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ght track The Ghan is more than just a train – it’s an adventure in the Australian outback, finds Helen Ochyra


DESTINATIONS THE GHAN | AUSTRASIA


w travelweekly.co.uk


e are sitting in the heart of the outback, the


sky darkening overhead. The occasional call of a dingo or a rustle in the trees that might just be a kangaroo distract me from our conversation – until my husband pours me another glass of South Australian shiraz and pulls my attention back to the table once again. We are travelling through the outback by train, hitting only the highlights on our three-night ride south across the centre of Australia from Darwin to Adelaide, and this – our second night on board – is spent at Alice Springs Telegraph Station, feasting on local beef as part of the included outback barbecue. All excursions, as well as all food and drink, are included in the fare. And this journey features more excursions, and more time off train, than the


standard itinerary. It is The Ghan Expedition, and it has given me the opportunity to see the best of the outback in comfort and style.


ALICE IN WONDERND Today has been spent in Alice Springs, a town that grew up around the building of the telegraph line across the country. This was established in the 1870s and revolutionised Australia’s relationship with the rest of the British Empire – a message that previously took three or four months to reach London by ship now took less than a day. It is an atmospheric place to watch the sunset, with the sky turning from fiery orange to inky black. Local band Heartbeat entertains us with country songs, and we are given a tour of the night sky, the constellations and planets picked out with a laser pointer above our heads. Alice Springs is a fascinating


² 11 JULY 2019 55


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