9 Day The Ghan & Top End Highlights

Summary Itinerary

  • Sunday
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday
  • Monday
  • Reverse Itinerary available Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb
  • Depart Adelaide on The Ghan
  • Off train Experience at Alice Springs
  • Off train Experience at Katherine – Arrive Darwin
  • Darwin – Kakadu National Park
  • Kakadu National Park – Darwin
  • Afternoon City Sights tour
  • Litchfield National Park Waterfalls
  • Free day and Sunset Dinner Cruise
  • Depart Darwin
  • To receive a firm quote within 48 hours please click here.

Full Itinerary

Sunday

Depart Adelaide on The Ghan

(LD)

Board this legendary train at 12.15pm for 3 days Gold Service experience through Australia’s unique outback (Upgrade to platinum class available). Named after the Afghan Cameleers The Ghan takes you from the Southern to Northern edges of this great continent.

Stepping aboard the legendary Ghan take time acquainting yourself with our friendly staff and your comfortable private cabin. Once you’ve settled in and the big wheels start turning, make your way to the classically styled Queen Adelaide Restaurant carriage for a delicious lunch, accompanied by your choice of fine wines. With all meals and beverages included in your Platinum or Gold Service fare, you can afford to leave your credit card tucked away in your cabin.

Watch the rolling pastoral lands of South Australia merge into rugged mallee scrub. Marvel as the spectacular Flinders Ranges disappear into the horizon, all the while enjoying the solitude of your cabin, reading or catching up on your favourite podcast, then mingling with fellow travellers in the Lounge car for afternoon tea.

A three course meal in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant is bound to satisfy and as darkness falls outside the train’s windows, talk inevitably turns to the impressive outback gourmet menu. Entrees include a South Australian Regional Seafood Tasting Plate, a succulent rack of lamb for mains, and your choice of desserts including a regional cheese plate with Barossa Valley brie, Limestone Coast clothed cheddar and Lobethal goat blue.

The selection of wines is equally outstanding and staff are expert in helping you find the perfect drop to match your meal. For those with a little steam left in the engine, make new friends in the Lounge or if all that mouthwatering food and sightseeing has taken it out of you, head back to your cabin for a good night’s sleep in anticipation of a striking outback sunrise.

Monday

Off train Experiences at Marla & Alice Springs

(BLD)

Wake up with a coffee or juice and witness an unforgettable outback sunrise at our new morning stop in Marla in the remote reaches of SA. Manguri is a remote town around 40kms from Coober Pedy.

Back on the Ghan, it’s time for brunch. Enjoy a light bite from the extensive menu or order something a little more substantial – perhaps a full breakfast complete with eggs just the way you like them. And while you’re in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant why not try the Belgium chocolate waffle with strawberries, chocolate saucy and double cream? You are on holiday after all! After a few more coffees, fresh juices and more incredible outback scenery, you’ll be arriving in iconic Alice Springs.

Here you can glimpse the history of yesteryear, the thriving culture and unique lifestyle of today. Visit local landmarks, or take a front row seat at a spectacular bird show at the Desert Park. To fully appreciate this breathtaking part of Australia, you might like to take a helicopter ride over the ancient MacDonnell Ranges. Experience this 300 million year old mountain range’s unique beauty with 360 degree views. Alternatively experience a serene camel ride across incredible ochre land or continue further into the interior of Australia and visit the iconic Uluru and Kata Juta.

Back on the Ghan there’s time to talk through the day’s discoveries with newfound friends in the Outback Explorer Lounge before freshening up for dinner in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant. Tonight, try the Roasted kangaroo fillet with crocodile boudin blanc, potato purée and quandong jus. Crocodile has long been a Northern Territory bushfood staple. The crocodile boudin blanc (white sausage) featured on the menu has been created in collaboration with award-winning smallgoods purveyor, Barossa Fine Foods.

Tuesday

Off train Experience at Katherine Arrive Darwin

(BL)

Welcome to Katherine! Upon reaching the Northern Territory you’ll enjoy another full breakfast before leaving the Ghan for a day of cultural delights. Endless options await in Katherine. Enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Katherine River gazing in wonder at towering sandstone cliffs. Alternatively, gain an insight into the culture and ways of the traditional owners of Nitmiluk, the Jawoyn people, with an exclusive cultural experience. Spend the day with the Aboriginal people, sharing their culture, learning their ways and trying some of the skills developed over thousands of years. Activities include basket weaving; spear throwing, fire lighting, painting, and learning the Didgeridoo. You can choose to upgrade your excursion with a helicopter or scenic flight over Kakadu and Nitmiluk National Parks where aside from magnificent views, you may witness ‘Bolung’, the rainbow serpent who is believed to inhabit the deep green pools found in the Second Gorge.

A late lunch awaits back on board the Ghan – possibly the Grilled goldband snapper fillet, steamed asparagus spears, with orange, cranberry, parsley and papitas cous cous with a saffron aioli. Then kick backback, and savour the last few hours of this epic journey.

The Ghan rolls into Darwin at 5.30pm then ease back into ‘life on the land’ exploring the harbour, the bars and restaurants of this laid back Top End city. On arrival receive a complimentary transfer to your hotel of choice

Wednesday

Darwin – Kakadu National Park

(L)

Depart Darwin and travel along the Arnhem Highway, passing major river systems and wetland regions, into Kakadu National Park. Located 257 kilometres east of Darwin, the national park covers 20,000 square kilometres of landscape varying from rocky escarpment that is home to historic Aboriginal rock art dating back thousands of years, to the floodplains that are abundant with wildlife. Visit Warradjan Cultural Centre to view the informative displays depicting the traditions of the Aboriginal people in Kakadu. Join your local guide on a cruise of Yellow Water Billabong Cruise. Search for saltwater crocodiles and the colourful range of birdlife for which this region is renowned. After lunch, stop at Nourlangie, where your Driver Guide will lead you on a walk to view the rock art galleries.

Optional Experience: Add-on a 50-minute scenic flight over Arnhem Land Escarpment
Experiencing Kakadu from the air gives you a true sense of the vastness of this amazing landscape. Between June & November, this fabulous scenic flight takes you out over Arnhem Land and Dinosaur Valley, following the rugged escarpment along the boundary of Kakadu National Park. It passes ancient Nourlangie and Lightning Dreaming, the beautiful savannah woodlands, South Alligator River, deep-water billabongs and floodplains. Between December & May, you’ll fly over breathtaking Jim Jim and Twin Falls.

Thursday

Kakadu National Park – Darwin

(L)

This morning you’ll head off with your Driver Guide to explore the World Heritage Area of Ubirr, where you’ll climb up through the ancient Aboriginal rock art galleries, believed to be 20,000 years old, to the lookout for the view over the surrounding wetlands. Join the Guluyambi Cruise along the East Alligator River. An Aboriginal guide will provide an insight into their culture, including local mythology, the river’s abundant food chain, as well as bush survival skills. With special permission of the local people, you are able to go ashore in Arnhem Land. Visit the Bowali Visitor Centre before returning to Darwin, where your short break concludes. Returning to Darwin late afternoon for the next 4 nights.

Friday

Afternoon City Sights tour

This afternoon’s tour showcases the booming city of Darwin, Australia’s only tropical capital city. Your Driver Guide will point out significant landmarks such as the Chinese Temple and East Point Military Precinct, and share details of the region’s history and rich culture. Explore the Darwin Aviation Museum. This is one of the major aviation museums in Australia. The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) is the Top End’s premier cultural and artistic organization. Darwin Botanic Gardens Because the site extends inland from the sea to a plateau, it provides a range of planting environments and is one of a few botanic gardens in the world which has marine and estuarine plants naturally in its grounds. Not only will you have the chance to see some unique and exotic plants but even some local wildlife.

Saturday

Litchfield National Park Waterfalls

(L) 

Boarding early for the drive to Litchfield National Park down ‘the Track’ (Stuart Highway), you’ll be entertained by your Driver Guide with tales both tall and true of the history of Australia’s longest highway.The gorgeous town of Batchelor is the gateway to Litchfield National Park. Up until WWII, Batchelor was a sleepy little hollow. Then it became an allied air force base and the population grew quickly. When uranium was discovered near Batchelor in 1949, the town once again grew until the mine was closed in 1963. Enjoy morning tea (own expense) at one of their local cafés.

Established in 1986, Litchfield National Park is a truly stunning destination with thundering falls, rainforest pockets and sacred historic sites. The termite mounds found at Litchfield National Park are the incredible architectural works with arches, tunnels, chimneys and nursery chambers, the mounds will leave you mystified. View the spectacular double waterfalls of Florence Falls from a high vantage point before making your way down the stairs to take a dip in the gorgeous plunge pool. Head back up through forest and open woodland with time for an interpretive walk through the scenic bush and monsoon vine forest. One of the three major waterfalls along the western face of the Tabletop Range, Tolmer Falls is a truly spectacular sight. The base of the falls is home to several colonies of rare ghost bats and orange horseshoe bats.

Lunch at Litchfield Café (included) before visiting Wangi Falls, the most accessible of rock pools and a perfect spot to take another dip before returning to Darwin

Sunday

Free day and Sunset Dinner Cruise

(D) 

A final free day to explore Darwin before joining a harbor cruise to relax and enjoy a magnificent Darwin sunset. Complimented beautifully with a delicious Chef prepared steak and wild caught seafood banquet.Savouring a selection of the local daily catch with Banana prawns, fresh smoked Spanish mackerel (a specialty), Coffin Bay oysters and prime scotch fillet cooked to order.

Monday

Depart Darwin

Depart Darwin at your leisure after a wonderful The Ghan & Top End Experience

  • Please note. Price per person twin share, Full Adult fares quoted.
  • Darwin Accommodation is subject to personal preference and any available specials.
  • Gold Service Twin Fare is quoted on The Ghan.
  • Pensioner Discounts or Advance Purchase fares may be available at time of booking.
  • To receive a firm quote within 48 hours please click here.

Full Adult fares From

Low Season         $3,460   Dec, Jan, Feb

Shoulder Season $4,360   Mar, Apr, Sep, Oct

High Season         $4,610   May, Jun, Jul, Aug

Australian concessions and accommodation specials may be available.

Request a quote with your preferred date for the best available price

CONTACT US!

0418 337 263 or 02 6331 1128

info@railholidaysaustralia.com.au

Rail Holidays Australia, Po Box 1430, Bathurst NSW 2795

Monday - Friday: 10.00 - 18.30

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