Exploring the Australian landscape and culture is not a child’s play. If you just got down of a 24 hour train journey and had to board another one? Sound’s painstaking isn’t it? Well, it can be if you get to know that you have to travel another 1851 miles of total red bareness – famously known as The Australian Outback with The Ghan.
If you travel by train between Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin you are commencing on one of the extravagant train journeys in the world. Tagged after few Afghan gypsies who walked this soil, The Ghan cuts through the entire continent of Australia vertically.
A journey on the Ghan is an inimitable way to traverse within the two Australian jewels – the Red Centre and the tropical Top End. No excursion is complete without exploring these two not-to-miss destinations.
The First Stage
The timetable of The Ghan first flies through the daylight hours, offering unmatched views of the natural landscape. Beginning from the exhaustive Adelaide Plains unfurling before your very eyes, to the imperial Flinders Ranges, this initial journey offers a vivid perspective on the southern part of Australia that one cannot afford to miss.
Constantly witnessing the changing landscape and the vivid colour blending into indigo and the red earth – the aspect of the Australian character tends to grip you with the passing of every frame.
The Boarding of The Ghan
Leave the train in Alice Springs to explore core points with Off Train Excursions. Such tours provide the opportunity to discover the most fascinating sites.
Entering The Top End
As you enter the top end, the panorama softens with the scenery of few thriving flora valleys. You get the chance to explore the wondrous Nitmiluk, or the Katherine Gorge, before your train journey comes to a halt in Darwin.
The Highlights of the Journey
One is for sure that you get to admire at some jaw-dropping sunrises and sunsets during your journey, and not to miss the beautiful moon rise.
Photography on these journeys is a critical business. You are trying to shoot from a moving train at a very high speed with a double framed window with reflections of the sunlight. Try to enjoy the view and capture images in your mind, it is extremely rewarding.
If there are any highlights along the way, these are the ones. But at the whole, the endless vastness of the landscape keeps you at an awe for the whole day.
You will be notified of the time changes as you pass through each zone between the Northern Territory and the South.
Few unique things that cross your path are: an Ironman, which is a bent train track in the shape of a human; you get to witness the salt flats at Port Augusta and the Finke Dry River Crossing.
While you are on the train, do sample the delights at the Gum Tree Lounge. To your astonishment, you get to sip and sight by sitting right next to the window. The GT Lounge stirs up more and more interaction with fellow travellers. Enjoy listening to the tales of other people or enjoy a musical session with young people.
The Entire Journey
If you plan to do the entire trip from Adelaide to Darwin, you will on the train for two nights and three days (54 hours), with very limited stops. The camel stands as the iconic symbol of The Ghan, and homage to those gypsy’s who travelled this road before the trains came in. Quite a history, isn’t it?