Exciting New Cultural and Scenic Off Train Experiences on The Ghan

Exciting New Cultural and Scenic Off Train Experiences on The Ghan

What could possibly enhance an iconic rail journey like The Ghan? How about a new selection of new Off Train Experiences for guests to choose from?

Guests on The Ghan can now select from a range of new Off Train Experiences, including the Standley Chasm Cultural Walk in Alice Springs, a tour of the Nitmiluk Cutta Cutta Caves or Top Didj Cultural Experience in Katherine, or upgrade to a spectacular flight and full-day experience from Coober Pedy to the Painted Hills, William Creek and Lake Eyre.

David Donald, Executive General Manager of Rail for Journey Beyond said, “We’re always looking for ways to improve our journeys and guest experiences, which is why we’ve invested in our Off Train Experiences, crafting new ways to connect guests with the country as part of the journey.”

The following new Off Train Experience are now available:

  • Alice Springs: Standley Chasm Cultural Walk

Located 50km west of Alice Springs, guests can now explore Standley Chasm on the Standley Chasm Cultural Walk, led by an indigenous Western Arrernte community member. This stunning 4km walk through the 3-metre-wide and 80-metre-high chasm takes in the intricately carved sandstone gorge, where the colours of the outback are on full display and guests will learn about ancient geology, native flora, fauna, bush medicine and bush tucker along the way. Guests travelling south on The Ghan Expedition will enjoy some extra time in Standley Chasm, with morning and afternoon tea included and a special dot painting workshop, focusing on the traditional techniques behind Western Arrernte artwork.

Available on both northbound and southbound departures from April to October

  • Katherine: Top Didj Cultural Experience

Indigenous artist Manuel Pamkal, winner of the 2013 Tourism NT Brolga Award for Outstanding Interpretive Guide, hosts this insightful cultural experience in Katherine. elcoming guests to Top Didj with a traditional didgeridoo performance, Manual shares what it was like growing up in the bush, cultural differences, tribal life and insights to his own family tree. He will also share a dreamtime story and demonstrate how the Woomera Spear can be used to perfectly hit a target. Manual is known for his unique painting technique, Rarrk (cross hatch), and he’ll guide guests through this technique to create their own masterpiece. After the hands-on activities, there’s time to wander through the Aboriginal Art Gallery or interact with some of the adorable wallabies here.

Available on northbound departures only from April to October

  • Katherine: Cutta Cutta Caves

Formed millions of years ago and still growing today, the Cutta Cutta Caves are found 15 metres below the surface. On this immersive underground cave experience, guests learn about the geological significance of the region, how the caves were formed, and the ecological systems within — and maybe even spot a few local reptiles and other native wildlife. The cave system is rich in Indigenous culture and modern European history. Cutta Cutta is a Jawoyn word, meaning “many stars”, under the belief that the caves are where the stars rest during the day.

Available on southbound departures on The Ghan Expedition only

  • Coober Pedy: Painted Hills and Lake Eyre Scenic Flight (optional upgrade, $1290 per person)

The Anna Creek Painted Hills is a spectacular and recently discovered section of the beautiful Breakaways country in the far north of South Australia. Travelling from Coober Pedy Airport, guests fly over the dramatic landscape to see it in all its glory landing in the remote Anna Creek Painted Hills for an immersive ground tour, before continuing over Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre, Australia’s largest salt lake. There’s a stop at William Creek for a quintessential Australian pub lunch at the William Creek Hotel, followed by a guided ground tour of the township. The flight then continues over Anna Creek Cattle Station, the world’s largest working cattle station, before circling back to Coober Pedy to meet fellow guests for drinks by the bonfire at Manguri.

Available on southbound departures on The Ghan Expedition only

  • The Katherine Outback Experience is also returning after a two-season hiatus. This fascinating day of discovery, outlines what it’s like to live and work on a huge cattle station, with rollicking stories, interactive experiences, cattle dog demonstrations and live music performances. In the Stockyards, an entertaining exhibition of outback life includes a live demonstration of the art of horse-breaking  and the intimate connection between man and horse and a demonstration by the Riverboyne Dog Team as they work cattle, goats or even ducks into orderly submission.

Available on both northbound and southbound departures from May to October