9 Day Kakadu & Arnhem Land Journey

Northbound Journey on The Ghan

Overview

The rail journey from Adelaide to Darwin features incredible landscapes and Off Train Experiences along the way. Our Kakadu, Litchfield and Arnhem Land itinerary takes you to the heart of this World Heritage wonderland for an even deeper connection with nature.

Package includes:

  • 2 nights aboard The Ghan, Adelaide to Darwin, including all meals, beverages and Off Train Experiences in Marla, Alice Springs and Katherine
  • Transfer from Darwin Rail Terminal to hotel
  • 3 nights’ accommodation at the Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront in a 1 spacious bedroom apartment
  • Aboriginal rock art
  • Visit the Warradjan Cultural Centre
  • Yellow Water Cruise
  • Visit World Heritage Area of Ubirr
  • Guluyambi Cruise on the East Alligator River
  • Arnhem Land entry permits and royalties to enter Aboriginal lands
  • Aboriginal guide on Injalak Hill
  • Visit to Injalak Arts and Craft Centre
  • Full day in Litchfield
  • Swim at Florence Falls and Wangi Falls
  • Private transfer to Airport
  • 2 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 2 dinners

 

Itinerary

Day 1 – Adelaide

Departing Adelaide, what lies ahead is rugged, beautiful and spectacular – through the Red Centre to the tropical north of Australia. Settle into your cabin and watch the rolling pastoral lands of South Australia from your window, or meet your fellow travellers in the lounge car. Before long some of the oldest rock formations in the world, the Flinders Ranges, come into view. As darkness envelops the rugged outback, it’s time to indulge in a regionally-inspired dinner and all-inclusive fine wines and beverages. (L, D)

Day 2 – Alice Springs

Begin with a freshly brewed coffee or juice as the day dawns at Marla, an outback outpost in the remote reaches of South Australia. It is here, deep inland, that you will enjoy a one of a kind experience, as you watch the desert come to life at sunrise. All aboard for brunch as you make your way through the MacDonnell Ranges to Alice Springs where a choice of Off Train Excursions awaits. Alice is an iconic Red Centre outpost. 1,500 kilometres from the nearest major city, it may be remote, but offers plenty to explore – home to doctors who fly, rivers that run dry, and a cast of colourful characters. Your time in the ‘capital out of the outback’ offers numerous opportunities to explore its historic legacy and unique environment. (B, L, D)

Day 3 – Katherine and Darwin

Your day dawns in the tropical north. The pristine wilderness of Katherine is stirring and powerful, and you’ll have the chance to explore it from the water or land with your choice of off-train experiences. Cruise the jaw-dropping Nitmiluk Gorge, learn more about its ancient Indigenous rock paintings and gain insight into the culture of the traditional owners of Nitmiluk, the Jawoyn people, or discover authentic outback life on a cattle station. As evening falls, arrive in Darwin to complete your epic Australian journey. (B,L)

Day 4 – Darwin

Today is a free day for you to explore Darwin taking in the fascinating history at your own pace.

 

Day 5 – Kakadu

Depart Darwin and travel through pristine wetland regions to Kakadu National Park, a 20,000 square kilometre suite of landscapes varying from red-hued escarpments that shelter historic Aboriginal rock art dating back thousands of years to floodplains teeming with wildlife. Visit the Warradjan Cultural Centre, then join your local guide on an awardwinning cruise to experience the dramatic scenery of the Yellow Water Billabong. Keep an eye out for saltwater crocodiles, a diverse array of smaller wildlife, and the colourful range of birdlife for which this region is renowned. (L)

Day 6 – Kakadu Guluyambi Cultural Cruise

This morning join your Driver Guide to explore the World Heritage Area of Ubirr, where you’ll climb up through the ancient Aboriginal rock art galleries, believed to be 20,000 years old, to the lookout for a view over the surrounding wetlands. Join the Guluyambi Cruise on the East Alligator River. An Aboriginal guide will provide an insight into their culture, including local mythology, the river’s abundant food chain, as well as bush survival skills. With special permission of the local people, you can go ashore in Arnhem Land. Visit the Marrawuddi Art Gallery before returning to Darwin, where your Short Break concludes. (L)

Day 7 – Litchfield

In Litchfield National Park today your first stop is Florence Falls, where you can take a scenic bush and monsoon vine forest walk. After a swim in its pristine plunge pool, travel on to Tolmer Falls for a stunning view of the water cascading down to the deep waterhole below. Wangi Falls, with its large crystal-clear pool, is another relaxing spot for a swim. At Howard Springs Nature Park, you’ll have the opportunity to feed the barramundi and turtles. (L)

Day 8 – Arnhem Land

Today we visit Arnhem Land, and area which access is restricted to a select group of tour operators only.
Visitors to Arnhem Land are able to experience a fascinating mixture of traditional and living culture. Arnhem Land is perhaps the one area in Australia where indigenous culture is still dominant, despite a long history of interaction with other cultures, for example the Macassens who visited the shores of Arnhem Land for more then five hundred years to harvest sea slug. They came by sailing boats from Indonesian Island of Sulawesi and left their legacy with the Aboriginal people.
Then Europeans, their impact on Aboriginal people was more far reaching and profound. Arnhem Land today has weathered all the storms and it has managed to stay as a last frontier and homeland of around 18.000 people.
While we are in Arnhem Land a traditional Aboriginal guide will show you excellent examples of rock art on Injalak Hill (Long Tom Dreaming), this area has some of the best rock art examples in Western Arnhem Land and some say Australia. The view from the top of the hill is simply breathtaking, looking out across the floodplains and around the Arnhemland escarpment. When we farewell our Aboriginal guide back at the Injalak Art & Craft Centre there is an opportunity to browse or purchase goods from this non-profit Aboriginal organisation. At the award winning Injalak Arts and Crafts Centre (Gunbalanya) there is time to watch the traditional Aboriginal people painting and to see the women weaving pandanus baskets. With its stunning scenery of billabongs, birds, escarpment this is truly a place where you can escape and experience this unique untouched haven of the Northern Territory.

Day 9 – Depart Darwin

Today is a free day for you to relax or explore more of Darwin before your transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Train & Accommodation

Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront

Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront is located just metres from Stokes Hill Wharf, Darwin’s Wave Lagoon, and a great selection of restaurants and bars.

The serviced apartment style hotel is also close to the Deckchair Cinema, Bicentennial Park, Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, and the CBD, allowing you to easily explore all Darwin has to offer.

Adina Darwin Waterfront features spacious one and two bedroom apartments and studio rooms, fully-equipped with all the comforts of home. Cook up fresh produce from the local markets in your kitchen, freshen up your clothes in your in-room laundry and spread out in your separate living area.

You’ll also have the benefit of hotel facilities and services, including an outdoor pool, fitness centre, on-site parking and 24 hour reception. Serviced apartment style living, combined with the hotel’s inner-city, waterfront location, makes Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront an excellent choice for both short and long term stays.

 

The Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel

The Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel is one of the world’s most distinctive hotels. The indigenous owned four-star accommodation is uniquely shaped to represent Kakadu’s most famous inhabitant, the saltwater crocodile.

Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel is located in the township of Jabiru and is ideally located for visitors to explore many of Kakadu’s most significant natural attractions such as Ubirr, Nourlangie, Cahills Crossing and the Mamukala Wetlands. It is also well located for tours on Yellow Water Billabong.

 

The Ghan

The Ghan offers more than just a transit between Adelaide to Darwin, It is unquestionably the most comfortable way to see the beautiful wilderness of Australia’s Red Centre. It is a hotel on wheels which runs through the heart of the country, covering the 2,979km between the south coast at Adelaide and the north coast at Darwin in two nights and three days. Most of the services entail two nights on the train, but The Ghan Expedition (Southbound) option adds an extra night on board.

The train’s name supposedly honours the Afghan camel drivers who arrived in Australia in the late 19th century with animals imported from India. The Ghan name is an old one, bestowed on the narrow-gauge trains that ran from the Adelaide–Perth line at Port Augusta to a series of railheads as construction crews slowly and intermittently worked their way north.

It took 50 years from 1879 to 1929 to get as far as Alice Springs and there the line stopped. Frequent floods and washouts encouraged the construction of a new standard-gauge railway further west, from Tarcoola to Alice, opened in 1980, before the original concept was fulfilled with the opening of the line on to Darwin in 2004. Added to the allure of the outback is Alice Springs, a town of only 29,000 people yet known the world over as a symbol of isolation so strong that even the philosopher Bertrand Russell had to go and see it for himself in 1950. Alice, as every local shortens it, is also the springboard for trips to the largest monolith in the world, Uluru.

Onboard you will find an all-inclusive sumptuous dining of regionally inspired menu paired with a selection of local wines, elegant private cabins, attentive service, and the camaraderie of your fellow travellers. And when the train stops, the adventures begin.

Choose from a huge range of included off-train experiences to create your own rich and rewarding personal journey through Australia’s outback and beyond. Choose from one of the following journeys to create the foundation for your next adventure or, extend the experience with a tailored holiday package.


PLATINUM SERVICE

Stylishly appointed, spacious suites complemented by discreet, personalised service and world-class food and wine make this a very special travel experience. Platinum guests enjoy premium extras like a full-size en suite, expansive window views from both sides of the train, and exclusive use of the Platinum Club carriage. You’ll also notice the Bollinger champagne, Australian Appelles Apothecary toiletries, Haigh’s chocolates, a nightcap at turndown, luxuriously soft linen, and more … it’s this attention to detail that you’ll recall long after your journey’s end. By day, your cabin is configured as a private lounge with deluxe seating, a table and two ottomans. By night, you’ll enjoy a deep, comfortable sleep as the lounges convert into a comfortable bedroom with either a double or twin beds.

It’s the perfect place to relax and take in the amazing views passing by your panoramic windows but, for a more social experience, head to the Platinum Club. Thoughtfully appointed to embody the spirit of the train’s Australian heritage, the décor features quartzite tabletops, timber flooring, brass fittings and leather banquette lounge seating in tones of ash, moss and sepia. The carriage offers a daytime lounge setting with adaptable dining options. As you’d expect from a first class service, the food and wine included in the Platinum Service is of the highest standard. Your fare includes hearty breakfasts, two-course lunches and four-course dinners. Vegetarian and special dietary meals are available when you make your booking. And, as a Platinum guest, the premium service level begins before you even board with private transfers included at the start and end of your journey within a 60 kilometre radius of the terminal.


Platinum services includes:

  • All-inclusive dining, beverages, Off Train Excursions and Outback Experiences
  • Spacious Double or Twin cabin almost twice the size of a Gold Service Twin cabin
  • By day, cabins are set up lounge-style with a moveable table and two ottomans
  • By night, lounges are converted to double or twin beds
  • En suite equipped with separate shower, vanity with cupboard space, toilet and Australian bathroom amenities
  • Power outlets and in-cabin safe
  • In-cabin music channels and journey audio commentary Panoramic windows offering views from both sides of the train Access to the exclusive Platinum Club for dining and socialising Freshly prepared continental breakfasts served upon request in-cabin Refreshments served in-cabin Transfers at the start and end of your journey available for guests within 60 km of the terminal 90 kg checked luggage allowance per guest (3 x 30 kg each).


GOLD SERVICE

Spend hours deep in conversation with a travelling partner or lose yourself in a lifetime of thoughts. And after a day of off-train activities, your cabin provides the perfect place to relax and recharge before heading for the lounge or dining carriage. With room to stretch out and all the comforts of home, Gold Service is the most popular level of service aboard The Ghan and Indian Pacific. You’ll enjoy private cabin accommodation together with all-inclusive dining, beverages and a range of fascinating Off Train Excursions at key stops.

Gold services includes:

  • For Gold Twin, a comfortable sleeper cabin featuring private en suite and upper and lower berths that convert to a three-seater lounge by day
  • For Gold Single, a compact sleeper cabin featuring a bed that converts to a seat by day and shared shower/toilet facilities located at the end of the carriage
  • Power outlets in cabin
  • In-cabin music channels and journey audio commentary available
  • All-inclusive dining in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant
  • All-inclusive Australian wines, beers, base spirits and non-alcoholic beverages
  • All-inclusive Off Train Excursions and Short Stops
  • Luggage allowance is 60kg per guest
  • Complimentary Shuttle bus transfers available in Darwin to selected hotels in the city centre

Gold Twin Cabins

The most popular choice of accommodation on The Ghan and Indian Pacific, Gold Service Twin cabins have everything you need to make you feel right at home for the amazing experience that lies ahead. This is your private oasis, a superbly comfortable overnight room to recline and let the rhythm of the tracks sway you to sleep ahead of your next adventure.

Gold Superior Cabins

A Superior cabin in Gold Service is a unique way to travel, you’ll enjoy private accommodation together with all-inclusive dining, beverages and a range of fascinating Off Train Excursions.

Gold Access Cabins

Gold Access Cabins are exclusively reserved for the mobility impaired. This cabin is subject to availability and assessment of the guest’s Fitness to Travel.


FOOD & BEVERAGE

In addition to the comfort of your beautifully appointed cabin onboard a Great Southern Rail train, you’ll find yourself indulging in sumptuous cuisine, fine wines, and camaraderie in our dining carriages. Taking our cue from the diverse environments our trains travel through, our expert culinary team works closely with local suppliers, farmers and providores to source the best ingredients, creating an innovative, regionally-inspired menu accompanied by all-inclusive fine wines and beverages.

Each of our three dining carriages has its own ambience and personality. The Queen Adelaide restaurant evokes the golden era of rail with an art deco atmosphere, the Outback Explorer Lounges offer camaraderie in a relaxed social setting, while the Platinum Club impresses with its quartzite tabletops, timber flooring and brass fittings for our Platinum Service guests.

Queen Adelaide Restaurant

Step out of your spacious cabin and into the exclusive, classically styled Queen Adelaide Restaurant where an all inclusive menu is prepared by on-board chefs using fresh local fare. Our seasonal menu features mouth-watering dishes such as saltwater barramundi and grilled kangaroo fillet. Fares include hearty breakfasts, two course lunches and three course dinners. Vegetarian, children’s and limited special dietary meals are available when you make your booking. You may also choose to complement your meal with our selection of wines and beverages which are also included in your fare.

Outback Explorer Lounge

The Outback Explorer Lounges are the social hub of the train, the perfect setting to get to know fellow travellers, enjoy a snack, and catch glimpses of the passing landscape through wide picture windows.

Platinum Club

The Platinum Club Lounge is hosted by a Platinum Host, serving drinks, cocktails and barista coffee. Request an afternoon refreshment from the all-inclusive beverage list, or simply choose from the self-serve bar. Our highly-experienced onboard culinary teams work closely with local suppliers, farmers and providores sourcing the finest ingredients to create innovative, regionally-inspired menus accompanied by all-inclusive fine wines and beverages offered on every route.

 

Fine Print

Fare based on Low Season.  For high season please add $560 per person

Low Season: FEB – APR / SEPT – NOV
High Season: MAY – AUG

Advance Purchase $4450 per person twin share

Advance Purchase fares are not available within 6 months of travel date and are not available on every departure.
For Advance Purchase Rail Journeys and Advance Purchase Holiday Packages, full payment will be required at the time of booking.
This payment is per booking and non-refundable.
Amendments: 45 days and under prior to original scheduled departure, amendment to travel date allowed at any time with no fee.
Cancellation: 100% cancellation fees apply 14 days after booking date

Everyday $4730 per person twin share

For Everyday Rail Journeys Packages, you may pay the Fee in two parts: A deposit of 25% at the time of booking and final payment 60 days prior to departure
Amendments: Free of charge prior to departure
Cancellation: Fully Refundable until 24 hours prior to departure

Flexible $5010 per person twin share

For Fully Flexible Rail Journeys and Fully Flexible Holiday Packages, full payment will be required at the time of booking.
Amendments: 45 days and under prior to original scheduled departure, amendment to travel date allowed at any time with no fee.
Cancellation: 100% cancellation fees apply 14 days after booking date

Supplier Cancellation:

For all fare types, in the event of a JBRE Cancellation, JBRE will provide you with the option to receive one of the following:
(1) (where available) travel on an alternative non-rail holiday package of similar value,
that gets you to the scheduled end destination;
(2) an alternate rail service of the same value at a later date;
(3) a full refund of monies paid to JBRE under the booking; or
(4) a credit note of an amount equal to the monies paid to JBRE under the booking.

From $4450

per person twin share

Enquire About This Offer

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