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Is it worth to take Ghan Adelaide- AS for 1st time OZ trip

Phoenix, Arizona
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Is it worth to take Ghan Adelaide- AS for 1st time OZ trip

We'll be traveling for the first time to Australia from the US. Want to see as much as possible in 2 weeks. Is it worth to take the Ghan from Adelaide to Alice Springs? We can afford gold class. We are from Arizona so just seeing the desert won't impress us - what sights do you see: rivers, mountains, or just plain desert? John R., AZ

Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)
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Dandenong Ranges
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adelaide
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1. Re: Is it worth to take Ghan Adelaide- AS for 1st time OZ trip

travelling by train is because you have lots of time and money to do nothing rather than looking at things

there is no such thing as a "plain" desert - I love deserts - yours have cactus,ours don't - such a pity

with your limited time it might be better to fly

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Is it worth to take Ghan Adelaide- AS for 1st time OZ trip

Hi,

It really depends on your interest in train journeys.

The Ghan is a recognised service for both the fact that it's Australian, and it's one of the longest North-South transcontinental passenger service.

If one was to recommend a single 'sector' on the Ghan, I would more recommend the Alice Springs to Darwin leg (or in reverse from Darwin to Alice Springs). I'm not sure whether this will fit into your itinerary, but the scheduling involved on the Adelaide to Alice Spring leg is mostly overnight, and during the morning approaching Alice Springs, the scenery isn't quite as stunning in view or colour. The scenery is not 'just' desert, but travelling in the right time of year, you'll see lush, bright colours and landscape vastly different to that of Arizona.

Sedona, Arizona
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3. Re: Is it worth to take Ghan Adelaide- AS for 1st time OZ trip

Thank you for your response - we'll be traveling in June, and the AS-Darwin leg won't fit in our schedule at all since we won't go beyond AS / Ayers Rock. I am just trying to decide if spending $2000 (the difference between the Ghan and flying) and the day spent on the train are worth it. If most of the trip is at night and then close to AS the views are not that great it seems not - we will see the same views around AS?

Sedona, Arizona
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4. Re: Is it worth to take Ghan Adelaide- AS for 1st time OZ trip

We're not rich, in fact we cannot afford the Platinum service, but just trying to decide what is the best use of the limited time we'll have in Australia. From what you wrote we're better off just flying to AS, right?

Sydney
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5. Re: Is it worth to take Ghan Adelaide- AS for 1st time OZ trip

You do get some variation, but it does get pretty arid, pretty quickly. You'd want to be impressed by the wide open spaces. And really, you'd want to be in it for the experience as much as the scenery.

You will see the best desert scenery around Ayers Rock, and even if you head south down to the ranges from Alice Springs it is pretty impressive.

From what you're saying, I'd be recommending you fly, and spend your money and time in Alice.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Is it worth to take Ghan Adelaide- AS for 1st time OZ trip

I agree with Ina's.

To be perfectly honest, that amount for the ADL-ASP leg really isn't worth it. And the Platinum Class is even less value. To break it down, the schedule is a short afternoon run, welcome drinks, before the commencement of their first dinner sitting, by which time it's dark. This produces minimum viewing, and the end result is effectively for socialising in the lounge car, but little else on the night of departure. The morning is just an extended breakfast (depending on ontime running) and then a several hour run into Alice with rather repetitive scenery. So unless you can drink about $1000 worth of champagne cocktails during the free welcome drinks, I don't think it's worth it's price tag.

Oz
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7. Re: Is it worth to take Ghan Adelaide- AS for 1st time OZ trip

Hi,

I have a friend who is a train buff, he has completed most of the World's Great train Journeys. His answer would be the Ghan every time.

My answer, unless you are a train buff and the Ghan is on your "must do" list, I would fly between centres and use the time and money saved for activities.

Cheers,

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Is it worth to take Ghan Adelaide- AS for 1st time OZ trip

I've heard that alot OZ, and I think it stems from the fact that the colours and scenery observed onboard the Ghan journey in its entirety, matches what is 'preconceived' by many visitors as the colours of Australia - more so than that of the Indian Pacific.

Edited: 21 January 2014, 04:50
Oz
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9. Re: Is it worth to take Ghan Adelaide- AS for 1st time OZ trip

Hi KVE1005,

My mate actually works for Railcorp...........go figure!!!! He loves the whole Ghan experience and prefers it to the Indian Pacific.

I'll have to ask him about the colour thing although i suspect it may well be the colours of the reds on the wine list that he is more concerned with, Pinot Noir vs Shiraz?

Cheers,

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Is it worth to take Ghan Adelaide- AS for 1st time OZ trip

Having travelled the full distance on the Ghan I can advise from experience.

On departure from Adelaide the journey is through the "agriculatural" district north of the city arriving in Port Augusta about 4 hours later. In june this wold be after sunset. Waking the next morning you really are in the Outback in northern South Australia. The scenery into Alice Springs is varied but is desert in nature. It is nothing like the deserts of North America. It will be very late morning before arriving in Alice Springs.

The most common comment from travellers is the huge variation in scenery in the morning from that of the evening before.

I agree that Platinum class does not seem necessary although Gold class certainly is.