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Australia & The Ghan


Experience Australia's highlights and travel aboard the continent's famous trains, including The Ghan

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
21 days From $8,095 per person
Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager

2022 Tour code: GR-AUJA-22

About the tour

What better way to experience the exotic country of Australia than aboard its famous trains? Including the Kuranda Scenic Railroad, the Katoomba Scenic Railroad and the Ghan, this journey through Australia includes 21 days of grand expeditions. Experience world-renowned destinations such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Blue Mountains and the desert of Uluru, as well as spectacular cities, including Cairns, Alice Springs, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. A thrilling blend of Aboriginal history, natural beauty and modern attractions brings the culture of Australia to life. Enjoy a cruise of the Great Barrier Reef, a star talker presentation under the starry night sky of the desert, visits to the wineries of the Barossa Valley, a drive on the Great Ocean Road, a visit to Phillip Island and a cruise through Sydney harbor, amongst other adventures. Luxury overnight accommodations only add to the splendor of this journey - a splendor that cannot be matched in any other destination.


What’s included


Day 1 - Cairns

Arrive in Cairns, and meet your group and Tour Manager at the Pullman International Cairns Hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy the city. Overnight Cairns.

Day 2 - Cairns at Leisure

The day is yours to explore the eclectic city that is Cairns. This region of Australia is known for its easy access to spectacular beaches and beautiful seaside scenery, and you may wish to spend your day exploring these sandy locales. If you want to stay close to the city center, there is the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon for swimming; several local markets, including the famous night markets and Rusty's Market; and fantastic museums, such as the Mulgrave Settlers Museum. Overnight Cairns.

Day 3 - Kuranda Scenic Railway

The rails of the 125-year-old Kuranda Scenic Railway guide us today. Our journey takes us into the rainforest and above the Barron River Gorge to Kuranda. On arrival, we board a World War II amphibious military transport unit, or Army Duck, for an unforgettable tour through World Heritage-designated rainforest. With the Duck Captain pointing out the different flora, fauna, birds and reptiles as we travel, this excursion is both scenic and informative.

After the tour, we enjoy lunch and then experience an Aboriginal "corroboree" with songs and dance, following the path of the Dreamtime Walk through traditional legend. Overnight Cairns.

Day 4 - Great Barrier Reef

One of the crowning jewels of the planet lies ahead today as we take a cruise to the Great Barrier Reef. Stretching over 1,800 miles, this is the world's largest coral reef system and is home to thousands of species of fish and marine life. We begin with a cruise along the Mulgrave River, making our way to the Frankland Islands, a secluded archipelago whose waters are filled with unique wildlife and coral reefs. During a guided snorkeling session, we may see tropical fish, giant clams, sea turtles, and even octopuses. If you prefer to stay dry however, you can get a glimpse into this underwater world from on board a semi-submersible or glass-bottomed boat. We break for a tropical buffet lunch, before joining a marine biologist for a guided island walk. This evening, we return to Cairns for an evening at leisure. Overnight Cairns.

Day 5 - Cairns at Leisure

After a grand day of adventure, today is yours to rest and rejuvenate - or to continue your explorations through Cairns. Overnight Cairns.

Day 6 - Uluru

We leave Cairns today and fly to the desert to Uluru. Uluru, the world's largest monolith, rises more than 1,142 feet out of the flat desert floor. We begin at the Aboriginal Cultural Center and enjoy a guided tour around this sacred site, which holds great spiritual significance to the local Anangu people.

Later, as the sun sets, we watch this giant rock change color and enjoy a magical dinner under the stars. The incredible "Sounds of Silence" experience includes canapés and sparkling wine as the sun sets over Uluru, followed by a three-course dinner with a bush-inspired menu featuring kangaroo, crocodile, barramundi and quandong dishes.

After dinner, a star talker decodes the southern night sky for us and point out signs of the zodiac and other constellations, as well as the planets and galaxies visible due to the clarity of the atmosphere. We continue to our hotel, the Desert Gardens Hotel in the Ayers Rock Resort, following the presentation. Overnight Uluru.

Day 7 - Sunrise and Olgas

Our adventures begin early this morning, as we enjoy a Sunrise & Olgas tour that presents the mystical Kata Tjuta, or the Olgas. The Olgas are comprised of a circular group of 36 red rock domes that cover a large area and are as legendary as Uluru. Back at the resort, the afternoon is yours to spend as you please. This is an ideal opportunity to relax by the pool or to enjoy the onsite bars and eateries. The resort's "Town Center" is within walking distance of our hotel and includes shopping, a spa and even a museum. Overnight Uluru.

Day 8 - Alice Springs

Enjoy a free morning at the resort before traveling by motorcoach to Alice Springs. The drive presents the untamed beauty of the Australian Outback, with vast deserts, canyons and mountains framing the way. Keep your eyes peeled for the native wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies and koalas as we travel through the vast red landscape. As we arrive in Alice Springs, we check-in at either the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel or Crowne Plaza Lasseters Hotel, both of which boast spectacular mountain views. Overnight Alice Springs.

Day 9 - The Ghan

We begin our day at the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the School of the Air, where we learn how pilots, engineers, doctors and nurses have been critical to the safety and care of residents of Australia's Outback. Informative exhibits mingle with interactive technology, such as virtual reality exhibits and a holographic presentation, to show how the history of the service has impacted this remote region.

Later, we join The Ghan for an epic rail journey from Alice Springs to Adelaide. We travel in Gold Service, which offers access to a private lounge and included meals prepared by the on-board chef. This journey is one of tradition and adventure and is often referred to as the ultimate journey through the heart of this mighty continent. A mode of transportation, a sightseeing expedition and a hotel all in one, The Ghan is undoubtedly one of the world's greatest rail journeys. Overnight train.

Days 10 - The Ghan to Adelaide

The vast red expanses of the interior are far behind as the train approaches Adelaide this morning. Flinders mountain range comes into view as you enjoy breakfast this morning, and later, we weave through the verdant pastoral lands as we approach Adelaide. Upon arrival, we enjoy a guided tour of the city, which includes highlights such as the Government House and Parliament Building. As the tour concludes, we transfer to our hotel. Overnight Adelaide.

Day 11 - Barossa Valley

Australia's most famous wine region awaits your exploration today as we embark on a full-day tour of the Barossa Valley. As we wind through the lush vineyards and rolling farmlands, we enjoy wine tastings at some of the popular wineries. This region is known for its production of Shiraz; however, there are also spectacular examples of riesling, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and grenache throughout the valley's wineries. Overnight Adelaide.

Day 12 - Adelaide at Leisure

You are free today to explore Adelaide and the surrounding area at leisure. Some of the most popular attractions include Adelaide Botanical Garden, the South Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of South Australia. Of course, you could venture to Cleland Conservation Park to seek out the seven amazing waterfalls, or you may wish to embark on an optional excursion to Kangaroo Island, which is payable locally. Overnight Adelaide.

Day 13 - The Overland

This morning, we transfer to Adelaide's train station to board The Overland bound for Melbourne. The relaxing daylight journey presents the diverse landscapes of Australia as we traverse through cities and small towns and meander through woodlands and fields. As we arrive in the "Garden State," we transfer to the Crown Promenade Hotel for this first of four nights. Overnight Melbourne.

Day 14 - Melbourne Sightseeing and Puffing Billy Railway

Our time in Melbourne begins with a guided tour of the city, including the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Parliament House, amongst other fascinating sites. Later this afternoon, we join the Puffing Billy Railway for a steam train ride to remember. This century-old railway travels through the rainforest and fern gullies of the Dandenong Ranges. The open-air cars offer spectacular views and fresh mountain air. Returning to Melbourne, the evening is yours to explore the exquisite dining scene. Overnight Melbourne.

Day 15 - The Great Ocean Road

Today we travel along one of the world's most scenic byways, Great Ocean Road. This 150-mile stretch of highway follows Australia's southern coastline and presents some of the most memorable views in the country. Keep a look out for animals and marine life, craggy rock formations, stunning sandy beaches, charming fishing villages and dramatic cliffs. Highlights during our journey include the Twelve Apostles, Bells Beach and the Otway Rainforest. Overnight Melbourne.

Day 16 - Phillip Island

Enjoy a morning at leisure in Melbourne to relax at your hotel or to sightsee through the city. Later, the group boards a motorcoach bound for Phillip Island, named after Governor Arthur Phillip. This island forms a natural breakwater for the shallow waters of Western Port Bay. Here, we visit the Koala Conservation Center, where tree-top boardwalks allow us to walk amongst koalas while they relax comfortably in their natural environment. At sunset, overlooking the beach from the viewing platforms, a wonderful spectacle comes into sight, as the island's wild fairy penguins emerge from the sea and cross the sand to their burrows in the dunes. Overnight Melbourne.

Day 17- En Route to Sydney

A day of travel, our journey takes us from Melbourne to Sydney today. Along the way, enjoy the contrasts of the beach and the bush, and the city and small towns. As we arrive this evening, we check-in at the luxurious Amora Hotel Jamison, which is located in the heart of the city. Overnight Sydney.

Day 18 - Sydney Harbor Cruise

Some of the most iconic landmarks in Sydney can be seen from the water, and our cruise through Sydney Harbor allows us the delight. Our boat tour moves at a leisurely pace, allowing for fantastic panoramic views of spectacles such as the Sydney Opera House and the beautiful Harbor Bridge.

Back on dry land, the remainder of the day is at leisure to explore the vibrant city of Sydney. Perhaps visit the iconic Bondi Beach and try your hand at surfing, or peruse the culinary and entertainment options of Darling Harbor. Ever-popular attractions in the city include The Rocks historic area, the Sydney Tower Eye and Taronga Zoo. Overnight Sydney.

Day 19 - Katoomba Scenic Railroad

A contrast of yesterday's urban explorations, today we journey into the Blue Mountains aboard the Katoomba Scenic Railroad. This is the world's steepest incline railroad and offers a thrill for passengers of all ages. During our excursion, we also visit the iconic Three Sisters Rock Formation in Echo Point. These towering rock formations loom over the Jamison Valley and are some of the most iconic sites in the Blue Mountains. Overnight Sydney.

Day 20 - Bondi Beach

We visit an Australian institution today, Bondi Beach, home to sun-kissed surfers and a laid-back vibe. We sit down to lunch at the Bondi Icebergs Club to experience fish and chips Australian style. Overnight Sydney.

Day 21 - Return Home

Your tour concludes after breakfast this morning, and you are free to make your way to the airport for your return flight home.

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
For this tour, we recommend arriving into Cairns Airport, which is approximately 4 miles from your first hotel. Our recommended departure airport is the Sydney Airport, which is approximately 7 miles from your final hotel.

Recommended Airport

For this tour, we recommend arriving into Cairns Airport, which is approximately 4 miles from your first hotel. Our recommended departure airport is the Sydney Airport, which is approximately 7 miles from your final hotel.

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Majestic Roof Garden Hotel, Adelaide

Majestic Roof Garden Hotel, Adelaide

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Crowne Plaza Lasseters

Crowne Plaza Lasseters, Alice Springs

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Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort

Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort

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Pullman Cairns International

Pullman Cairns International, Cairns

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Crown Promenade, Melbourne

Crown Promenade, Melbourne

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Amora Hotel Jamison, Sydney

Amora Hotel Jamison, Sydney

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The Ghan
Katoomba Scenic Railway
Kuranda Scenic Railway
NSW Trainlink XPT
The Overland Train
Puffing Billy steam train

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Global Rail Adventures Brochure

Global Rail Adventures Brochure

The definitive guide to our 2022/23 Global Rail Adventures

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