Take the train across Australia: Adelaide to Darwin on The Ghan

Tailor-made holidays
Duration (in days): 16

From: UK

To: Australia



Inc. International flights (per person, based on 2 sharing) 
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Take the train across Australia from Adelaide to Darwin with this fabulous 2-week holiday, travelling on the Ghan through the Outback. Spend some time discovering the city of Adelaide, then head over to Kangaroo Island for a chance to meet the native kangaroos, wallabies and koalas that reside here. We’ve included a day trip to the renowned Barossa Valley wine region so you can sample the finest local wines! Leaving the city behind, you’ll board the world-famous luxury Ghan train for a 3 day/2 night journey through the heart of Australia. Enjoy delicious meals made with locally-grown produce as you travel through the Outback, stopping to explore at chosen spots. Finally spend a week in the tropical ‘top end’ of Australia, exploring Darwin and its surrounding national parks, rich in waterfalls, Aboriginal culture and spectacular natural wonders.

This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.

This holiday includes

  • International flights
  • All transport
  • Ghan rail journey
  • Meals as specified
  • Accommodation throughout
  • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary


  • Explore the charming seaside town of Glenelg, Adelaide
  • Encounter Australian wildlife on Kangaroo Island
  • Sample the local tipple on a Barossa Valley wine tour
  • Spend 2 nights aboard the famous Ghan train traversing the length of Australia
  • Visit the cultural Red Centre of Australia
  • Spot crocodiles as you cruise along the Mary River
  • Swim in the waterfalls of Litchfield & Kakadu National Parks

Our trips which include The Ghan

Adelaide to Darwin in 2 weeks including the Ghan | map



Itinerary in brief:

  • 2 nights Adelaide
  • 1 night Kangaroo Island
  • 2 nights Adelaide
  • 2 nights onboard the Ghan
  • 2 nights Darwin
  • 2 night 'Top end' group tour
  • 2 nights Darwin


Day 1: Depart UK

Depart the UK from your chosen airport.

Included: International flight

Day 2: Arrive Adelaide

On arrival into Adelaide Airport, you will be collected by a private driver and taken to your hotel in the city centre.

The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the city of Adelaide. Why not take a stroll around the Botanical Gardens and experience the beauty and diversity of the plants located there, both from Australia and the rest of the world? You'll feel a million miles from the city as you walk around the 50 hectares of beautifully manicured gardens and stunning architecture. The perfect way to relax on your first afternoon in Adelaide.

Included: Private arrival transfer, hotel

Day 3: Adelaide

You have a full day now to enjoy the city, so we suggest you take a tram down to the lively suburb of Glenelg, with its white sandy beach, charming heritage hotels, bustling shops and sidewalk cafes. Here you can swim with wild dolphins, snorkel or dive, or if you prefer to stay on land, explore Glenelg's history in the local galleries and museums.

Meet the locals at Cleland Conservation Park located just outside the city, feed the kangaroos, spend time with a koala and if you're brave enough head to the reptile area to hold snakes and lizards. Speak to your consultant if you would to book this in advance.

Included: Hotel

Day 4: Adelaide to Kangaroo Island

Your tour vehicle will collect you from your hotel today and set off for Kangaroo Island. A scenic coach journey takes you down to Cape Jervis taking in the Fleurieu Peninsula and its stunning vineyards, coastal views and rolling hills.

A 45-minute ferry takes you to the island where you will visit Seal Bay Conservation Park, enjoying a beach walk with an experienced guide to get up close to these amazing creatures as they frolic and laze on the rocks. A two-course lunch in a bush setting is followed by a visit to a wildlife sanctuary and an afternoon in the Flinders Chase National Park rich in native Australian animals such as kangaroos, wallabies and koalas as well as spectacular natural scenery.

Included: All transport, touring, accommodation

Day 5: Kangaroo Island to Adelaide

Early this morning you will be collected and taken to the ferry to meet your boat back to the mainland, you will be dropped back off at your Adelaide accommodation around midday.

The rest of the day is at leisure.

Included: All transport, hotel

Day 6: Day tour to Barossa Valley

Today we have included a small group tour to the Barossa Valley wine region located outside of Adelaide. As part of this tour, you will visit three premium wine estates and get the opportunity to sample the wines made there as well as enjoying local produce including morning tea from the local bakery and a two-course gourmet lunch. A local guide will join your small group throughout providing expert commentary as you go.

After your tour, you will be returned to your Adelaide hotel.

Included: Small group tour to Barossa Valley, hotel

Day 7: Adelaide to Darwin – The Ghan train journey

You will be collected from your hotel by private transfer today and taken to the train station to join your 3 day/2 night journey on the famous Ghan train. Travelling from Adelaide to Darwin through the heart of Australia you will get to see a part of this country very few people get to witness.

This luxury train has private cabins for guests on board at either Gold, Gold Superior or Platinum standard. After settling into your cabin you will make your way to the Queen Adelaide Restaurant for a delicious lunch and a choice of fine wines, all included in the cost. Relax in your cabin looking out over spectacular landscapes before joining the rest of the guests for afternoon tea and in the evening a three-course meal made from the finest Australian produce is served alongside local wines, the staff will be happy to help you match the two! Tonight is spent onboard the train.

Experience The Ghan

Included: Private departure transfer, all meals, drinks and accommodation as part of the Ghan journey.

Day 8: Onboard the Ghan

A morning stop in Marla gives the chance to get off and stretch your legs whilst enjoying an outback sunrise with fresh coffee. Once back on-board brunch is served in the restaurant car, why not spoil yourself with the Belgium waffles and strawberries with chocolate sauce?

A stop in Alice Springs gives a glimpse into the history of the region, visit local landmarks or witness a spectacular bird show. Upgrade to a helicopter flight across the MacDonnell Ranges for panoramic views, experience a camel ride across ochre land or spend time at iconic cultural sites, Uluru & Kata Tjuta.

Back on the train, share stories in the lounge with your fellow passengers before freshening up for dinner, try local dishes such as kangaroo fillet and crocodile boudin blanc, overnight is spent on board the train.

Included: All meals, drinks, selected tours and accommodation as part of the Ghan journey.

Day 9: Arrive Darwin

After breakfast on board its time to explore the outback town of Katherine, there are plenty of options to choose from. Enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Katherine River or learn more about the local Jawoyn people with an Aboriginal cultural experience trying out some of the skills that have been developed over thousands of years. Upgrade to a scenic flight over Kakadu and Nitmiluk National Parks for magnificent views over cascading falls and giant gorges. A delicious late lunch followed by relaxation on board takes you through the afternoon, arriving into Darwin early evening.

On arrival in Darwin, you’ll be greeted and taken to your hotel in central Darwin where you will check in for a two-night stay.

Included: Breakfast, lunch & selected tours as part of the Ghan train journey, arrival transfer, hotel

Day 10: Darwin

Today is a free day for you to enjoy Darwin, why not head to the lagoon or wave pool for some relaxation or visit the local crocodiles at Crocosaurus Cove, if you’re feeling brave you can even enter the ‘Cage of Death’ for an up-close encounter! Scenic flights and boat cruises offer a chance to see more of the remote wilderness surrounding Darwin or why not take a trip to the nearby Tiwi Islands and learn more about Aboriginal culture in an authentic environment.

On Sundays and Thursdays during dry season be sure to head to Mindil Beach Sunset Market near the Marina, with quirky stalls and tons of street food on offer, watching the sun set on the beach with a beer in hand is a Darwin tradition! 

Included: Hotel

Day 11: Darwin to Kakadu National Park

Your tour leader will collect you from your hotel early this morning to embark on your 3 day ‘Top End’ adventure. Head out to the Wetlands Region for a Crocodile & Wildlife Cruise on the Mary River Wetlands, a great opportunity to spot a huge range of Top End birdlife, not to mention some fresh and salty apex predators… crocodiles!

We journey on to Kakadu National Park visiting the Bowali Visitor Centre which offers a beautiful introduction to the Park’s landscape and wildlife. After some relaxation at camp, we journey north to *Cahills Crossing on the border of Kakadu and Arnhem Land. We will visit one of the best-preserved collections of Aboriginal Rock Art in the world at Ubirr rock upon sunset. This incredibly significant site showcases many styles of Rock Art and allows us to climb up high for a sunset that will blow you away looking out over the Nadab Floodplain. After a big day, we head back to our cozy camp and prepare dinner together, enjoying an evening with our fellow travellers.

Included:  Lunch, dinner, all transport, touring

Day 12: Kakadu National Park

An early start today as you head out to Kakadu National Park in a 4WD ideal for the outback terrain. Today we’ll spend the day soaking up the spectacular natural beauty of the area, hiking through lush monsoon rainforests, swimming in pristine plunge pools and waterfalls surrounded by steep escarpments and rocky cliffs.

We generally visit Twin Falls or Jim Jim Falls when seasonally accessible, alternatively, we will stop in at Barramundi Gorge (Maguk) or other waterfalls such as Yurmikmik (Motor Car Falls). There are many factors affecting accessibility although your guide will ensure you get the best experience possible.

Time permitting, we stop at Nourlangie Rock, another indigenous rock art site where archaeologists have uncovered works dating back over 20,000 years old. We explore the evolving social, cultural and environmental changes to the area over time before making our way back to camp for a hearty dinner and a well-earned rest.

Included: All meals, accommodation, transport and touring as part of small group tour

Day 13: Kakadu National Park to Darwin via Litchfield National Park

Travelling south through Pine Creek, a small pioneering town in the Katherine region outside of Kakadu National Park, famous for its discovery of gold in the 1970’s. We stop for a quick refreshment break at the Adelaide River before our journey leads us to Litchfield National Park.

We spend the afternoon immersed in Litchfield’s natural oasis of waterfalls, spring-fed streams and rugged sandstone escarpments. We’ll spend time in any combination of Buley Rockholes, Wangi Falls or Florence Falls for a refreshing soak in picturesque rock holes and waterfalls.

Discover the uniquely impressive Magnetic and Cathedral Termite Mounds before making our way back to Darwin, arriving back to your accommodation at approximately 7:00pm.

Included: Breakfast, lunch, transport and touring as part of a small group tour, hotel

Day 14: Darwin

Spend today at leisure in Darwin.

Book a scenic flight or boat cruise for a chance to see more of the remote wilderness surrounding Darwin or why not take a trip to the nearby Tiwi Islands and learn more about Aboriginal culture in an authentic environment.

Head down to the beach and check out the Mindil sunset markets (running on Thursdays and Sundays in the dry season) browse boutique craft stalls, dine on delicious street food and watch the sun go down with a cold beer in hand, a perfect end to your trip to the ‘top end’.

Included: Hotel

Day 15: Depart Darwin

A driver will collect you this morning and take you to the airport by private transfer for your onward travels.

Included:  Shared departure transfer, international flight

Day 16: Arrive UK

Our trips which include The Ghan


October to April is considered the ‘wet season’ so Darwin and Kakadu National Park will experience heavy rains, flash flooding, and many roads will be closed at some point. The included tour may operate a different programme at this time depending on the roads in the national parks. We recommend that you visit during May-September when roads are open and the sun is shining in Kakadu and Darwin, the town is buzzing with visitors during these months so booking ahead is worthwhile.

We've done a similar trip...

If you'd like to get a feel for this trip, read our blog post Kangaroo Island: the best place to see wildlife and Central Australia: Uluru & the luxury Ghan railway from Alice Springs to Adelaide - written by our consultants who have been there.

Are you looking for more Australia ideas?

We’re experts in planning tailor-made holidays, so whether you’re looking for a luxury Australia holiday, ideas for a road trip, or multi-stop flights to Australia with stopovers – let us help you with the planning. Our experts can tailor-make precisely the trip you’re looking for - this itinerary is purely a suggestion, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.

What's included: 

  • International flights
  • Return airport transfers
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary


9 nights in 4* standard accommodation

Plus 2 nights in Gold Twin Cabin onboard the Ghan

Plus 2 nights in permanent tents with real bedding as part of your small group tour

Hotels in this category include:

  • Darwin Central Hotel


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