A little known fact about The Ghan, a passenger train that runs between Adelaide and Darwin via Alice Springs, is that it was named in honour of the Afghan camel drivers who arrived in Australia in the 19th Century and helped explore the country’s interior. The Ghan is an abbreviation of The Afghan Express.
For a long time, The Ghan was notorious for delays wherein the crew and guests would have to get out and help rebuild chunks of the track that had been washed away in heavy rain. However, since the line relaunched in the early 2000s, complete with a new train (the old one is being preserved for posterity), a journey on The Ghan has become a significantly more luxurious experience.
The full journey – that takes three days and two nights – traverses the stunning wilderness of South Australia’s Flinders Ranges and the red centre. With a stop in Alice Springs, passengers have the opportunity to go on a cruise through Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park.
Finishing up in Australia’s wild northern frontier of Darwin, passengers can then depart on self-drive exploration of nearby Kakadu National Park or head west to the Kimberley.
For those who would like to hop off and explore Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Parks, there is the option of jumping off in Alice and exploring the region further, and then getting back on at a later date.