Australia Transportation Tips by ettiewyn
Australia Transportation: 237 reviews and 202 photos
If you plan your trip to Australia, it is very important to decide how you want to it - by car, by 4WD, by bus... Your mode of transport determines the places you can visit!
By car: Of course travelling by car gives you a lot of freedom, you can go where and when you please. This makes it the choice of a lot of people. For Working Holiday makers, cheap cars are easily available, on special car markets, or from other travellers who just want to sell their own car. Of course you can also hire a car, there are many agencies.
A disadvantage of travelling by car is that it is easy to underestimate the huge distances in Australia. A trip here can involve a lot of driving, and you need to plan quite well, especially if you want to travel to rural areas. You also need to take into account that you cannot go to all places if you have a usual car, that is, a 2WD. There are many national parks and tracks that are closed to 2WDs.
By 4WD: To travel to these more remote places, you need a 4WD. Only a car like that will give you the ultimate freedom to travel to all national parks, outback tracks, etc...
But: Renting such a 4WD is very expensive, and you also need some skills to drive it. If you don't exactly know what you do, it can become quite dangerous!
By bus: I have described the advantages of travelling by bus in my Greyhound tip. It is my choice of transport, as it gives you a lot of flexibility, but is very easy and saves you the hassles and dangers of driving. Instead of driving on your own for hours, someone else does it and you can relax.
On the other hand you are of course limited to the Greyhound routes, and although the network is extensive, there are many places that are not served by bus. You are also obliged to the timetables and might have to get up early to catch your bus. For more information visit the Greyhound website
By train: Australia's train network is not very extensive. The most famous trains are the Ghan and the IndianPacific. The Ghan is going from Darwin to Adelaide and vice versa, the IndianPacific from Sydney to Perth and vice versa. Both are quite luxurious trains, and even the cheapest seats are quite expensive, but it is a great experience. Other train services are the Sunlander in Queensland, the Overland from Adelaide to Melbourne, CountryLink in New South Wales etc. For more information click here.
By plane: Of course, you can also travel by plane, and if you want to travel between two cities, this is often the fastest way. I also travelled by plane several times, to cover a huge distance within a short time. Usually, though, I prefer travelling by bus because it allows me to get a feeling for the distance I travel, and to see the landscape. This is when you really feel how huge Australia is, and when you really get to know this country. In my opinion, you just have to experience this if you travel down under, and you don't if you just fly from city to city. However, sometimes flying is indeed the best option, and there are many budget airlines doing domestic flights.
To follow the Working Holiday Helpline and read more about Greyhound busses, please click >>>HERE<<<
Travelling by Greyhound bus is easy and comfortable, and I like it very much. Of course travelling by your own car gives you much more freedom, but if you do not have that possibility, I think that travelling by Greyhound is the best alternative if you still want to be independent.
The system might at first look a little complicated, but it is not.
There are many different passes that you can buy and travel on, but the two most important passes, especially if you spend a long time in Australia, are the Flexi Passes and the Choice Passes.
Flexi Passes allow you travel around just as you like. You can go into one direction and then back again, and use all Greyhound services in the whole country - there are no limitations as to where you go. You can buy such a pass either as a kilometer pass where you purchase a specific amount of kilometers and can use these up within twelve months, or as a day pass where you purchase a pass for a specific amount of days, the highest being thirty days. As you can see, a day pass might be good if you have a shorter trip, and the kilometer pass if you stay here for longer than a month.
Choice Passes allow you to travel on a chosen route between two popular destinations within a specific amount of time. You can for example buy a pass from Cairns to Sydney or Melbourne to Cairns or and then travel on that route within ninety days. You can not change your direction or go back - you have to travel one way only.
These are the two most important passes, but there are more, for example packages with accommodation and micro passes. You can see them all here.
No matter which pass you choose, you can just make a reservation for your next passage before you go - the very day before you go, or earlier (you should in fact book a little earlier if you are travelling along the east coast). This is easily done online or by phone.
You have to be at the bus stop about 30 - 45 minutes prior to departure time and then just show your pass ticket to the driver.
The busses get very filled along the east coast, but in all other regions they are usually not so full, and most of the time I had two seats for myself. You can just relax during the ride, read a book or sleep, and often they show a DVD. The bus stops at a roadhouse about every three to four hours, so that you can visit the bathroom and buy a meal, a snack or a drink. Of course there is also a small bathroom on the bus.
In very rural areas there is only one bus a day, along the coast there are usually several busses a day, with the most frequent services along the east coast. You can see all the timetables on the website.
Many backpacker hostels and hotels pick you up from the Greyhound stop, and there are usually taxis waiting.
The busses are very comfortable and clean, and it is usually very quiet. Most drivers are also very friendly and helpful. I found travelling like this very relaxing, easy and comfortable, and I admit that I am a real fan of travelling Australia by Greyhound :-)
You can buy passes and tickets online, but also in Greyhound offices and travel agencies. Many hostels also have a desk where they sell them. If you go to such a desk or office, you will get advice on which pass is the best for your trip.
To follow the Working Holiday Helpline and read about packing, please click >>>HERE<<< on the tip or directly >>>HERE<<< on the travelogue
Phone: 1300 473 946
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