It appears I’ve neglected to tell you all what exactly is the Ghan Expedition, so let me explain a bit.
First, let’s start off with the company who runs this – Great Southern Rail. They operate The Ghan, The Indian Pacific and The Overland trains in Australia – the first two trains run across the continent in either direction while the last one runs from Adelaide to Melbourne. For many in Australia, these trains are the only link to their towns.
The journey is 2979km and operates 3 May to 25 October 2017 (roughly the same time period every year). The Ghan Expedition differs from The Ghan in that the Expedition is 4 days, 3 nights where as the regular service is 3 days, 2 nights, which means it has less off-train time for excursions.
Here is the time table:
Here’s your schedule in a nutshell:
- Day 1: Depart Darwin and then do an off-train excursion in Katherine
- Day 2: Arrive in Alice Springs and do an off-train excursion there, with dinner under the stars
- Day 3: Arrive into Manguri, take the bus to Coober Pedy and do an off-train excursion there
- Day 4: Arrive into Adelaide
Those who ride the Ghan Expedition are mostly doing it for the experience, not necessarily to get from Darwin to Adelaide. Passengers onboard are a mix of genders and ages, however you’ll find it to be a majority of Australians, and also a large percentage of older people.
In each city you arrive into (Katherine, Alice Springs and Coober Pedy), there’s a selection of off-train excursions including tours, hikes, bike rides, museums and other local specialties. These will give you a taste of the local area. There’s also options for upgrading to scenic flights or helicopter rides at an additional cost, should you be interested.
Prices for this trip vary greatly and start at around $2000 AUD for a single cabin, going all the way up to $8000+ for a Platinum cabin. On this train, there are three sleeping arrangements:
- Single cabin
- Twin cabin
- Platinum cabin
All three cabins include all meals, beverages (open bar) and off train excursions. I found the price to match the quality of the trip and certainly felt I got my money’s worth.
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