The Ghan, is Australia’s legendary rail journey, and it is celebrating a very special birthday. It is 80 years old, this year. The original service ran 1,500 kms from Adelaide to Alice Springs which is at the heart of the justifably famous Australian Outback. The Ghan now continues on to Darwin, and the journey takes 3-days and 2 nights to complete.
The Ghan provides a selection of three levels of accommodation: Which are Red, Gold and Platinum. (The Platinum service was only launched last September)
The Ghan is named after the turbaned and robed ‘cameleers’ who, before roads or rail, provided the only supply route to the middle of nowhere, using camels. The Ghan is a corruption of Afghanistan.
The railway was first open in 1929, linking Adelaide to Alice Springs. Although it was always intended to continue the link to Darwin, this did not happen for a further 75 years, when the track was extended to Darwin. The classic rail journey takes you through the heart of Australia, across deserts, look at the majestic McDonnell ranges northwards to Katherine and the tropical splendour of Darwin.
Bridge & Wickers (Tel 020 7483 6555; www.bridgeandwickers.co.uk) has provided a special birthday package.
Travel on The Ghan from Adelaide in the south to Darwin in the north (or vis-versa) in Gold Service and get 2 nights pre and post accommodation in Darwin and Adelaide free of charge. The 6-night trip, available for booking until June 3 for travel at any time between April 1 until December 31, costs from £846 pp based on 2 travelling together, including airport and station transfers in Darwin and Adelaide, 2 nights at the Majestic Roof Garden Adelaide, 2 nights’ en suite accommodation in Gold Service on the Ghan and 2 nights in the Holiday Inn Darwin. Flights start from £595 – departures from London Heathrow Airport 16 Apr – 15 June 2009.
Check with your local travel agent for other booking options or visit The Ghan’s own website at http://www.greatsouthernrail.com.au/site/home.jsp for details of booking direct.