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Australian coast-to-coast railway celebrating ten years

Australian coast-to-coast railway celebrating ten years
8 Jan 2014

The legendary Ghan railway in Australia is celebrating ten years since it became a coast-to-coast service. 

Although the section running from Adelaide in the south to Alice Springs in the centre of the enormous country was opened in 1929, it was not until February 2004 that the service was extended to the northern city of Darwin. 

This made it possible for passengers to travel 1,851 miles from coast to coast in just 54 hours, experiencing dramatic changes in scenery along the way - from the lush green of the coastal regions to the bright red dust of the Outback. 

To celebrate this historic achievement, Great Southern Rail, which runs the service, is offering travellers 20% off their most popular packages on bookings made between 6 January and 28 February, for travel between the 1 May 2014 and the 31 October 2014.

Travelling by rail is a great alternative to catching the Greyhound bus, which conducts one of the world's longest coach services between the two cities. 

If you're able to catch the Ghan on 2 February, the ten year anniversary date, you'll experience a range of special events being held on the day. 

If the name Ghan seems distinctly un-Australian, that is because it is an abbreviation of 'Afghan'. The moniker was chosen to honour the Afghan camel riders who pioneered the first routes from the coast into the Red Centre more than 150 years ago. 

If you'd like to explore the Red Centre in greater detail - experiencing sights such as Uluru - you can simply buy a train ticket from Darwin to Alice Springs and catch one of the numerous tours operating out of the town. 

Darwin - which is a key gateway to Australia thanks to its position in the far north - is reached by the air from the UK via a stop-off in Asia. Expect to take the best part of a day to reach the city, and don't forget to allow for the time difference, which will see you lose 9.5 hours!ADNFCR-408-ID-801679904-ADNFCR

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