Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Through the Heart of Australia; Lyn Tan Explores the Route Where Camels Once Paved the Way

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Through the Heart of Australia; Lyn Tan Explores the Route Where Camels Once Paved the Way

Article excerpt

WHEN presented with the opportunity to embark on one of the world's greatest train journeys that is The Ghan, you simply do not refuse, so I didn't. Even though that meant being confined to a relatively small cabin space for a few days and using an even smaller water closet within that space. This is because the magnificence of the great Australian outback that's revealed throughout the journey far outweighs any inconvenience that may come with a compact environment.

Three classes onboard the service translates to three levels of comfort. Red level passengers get a reclinable seat and a shared water closet. Gold comes with a small private room with a basic ensuite and bunk beds. Platinum, the most luxurious, offers a more spacious room with a double bed plus ensuite.

With a camel and a rider as its famous trademark, The Ghan was aptly named after the Afghan cameleers who once upon a time accessed the unforgiving furnace-like Australian interior. Stretching about 3000km, this transcontinental crossing between Adelaide and Darwin is usually a three day two night affair. However, this year, The Ghan launched its brand new annual ANZAC Tribute service, which added an extra day to the journey.

I quickly got acquainted with my new cosy abode and took in everything on the journey. I admired the vast plains of changing colours, textures and vegetation as we entered deeper into the continent I joined other guests to feast on the amazing food prepared onboard. I participated on awhistle blowa tours of various outback towns. And I slept like a baby to the rocking motion of the train.

Even when travelling between stops or between meals, time is passed quite easily over a few G&Ts while mingling with other guests at the Outback Lounge. Classy, well lit and equipped with books, magazines, board games and most importantly a full bar, there can never be a dull moment at the Lounge.

Now, we all know how exceptionally stunning the Australian outback is, but I shall reiterate it again anyway. …

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