Top End & The Ghan Expedition
Join us on an exciting 10-day journey from the Top End capital of Darwin to the South Australian capital, Adelaide. The centrepiece of this diverse and extraordinary itinerary is a three-night journey on Australia’s iconic train, The Ghan – among the most renowned rail journeys in the world.
Our tour begins in the vibrant and dynamic coastal city of Darwin which is the gateway to the massive Kakadu National Park. After a two-day exploration of the city, we board our coach and travel through pristine wetlands to the National Park. Here we experience the dramatic scenery of cliffs, gorges and billabongs as we look out for the myriad birdlife and a diverse array of wildlife. At the World Heritage area of Ubirr we discover the extraordinary 20,000 year old Aboriginal rock art and enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding wetlands. After our two-night stay at Kakadu, we return to Darwin and board The Ghan for our three-night rail journey through the magnificent Red Centre. We enjoy multiple stops and a variety of excursions at the township of Katherine, Alice Springs and Coober Pedy, before the landscape changes to the lush green of the Flinders Ranges, as the train rolls on to Adelaide. Join us on a fabulous fully escorted tour through the very heart of Australia, from the tropical north to the sublime hills of the south.
Tour Fitness Level: Moderate
23 May 2022 Darwin (D)
On arrival into Darwin make your way to the hotel. The afternoon is at leisure before a welcome dinner in the evening.
Rydges Darwin Central Hotel
24 May 2022 Darwin (BD)
Today we enjoy a half day tour of Darwin including the Aviation Museum and the Botanic Gardens. The afternoon is free to continue exploring the city or relaxing at the hotel. Late afternoon we board the Charles Darwin, for a sunset dinner cruise. We get a bird’s eye view of the famous Darwin sunset whilst enjoying a delicious set dinner with Australian seafood and local produce. After our cruise we return to the hotel.
25 May 2022 Darwin – Kakadu NP (BLD)
After breakfast we travel through pristine wetland regions to Kakadu National Park. We visit the Warradjan Cultural Centre, then join our local guide on an award winning cruise to experience the dramatic scenery of the Yellow Water Billabong. The region is renowned for its diverse array of wildlife and colourful range of birdlife, and we may even see saltwater crocodiles.
Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel
Kakadu National Park
26 May 2022 Kakadu NP – Arnhem Land – Kakadu NP (BLD)
This morning we travel by 4WD into Western Arnhem Land and the Mikinj Valley. The scenery includes forests, sandstone outcrops, floodplains and billabongs. Here we see ancient rock art sites and learn about traditional landownership, bush skills and food gathering. Later we return to our hotel.
27 May 2022 Kakadu NP – Darwin (BL)
This morning our Driver Guide takes us to the World Heritage area of Ubirr, where we climb up through the ancient Aboriginal rock art galleries, believed to be 20,000 years old. We’ll take a cruise on the East Alligator River, and our Aboriginal guide will provide an insight into their culture and local mythology. With special permission of the local people we can go ashore in Arnhem Land and visit the Marrawuddi Art Gallery before returning to Darwin.
Rydges Darwin Central Hotel
28 May 2022 Darwin – Aboard The Ghan (BLD)
This morning we depart Darwin aboard The Ghan. We settle into our cabins and perhaps mingle with fellow travellers. At lunch we savour the regionally-inspired menu which is accompanied by a selection of all-inclusive wines and beverages. Early afternoon we arrive into the Top End township of Katherine, where there is a choice of taking a cruise through Nitmiluk Gorge, or taking a glimpse into the lives of those who live on a huge cattle station. Back onboard The Ghan we enjoy dinner as the sun sets over the outback.
29 May 2022 Aboard The Ghan (BLD)
This morning we wake up to views of the spectacular Red Centre. We enjoy a full day of excursions in the outback town of Alice Springs. There is the option to upgrade to a scenic flight to Uluru. In the evening we enjoy a spectacular barbeque dinner under the stars at the historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station.
30 May 2022 Aboard The Ghan (BLD)
The train rolls on through the Red Centre stopping at Manguri and then the weird and wonderful opal mining township of Coober Pedy, where more than half of the residents live underground. Here we enjoy a day of discovery and a gourmet lunch in the most unique of locations: underground. Back on the train we enjoy dinner as the train continues on its journey south.
31 May 2022 The Ghan – Adelaide (BD)
This morning we see a dramatic change in the landscape as the rich ochre tones of the outback give way to the green fields of South Australia. We enjoy a leisurely brunch as we pass through the majestic Flinders Ranges before our mid morning arrival into Adelaide, having completed one of the world’s great train journeys. On arrival into Adelaide we transfer to our hotel and enjoy a farewell dinner.
01 June 2022 Adelaide (B)
Our tour concludes this morning after breakfast.
- Darwin City tour
- Sunset dinner cruise on Darwin Harbour
- Two-night stay at Kakadu National Park
- Cruise through the dramatic scenery of Yellow Water Billabong
- Take 4WD vehicle trip to Mikinj Valley in Arnhem Land
- Visit the ancient Aboriginal rock art galleries at Ubirr
- Visit the Marrawuddi Art Gallery at Arnhem Land
- Three-night journey on The Ghan in Gold Class cabin
- Visit the Top End township of Katherine
- Cruise through Nitmiluk Gorge or visit a huge cattle station
- Visit the outback town of Alice Springs
- Enjoy a spectacular barbque dinner under the stars at Alice Springs Telegraph Station
- Explore the opal mining township of Coober Pedy
- Enjoy a gourmet lunch underground at Coober Pedy
- Enjoy exceptional food, wine, and service as The Ghan journeys through the magnificent Red Centre
- All accommodation (twin share)
- Gold Class cabin on The Ghan
- All meals and selected beverages included on board The Ghan
- Meals as specified
- Entrance fees and sightseeing as specified
- Travel Directors Tour Leader
A booking form is to be completed by all passengers, and a non-refundable deposit of AUD $1200 per person paid at the time of booking.