The Ghan
Press Room

The Ghan is a true Australian icon with its bold red and white locomotive taking guests on outback adventures for more than 90 years.

Travelling between Adelaide in South Australia and Darwin in the Northern Territory, The Ghan’s camel motif signifies its desert crossings and is a link to the Afghan cameleers who arrived in Australia in the 1830s.

These desert pioneers were immortalised in 1929 when the first steam train travelled from Adelaide to Stuart (later renamed Alice Springs). This trailblazing train was dubbed ‘The Afghan Express’ but was soon shortened to ‘The Ghan’.

Playing an important part in history, The Ghan transported servicemen during the 1940s for deployment to World War II and later in the 1970s, became critical for mining, transport and agriculture while transporting supplies.

These days, the train continues its journeys between Adelaide and Darwin as a premium, two-night, three-day all-inclusive journey with Off Train Experiences in Alice Springs and Katherine.

Featuring Gold Service and Platinum Service, The Ghan can reach up to a kilometre long in peak season with up to 300 guests on board.

And while it’s a far cry from its humble beginnings, today’s Ghan is still rooted in its connection to the outback and the spirit of adventure.

From April to October each year, the southbound journey from Darwin to Adelaide becomes The Ghan Expedition – an extended, three-night, four-day journey with Off Train Experiences in Katherine, Alice Springs and quirky, underground town, Coober Pedy.

With a major focus on food and wine, The Ghan’s menu tells the story of the country it travels through, proudly showcasing local produce, including barramundi, quandong and salt bush.

Fast Facts

  • The Ghan’s first journey was in 1929 from Adelaide to Alice Springs and it wasn’t until 2004 that the track between Alice Springs and Darwin was finally finished, allowing a true transcontinental crossing.
  • The Ghan’s Outback Explorer lounges are named after heroic pioneers who explored Australia’s interior, including John McDouall Stuart, Robert Burke and William Wills, Len Beadell and Charles Sturt.