Clare Valley

Taste of the Ghan announces new dates partnering with Kilikanoon at The Watervale Hotel

Taste of The Ghan brings The Watervale Hotel on board as a new partner with the addition of two departure dates on December 3 and 10.

All images: Journey Beyond

Calling all food and wine lovers – the Taste of the Ghan will be hitting the tracks to Clare Valley again this December.

With each departure of the Taste of The Ghan selling out, operator of The Ghan, Journey Beyond, is extending the experience, bringing a new partner on board, and adding two final departure dates in the lead up to the end of the year.

On Friday December 3 and December 10, The Ghan will again make tracks to Clare Valley on an epicurean adventure. The historic Watervale Hotel will be joining the existing venue partners to welcome Gold Service guests for a three-course feast paired with premium wines and a pop-up cellar door from award-winning vintner, Kilikanoon.

The Taste of The Ghan is an incredible day adventure, taking guests on a regional journey towards the world-renowned Clare Valley. It’s thusly named because guests revel in the iconic experience of the train, including a gourmet breakfast on board and an off train experience  with wine tastings and a delicious lunch at a well-known local Clare Valley winery, as well as an assortment of  nibbles and nightcaps on the return journey to Adelaide, adding to the wine pairings throughout the day.

Glam Adelaide’s Kelly Noble was lucky enough to be on the inaugural trip, and couldn’t speak highly enough of the experience.

“I had such a wonderful time, that before I’d left the train station at the end of day, I’d already booked my parents on the bucket list trip as an early Christmas present. It really gives those on board a really full experience, from the divine food, wine and drinks on offer, soaking up the best of South Australia’s tourism offerings, while also sneaking a mini Ghan trip into the mix – which is something I hadn’t expected to enjoy anytime in the near future.”

Kelly’s best tip? “While you certainly make friends on the trip, I’d recommend bringing a travel partner, so you have someone to relive all those memories with!”

The Watervale Hotel may be new to the Taste of The Ghan experience, but connoisseurs are well aware of this award-winning foodie enclave, run by Warrick Duthy and Nicola Palmer, who have exceptional Clare Valley pedigrees.

“We’re thrilled at becoming part of the Taste of The Ghan experience and welcome the opportunity to showcase local produce in our own special way,” Nicola Palmer said.

“Our organic, bio-dynamic Penobscot Farm drives our seasonal menu and fresh food offering and we’re teaming up with Kilikanoon to deliver an exceptional pop-up and pairing wine experience.

“We can’t wait to share this with the guests on this special Ghan journey.”

The two new departures that are scheduled for December bring both Platinum and Gold Services. Gold Service guests on these dates now have three exceptional lunch options to choose from, with Kilikanoon at the Watervale Hotel joining Slate at Pikes Wines and Bush DeVine at Pauletts Wines as host venues.

Meanwhile, Platinum Service guests continue to be wined and dined at O’Leary Walker. The single-day regional journey is all-inclusive of food and beverages both on and off the train and includes immersive ‘talk and taste’ sessions on board with a well-known wine personality, a wine tasting at a Clare Valley winery – Jeanneret, Pikes Winery, O’Leary Walker or Pauletts, three-course lunch, and the legendary hospitality The Ghan is known for.

Peter Egglestone, Chief Commercial Officer for Journey Beyond, said they continue to be delighted by the response to the Taste of The Ghan experience.

“The partners we have worked with throughout have gone above and beyond, as have our onboard crew, in ensuring our guests enjoy their time both onboard and off-train in Clare Valley,” Peter said.

“We welcome the Watervale Hotel and Kilikanoon to the team and are excited to have the opportunity to introduce more guests to this spectacular wine-producing region.”

Journey Beyond has seen Taste of The Ghan experience bring over 1,000 people to Clare Valley by the end of November boosting local tourism. It will continue to highlight our regions with December’s new departure dates that will wrap up Taste of The Ghan’s incredible season.

The new Taste of The Ghan dates are December 3 and December 10.

You can book your seat at

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