The Ghan train heading north out of Port Augusta near Yorkeys Crossing
The Ghan symbol
The Ghan train at sunset
Server on the Ghan train pouring wine

The Ghan

Australia & New Zealand
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The Ghan’s wild history started in 1878. That year, construction began on a line from Port Augusta.

For about 50 years, until 1929, the last leg to Alice Springs was on Afghan camels. That’s how today’s train got its name – The Ghan. The Alice to Darwin “Top End” route, dreamed of for more than a century, celebrated its 14th anniversary in 2018. The service has been swamped with travelers.

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It takes 48 hours—two nights on board—to travel from Adelaide to Darwin over 1,852 miles of track. The Ghan has added Platinum luxury-class service. Our “Down Under Luxury: Australia Rail Extravaganza” tour, which includes “The Ghan Expedition” itinerary, operates from March to October. Several stops along the way make this a fascinating journey.


Non-Prestige Class guests have their all-inclusive meals in the Queen Adelaide restaurant cars: breakfast, two-course lunch and three-course dinner.  Seasonal, local ingredients are featured.

Prestige Class guests dine in the exclusive Platinum Club car.


The Outback Explorer Lounge is the social hub of the train — with wide picture windows, bar service and snacks served throughout the day.

The Platinum Club is exclusive for Platinum Service guests.  A Platinum Host serves cocktails, barista coffee and snacks.

IRT Insights

The Ghan — especially in Platinum Class — is definitely on our list of World’s Top 25 Trains. It is part of an elite club of trans-continental train services in the world. We love the fine feeling of other-worldliness waking at dawn on The Ghan, peering out to see the desert drenched in gold.

The Ghan is so long, it must be split in two and boarding is from two platforms. At departure, the two sections are linked back together. The train is more than half a mile long. It has two locomotives and 24 carriages — and all of that won’t fit on one platform. Sometimes more carriages must be added, and that extends the consist to almost a mile. This makes it one of the longest in the world.

IRT definitely recommends Platinum Service for all the extra perks and priority service.

Great Southern Railways operates The Ghan and the Indian Pacific.

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