions, taking in the delights of this famous outback town. A full day in Alice Springs gives you ample opportunity to visit the town landmarks, get up close and personal with Australia’s incredible flora and fauna or explore Alice at your own leisure.

You may choose to upgrade your excursion to an incredible outback experience; an intimate fixed wing scenic flight over Uluru and Kata Tjuta. There really is no better way to comprehend the vastness of the Northern Territory.

Come the evening we’ll dine beneath a canopy of stars at an authentic Outback Pioneer Dinner. This is a truly unique experience with live Australiana music and a feast of mouthwatering steak and traditionally made damper. After dessert, cast your eyes skyward and ponder life, the universe and everything with an informative astronomical talk. And with a full belly and deep sense of wonderment, it’s back on the train to rest up and roll out of Alice Springs, fulfilled in every sense of the word.

Day 6

Fri 08 September 2017 – COOBER PEDY
After breakfast we pull into the middle-of-nowhere stop at Manguri. Here, a friendly tour guide awaits ready to whisk us away to the sun-scorched opal mining capital of world, Coober Pedy, where more than half of the residents live underground. Venture into the tunnels and caves where you may even catch opal fever as you mine for riches, visit the otherworldly underground Serbian Orthodox church and take a glimpse of Umoona Opal Mine. Below the earth’s surface, we’ll enjoy a gourmet lunch in the most unique of locations before setting off to the stunning outback moonscape that is the Breakaways.

After an eye-opening day, it’s back on board with plenty of time to ease into a slower gear and prepare yourself for your final evening onboard The Ghan. Dine in style in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant, meet and share stories with new friends in the Outback Explorer Lounge (open until late) or simply head back to the privacy of your cabin to wind down, read a book and plan your next epic journey.

Day 7

Sat 09 September 2017 – ARRIVE ADELAIDE, DISEMBARK THE GHAN
Looking out of your window this morning you’ll notice a dramatic change in landscape as the rich ochre tones of the outback make way for the beautiful green fields and pastoral lands of South Australia. After a leisurely morning we’ll have time to reflect on our journey before The Ghan rolls into Adelaide. Upon arrival, we are transferred to our hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 8

Sun 10 September 2017 – ADELAIDE, DAY AT LEISURE
Enjoy the day at leisure. You might like to nibble, sip and munch your way through the famous Central Market, peruse the revitalised Riverbank Precinct including the updated Adelaide Oval and free Donald Bradman Exhibition, or perhaps explore the myriad of chic laneway restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.

There are also options to explore the surrounding regions on one of the various day trips including the Barossa Valley & Hahndorf, relax on board a Murray River Cruise or sample some local wines during the McLaren Vale Food & Wine tour.

Day 9

Mon 11 September 2017 – ADELAIDE, DAY AT LEISURE
Another day at leisure to take advantage of one of the various day trips or perhaps shop up a storm at Rundle Mall. This evening we have a special dinner included at Jamie’s Italian Restaurant.

Day 10

Tue 12 September 2017 – ADELAIDE – BRISBANE (OR ONWARD DESTINATION)
There is time to relax, further explore and grab a bite to eat for lunch, before we meet back at the hotel for our transfer to the airport for our flight home. Upon our arrival into Brisbane, we will say our goodbyes to the travellers finishing their journey in Brisbane. Our Host will continue onto Mackay, with our North Queensland travellers.


 

  • OFF TRAIN EXCURSIONS

    OFF TRAIN EXCURSIONS  

    This distinctly Australian holiday includes a series of immersive off train excursions. River cruises, cultural experiences and optional scenic flights add another exciting dimension to your journey, giving you a chance to breathe in the beauty you’ve been watching pass by. 
    OUTBACK EXPERIENCE KATHERINE: Katherine Outback Experience provides a unique window into the real Australian Outback and the inner workings of life on a cattle station through the sharing of stories and experiences, cattle dog demonstrations and live music performances.
    KATHERINE GORGE CRUISE & ROCK ART KATHERINE: Cruise down Katherine River as the large rock formations tower over the calm water. Learn about the rich history and culture of the region through the fascinating interpretations of Indigenous rock art dating back 40,000 years. Leisurely and more active options are available.
    ALICE EXPLORER & OUTBACK DINNER ALICE SPRINGS: Various activities including the Royal Flying Doctor Service Base, the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame, the Old Gaol, the Reptile Centre, the Desert Park and a Simpson’s Gap Discovery Walk. At Alice Springs Telegraph Station enjoy a meal & refreshing drink under the stars.
    COOBER PEDY EXPLORER COOBER PEDY: See the Serbian Orthodox Church built underground with stained glass windows, visit Umoona Opal Mine & Museum, don a hard hat and grab a pick to try your luck at finding your own fortune, travel along a portion of The Dog Fence and see The Breakaways, a striking example of arid scenery where a vast inland sea used to cover.
    OPTIONAL UPGRADE: SCENIC FLIGHT KATHERINE: Katherine and the Top End are full of hidden secrets that can only be discovered by soaring high above its vast and sometimes formidable terrain. There are two options, take a helicopter over Katherine Gorge or a fixed wing flight over Nitmiluk and Kakadu National Parks. Fixed Wing from $470 pp, Helicopter from $185 pp
    OPTIONAL UPGRADE: SCENIC FLIGHT ALICE SPRINGS: Fly south by fixed wing aircraft, heading directly to Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park. Take in the spectacular outback scenery with a unique bird’s eye view. On arrival commence your guided full day tour to see impressive Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). From $1100 pp
  • DARWIN OPTIONAL TOURS

    DARWIN OPTIONAL TOURS

    To further enhance your holiday, you might like to choose from these exciting optional tours for your free time in Darwin and Adelaide. We recommend pre booking them to avoid disappointment.  

    Litchfield National Park

    $179 per adult & $162 per concession, Departs 7:15am, Returns 6:00pm 
    An AAT Kings coach will collect you from your hotel and take you to the tour departure point, where you will commence a full day tour to Litchfield National Park. Litchfield National Park contains several types of typical Top End habitats including lush monsoon forests, termite mounds, unusual rock formations, waterfalls and cascades. Follow the Stuart Highway via the township of Batchelor to Litchfield National Park to visit the main falls. First stop is Florence Falls, where you will have the opportunity for a scenic and interpretive bush and monsoon vine forest walk. There is also the chance for a swim. Then travel to Tolmer Falls for views of the water cascading down to the deep waterhole at the base of the falls. Stop for lunch before continuing to the rock pool at Wangi Falls, where time is available for a swim (conditions permitting). Reboard the coach and return to Darwin. Tour concludes at approximately 6.00pm, at which time hotel drop offs will commence.
    Inclusions: hotel pick up & drop off, Florence Falls, Tolmar Falls, Wangi Falls, luxury coach travel, entrance fees and lunch. Tour duration: 10.75 hours.

    Kakadu National Park

    $251 per adult & $226 per concession, Departs: 6:30am, Returns: 7:30pm 
    An AAT Kings coach will collect you from your hotel and take you to the tour departure point, where you will commence a full day tour to Kakadu National Park. Depart Darwin and travel across Adelaide River and Marrakai Plains into World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, a timeless place and landscape filled with beauty and diversity. Visit the Warradjan Cultural Centre and view the informative displays depicting the traditions of the Aboriginal people in Kakadu. Then join a local guide for a cruise on the famous Yellow Water Billabong. Search for saltwater crocodiles and the colourful range of birdlife for which this region is renowned. After a lunch stop at Nourlangie Rock, your guide will lead a walk to view ancient Aboriginal rock art before commencing the return journey to Darwin. Tour concludes at approximately 7.30pm, at which time hotel drop offs will commence. Inclusions: hotel pick up & drop off, Nourlangie Rock, Yellow Water Billabong Cruise, Warradjan Cultural Centre, luxury coach travel and lunch. Tour duration: 13 hours. 
    Please note: the Kakadu National Park Fee is not included and must be paid directly to the driver—adults $40 per person & concession $30 per person.

    Arnhem Land

    $300 per person (no concessions), Departs 7:15am, Returns 6:00pm 
    Arnhem Land is a vast unspoiled wilderness, rich in Aboriginal culture. The Yolngu people are the owners of Arnhem Land and have occupied the region for at least 60,000 years. The Yolngu retain strong cultural and spiritual links to the land and you will find authentic indigenous experiences. This is the land where Australia's famous musical instrument, the didgeridoo, originated. Journey off the beaten track to experience towering escarpments, the unique living culture, ancient rock art, the local Aboriginal people, beautiful billabongs and panoramic vistas. Browse the array of local handicrafts at the Injalak Aboriginal Arts and Crafts Centre.  
    Inclusions: all transport, Aboriginal and non aboriginal guide, all permits and royalties to enter Arnhem Land, iced water and lunch.
    Please note: This tour demands a reasonable level of fitness and agility. There is a hill walk with an Aboriginal guide where there are no formed pathways or handrails.
  • ADELAIDE OPTIONAL TOURS

    ADELAIDE OPTIONAL TOURS

    To further enhance your holiday, you might like to choose from these exciting optional tours for your free time in Darwin and Adelaide. We recommend pre booking them to avoid disappointment. 

    Barossa & Hahndorf Highlights

    $135 per adult, Departs 9:15am, Returns 5:30pm 
    Travel through the city of Adelaide northwards to the world renowned Barossa wine region. Stop at the multi-award winning Jacobs Creek Visitor Centre where you can sample some wine, be taken on a tour around the vineyards, visit the cellar door and enjoy morning tea. Travel to Mengler Hill Lookout for sweeping views over the valley and then onto Saltram Wine Estate at Angaston to learn about Saltram’s 150 year history and taste some of their quality wines. Afterwards, stop at the South Australian Company Store and Kitchen for a scrumptious 2 course lunch with wine tastings. After lunch, stop at the Herbig Family Tree at Springton then travel to Hahndorf (Adelaide’s oldest German settlement). Choose between wine tastings or free time to explore Hahndorf’s main street with many shops and galleries full of local arts, crafts and produce and pubs where you can sample some German Beers.  
    Inclusions: full day guided coach tour with expert commentary by local driver guide, morning tea & tastings at Jacob’s Creek winery, winery tour & tastings at Saltram Wine Estate, spectacular views from Mengler’s Hill Lookout and 2 course lunch in Angaston. Hotel pick up and drop off not included. Please make your own way to the departure point. Duration 8 hours. Departs Mondays only. Hotel pick up and drop off is not included.

    Murray River Cruise

    $149 per adult, Departs: 9:15am, Returns: 5:30pm  
    Depart Adelaide and travel to the mighty Murray River. On your arrival, board the Proud Mary and relax as you cruise the historic river enjoying the wildlife and surrounding scenery. Enjoy lunch on board the Proud Mary as you continue your journey along the river and gain insight into the river system and unique landscapes of the region. Upon disembarking, enjoy a tour along the river bank of the River Murray taking in spectacular views and stopping regularly for great photo opportunities, including the Mannum Lookout. Travel back to Adelaide via the delightful Adelaide Hills, stopping at Melba's Chocolate Factory and Woodside Cheese Wrights at Woodside with an opportunity to purchase afternoon tea (own expense). 
    Inclusions: morning tea cruise on the Proud Mary, drive past Younghusband, river views from Mannum Lookout, visit PS Marion Visitor Information Centre and buffet lunch. Hotel pick up and drop off not included. Please make your own way to the departure point. Tour duration: 8 hours.

    McLaren Vale Food & Wine Indulgence

    $138 per person, Departs 9:15am, Returns 5:30pm  
    Head through the southern suburbs of Adelaide and join the metropolitan coastline. Enjoy coastal views as we head to a local bakery for morning tea. Travel a short distance into the McLaren Vale region and our first cellar door Wirra Wirra Vineyards, which is located amongst the gum trees in the historic ironstone cellars. Enjoy a short tour of the cellars and tastings of the range of quality wines. Our next stop is Red Roles for a delicious 2-course lunch incorporating fresh, local produce. After lunch, we continue our McLaren Vale experience by visiting d'Arenberg cellar door. Explore a range of wines in the historic Stables, whilst the experienced staff share the d'Arenberg winemaking philosophies and the history of the 4th generation family own business. Our final stop for the day is Hardy's Tintara, which is located on the main street of McLaren Vale. Choose to enjoy further wine tastings or stroll along the main street of this delightful town before returning to Adelaide  
    Inclusions: expert commentary by local driver/guide, wine tastings at Wirra Wirra Vineyards, cellar door tasting in the historic “stables” at D’Arenberg, walking tour of historical vineyard, morning tea and lunch. Hotel pick up and drop off not included.

 

 


Nikki-Glossop

Hosted by Nikki Glossop

Discover one of the world’s most ancient landscapes in style and comfort on board The Ghan, but what lies beyond the train is very much a part of this unforgettable adventure. I would like to invite you to join me on this outback journey to explore some of our country’s spectacular outback scenery. I will be there to ensure you have a hassle free and enjoyable holiday.


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