Last week, following the end to a successful national conference, 14 Magellan members embarked on the journey of a lifetime to extend their time in central Australia. Hosted by Tammy Van Exan from AAT Kings and Matthew Dommenz from Journey Beyond, the FAMIL began with a coach transfer from Uluru to Alice Springs with some sight-seeing along the way. When the group hit Alice by early afternoon, it was time to indulge in some history lessons with visits to the old Telegraph Station, the headquarters of the Royal Flying Doctors Service and the School of the Air. The day was topped off by an incredible dinner under the stars with the Falzon family at Earth Sanctuary World Nature Centre where attendees learned to make traditional damper, discussed astrology and enjoyed an intimate BBQ dining experience.

On Sunday, the day began with a chance for members to see the true sights of the outback with visits to West MacDonnell Ranges, Simpsons Gap, Stanley Chasm (Angkerle) and Glen Helen Gorge. After a day of sightseeing, it was time to gather at the Alice Springs Rail Terminal to check in for the Ghan Expedition. The evening didn’t finish here! Once everyone checked in, it was time to head off to an outback dinner under the stars at the old Telegraph Station.  Coaches departed from dinner around 9pm where the Ghan Expedition awaited arrivals to begin the rail journey through the night.

On Monday, guests woke to the flat, desertous landscape of Manguri, a small station approximately 40kms out of Coober Pedy, South Australia. Here, members chose one of 3 tours to explore the unique sights of Coober Pedy and indulged in a luxury Greek feast underground at the Quest Opal Mine. The day ended with a beautifully set wine on arrival back to the Ghan where the night continued with a 3-course dinner and board games in the lounge car.

The experience ended on Tuesday morning on arrival into Adelaide where smiles were contagious among the members. Whilst leaving the platform, Craig Reid, Director of The Village Travel Wilston commented “The Ghan was something I have wanted to do for years and the experience excelled my expectations in every way”.