The Ghan & Proud Mary

Duration

13 Days

Departs

Monday 23 May, 2022

From

$9,450

Your next holiday awaits!

“I loved how I was made to feel like part of the family from the very first day.”

This Tour Includes

A Christian Tour Leader throughout your holiday

Return economy airfares

Air-Conditioned long distance touring coach

Quality accommodation with private facilities

12 Breakfasts
8 Lunches
12 Dinners

Sightseeing as outlined and all entry fees

Luggage assistance if required

Tour Summary

Join CFT on this exciting expedition as we go in search of the “real Australia”, travelling from Darwin to Adelaide with the legendary “Ghan” train before cruising the mighty Murray River on the newly refurbished “Proud Mary”.

Explore a unique part of Australia and glory in God’s Creation – take in the incredible landscapes of these dramatically different environments, learn the history of these regions and share memorable and meaningful experiences with like minded people along the way. This is a journey not to be missed!

Your Travel Itinerary

Day 1
Monday 23 May 2022

Home - Darwin

Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime as we fly to Darwin to travel with “The Ghan” on a world famous trans-continental railway journey to Adelaide. We fly into Darwin, the Big Heart of the North where we will be met and transferred to our centrally located hotel. We meet together by the pool to be welcomed by our CFT Tour Leader, and enjoy our first dinner together.

Overnight: Darwin

Day 2
Tuesday 24 May 2022

Darwin - Time at Leisure

For many this will be your first visit to Darwin, Australia’s only tropical Capital city, for others it may be a welcome back. Darwin has a dramatic history, from its bombing by the Japanese during WWII to the devastation of Cyclone Tracy in 1974 but today it is a relaxed, modern city celebrating its cosmopolitan mix of over 50 nationalities.

We have deliberately left the day free so you can explore at your leisure and your experienced CFT Tour Leader will be on hand to assist you with your plans.

The Northern Territory is synonymous with saltwater crocodiles, and it is only a few blocks walk to Crocasaurus Cove where you can come face to face with these unique reptiles. Alternatively, you may like to buy a ticket on the Big Bus Darwin Explorer, a Hop on Hop off bus that takes you all over the city including the Darwin Museum and Art Gallery. If you wish to go further afield day tours are available to Territory Wildlife Park or Litchfield Park.

After a day of exploring, we meet up again for dinner at the Resort.

Overnight: Darwin

Day 3
Wednesday 25 May 2022

The Ghan journey begins

The Ghan, Australia’s legendary train, was named after the early Afghan cameleers who provided vital support for exploration, communications, and settlement in the arid interior of the country from 1860s – 1930s. Starting as a narrow-gauge steam driven train, the Ghan was able to become one of our famous cruising trains which is now composed of up to 26 carriages hauled by two locomotives sporting. All Aboard! – your 2979km journey across Australia is about to begin. Once on board you will be cared for by your cabin attendant, but your CFT Tour Leader will also be on the train to lead you in devotions and ensure that everything operates smoothly.

Overnight: The Ghan

Day 4
Thursday 26 May 2022

Central Australia - Alice Springs

This journey is more than a point-to-point train ride – it is listed as an Expedition and includes a number of off-train sightseeing tours.
Off train experiences in Katherine include the Nitmiluk Gorge boat cruise or a glimpse of outback life with a horse and working dog demonstration.

In Alice Springs, a full day of sightseeing excursions awaits you. An optional upgrade is a scenic flight to Uluru, returning in time to meet the rest of your fellow guests at a spectacular barbeque dinner under a million stars at the historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station.

Overnight: The Ghan

Day 5
Friday 27 May 2022

Central Australia - Coober Pedy

Venture into the underground in the opal mining town of Coober Pedy for a fascinating day of exploration.

Enjoy the opportunity to meet your fellow passengers either in the dining cars or the lounge cars, and while away the hours going “yackety yack” whilst you “clickety clack” through the Australian Outback.

Overnight: The Ghan

Day 6
Saturday 28 May 2022

Arrive Adelaide

This morning we arrive in Adelaide, the “City of Churches” to be transferred to our hotel in the lovely beach side suburb of Glenelg. The afternoon will be free so you may wish to walk along the foreshore, grab a bite to eat at one of the many local cafes or browse the boutique shops. Alternatively you can to take a tram ride from Glenelg into central Adelaide.

Passengers who are joining us for the River Cruise on Proud Mary will fly in today and we will all enjoy getting to know each other over dinner at our hotel.

Overnight: Adelaide

Day 7
Sunday 29 May 2022

Worship - Day Cruise - Proud Mary Cruise begins

Today we will have the chance to worship together at one of Adelaide’s many churches before a scenic drive through the Adelaide Hills. Pausing for the commanding view over the city and the Gulf of St Vincent, we will detour into the picturesque township of Hahndorf. Settled by 19th-century Lutheran migrants, Hahndorf is known for its original German-style architecture and food, and you will have the opportunity to sample some of this delicious cuisine at one of the many cafes.

Our main destination today is the mighty Murray River; one of the world’s longest navigable rivers. It stretches 2,700 kilometres from the mountains of the Great Dividing Range in north-eastern Victoria to near Adelaide in South Australia. To access the mouth of the Murray we are first travelling to Goolwa from where we will take a day cruise on the Spirit of Australia. Then just a short drive to embark on the waiting PS Proud Mary for our wonderful 5-day cruise.

This delightful cruise from Sunday night to Friday aboard the Proud Mary offers a wonderfully relaxing and varied holiday. The Proud Mary is a small vessel able to navigate sections of the river inaccessible to the larger boats. Recently refurbished it has a total of 18 spacious ensuite Riverview cabins and, subject to sufficient numbers, CFT hopes to operate this as a private charter cruise. Unpack once and relax as everything is done for you with all meals and morning and afternoon refreshments included. This is the life!

The Murray River is home to over 350 varieties of birds, as well as many species of mammals, reptiles and fish so we are sure to see abundant wildlife, as well as magnificent scenery, throughout our entire cruise. Get ready to take in the gums and willows that line the banks, the towering cliffs and beautiful sandy beaches as the Proud Mary cruises by. At night, the Proud Mary’s powerful floodlights will provide a rare glimpse of nocturnal wildlife, especially birds such as night herons, owls and coots. Lagoon cruises, on shore guided walks, an Australian themed barbecue with live entertainment and the Captain’s Dinner make up some of this enjoyable cruise.

Overnight: Aboard PS Proud Mary – Sunnyside

Day 8
Monday 30 May 2022

Mannum - Walker Flat - Dock Museum - Australiana Night - Nocturnal Discovery Tour

Proud Mary departs Sunnyside and continues upstream. You will pass huge lagoons teeming with birdlife and enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast while cruising through Mypolonga, Wall Flat, Caloote and Ponde before arriving in picturesque Mannum (Aboriginal for, The “place of many ducks”). Here you’ll board a waiting coach for a history tour of this small township that has played a significant role in the development of South Australia. On the tour, you will re-trace the colourful history of several pioneering families whose efforts shaped the successful development of this region. Your tour includes a visit to the Mannum Dock museum, where you will find a fascinating collection of historical memorabilia, then it’s back on board to continue paddling up the river.

Lunch is served aboard as you cruise upstream past Younghusband, Teal Flat, Lake Carlet, Bowhill, Purnong and onto Walker Flat. The menu may include dishes such as Chicken Saltimbocca with Asparagus or Pork Cutlet with Yam Mash, fabulous flavours to complement the superb scenery.

Proud Mary moors at Walker Flat. The bird and wildlife here is prolific, including wallabies, wild ducks and bush turkeys. The towering cliffs provide a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of cruising Australia’s most famous river. This evening is “Australiana Night” and dinner will feature the use of some traditional bush foods such as emu, kangaroo, damper and fresh water crustaceans, with flavours of lemon myrtle, wild bush tomatoes and quandongs.

Later we will join an expert ecologist for a Nocturnal Discovery Tour to seek out the abundant local wildlife, including South Australia’s fauna emblem, the Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat.

Overnight: PS Proud Mary – Walker Flat

Day 9
Tuesday 31 May 2022

Swan Reach - Almond Farm - Swan Reach Museum - Blanchetown

Proud Mary departs Walker Flat and continues upstream. You will pass the town of Wongulla where, some fifty years ago, men found the fossil of a 20 million year old shark.

Join the Captain in the Dining Room for a complete run-down on the story of Murray River including its history, current water usage practices and the ecology of this vital water source. You can also watch a video about the famous 1956 floods that devastated the area.

Proud Mary arrives at the pioneering township of Swan Reach. Here you will disembark, and with a local guide visit Costa Brothers Almond Farm. The almond industry is the fastest growing horticulture crop in Australia. Discover how this state of the art almond farm uses water-recycling technology to limit its direct impact on the river system and help secure the diverse ecosystem of the river. Also visit the Swan Reach Museum which is housed in the original school building that was built in 1917; the museum’s collection focuses on the history of education and the social history of the area.

Rejoin the Proud Mary for another delicious lunch, as we depart Swan Reach and cruise through the shallows to Blanchetown.

Proud Mary secures at Blanchetown, site of the Lock and Weir No 1. The river is dammed by 13 locks built to facilitate the early riverboat trade. Water cascades over the lock creating an excellent feeding place for birdlife. Pelicans and dozens of species of water birds can be seen diving in the water to feed.

Tonight, enjoy a delicious roast dinner with all the trimmings finished off with one of the home-style desserts Proud Mary’s chefs are famous for. Your evening cruise takes you to your overnight mooring spot of Sugar Shack, part of the River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve which is an astronomer’s paradise. Your Captain will steer closer to the bank this evening so you can take full advantage of the LED floodlights that illuminate the towering river redgums and perhaps watch the possums as they scamper through the branches.

Overnight: PS Proud Mary – Sugar Shack

Day 10
Wednesday 1 June 2022

Sugar Shack - Ecological Walk - Small Boat Cruise - Big Bend

This morning provides another unique experience with an absorbing ecological walk around Sugar Shack before cruising downstream towards Swan Reach, passing magnificent lagoons teeming with birdlife, awesome cliffs reaching for the sky and spectacular scenery as far as the eyes can see.

This afternoon the vessel ties up alongside the towering cliffs of Big Bend, the tallest anywhere along the River. This is a truly majestic landscape. A highlight of your expedition is a small boat cruise through the lagoons and inlets, led by our expert ecologist. There are some 320 species of birdlife in this area and, with the aid of binoculars and your well-informed guide, you will study them at close-range.

Tonight we will enjoy a traditional “Aussie Barbecue” under a canopy of stars and afterwards enjoy an evening of live entertainment around a blazing campfire. Request a song and sing along into the night as the stars of the Australian sky hover above, almost close enough to touch.

Overnight: PS Proud Mary – Big Bend

Day 11
Thursday 2 June 2022

Ngaut Ngaut - Aboriginal Conservation Site Tour - Captain's Dinner

This morning we depart Big Bend and cruise towards Ngaut Ngaut. Here we will visit the Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal conservation site for a tour of one of the oldest archaeological digs in Australia. This is one of the definite highlights of your cruise. Take the boardwalk to the site of ancient aboriginal rock art where your local indigenous guide will explain their meaning and significance. Ngaut Ngaut was a major meeting place for the tribes of the area and you’ll see where they prepared and cooked food at a ceremonial site that dates back thousands of years. The view from the top of the cliffs is astonishing with vistas that stretch for miles in every direction.

Enjoy lunch as we cruise through Bowhill, Teal Flat, Younghusband and Pellaring Reach. It’s a wonderfully relaxing afternoon. Time to lay back and enjoy the peace that surrounds you as you watch the changing views glide by before arriving at Mannum for some free time before tonight’s Captain’s Dinner, a five-course menu of choice featuring mouth-watering dishes based on modern Australian cuisine.

Overnight: PS Proud Mary – Mannum

Day 12
Friday 3 June 2022

Reedy Creek Conservation Park - Irrigation Centre - Barossa Valley

Depart Mannum. Cruise through Ponde, Caloote and Wall Flat to Woodlane.

Arrive at Woodlane to board the waiting coach for your tour to Reedy Creek Environmental Park. This was an important gathering point for local Aboriginal tribes as it provided a continuous source of water throughout the year. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended and don’t forget to take along your cameras, as Reedy Creek is very picturesque indeed, especially when the waterfalls are flowing Return to Proud Mary and enjoy another delicious smorgasbord lunch as you cruise through Mypolonga, Sunnyside, Mundurra and Willowbanks to Murray Bridge where we farewell the PS Proud Mary after five stunning nights aboard.
The Murray River is the lifeblood of the Murray Darling Basin, Australia’s main agricultural region, and today we will see how some of the water is used in the irrigation centres.
Our afternoon drive will take us overland to Tanunda in the heart of the Barossa Valley, an area famed for its wineries. Enjoy a final night of fun and fellowship as our holiday comes to an end.

Overnight – Barossa Valley

Day 13
Saturday 4 June 2022

Barossa Valley - Adelaide - Home

We have truly ticked one huge adventure off the “bucket list” with this fantastic, iconic Australian journey, and after such a wonderful expedition of exploration and exciting experiences it is time to say farewell to new friends. We return home with warm memories of a delightful holiday full of fun and fellowship with like-minded people.

Until our next adventure…

All Inclusive Fares

The Ghan & Proud Mary Pricing

Departs from: Description Twin PP Single
From Sydney Sydney Domestic Airport $9,450 $10,650
From Melbourne Melbourne Domestic Airport $9,450 $10,650
From Brisbane Brisbane Domestic Airport $9,450 $10,650

Tour Code:

TRA22051CFT

Departs:

Monday 23 May, 2022

Returns:

Saturday 4 June, 2022

Departing:

Book This Tour

The Ghan & Proud Mary
Monday 23 May, 2022
13 Days

EXPERIENCE THE CFT DIFFERENCE

Travel and fellowship
with other Christians

The care of a
Christian Tour Leader

Relax. Everything is
taken care of

Daily devotions and
organised Sunday service

Fully escorted with no
hidden costs

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The Ghan & Proud Mary
Monday 23 May, 2022
13 Days