This eight-day Australia adventure takes you on a bucket-list train ride through the outback. Travel from Adelaide to Alice Springs aboard The Ghan on a multiday journey through incredible desert landscapes and quiet outback towns. Make your way from South Australia's foodie capital to the mythical monolith of Uluru in style, enjoy a day exploring Melbourne's famous Great Ocean Road, and meet orphaned kangaroos at a sanctuary.


  • Travel the outback on The Ghan, a train from Adelaide to Alice Springs
  • Experience Uluru with an unforgettable sunset dinner and sunrise camel ride
  • See the Twelve Apostles along the picturesque Great Ocean Road
  • Visit a kangaroo sanctuary in Alice Springs and meet orphaned baby roos
  • Take a hot-air balloon flight high above Alice Springs

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Melbourne, Great Ocean Road Adventure Melbourne
Day 2 Fly to Adelaide, Evening Food Tour Adelaide
Day 3 The Ghan Day 1: Adelaide to the Outback Ghan
Day 4 The Ghan Day 2: The Outback and Alice Springs Alice Springs
Day 5 Transfer to Uluru, Uluru Sacred Sights & Sunset Tour Uluru
Day 6 Sunrise Camel Ride, Hike Kata Tjuta & Sounds of Silence Dinner Uluru
Day 7 Transfer to Alice Springs, Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs
Day 8 Hot-Air Balloon Flight, Depart Alice Springs  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Melbourne, Great Ocean Road Adventure

Transfer Airport - Accommodation
See the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road

Welcome to Australia! Your adventure starts in Melbourne, but instead of exploring the city, you'll tick off the famous Great Ocean Road. Known for its dramatic and impressive coastline, this drive is one of Australia's top attractions. Today you'll travel along part of the 149-mile (240 km) coast soaking up spectacular ocean vistas that contrast with serene green Aussie bushland. Keep an eye on the gum trees—you might be lucky enough to spot a koala hanging from the branches.

Enjoy lunch at the Apollo Bay Hotel before jumping back in the car to explore the star attraction: the Twelve Apostles. Set within Port Campbell National Park, also known as "The Shipwreck Coast," take in views of the Twelve Apostle from the boardwalk and explore Loch Ard Gorg with its trails, blowholes, and towering cliffs, before returning to the city.

Day 2: Fly to Adelaide, Evening Food Tour

Evening Wine, Dine & Discover by Foot
Discover Adelaide's food and wine scene on foot

A private transfer will collect you from your Melbourne accommodation in time for your flight to Adelaide. On arrival, another driver will take you to your Adelaide base for the night. Settle in, refresh, and get ready for a night on the town. A food-loving host will collect you for a four-hour evening sojourn through the streets of downtown Adelaide. Half a dozen world-class wine regions surround the South Australian city, so it makes sense to start with the finest local haunts. 

Walk to one of the city's lesser-known wine bars for an introduction to South Australian wines. On the way to the second stop, admire Adelaide's architecture, street art, and atmosphere before you dive into one of the city's hidden bars for an introduction to local spirits and creative cocktails. Enjoy delicious share plates as you hear about regional laws and legends, the saints, sinners, innovators, and creators who have shaped this unique Australian city. Finish with a local digestive and delicious cheese at an institution that has shaped Adelaide's night culture. 

Day 3: The Ghan Day 1: Adelaide to the Outback

 The Ghan, Port Augusta, South Australia © Journey Beyond, courtesy of Tourism Australia
Board the legendary Ghan train and ride across the vast Australian countryside

The Ghan is a legendary train that evokes a frontier spirit and a romantic connection to the land. Today you'll board the national treasure for an unforgettable experience. Originally dubbed the Afghan Express, The Ghan was named for the pioneering cameleers who blazed a permanent trail into the red center of Australia more than 150 years ago. The moment you step into your cabin at noon, you'll be immersed into a world of romance that epitomizes rail travel.

Head to the Queen Adelaide Restaurant for an all-inclusive lunch of South Australian produce as you watch Adelaide's outskirts roll into pastoral lands and wine country before flattening into rugged mallee scrub. Cross over the Dingo Fence—the world's longest fence, built to keep dingoes out of southeast Australia—and speed into the outback, passing rustic railway towns and Indigenous land, where communities have held a connection with Country for thousands of years. Watch the sunset with new friends over cocktails, enjoy dinner onboard, and finish the day with a hearty red wine.

Day 4: The Ghan Day 2: The Outback to Alice Springs

The Ghan
You'll see the landscape change from aboard pastoral lands and wine country to the desert on the Ghan
Plan your trip to Australia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Wake up in Marla. Closer to Alice Springs than Adelaide, this small outback town is just shy of 620 miles (1,000 km) into this incredible train journey. Arriving in the dark, you're invited to step off and stretch your legs as sunlight slowly bathes the outback landscape. Sip a steaming mug of coffee and tuck into a bacon and egg roll before reboarding (you could even return to bed!). Soon enough, the Ghan will cross the Northern Territory border, arriving in Alice Springs around noon.

In Alice Springs, choose how to spend the afternoon. The Ghan traverses magnificent outback landscapes, and you can learn more about the flora, fauna, and ancient cultural stories on a guided walking tour at Alice Springs Desert Park. Meet mysterious nocturnal desert animals, including the iconic bilby and mala, and watch a free-flight bird show. Or get up close to crocodiles, goannas, and frill-neck lizards at the Reptile Centre, visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service and historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station, or take a scenic helicopter flight over the ancient red MacDonnell Ranges.

Day 5: Transfer to Uluru, Uluru Sacred Sights & Sunset Tour

Uluru Adventure
Marvel at sacred Uluru, Australia's famed Red Rock

Wave goodbye to Alice Springs as you travel toward Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Stop at an outback camel farm before reaching a permanent campsite at Yulara for lunch. 

Continue to Uluru, Australia's famous big red rock. Travel around it in a comfortable coach, learning about the natural monument's incredible history, before stepping out for a short guided walk to the Mutitjulu Waterhole at the base of Uluru. Hear Aboriginal Dreamtime stories that stretch back thousands of years, learn about ancient Indigenous rock art, and understand the culture of the traditional owners, the Anangu. The show starts when Uluru's rich colors change under a blazing red center sunset. Feast on an outdoor Aussie barbecue dinner as the day turns to night.

Day 6: Sunrise Camel Ride, Hike Kata Tjuta & Sounds of Silence Dinner

Watch the sunrise over Uluru and the Fields of Light
Enjoy an Aussie barbecue with Uluru as your backdrop

Start the day with a peaceful one-hour camel ride over rich red sand dunes in the cool, clear morning air. From atop your dromedary, witness the sunrise over Uluru and Kata Tjuta and see how the desert comes to life before tucking into a light breakfast of fresh damper (beer bread) with Australian jams, tea, and coffee. Later this afternoon, embark on a hike to explore the 36 domes of Kata Tjuta, an ancient geological formation in the desert. These ocher-colored shapes are a mesmerizing sight and have been sacred to the local Indigenous Anangu people for more than 22,000 years.

This evening is extra special. More than just dinner, the Sounds of Silence is a spiritual discovery of the desert plains, home to some of Australia's most sacred Aboriginal sites. Sip sparkling wine and nibble on canapés as the sun fades and a star-studded outback sky lights up. Enjoy views of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and the fabled Uluru monolith as a three-course bush tucker-inspired feast arrives. After dinner, gather around the fire to stargaze with your Aboriginal host. Finish with a glass of port or tea and coffee before returning to Ayers Rock Resort.

Day 7: Transfer to Alice Springs, Kangaroo Sanctuary

Kangaroo Sanctuary
Meet orphaned 'roos at The Kangaroo Sanctuary

Your fun in the outback isn't over yet. Take a scenic 5.5-hour coach back to Alice Springs and lock in a sunset tour at The Kangaroo Sanctuary, a center that rescues orphaned baby kangaroos. Chris "Brolga" Barns launched his 188-acre (76 ha) wildlife sanctuary to care for these adorable marsupials, and your visit supports the work here. Alternatively, you can fill your afternoon with anything you missed on Day 4, such as the Alice Springs Desert Park or Reptile Centre, or get to know the heroic tales of the remote Royal Flying Doctor Service. 

Day 8: Hot-Air Balloon Flight, Depart Alice Springs

Transfer Accommodation - Airport
Alice Springs

Wave good morning to the desert from above as you sail in a hot-air balloon. While floating serenely above the outback at dawn, you might spot red kangaroos waking up for breakfast, or other Australian wildlife, from above. This experience is worth the early start if you have time before your flight.

There are no international flights from Alice Springs, so you'll need to take a domestic connection to another destination, such as Sydney, Melbourne, or Perth, before continuing to any international destinations. A driver will transfer you from your accommodation to Alice Springs airport in time for your flight.

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Map of Ultimate Outback Experience: Adelaide, the Ghan, Uluru & Alice Springs - 8 Days
Map of Ultimate Outback Experience: Adelaide, the Ghan, Uluru & Alice Springs - 8 Days