There are many train journeys but far fewer great train journeys. Taking the Ghan from Adelaide to Alice is one such journey.
Making the legendary expedition through the centre of Australia on the iconic Ghan is a must for those who crave comfort and style whilst being beguiled by a profusion of ever changing scenic splendours.
It is said that the train’s name honours Afghan camel drivers who arrived in Australia in the late 19th century to help find a way to reach the country’s unexplored interior.
The Ghan travels from Adelaide to Alice Springs, taking one night and two glorious days, or if you prefer figures 1559km.
The original Ghan line followed the same track as the overland telegraph, which is believed to be the route taken by John McDouall Stuart during his 1862 crossing of Australia.
The first service back in 1929, was on the original route that was subject to fierce flooding. Spare parts including railway sleepers were carried on a flatbed behind the mighty engine, just in case the track had been washed away. Travellers might be called upon to lend a hand if some track works were in need of corrective therapy.
Now; well a different realm of therapy is in order, relax, enjoy the seclusion of your comfortable cabin or delight in the company of your travelling companions in the stylish Queen Adelaide Restaurant carriage. Partake in the excellent selection of wines and with fresh, regionally-sourced Australian fare, enjoy food that is as sublime as the celebrated scenery, it is with sheer pleasure to let the train take the strain.
As darkness heralds the night ahead, the sky is in its brilliance and your cabin awaits, a book to lull you to sweet slumber might be Neville Shute’s 1950’s novel, A Town Like Alice or the story of the railway’s construction, The Ghan: The Story of the Alice Springs Railway by Basil Fuller.
Morning brings many more sweet delights, you might try the Belgium chocolate waffle with strawberries, chocolate sauce and double cream while marvelling at the renewed scenery which has transformed from beautiful farming country to the magnificence of the Flinders Ranges through sand hills and scrub forest to the ancient MacDonnell Ranges and our red centre destination, Alice Springs.
Unconventional Conventions will be taking the Ghan from Adelaide to Alice Springs as part of the Red Centre Medical Conference’s pre-tour in July 2016. For more information please click here: Australia’s Red Centre 2016