Take the Train or Drive
The majority of visitors to Goulburn will come from either Canberra or Sydney and in reality the majority of people will drive and their stay in Goulburn will be a stop on their trip between Sydney and Canberra or Sydney and anywhere in the South or west of Australia.
While it is worth calling in here for even an hour (lots of eating options around Belmore Park) you really should spend at least a full day here to do the city justice.
From both Sydney head east on the M5 out of the city and thence on the Hume Highway (M31). Travel time – just over two hours. From Canberra (about an hour) take the Federal Highway and merge into the Hume Highway and continue a short distance. For either direction take the first exit (well signposted) and follow signs to the Tourist Office. This is well signposted and in the centre of the city.
Costs stated are one way standard fares in Feb 2014.
I recommend you use the train from both a service and cost perspective.
Train information – timetables, costs etc can be found at http://www.nswtrainlink.info/
NSW Trainlink Canberra Xplorer service operates a service to Goulburn around three times a day (1.5hrs) from Canberra and Sydney (through train). Timings are good making a day trip feasible from either city if you are willing to have an early start
There are around two extra direct services to/from Sydney and additional services via Bundnoon. Time around three hours.
Cost Canberra - Goulburn $A11.30 (first class – $A16.95). First class is really only necessary in the very unlikely event that you cant get a seat in Economy.
Cost Sydney Goulburn $28.25 (first class – $37.12). First class is really only necessary in the very unlikely event that you cant get a seat in Economy.
If you have children - Children 15 years and under can travel anywhere on the NSW TrainLink Regional network (which includes Goulburn, Canberra and Sydney) for just A$1 each way when they travel with one or more full-fare-paying adults from the same household.
My only gripe about the train is that if you wish to take your bicycle it has to be packed in a box (as it does for the bus) and the fare for it will be higher than that for you. The train can only accommodate three bicycles. Basically they seem to go out of their way to make taking a bicycle as difficult as possible.
My attached picture is from wikipedia
Bus – my advice - catch the train.
Note that the very frequent Canberra - Sydney buses do not stop at Goulburn
Murrays Transport and Greyhound buses both operate a very limited service from/to Canberra - that is one bus a day each at around the same time meaning a daytrip is not an option. Murray’s is slightly cheaper (A$22) than Greyhound (A$27).
Greyhound operate one service per day to and from Sydney – around A$33. No Murrays service to/from Sydney
Firefly - www.fireflyexpress.com.au/ - seem to offer a service again around the same time of day as the other two operators ( I have actually never seen one of their buses in Canberra) but from the website it appears that the charge around A$60 – that is the same as their Sydney – Melbourne fare. So yes they will take you but not cheaply!
Going to Goulburn
Goulburn is only about 2 hours from Sydney and about an hour from Canberra, so it makes a perfect day trip or one-night trip from either city. There is daily bus and train services that go to the city.