Australia Rail Extravaganza

17-day Independent Tour


The Tour

This sweep of Australia allows you to experience the continent’s two most famous trains, the Ghan and Indian Pacific, with time to explore Perth, on the west coast, and Darwin in the north and fantastic sites in between. This program abounds in UNESCO World Heritage sites, from Kakadu National Park to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas).

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“As we shudder to a halt in Adelaide, I am sorry to leave the Ghan and even sorrier to part from the staff’s excellent care. The service is one of the best aspects of Platinum class…the cheerfulness is genuine.”

— Phoenix Arrien, The International Railway Traveler®

The Itinerary

Day 1: Indian Pacific
Board the Indian Pacific in Sydney this afternoon. Enjoy dinner on board as you head toward the far West of New South Wales.

Day 2: Indian Pacific
The train travels north, pausing in Broken Hill and Adelaide, with time for Whistle Stop Tours* at each. Meals and overnight on the train.

Day 3: Indian Pacific
Travel through salt lake country and vast Nullarbor Plain; stop at one of world’s most isolated outposts, Cook. Continue on, and stop in the evening at Kalgoorlie where you can choose to take a Whistle Stop Tour*. Overnight on the Indian Pacific.

Day 4: Arrive Perth
Take in the scenery of Avon Valley over breakfast before arriving in Perth. Transfer to Crowne Plaza Perth for a two-night stay.

Day 5: Perth
Discover Perth’s major tourist attractions, including a replica of 1899 Perth Tram. Cruise Swan River to Fremantle, enjoy scenic tour of historic Port City. Free time cruising back to Perth.

Day 6: Perth to Darwin

Fly Perth-Darwin* today, check into Crowne Plaza Darwin.

Day 7: Kakadu National Park
Depart Darwin and journey by 4WD to World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. Travel to the ancient Aboriginal rock art sites at Ubirr. Learn of the significance connected to these x-ray style paintings. You will also see the delicate Mimi paintings, believed to be older than the x-ray style art. Enjoy lunch in a bush setting before joining an Aboriginal guide for the Guluyambi cruise on the East Alligator River. As you glide along the tranquil waters, learn of the flora, fauna, Aboriginal mythology and history of the region from your guide. Continue on to the Aboriginal land of Hawk Dreaming for those staying on our Exclusive Hawk Dreaming Wilderness Camp. Overnight Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn.

Day 8: Kakadu National Park to Katherine
Visit Bowali Visitor Center to view a series of informative displays on the flora and fauna found within the park. Travel to Nourlangie Rock to discover the renowned Aboriginal art site, view galleries of unique x-ray style artwork. Continue to the southern region of the park and through the small township of Pine Creek, stop for lunch (own expense). Travel on to Katherine, a busy little tourist town. Join the Nabill Dreaming Sunset Cultural Dinner Cruise on Katherine Gorge. Learn about the spirit, history and culture of the Jawoyn people as you cruise along the first two tranquil gorges. As the sunsets, enjoy a three course buffet dinner as you take in the surroundings by candlelight. Overnight at All Seasons Katherine.

Day 9: Katherine to Darwin
Depart Katherine and travel to the Adelaide River War Cemetery, the resting place for many Second World War soldiers and civilians killed in the 1942 air raids on Darwin. Continue on to Litchfield National Park, stop to view the intriguing termite mounds, some standing well over six feet tall. See the picturesque double waterfall that forms Florence Falls, surrounded by lush rainforest. Stop for lunch (own expense), then travel to the rock pool at Wangi Falls. Enjoy a refreshing swim or nature walk to the top of the falls. Return to Darwin.

Day 10: Darwin
Free day. Optional tours available.

Day 11: Darwin-The Ghan
Board the Ghan; travel south past lush tropical scenery to Katherine. Enjoy a Whistle Stop Tour* at Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park.

Day 12: The Ghan to Alice Springs
Arrive Alice Springs; transfer to Alice Springs Resort. Afternoon free.

Day 13: Alice Springs to Uluru
Depart Alice Springs, stop at a Camel Farm before arriving at Ayers Rock Resort. Visit the Cultural Center before joining a guided walk to the waterhole of Mutitjulu. See cave paintings and hear the legends of Kuniya Tjukurpa (Python Dreaming). Then take the guided Mala Walk to learn the story of the Mala (Hare Wallaby) people who lived at Uluru. Along the Mala Walk visit the many painted caves of the Mala people and learn how they lived and prepared for ceremonies at the base of Uluru. Later, travel to Uluru and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine while watching the sunset. Overnight at Ayers Rock Resort-Desert Gardens.

Day 14: Uluru Sunrise, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon
Watch the first light of the new day at Uluru as you enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Travel to the western section of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and the immense 36 rock domes of Kata Tjuta. Enjoy a guided walk into Walpa (Olga) Gorge. Marvel at the sheer walls that flank you as you enter the gorge. Learn of the domes’ formation and of the wildlife of the region. This afternoon travel to Watarrka National Park. Stay at Kings Canyon Resort or Kings Canyon Wilderness Lodge.

Day 15: Kings Canyon, Kings Creek Station-Alice Springs
Choose from two walks to discover Kings Canyon. For the more energetic, take an early guided walk to the rim of Kings Canyon, enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and the towering orange walls. Continue through the domed rock formation of the Lost City and descend into the lush gorge where the Garden of Eden is found. An easy walk along the canyon floor is also available. The canyon floor walk takes you deep into the canyon between the towering orange walls.This afternoon stop at Kings Creek Station, before arriving in Alice Springs.

Day 16: The Ghan to Adelaide
Morning free in Alice Springs; optional tours available. Transfer to train station and board The Ghan heading south for Adelaide.

Day 17: Adelaide
Arrive Adelaide Parklands Rail Terminal.

*Whistle Stop tours are included with Gold and Platinum service; flights not included in the pricing.

2017 Dates:

Tour departs most Wednesdays year-round.

The Prices

2017 Pricing
17-day tour: Sydney-Perth; Darwin-Adelaide
Upgrades available
Upgrade to Platinum
Service on the Ghan
Upgrade to Gold
Service sole use of double
on Indian Pacific

on Ghan


Tour priced in Australian dollars. For approximate exchange rates, visit

*Whistle Stop tours included with Gold and Platinum service only; flights not included in the pricing.

While IRT recommends Gold Kangaroo or Platinum service, there is the less-expensive Red Kangaroo Service. Please inquire. Prices we offer here assume Gold Kangaroo service. Note we offer pricing for sole use of a double on both Indian Pacific and Ghan. Our single travelers tell us that it is far more comfortable for them than the usual single cabin.

Latest News: Click here for Track 25, our blog, for the latest news on this and other tours on our World’s Top 25 Trains™.

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The Highlights

World-famous Indian Pacific journey from Sydney to Perth, with meals included on board
The Ghan from Darwin to Adelaide
Experience the new Platinum service on The Ghan (optional)
Kakadu National Park
Kata Tjuta and Uluru
Tour the western city of Perth by replica 1899 tram
The Ghan at The Darwin Terminal, Northern Territory.  (Photo courtesy of Great Southern Rail)
The Ghan at The Darwin Terminal, Northern Territory. (Photo courtesy of Great Southern Rail)
The Indian Pacific.  (Photo courtesy of Great Southern Rail)
The Indian Pacific. (Photo courtesy of Great Southern Rail)
The Ghan crossing over Elizabeth River.  (Photo courtesy of Great Southern Rail)
The Ghan crossing over Elizabeth River. (Photo courtesy of Great Southern Rail)
Indian Pacific locomotive.  (Photo courtesy of Great Southern Rail)
Indian Pacific locomotive. (Photo courtesy of Great Southern Rail)