Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Tracks across the nationTracks across the nation

Australia is now joined from north to south by rail, and travelling that route aboard the legendary Ghan proves to be a memorable, if at times surreal, experience.

By Mark Muller

The continual rattle and lull of the carriage rocks you gently through some of the most amazing country on earth. Stretching out for what seems an eternity on either side of this 2,979-kilometre track is the comforting vastness of the outback. Comforting? When you're sitting aboard the Ghan it's comforting - don't doubt it. The whole awesome panorama that is a continual backdrop, and often main event, of this journey reinforces the certainty that it is a very special experience. It is unique and, for a not hideous amount of money, it is available to all.

Lovest and Pat Reynolds, a charming couple in their 70s, are beaming with pleasure at the whole thing. "It's just wonderful," Lovest says, looking from the window to her husband. "Pat has always loved trains and when we knew that the Ghan had finally pushed through to Darwin, we just had to be on it." Pat smiles and nods. "It's one of the best things I've done," he says simply.

This transcontinental railway has been a dream for well over 100 years. Work began on the original line from Adelaide to Alice Springs back in 1878. It made it there in 1929. Now, in 2004, you can cross the nation. Story end

Full story Issue 34 April/May 2004

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