Red Centre & South Australia Adventure Aboard the Ghan
o 7-night accommodation
o All ground transfers
o All meals, Australian wines, beers, base spirits and non-alcoholic beverages while on the train + 2 lunches
o Off train excursions while on the Ghan
o English speaking local guides during the sightseeing tours
o International/domestic flights and airport taxes • Gratuities to hotel personnel, guides and drivers • Optional excursions • Beverages unless noted in the itinerary
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DAY 1 DARWIN
After collecting your luggage at the airport, you’ll be transferred to your hotel with the rest of the day at leisure.
Accommodation: Darwin for one night
DAY 2 DARWIN · KATHERINE
Your journey aboard the legendary Ghan begins at Darwin Rail Station where you’ll take the small but momentous step from platform to carriage. Sit back and relax and as you watch the scenery pass and before you know it you’ll have arrived in Katherine ready to experience your first included Off Train Excursion to the magnificent and spiritual Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge. Experience Katherine Outback provides a unique window into the real Australian Outback and the inner workings of life on a cattle station through the sharing of stories and experiences, cattle dog demonstrations and live music performances. The ‘Stock Yards’ is where the action takes place. Enjoy a live demonstration of the art of horse-breaking, depicting the psychology between man and horse, watch the Riverboyne Dog Team working cattle, goats or ducks in harmony, before interacting with Bernie the Buffalo, Tin Shaker the Brahman Steer and Legend the Trick Horse. (L/D)
Accommodation: The Ghan Expedition, in Gold Twin Service Cabin for 3 nights
DAY 3 KATHERINE · ALICE SPRINGS
Shortly after breakfast, you’ll arrive in Alice Springs ready for another day of exploration. Here you have the opportunity to embark on one of the included Off Train Excursions, taking in the delights of this famous outback town. A full day in Alice Springs gives you ample opportunity to visit the town landmarks, get up close and personal with Australia’s incredible flora and fauna or explore the Alice at your own leisure. Come the evening you’ll dine beneath a canopy of stars at an authentic Outback Pioneer Dinner. This is a truly unique experience with live Australian music and a feast of mouth-watering steak and traditionally made damper. (B/L/D)
DAY 4 ALICE SPRINGS · COOBER PEDY
After breakfast this morning you’ll wake up and rub your eyes with disbelief as we pull into the middle-of-nowhere stop at Manguri and the opal mining capital of the world – Coober Pedy. Venture into the tunnels and caves of this underground town, where you may even catch opal fever as you mine for riches, visit the otherworldly underground Serbian Orthodox church and take a glimpse of Umoona Opal Mine. Below the earth’s surface, you’ll enjoy a gourmet lunch in the most unique of locations before setting off to the stunning outback moonscape that is the Breakaways. After an eye-opening action-packed day – if you haven’t chosen to stay and find your fortune – it’s back on board with plenty of time to ease into a slower gear and prepare yourself for your final evening onboard The Ghan. (B/L/D)
DAY 5 COOBER PEDY · ADELAIDE
Looking out of your window this morning you’ll notice a dramatic change in landscape as the rich ochre tones of the outback make way for the beautiful green fields and pastoral lands of South Australia. After breakfast, The Ghan rolls into Adelaide where you will be transferred to your hotel. (B)
Accommodation: Adelaide for 3 nights
DAY 6 ADELAIDE · BAROSSA VALLEY
Today, enjoy a Barossa Valley wine tour with its German heritage and villages, wineries, vineyards and scenery provides a unique mix of Europe in Australia. The beauty of the Adelaide Hills with its quaint yet charming villages, so close yet so removed from the city bustle of Adelaide. The German settlement of Hahndorf with its arts and craft, cottage industry shops, pubs, traditional smallgoods and bakeries evokes the tastes and smells of Bavaria. Also includes extended experience at Wolf Bass that incorporates an exciting select preview Penfolds wine tasting. (L)
DAY 7 ADELAIDE · KANGAROO ISLAND
This morning you will travel to Cape Jervis taking in the picturesque Fleurieu Peninsula with its vineyards, coastal views and rolling hills. On Arrival board the Kangaroo Island ferry for the 45 minute crossing to Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island. On arrival in Penneshaw you will be met by your local guide and your island nature experience begins with an introduction to Kangaroo Island and following tour through several island habitats and see wildlife in their natural environment. Kangaroo Island is a haven for Australian wildlife, which exists in its natural habitat without the threat of introduced predators. Listen to the distinct sounds of the native birdlife as they chorus from the tall eucalyptus trees. Kangaroo Island is home to some 250 species of birds, many of which, through isolation from the mainland, have developed their own subspecies and are therefore unique to Kangaroo Island. As you travel the island keep an eye out for echidnas, wallabies, reptiles and wildflowers.
At the spectacular Seal Bay Conservation Park, your guide will escort you on a memorable walk along the beach. This bay is home to a healthy Australian Sea-lion colony. Walk among the sea-lions as they bask on the beach or among the sand dune after their extensive fishing expedition. With your guide you are able to stand at a safe distance to these wonderful endangered creatures and hear them sigh and watch them at play. Enter an exclusive Heritage-listed natural bush property to enjoy a delicious gourmet picnic style lunch with South Australian wine. Follow your lunch with a pleasant bushwalk or a stroll along the beach. Travel through the island’s interior keeping an eye out for koalas and echidnas. Explore the spectacular beaches of the north coast and enjoy a bushwalk. Listen for Australia’s rarest cockatoo, the Kangaroo Island glossy black cockatoo and watch out for the Tammar wallaby, with its small fine features, in its natural habitat. Later in the afternoon, as the day draws to a close, see the kangaroos leave the safety of the bush to begin grazing on the open pastures. Your tour concludes with return to Penneshaw in time for your return ferry crossing to the mainland and transfer back to Adelaide. (L)
DAY 8 ADELAIDE
It’s time to say farewell to this unique part of Australia as you are transferred to the airport for your onward travel arrangements.
All sites & activities in the itinerary are subject to availability and might need to be amended according to Covid-19 regulations at the time of travel. Rates will be adjusted accordingly, where applicable. All offers are subject to Merit Travel standard Terms of Service. Additional terms and conditions may apply.
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