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Australia & the Ghan

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The Ghan and Australia's highlights by rail

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20202021
23 daysFrom £6,895 £6,695 per person
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Save up to £200 per person on 2021 departures when you book on or before 31/05/2020

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2021 Tour code: AUJ21

About the tour

This fantastic rail adventure takes in many of Australia's natural wonders, including the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and the Blue Mountains. A wonderful train journey on the legendary Ghan from Alice Springs to Adelaide is a real highlight, and time in Melbourne and Sydney completes this holiday of a lifetime.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Days 1-3 - London and Cairns

We depart London Heathrow on our overnight flight to Singapore, before continuing to Cairns. We arrive late on Day 2, enjoying a leisurely day on Day 3.

Cairns
Days 4-6 - Kuranda Scenic Railway and the Great Barrier Reef

We take the coach to the Rainforestation this morning and on arrival, take a trip on a World War II amphibious military transport unit, or 'Army Duck'. Afterwards, we embark on a guided Dreamtime Walk, learning how Aborigines understand the world and its creation, before experiencing a 'pamagirri' dance performance that depicts aspects of indigenous culture including animals, food gathering, and hunting. After enjoying a BBQ lunch, we travel by shuttle to Kuranda village where we explore the local market before transferring to the station. Here, a journey along the 125-year old Kuranda Scenic Railway awaits us and we travel through the rainforest and across the stunning Barron River Gorge.

A real highlight of our holiday is Day 5's explorations of the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef system and home to thousands of species of marine life. We begin with a cruise along the Mulgrave River, making our way to the Frankland Islands, a secluded archipelago whose waters are filled with unique wildlife and coral reefs. During a guided snorkelling session, we may see tropical fish, giant clams, sea turtles, and even octopuses. If you prefer to stay dry however, you can get a glimpse into this underwater world from on board a semi-submersible or glass-bottomed boat. We break for a tropical buffet lunch, before joining a marine biologist for a guided island walk. Day 6 is at leisure to explore the Great Barrier Reef.

Kuranda Scenic Railway
Days 7-8 - Uluru

We leave Cairns today and fly to Uluru, the world's largest monolith which rises more than 1,142 feet out of the flat desert floor. We begin at the Aboriginal Cultural Centre with a guided tour around this sacred site, which holds great spiritual significance to the local Anangu people.

As the sun sets, we watch this giant rock change colour and enjoy a magical dinner under the stars. The incredible 'Sounds of Silence' experience includes canapés and sparkling wine as the sun sets over Uluru, followed by a 3-course dinner with a bush-inspired menu. After dinner, a 'star talker' will decode the southern night sky, pointing out signs of the zodiac and the planets and galaxies visible due to the clarity of the atmosphere. On the morning of Day 8, we enjoy a sunrise visit to Uluru ahead of breakfast at the Ininti Café. We continue with an olgas tour, visiting the circular group of 36 red rocky domes, or 'olgas', which cover a large area around Uluru. We end the day back at Uluru to watch the sunset, accompanied by a glass of sparkling wine.

The Olgas
Days 9-10 - Alice Springs & The Ghan

Today we travel by coach to Alice Springs, visiting the Royal Flying Doctor service on arrival. On Day 10 we stop off at the Old Telegraph Station and Anzac Hill - a local lookout area - before boarding the iconic Ghan for our epic rail journey to Adelaide. We travel in Gold Service, with all of our meals included during the journey. These are freshly prepared by the on-board chefs, and menus feature a selection of both Australian and international cuisines. Gold Service passengers also have access to the on-board Gold Lounge. All drinks, including beers, wines, and spirits, are included during your time on The Ghan.

The Ghan
Days 11-14 - Adelaide, Barossa Valley and The Overland

Once in Adelaide we enjoy a city tour, seeing the Government House and Parliament Building. On Day 12 we explore the vineyards of the Barossa Valley, enjoying plenty of wine tastings and pairings at well-known wineries, including Jacob's Creek. This is followed by a visit to Hahndorf in the Mount Lofty Ranges, the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia. Day 13 is at leisure. We take The Overland train to Melbourne, Australia's 'Garden State', on Day 14.

Barossa Eden Valley
Days 15-17 - Melbourne and Phillip Island

Our city tour today includes the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Parliament House. In the afternoon we immerse ourselves in Melbourne's famous café culture, enjoying a cup of coffee at one of the city's popular coffee houses before joining the Puffing Billy steam train for a journey through the rainforest and fern gullies of the Dandenong Ranges. On Day 16 we travel along one of the world's most scenic roads, the Great Ocean Road, to see the Twelve Apostles, Bells Beach, and the Otway Rainforest. Day 17 is free until mid-afternoon, when we head by coach to Phillip Island, named after Governor Arthur Phillip, which forms a natural breakwater for the shallow waters of Western Port Bay. Here we visit the Koala Conservation Centre and encounter wild fairy penguins at sunset, as they emerge from the sea and waddle across the sand to their burrows.

Melbourne
Days 18-20 - Sydney and the Katoomba Scenic Railway

We make our way by rail to Sydney today. On Day 19 we enjoy a cruise around Sydney Harbour, seeing some of the city's most famous sights, such as the instantly recognisable Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, from our boat. On Day 20 we journey into the Blue Mountains, enjoying a ride on the world's steepest incline railway, the Katoomba Scenic Railway. We also visit the unique Three Sisters Rock Formation at Echo Point.

Sydney Harbour
Days 21-23 - Bondi Beach and London

We visit an Australian institution today, Bondi Beach, home to sun-kissed surfers and a laid-back vibe. We sit down to lunch at the Bondi Icebergs Club to experience fish and chips Australian style. We catch an afternoon flight via Singapore to London Heathrow on Day 22, arriving early on Day 23.

Bondi Beach

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Majestic Roof Garden Hotel, Adelaide

Majestic Roof Garden Hotel, Adelaide

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Crowne Plaza Lasseters

Crowne Plaza Lasseters, Alice Springs

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Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort

Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort

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Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort, Cairns

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Crown Promenade, Melbourne

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Amora Hotel Jamison, Sydney

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Trains

Katoomba Scenic Railway
Kuranda Scenic Railway
NSW Trainlink XPT
Puffing Billy steam train
The Ghan
The Overland Train

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

London Hotels
UK rail connections
Combine your tour with the Grand Tour of New Zealand

Extend your holiday

Hong Kong
Singapore

Reviews

100% of travellers would recommend this tour

Based on 12 verified reviews

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Mr D Blake

Submitted 06/12/2019

Excellent Hotels used made it an superb tour seeing a lot of Australia.

Anonymous

Submitted 25/04/2019

Generally fulfilled the tour description

Mr J Smith

Submitted 25/04/2019

Well organised. The inevitable hiccups e.g. travel delays were dealt with very professionally. Excellent guides on all trips and excursions. Very good accomodation.

Anonymous

Submitted 18/04/2019

Reasonable good, however it was extremely tiring. The hotels were good, but some could have been a lot better e.g. no charging points, some fridges packed with hotels own drinks and snacks (up to 50 items in two hotels). Many hotels did not give free bottled water and charged A$5 dollars for a small bottle.

Anonymous

Submitted 18/04/2019

It was a great holiday. The only suggestion we have is that in some places you should give people a choice. For example, in wild parks some travellers might want to learn to throw a boomerang while the others would like to interact more with the unique animals of the area. You shouldn't make everybody do everything together. Coral Reef snorkelling was a huge disappointment, move it to the Hamilton Island. Hundreds of people were kicking each other in the water.

Mr K Tootell

Submitted 14/12/2018

The best experience. We'll managed

Worldwide Holidays by Rail 2019/20

Worldwide Holidays by Rail 2019/20

Long haul rail holidays to North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Australasia.

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Australia & The Ghan

The Ghan and Australia's highlights by rail

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