A rail journey across the Australian Outback
When I boarded the Ghan Train in Adelaide last May a feeling of joy and curiosity seized me. I thought: this time it is going to be “different”. You wonder why different? My 3 months Ausrail Pass included the use of all Australian train and rail journeys. Although I had already experienced the journey aboard the Ghan train (on my previous trips) I was eager to find out about the improvements and the changes GSR had introduced on the Ghan train.
And indeed the improvements on the Ghan train are remarkable to make of this rail journey across the australian country an even more pleasant and impressive train journey, really worth experiencing it. Let’s have a look at the Ghan train features and its service.
Features of The Red Service – A review of the Ghan Train
The biggest improvement is the Red Gum Lounge in the Red Service. This lounge has been introduced in 2010, and has all the comforts to make you love it and sit in the lounge for hours. You can literally spend all of your day-time in there, reading a book, listening to music, sipping your coffee while marvelling at the dramatic australian landscape, taking photos or just relaxing.
The furniture of the Lounge confers visual harmony in the shapes and the colours. The deep green and the blue of fabrics as well as the comfortable round shaped armchairs with the little tables in natural wooden colours perfectly match the colours of the Australian landscape and the endless horizont the train takes you through for over 3000km. It’s a real pleasure to sit in there.
I loved spending my time in the Red Gum Lounge, chatting with fellow travellers, working at my computer, enjoing a good cuppa of tea…. a glass of champagne…. and of course taking heaps of photos. Coffee and tea are available for self-service. Moreover the lounge is adjacent to the Matilda Cafè, which is the bar-restaurant in the Red Service on the Ghan. So if you get hungry you can grab some food and eat it in the lounge. So what else do you want more ?
The food and the service at Matilda Cafè have improved a lot too. You can have breakfast, lunch and dinner with a good offer on hot meals and also a variety of sandwiches and salads. For vegetarians, there is always a veg meal offer. If years before the food offer did not meet my expectations, this time I really enjoyed the meals onboard of the Ghan train.
Service on the Ghan train: the Red Seaters and the Red Cabins
As you probably know, in the Red Service there are two types of carriages, the Read Seaters and the Red Cabins. I have travelled on both both of them. On the route Adelaide to Alice Springs I had booked a red seat. The seats are comfortable, at night can you can lean down the back of your seat to turn it into almost a sort of berth. This enhances the comfort and allows to get some sleep. And if the seats in front of you are not occupied, they can be switched so as to create a sort of extension of your seat , as simple as that.
On the return route from Darwin to Adelaide I upgraded to sleep in the Red Cabin Service. Here below you can see some details of the red sleeping cabin of the Ghan Train.
The Red Cabins are fully equipped to make your stay at night comfortable, there are 2 seats in each cabin and both can be turned into bunk berths at night, but since space is pretty limited I personally would choose this red sleeping service when travelling alone. For me as a solo traveller it was absolutely the perfect match.
When you board the train you will find your little “The Ghan Train” bag with toilette accessories, towels,and the platform magazine to welcome you.
There is even a wash basin which can be emptied when folded away. Very practical.
As you can see from the photos below, the Red Cabin on the Ghan Train looks like a tiny hotel room, it is fitted out with electrical plugs for easy connection of your elecronic devices and there is also a mini garderobe. At night you can lock your door from inside, but you cannot lock the door from outside though. Showers, toilets, water dispensers are located along the corridor of the Red Cabins Carriage.
As said, space inside the Red Cabin of the train is okay for 1 passenger but can be tight for 2 persons. So if travelling with travel companions I think the Gold Service Cabins may be a better option for you.
This was a short description of the Red Service features along with my personal experience and review of the Ghan train.
I bet you now want to see some beautiful took during my rail journey on the Ghan. I could post hundreds of photos. But then you will not be able to open up the page online. So to make it easy for you, I have set up a dedicated page with the best photos for you to see some of the most impressive outback photos from the Ghan Train.
Hope you find this post about my experience on the Ghan Train useful and inspire you to explore Australia by rail.
Enjoy your rail journey on the Ghan Train!
Disclaimer note: While I have paid for my Ausrail Pass, the GSR offered the upgrade for the Red Cabin, the opinions in the article are my own.
Enjoy the Australian Outback from the Ghan Train
Travelling across the australian Outback is something that all travellers want do, at least once in their life. However it is not so easy, especially for international travellers, to figure out how vast the Australian Outback is. It covers the remote vast inland areas of the country, so that only a tiny part of it can fit into their travel itinerary.
During my trip abord the Ghan Train I could take some amazing Outback Photos.
A rail journey on the Ghan Train is truly a valuable option that makes it easy for many travellers to see much of the country from bottom to top, without the hassle and fatigue that self-driving most of times involves. Moreover on the Ghan you can meet other fellow travellers to make your stay on the train fun and entertaining.
To gain an insight about what you can see on the 2nights and 3 days rail journey on the Ghan I have made a selection of the photos I took during my recent trip on the Ghan.
This is what you can view leaving on the rail journey on the Ghan from Adelaide: soft hills contours and vast stretches of land up to the first destination, Port Augusta.
As you can see the australian landscape is changing on the way to Alice Springs. Although the window glass reflection sometimes affected the quality of the photos, it was possible to capture the beauty of the outback, a beauty that will stay in your memories for a long time.
The view you can have from the Ghan is simply amazing. You can literally spend hours taking photos, the outback landscape is so diverse, in its colours, its vegetation, its light.
This picture below was taking while crossing the Finke River Bridge, as you can see, its dry banks look like a long stretch of brown velvet with some water glitter. Very very beautiful.
Here below a few more photos taken from the Ghan of the spectacular outback landscape you can view from the train.
But this is not all what you can see from the Ghan.
Want to see more Outback Photos?
Click on the links below
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