10 Day Top End Highlights & The Ghan Expedition Journey

Summary Itinerary

  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Arrive Darwin
  • Darwin – Kakadu National Park
  • Kakadu National Park – Darwin
  • Afternoon City Sights tour
  • Litchfield National Park Waterfalls
  • Free Day – Sunset Dinner Cruise
  • Depart Darwin The Ghan Expedition Journey – Off train Experience Katherine
  • Off train Experience Alice Springs
  • Off train Experience Coober Pedy
  • Arrive Adelaide

Full Itinerary

Thursday

Arrive Darwin

On arrival make your way to your preferred overnight accommodation to begin your Top End Experience. (A range of quality accommodation is available for you to choose from).

Friday

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.

Saturday

Kakadu National Park – Darwin

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.

Sunday

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.

Monday

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

Tuesday

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.

Wednesday

Depart Darwin on The Ghan Expedition Journey

(L,D) 

Your complimentary transfer to Darwin Rail Terminal and ready yourself for an incredible, one-of-a-kind experience on The Ghan Expedition. Beginning in Darwin, this epic four day, three night, 2979km tour will take you to some of the most remote yet captivating parts of Australia in style and luxury. Board this legendary train for 4 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 Northern to southern edges of this great continent.
Your journey aboard the legendary Ghan begins at Darwin Rail Station where you’ll take the small but momentous step from platform to carriage.

Friendly staff will lead you through corridors to your comfortable private cabin where you can take your time settling in and exploring the amenities as the view outside your window begins its smooth and spectacular transformation.Lunch in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant is bound to satisfy and delight with culinary wonders prepared onboard by our talented chefs. All food is included in your fare, from a hearty full cooked breakfast to a delectable 3 course dinner.

And as you sit back and loosen your belt, you’ll have arrived in Katherine ready to experience your first included Off Train Excursion to the magnificent and spiritual Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge.Experience Katherine Outback Experience which 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. The ‘Stock Yards’ is where the action takes place. Enjoy a live demonstration of the art of horse-breaking, depicting the psychology between man and horse, watch the Riverboyne Dog Team working cattle, goats or ducks in harmony, before interacting with Bernie the Buffalo, Tin Shaker the Brahman Steer and Legend the Trick Horse.

There is even time to sit back and relax, listening to live music including some well-known Aussie anthems and originals, often performed from a top of a horse.f 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 you’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. As the train rolls soothingly onwards, fall asleep in awe of wonders seen, and excited by those yet to come.

Thursday

Off train Experience at Alice Springs

(B,D)

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 coffee, a juice and 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 the Alice at your own leisure.At this point you may choose to upgrade your excursion with the ultimate outback experience; an intimate scenic fixed wing flight over Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

There really is no better way to comprehend the vastness of the Northern Territory.

Come the evening you’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.

Friday

Off train Experience at Coober Pedy

(B,L,D)

After breakfast this morning you’ll wake up and rub your eyes with disbelief as we pull into the middle-of-nowhere stop at Manguri.

Here, a friendly tour guide awaits ready to whisk you away for the day. Your destination – 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 of this underground town, 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, you’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 action-packed day – if you haven’t chosen to stay and find your fortune – 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.

Saturday

Arrive Adelaide

(B)

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 breakfast you’ll have time to reflect on your journey before The Ghan rolls into Adelaide at 10.50am. Here, you may wish to extend your stay with trips to the Barossa Valley or Kangaroo Island topping the to-do list.Or stay close to the city, nibbling, sipping and munching your way through the famous Central Market, perusing the revitalised Riverbank precinct (including the updated Adelaide Oval and free Donald Bradman Exhibition), before exploring a myriad of chic laneway restaurants, bars and entertainment venues in this, Australia’s City of Churches.
Or make your way home at your leisure.

  • Please note. Price person twin share is a guide only 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.

Estimated Price

High Season $5,593

Includes generous

accommodation allowances.

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

Send messageclear