Discover The Ghan

Often described as a ‘national treasure’, The Ghan makes an unforgettable voyage of discovery across the outback. In 2019, the legendary locomotive celebrated 90 years of service, dating back to the 1930s adventurers, when the first Afghan cameleers came to the land Down Under. Then, the Afghan Express as it was known provided a route from A to B; today The Ghan – the legend – offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience, following the tracks of pioneering explorers through the red heart of Australia, passing through parts of the great continent that most others cannot reach.

Today, the north to south journey (or vice versa) across country covers almost 3,000 kilometres of track, from the lush green plains of South Australia to the rusty, dusty Red Centre and the tropical foliage of Darwin. 

While many changes have been made to the train and its route across Australia, the pioneer spirit remains the same. On board you’ll discover fine dining and even finer wines, elegant cabins ranging from luxurious to the height of sophistication, attentive staff to ensure you make the most of this incredible experience, and a range of off-train excursions that show off the top sights of this mysterious, inhospitable land.

The Experience

This is a journey like no other, taking three days and two magnificent nights under the wide desert canopy of stars, traversing from the tip of the north to the depths of the south, or in reverse. You will be travelling on board one of the world’s finest rail journeys, being wined and dined on the finest produce while watching the incredible landscapes slip past you at a top speed of 115 kilometres per hour.

Australia is renowned for its laidback attitude, so whilst you’ll want for nothing in terms of service, you can expect it to be delivered in a way that is unobtrusive, and of course always with a smile. While some guests still dress for dinner, there’s no expectation to come with black tie – though you may want to evoke the Golden Age of travel with some smarter attire if you’re dining in the Platinum Club.



On an average journey, The Ghan comprises some 36 carriages, including guest carriages for cabins, crew quarters, the Queen Adelaide restaurants, lounges for both the Platinum Club guests and Outback Explorer travellers, and approximately three power vans to propel the train on its journey. This epic trip uses approximately 40,000 litres of diesel, and 3,000 litres of water for each carriage. The russet-red locomotive is instantly recognisable by its camel and cameleer symbol, in recognition of the pioneering Afghans who first came to Australia in 1839.


The most popular cabins on board are certainly the Gold Service, which offers space to relax during the day, while transforming into a cosy bedroom at night. Choose a Twin cabin and you’ll have a three-seater lounge, which becomes an upper and lower berth bed, or a Single cabin with a lounge and a foot rest, which converts to a level sleeping berth. Superior Double cabins are also available in limited numbers, with a three-quarter size bed, upper birth and lounge – though they sell out very quickly. All Gold Service Single cabins come with a wash basin and use of shared toilets and showers located at either end of the carriage, plus crisp bed linen, bath towels, pillows and toiletries provided by your attendant. In comparison to the elegant Edwardian décor of the dining cars, the contemporary cabins are luxuriously appointed from wood and feature all the modern comforts you desire. For the ultimate luxury, consider upgrading to the Platinum Service cabins, which feature wider beds that can be arranged as a double or twin berth, a lounge with two armchairs and a full en suite shower room. Alternatively, if you’re really pushing the boat out, opt to charter the Chairman’s Carriage with its four private cabins, dining area and lounge.


Travelling on The Ghan is not just a way of getting from north to south, or vice versa; this epic journey aims to recreate the Golden Age of rail travel, not just in its Edwardian cabins and sumptuous onboard dining, but also through its attentive service. Not only will you be able to personalise your meal times, excursions and cabin choice to your tastes, you can also opt for the level of service that suits you. Most guests on board The Ghan opt for Gold Service, including a comfortable and beautifully appointed cabin, all-inclusive dining in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant with a choice of hand-selected Australian wines plus other beverages, short stopovers and your off-train excursions. Upgrade to Platinum Service and your experience becomes even more luxurious, with discreet touches throughout your voyage to elevate it to once-in-a-lifetime status. Your meal times become an experience in themselves with world-class wines and Bollinger champagne, plus you’ll enjoy a nightcap before bed and access to the Platinum Club lounge, too. For special occasions or when travelling as a group, chartering the Chairman’s Carriage also affords the highest levels of service. Chic and blissfully private, you’ll enjoy a whole carriage of just four sumptuous cabins all to yourself.


Depending on the level of service you have opted for on board – Gold or Platinum – your dining could take place in a variety of locations. Those in Gold Service cabins will dine in a Queen Adelaide restaurant car, with its Art Deco influences, while those enjoying the Platinum Service can revel in the sumptuous fittings of the Platinum Club, including quartzite tables, timber flooring and gleaming brass fittings. The Outback Explorer lounges are open to tall, with relaxed drinks and light snacks available in a sociable setting where you can exchange stories with your fellow travellers. Your meals are inspired by your journey and feature local, seasonal produce: perhaps a two-course lunch featuring saltwater barramundi, or a three-course dinner with grilled kangaroo fillet as the star ingredient. Platinum Service guests can take breakfast in their cabin if they so choose, while dinner extends to a gourmet four-course affair. Of course, in a country famous for its magnificent wines, each meal can be paired with a different fine wine, or beverage of your choosing.

Dress Code

The Ghan observes a smart casual dress code on board. If you are participating in outback experiences in the early morning or evening, we recommend bringing warm clothing. During the day, sunscreen and a hat should be worn.