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The Ghan Expedition Platinum Service, Darwin, Kakadu & Litchfield

Some of Australia’s most stunning and diverse natural scenery can be found in Kakadu & Litchfield National Parks where the waterfalls and landscapes will captivate you. Explore the tropical capital city and taste some local Territory fare at the popular Hotel Darwin, all while based at the Hilton Darwin. Complete your holiday with a quintessential Australian rail journey aboard the Ghan Expedition in Platinum Service from Darwin to Adelaide.

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9 nights from:
$4,999pp

Valued up to:
$7,770

Offer ends:
30 September 2020

For travel 30 August - 30 October 2020.

Inclusions

  • 5 night stay in Darwin at the Hilton Darwin in a guest room including:
    • Daily breakfast
    • 15% off food and beverage at Mitchell's restaurant
    • Free WiFi
    • Late checkout to 1pm 
  • Overnight Kakadu and East Alligator River tour including experienced driver guide with comprehensive commentary, accommodation at the modern Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel, air-conditioned coach & lunch
  • Litchfield National Park Waterfalls sightseeing tour including an experienced driver guide and comprehensive commentary, air-conditioned coach & lunch
  • Dinner at the iconic Hotel Darwin with a glass of beer, wine or soft drink
  • 3 nights aboard the Ghan Expedition travelling from Darwin to Adelaide in Platinum Service including all onboard meals, drinks, Off Train Experiences and Platinum transfers in Adelaide and Darwin (within 60km of the rail terminal)

Itinerary


Accommodation:


The Hilton Darwin is located in the centre of the city’s CBD with stunning views over Darwin Harbour together with a stylish bar and restaurant serving modern Australian cuisine. Enjoy the sunshine in the 10th-floor outdoor lap pool, sip a drink on the terrace and maintain your exercise regimen in the modern fitness centre or take a short walk to nearby shopping, entertainment and dining. Light and contemporary styling of the newly renovated guest rooms feature muted wallpapers and natural tones for a warm and comfortable ambience. With all new local artworks adorning the walls and quality finishes throughout, Hilton Darwin is as stylish as it is accessible.


A unique and epic experience, explore the wonders of Australia’s vast interior with one of the world’s most renowned rail journeys – The Ghan Expedition from Darwin to Adelaide.


Beginning in Darwin, this four day, three night, 2979km all-inclusive journey will take you to some of the most remote and captivating parts of Australia in style and comfort. Operating March to October 2019 and March 2020, your adventure through the country’s vast, varied, and captivating interior will leave you speechless. It’s the ultimate Australian outback experience.


For the discerning traveller, Platinum Service adds an enhanced level of sophistication to your journey. Stylishly appointed, spacious suites complemented by discreet, personalised service and world-class food and wine make this a very special travel experience.


Where to eat:


You’ll find yourself dining at the iconic Hotel Darwin which dates back to 1940 and has been a long-running watering-hole for the city’s locals. This is the place to try a variety of local produce including fresh barramundi, thick rump steak, mouth-watering pizzas and even kangaroo pie.


For a social experience on board the Ghan, 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. 


What to do:


While on the Litchfield National Park Waterfalls sightseeing tour, you’ll experience the stunning tropical nature of the famed National Park while also provided with lunch, an experienced driver guide and comprehensive commentary. Your first stop will be at the town of Batchelor (the gateway to Litchfield) before heading on to the magnificent Termite Mounds. It’s then on to view the double waterfalls of Florence Falls from a high vantage point before making your way down to the plunge pool below. Next, you'll enjoy an interpretive walk through the scenic bush and monsoon vine forest surroundings, before continuing on to the spectacular Tolmer Falls which is home to colonies of rare ghost and orange horseshow bats. Time for lunch at Litchfield Café before finishing the day at the popular Wangi Falls which is the perfect place to end your adventurous Litchfield tour.


Your Kakadu National Park and East Alligator sightseeing tour will see your exploring the largest National Park in Australia! With one of the most diverse landscapes you’ll find yourself enthralled by the varying flora and fauna found in the air, on the land and in the water. From Darwin you’ll travel through the pristine wetland regions to Kakadu before you arrive at the Warradjan Cultural Centre. Here you’ll be introduced to the way of life of the Bininj people who are the traditional owners of the land. It’s then on to an exciting cruise along the Yellow Water Billabong which is home to thousands of crocodiles just waiting to be spotted along with over 60 species of colourful birdlife including brolgas and kingfishers. That night you will stay at the luxurious Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel where you can relax after a day full of exciting exploration.


You’ll start day two by exploring the World Heritage area of Ubirr where Aboriginal rock art galleries believed to be over 20,000 years old will take your breath away. Climb your way to the lookout for stunning views over the impressive landscape which includes the floodplains, lush woodlands and dark ribbons of forest that make up the Nadab wetlands. It’s then on to a Guluyambi Cultural Cruise along East Alligator River where an Aboriginal guide will provide insights into the local culture and mythology as well as the rivers food chain and some bush survival skills. With special permission from the local people, you are even allowed to go ashore in Arnhem Land. Next, it’s on to a visit of the Bowali Visitor Centre for a wealth of information on the Park’s ecology and Aboriginal culture before finally returning to Darwin.


An icon of Australian rail travel and one of the world’s great train journeys. The Ghan Expedition Off Train Experiences below are in addition to those available on The Ghan standard Darwin to Adelaide train journey of river cruises, cultural experiences and optional camel rides or helicopter flights add another exciting dimension to your journey, giving you a chance to breathe in the beauty you’ve been watching pass by.


Additional Ghan Expedition Experiences:


In addition to the Katherine off Train Experiences of Nitmiluk Gorge Cruise, Katherine Outback Experience plus the optional upgrades, Ghan Expedition guests enjoy the below outback dinner in Alice Springs and a choice of excursions in Coober Pedy:


Alice Springs Outback BBQ Dinner


After your choice of Alice Springs excursion of Alice Explorer, Alice Springs Desert Park, Alice to Off Road or Simpsons Gap Discovery Walk, transfer to the Alice Springs Telegraph Station in the evening for a truly unique and authentic dinner experience. Become immersed in the spirit and grandeur that is the history of the Australian Outback. Tuck in to a mouthwatering meal, enjoy a cold beer or a fine wine all whilst under a chandelier of stars.


Explore Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy is an ‘underground’ town where you could arrive with just the shirt on your back and leave a millionaire.


Tour the town and hear about its history. See the Serbian Orthodox Church, built underground with rock carvings in the walls, high roof ‘ballroom’ style design and stained glass windows making this one of Coober Pedy’s most awe inspiring structures.


Visit Umoona Opal Mine and Museum, an underground museum with detailed historical content of the town, an Aboriginal Interpretive Centre, an underground home known as a ‘dugout’ and an original opal mine. Should you wish, some professional advice is available on opal quality and pricing in the gift shop.


Visit the grassless golf course, the only golf club with reciprocal playing rights to St Andrews in Scotland. See a working opal field at the Quest Opal Mine where there is the chance to don a hard hat and grab a pick to try your luck at finding your own fortune. Here you will enjoy lunch.


With your fortune stored safely in your pocket, travel along a portion of The Dog Fence, the longest continual construction in the world. Stretching some 5,300 kilometres, it begins east of Surfers Paradise in Queensland and ends up north of Ceduna in the Great Australian Bight, South Australia.


Stop en route for a great photo opportunity before arriving at The Breakaways, a striking example of arid scenery. Looking out over the Breakaways it is hard to believe that a vast inland sea covered the area. Marvel at the scenery that stretches as far as the eye can see.


Opal Experience

On this half day tour guests discover the beauty and history of Australia’s national gemstone at the Umoona Opal Mine and Museum, one of Coober Pedy’s favourite attractions. This immersive experience reveals all there is to know about these alluring gemstones and you’ll also get to see the very best examples of them on display.


Umoona also features historic artefacts, underground caverns, hand dug shafts and tunnels, as well as one of the original underground homes. At the Opal Quest Mine, you’ll have the chance to fossick for your own opal and enjoy a relaxed lunch underground.


Watch the earthy colours of the ancient mesas and valleys transform as the sun moves across this surreal panorama. Your second lookout is the Big Winch, which offers another perfect vantage point to truly appreciate this powerful place.


Discover the Majestic Breakaways

The Breakaways Reserve got its name from the colourful low hills that appear from a distance as if they are ‘broken away’ from the higher ground of the reserve. The landscape was once an inland sea and over time has been transformed into a dramatic landscape that changes colour with the passing of the sun creating an almost surreal panorama.


The Breakaways Lookout is a highlight for guests of the walking tour and provides the perfect vantage point to truly appreciate the breathtaking landscape.


Your local walking guide will take you on a journey that will bring the land to life by showcasing some of the vibrant local flora and fauna and delight you with indigenous ‘dream time’ stories and tales from the past.


You will discover the beauty and history of Australia’s national gemstone at the Umoona Opal Mine and Museum, one of Coober Pedy’s original attractions and the Opal capital of the world.


A guided interactive tour of the museum is a perfect back drop to allow you the opportunity to explore the underground caverns, hand dug shafts and tunnels featuring an original underground dugout home and memorabilia from the past.


A visit to the Opal Quest Mine is where you will be able to don a hard hat and try your luck finding fortune while enjoying lunch in this




Location & how to get there


Darwin International Airport (darwinairport.com.au) is serviced by many Domestic and Regional airline carriers including QantasVirgin AustraliaJetstar and Air North.  Flights mainly operate out of Australia’s capital cities and generally take between 3 – 4 hours.


The airport is about a 15-minute drive from the centre of town. Car hire is available from the counters close to the baggage carousels. There are also plenty of taxis available at the airport cab rank and private transfers can be pre-booked.


Darwin can also be reached by The Ghan, from Adelaide or Alice Springs, with trains arriving weekly on Tuesdays. While the rail station is situated a short drive from the city centre, free transfers are offered to all passengers.


For those driving there are a number of entry ways to access Darwin. Most roads are sealed however some are for the more adventurous 4 wheel drivers. If you are coming from Queensland the best route to take is the Overlander’s Way / Barkly Highway from Mt Isa. If you are leaving from Cairns you can take the Savannah Way which is a rugged, unsealed road which crosses the top of Australia from Cairns to Broome. You can also use the Savannah Way as an access from Western Australia. Other roads leading from WA to Darwin include the Tanami Road that runs across the Tanami Desert and to the north the Butine Highway. The drive from South Australia is especially scenic as you follow the Explorer’s Way through Coober Pedy and past the major centres of Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Katherine before arriving in Darwin.


Package terms


On sale until 30 September 2020. For travel 30 August - 30 October 2020. Blackout dates may apply and some inclusions may be closed over public holidays. Prices and inclusions are correct as of 7 August 2020 and may be subject to change due to availability, surcharges, fees or taxes without notice. Offer may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Prices are based on per person twin share. Please contact us on 1800 854 897 or deals@ntnow.com.au to enquire. Airfares and transfers are additional unless otherwise specified. Flights should not be booked until your package has been confirmed. Please speak to one of our NT Now Travel Specialists for the best available fares at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions and details on our refund policy, view our booking conditions. E&OE.


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