Updated Weekly

Monday 5 January 2015

Special Edition 117

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Ghan to regulaly set down for Coober Pedy visitors


Travelling across and exploring a continent as vast as Australia can appear a daunting prospect.

You may well ask “how can I see as much as possible, but without getting tired and stressed in the process?”
A simple solution is to opt for the train, to travel in style and comfort on board one of Australia’s two great train journeys – The Ghan or Indian Pacific.
Put aside any worries about tackling longer journeys – the train is definitely the best way to discover a continent.
The Ghan runs between Adelaide and Darwin, from the Southern Ocean to the Timor Sea in the north (and vice versa). It crosses not only through Australia’s geographic centre but through its spiritual heart, taking in the legendary Outback destinations of the Flinders Ranges, Coober Pedy, MacDonnell Ranges and Alice Springs, iconic Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Katherine Gorge.
Alternatively, the Indian Pacific runs between Perth and Sydney, from the Indian Ocean in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, cutting across the Nullarbor Plain and taking in Adelaide, the Barossa and Broken Hill.
And while we’re on the subject of names, The Ghan was named in honour of the Afghan cameleers who had been, until the train was built, responsible for providing provisions and communications to the remote Outback communities.
Once you’ve decided on your starting point, which could be Adelaide, Alice Springs, Darwin, Sydney or Perth, all you need to do is to check in at the terminal, hand in your luggage and let your journey begin.
All-inclusive fares in both Platinum and Gold Service mean that once you’re aboard the train, everything is taken care of. All your meals and drinks (including premium Australian wines) can be enjoyed in the dining car and lounge carriage throughout your journey.
Along the way, Off Train Excursions are also included, to discover and explore more of Australia.
If you opt to travel on The Ghan you’ll be rewarded with trips to see the wonderful waterfalls and gorges that make up the Katherine region in the Northern Territory’s tropical north.

From May this year, for the first time on the new Ghan Expedition from Darwin to Adelaide, you
can spend a day in Coober Pedy, the world’s opal mining capital, renowned for the searing
heat that forced the locals to build underground homes.

You can also spend more time in Alice Springs before enjoying an al fresco, starlit dinner in the MacDonnell Ranges.

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