Using Public transport in Australia

Question

It is relatively easy to travel around Australia because there are few roads and the options for public transport limited. A lot of people travel by car when they live in regions outside the cities. As a traveller, petrol and diesel is a lot cheaper than you might be used to. We do advise that if you think about buying a car, to take extra care when travelling at night due to excessive amounts of wildlife on the roads.

A lot of travellers chose to take the bus which services most of rural Australia. Trains are great for in and around the big cities but services become more limited the further out you travel and for crossing into neighbouring states. It is usually advisable to take a short domestic flight between major cities as this is by far the most efficient way- and often the cheapest. If you have time on your hands we recommend you either rent or buy a cheap camper van. This way you get to go at your own pace, chose your own route and save on accommodation costs.

Buses:
The Greyhound is probably the most widely known and used. It is popular because you can buy kilometre passes and use it as a hop-on hop-off service whilst travelling.

There are other cheaper companies that service the east coast such as the Premier Bus.

Then there are other more localised companies like Bus Queensland that travel out from Brisbane to obscure locations.

Trains:
Trains are not always cheap and most people use them to experience the journey, not as a means of getting from A to B. In saying that, there are some great services which can offer affordable links from major cities to many of the towns that you might be working in:

Queensland Rail Runs the high-speed Spirit of Queensland service between Brisbane and Cairns.

NSW TrainLink operates trains from Sydney to Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra.

V/Line Trains operates within Victoria, linking up with buses for connections into NSW, South Australia and the ACT.

Great Southern Rail Operates the Indian Pacific between Sydney and Perth, The Overland between Melbourne and Adelaide, and The Ghan between Adelaide and Darwin via Alice Springs.

Flights:

The great thing about Australia is that even if you’re booking domestic flights at the last minute, they are never really more expensive than when you book them in advance. We recommend using comparison flight sites such as Webjet. Once you have found the flight you want then log on to that individual flight website and book directly, this way you will save on comparison site fees. Most airlines let you have between 15-23kg for free and then you would need to pay more for extra baggage. This is usually very reasonably priced.

The top domestic services are:
Tigerair  which is very cheap but this reflects in their service. Check for hidden costs such as insurance, credit card fees and baggage allowance weight.

Jet Star is also cheap and offer great rates on international flights to places like Bali and New Zealand.

Virgin Australia is usually a little pricier than the previous two but there are less fees for extra baggage and the service is comfortable.

Qantas Domestic services many business travellers, it is smooth and very profession. It is good to keep an eye on these flights, they often have cheap last minute seats for less than their competitors.

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