THE GHANThe Ghan completed its first journey fromAdelaide through the ruggedly beautiful RedCentre to Darwin in 2003, reviving a dreamborn in the colonial era. It follows the trailblazed by the early explorers and Afghan'cameleers' who tirelessly supplied the OverlandTelegraph stations ensuring that the remoteOutback and Red Centre kept in touch with therest of the world. The 1,850 mile two-nightjourney through the heart of Australia begins inAdelaide and proceeds to the Flinders Rangesbefore crossing the Simpson Desert andreaching Alice Springs in the Red Centre. Thenewest stretch of line heads across Australia'sarid heartland to Katherine, famous for itsstunning gorges, before tracking through thelush tropical scenery of the Top End. A twiceweekly service operates the overnight journeybetween Adelaide and Darwin, while Adelaideto Alice Springs runs weekly. Guests boarding inAdelaide can connect with incoming trainservices from both Sydney and Melbourne.THE INDIAN PACIFICAs the name implies, The Indian Pacific links twooceans in one of the world's longest andgreatest train journeys. Travelling from Sydneyto Perth, or vice versa, it covers a distance of2,720 miles over three nights. Starting in thespectacular Blue Mountains of New SouthWales, you thread through the famous greenand gold 'Sun Belt' of Australia, historic BrokenHill and Adelaide, before heading out into thetreeless plains of the Nullarbor Plain on theworld's longest stretch of straight railway track,travelling for 299 miles without a bend. Hereyou pull into a remote outpost called Cook,before heading on to gold-rich Kalgoorlie andthen onwards to Perth, capital of WesternAustralia. On every side, unique landscapesunfold and you can spot mobs of kangaroofrom the comfort of the lounge. Along theroute, keep your eyes peeled for the elusiveAustralian wedge-tailed eagle, whose massivetwo-metre wingspan makes it easy to spot in aclear desert sky. The train departs twice weekly.Great Rail Journeys56In a bygone age when to travel was toseek adventure, when the travellingitself was as important as getting thereand the people you met along the waywere a key part of the experience, thecomfort and romance of rail offered theultimate in style and speed. And thoughthese days aircraft are the fastest way tocross Australia's great distances, twotranscontinental railway lines give youthe opportunity to appreciate the sheerscale and grandeur of this vastlandmass. Running from Sydney toPerth the historic Indian Pacific linecrosses three states and one of theworld's largest deserts, while The Ghanrailway heads from the temperatesouthern coast to the hot and humidOutback capital, Darwin, in the north.These epic journeys allow you toexperience Australia's immenseOutback in comfort, safety and style,and arrive at your destination with areal sense of geographical perspective.
GREAT RAIL JOURNEYS57OFF-TRAIN TOURINGOn both routes, the trains make stops to refueland take on provisions, presenting an idealopportunity to take one of the optional off-traintours which can be purchased on board.Ghan Gold Kangaroo Service travellers betweenAdelaide and Darwin enjoy a complimentaryhalf day tour at Alice Springs which includes avisit to the Desert Wildlife Park, home to afascinating array of Outback plants and wildlife.At Katherine, you can enjoy a boat cruiseshowcasing the breathtaking Katherine Gorge.Indian Pacific travellers can explore Broken Hill, abase for the famous Royal Flying Doctor serviceand one of Australia's richest mining regions.A brief stop to re-water at the tiny outpost ofCook in the barren Nullarbor Plain allows gueststo explore before a final stop at Kalgoorlie, withits heritage architecture, old pubs and the vast,floodlit 'superpit' renowned for being the richestsquare mile of gold-bearing earth in the world.classicrail journeysTHE GHANAfter exploring the delights of the Red Centre andthe magnificent Uluru, Kata Tjuta and theMacDonnall Ranges you board The Ghan onWednesday morning in Alice Springs and headsouth. Instead of heading directly to Adelaide youwill make a fascinating stop in the middle of theOutback in the opal mining town of Coober Pedy. Day 1:The train departs in the morning and youdisembark in the evening at Manguriwhere you will be met by the side of therailway track and driven to your hotel inCoober Pedy.Day 2:Spend the day exploring the fascinatingMoon Plains and Painted Desert as wellas the underground buildings of the town. Day 3:You have another day to explore thisquirky town. Day 4:The train will stop to collect you in theevening at Manguri and will then continueon overnight to Adelaide. Day 5:Arrive in to Adelaide.THE INDIAN PACIFICTake advantage of the 'flexifare' available on bothThe Indian Pacific and The Ghan and travel fromSydney to Adelaide, via historic Broken Hill. InAdelaide take a short flight to Kangaroo Island andenjoy the island's wildlife. You can then rejoin thetrain and continue to the Outback town of Kalgoorlieand on to Perth. Day 1:Depart Sydney on Wednesday afternoonon The Indian Pacific.Day 2:Arrive early in the morning at Broken Hillwhere you enjoy a tour learning of thetown's mining history as well as visitingthe Flying Doctor base.Day 3:You have a full day of wildlife viewingfrom a 4WD vehicle with aknowledgeable local guide.Day 4:Today you have another day of exploringbefore flying back to Adelaide.Day 5:Visit some of cosmopolitan Adelaide'sattractions before re-boarding the train.Day 6:Arrive in Kalgoorlie to see the floodlit'superpit' goldmine and the heritagearchitecture. The train departs later inthe evening.Day 7:Your train arrives in Perth in the morning.tailor-made travelAll our travel arrangements are on a private,individual basis to offer you complete freedom ofchoice. The itineraries and accommodation optionsthroughout the brochure are designed to give you aflavour of what is possible and can be tailor-made tosuit your preferences. Prices vary according toselected accommodation and season. Please callour Australia specialists on 01869 276 345 todiscuss your individual requirements.SERVICEThere are two classes of travel available on bothThe Indian Pacific and The Ghan. The premiumGold Kangaroo Service offers twin and singlesleeper cabins (with ensuite in twins), which arecomfortable lounges during the day and convertto bunk beds at night. All meals are included inthe restaurant car and there is also an exclusiveGold Kangaroo communal lounge car. RedKangaroo Service offers comfortable, reclining'Daynighter' seats and shared bathroom facilitiesat the end of each carriage. Travellers also haveaccess to the Red Kangaroo Lounge & Dinerwhere meals and drinks can be purchased.FLEXIBLE FARESNeither The Indian Pacific nor The Ghan need tobe booked in their entirety if shorter journeyssuit your travel plans and the 'Flexifare' allowstravellers to break their journey in order toexplore places in more depth. Indian Pacificpassengers can take a break of a few days atAdelaide and perhaps visit Kangaroo Island withits astounding wildlife. The Ghan passengerscan stop at Alice Springs for several days andexplore Kings Canyon, Kata Tjuta and Uluru.Southbound passengers can take a novel visit tothe Opal Capital and troglodyte town of CooberPedy, disembarking in the evening at Manguri toa glass of bubbly by the trackside as the sunsets and then transferring to the Desert CavesHotel in the centre of town.Camel trainCave church, Coober PedyDesert peas