Catching the Ghan to Darwin

  • From: Katherine, Australie
  • To: Darwin, Australie
  • Distance: 316km

We spent the night in Katherine before catching the Ghan to reach Darwin.

The Ghan

This is a famous railway line very appreciated by the retired australian people. With the Ghan indeed, you cross one of the most iconic features of Australia, the outback, and you can enjoy a remarkable service on board (private room, restaurant, shower, …)

Well, this is for the passengers in the “premium gold platinium vip” service (who have paied around $5000 to take the train). For some evident reasons, we’ve decided to choose the backpacker rail explorer pass (only $500) which allows us to travel as much as we want on 3 railway lines (including the Ghan) and to reach many places in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaïde, Darwin, and Perth!). So it’s kind of cheap! Of course, the service is more basic (no private room, no fancy restaurant, …) but it’s still quite confortable! It’s even the most confortable train we had the opportunity to take so far. That’s good news, because with all the trips we’ve planned to do, we will spend a few days in that train…

After 5 hours in the train, this first Ghan experience brings us to Darwin.

Relaxing in Darwin

We’ll stay one week in Darwin for… for nothing in particular but having some rest! Being itinerant is fun, but sometimes you need to stop for a while somewhere. Our activities for the week will be reading, running, going to the library and the markets, etc.

AFL Game: Melbourne vs Freemantle

To really appreciate australian culture, we’ve bought some tickets to see an AFL game (australian football): Melbourne demons vs Freemantle dockers! We had a great time, it was fun to discover this sport and to spend this australian evening! If you want to know more about this sport and its rules:

Stop-over in Mataranka and Katherine

  • From: The Gap, Australie
  • To: Katherine, Australie
  • Distance: 1348km

It was a long way from Townsville, but we are still far from our destination: Darwin. So we’ve decided to make a few stops on our way there.


We took a night bus to reach Mataranka and it was quite tiring (we had to shift to another bus in Tenant Creek in the middle of the night…) so we are happy to arrive in Mataranka Homestead! Mataranka Homestead is a motel/backpacker/caravan park, a bit lost in the middle of the outback. But many tourists are coming there every day to enjoy a famous hot spring. We spent 2 days there because we really needed a real bed for a few nights! And the hot spring was very enjoyable!

We have even been for a run. At least we tried… Because here you are in the bush. It’s a lot a fun to run with kangaroos, but when we met some kind of wild dog (a dingo?) showing us his teeth, it was less funny… So we’ve been back to our room, and next time, we won’t run in the bush!


After our short stay in Mataranka, we hit the road again, but just for a 2 hour trip to Katherine, where we’ve spent one night. Nothing in particular to say about Katherine. It’s the last big city befor the outback, for the people who are heading south and people are stopping there to make some groceries and to fill their fuel tanks.

Tomorrow, we will take the Ghan, the famous train linking Adelaide to Darwin!