Country Link is a railway services operated on the east coast of Australia; New south wales, Queensland and Victoria. I've made two trips with them; one form Sydney to a place called Griffith; an 11 hour commute total, and another from Sydney to Melbourne.
Make sure you check in your luggage no less than 30 mins prior to the departure. I was a few minutes late, and they refused to take my luggage. It wasnt a problem for me, it just meant I had to carry it onboard with me. But if you're carrying a lot, make sure you give yourself lots of time to check it in.
The trip itself however, was comfortable; food and drink for purchase and it was nice to see the surrounding scenery.
Travelling on a Greyhound bus is an easy way to see most of Australia. The routes cover every state but Tasmania.
They have quite a few different passes available, so I'm sure you will find one to suit you.
There is a pass called the "All Australia Backtracking Allowed Flexible Pass Hop on/Hop off Pass"
The Greyhound Kilometre Pass gives you up to 12 months to use your pool of kilometres with an option to top up as you go. You can buy 1,000 to 25,000kms, the more kilometres you buy, the less you pay per kilometre.
Mini Traveller Passes - 90 Days Pass All Australia Flexible Pass Hop on/Hop off Pass Off the beaten track. This Pass allows travel between two popular destinations in the one direction. Start from either end of your route and hop on and hop off as much as you want!
There are so many to choose from, I suggest you check out their website.
It will give you prices for where you want to travel, and you can work out your route.
Qantas is Australia's major airline.
The full name is "QUEENSLAND AND NORTHERN TERRITORY AERIAL SERVICES" = QANTAS.
Qantas was formed in 1920 by three men. Once established, Australia was connected with the rest of the world.
Qantas is a member of the "oneworld alliance" which has flights to 800 destinations and 150 countries. This means that when taking a long haul flight departing from Australia, Qantas often will be the carrier who you fly with on your first leg of your journey. I have flown with them to most Asian destinations before continuing on my journey with another airline to my destination.
I have found their seats comfortable, service and food good.
Will I continue to use Qantas?.........The answer is YES!
Australia does have a few Airlines that offer cheap flights.
FOR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS, check out
Air Asia, Jet Star, V Australia, Polynesian Blue, Pacific Blue and Tiger Airways.
FOR INTERNAL AUSTRALIAN FLIGHTS, check out
Virgin Blue, Jet Star and Tiger Airways.
Tiger Airways often has problems and Jet Star has people that will never travel with them again. I haven't travelled with either, only seen the irate people on the Television news. I guess it's a chance you take with any budget airline.
If you want to book flights at reasonable prices, then
is the site for you. They also have a list of budget airlines.
We love train travel and have been on a few train journeys in Australia. So for an overview of what is available, (including a few fun journeys) you might be interested in this link to an album on my profile page.
Train Journeys in Australia....you need to follow this link!
Not mentioned in my write up is Puffing Billy a 2f.6" gauge line opened in 1900. It was one of 5 narrow gauge lines (one horse drawn). Another still operating in part is Walhalla Rail. Puffing Billy runs from Belgrave ...near Melbourne.Victoria.
We have been on The Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin and on The Sunlander from Cairns to Brisbane and on Puffing Billy and The Rattler you will read about here or in the links..
Be aware that some of our services are not frequent nor are they high speed trains. If you are from Europe or Asia you will find train services in Australia much less frequent than in your country. We do have THE TILT TRAIN going north to Cairns from Brisbane.
We do have ordinary every day trains as well in all our States. Trains to the suburbs...trains to the country and some underground city circle trains as well.
Each state has its own system and even different gauge tracks.
I haven't included particular information on local trains but here is some info on Travel in Queensland.
If you find this interesting read more about train history between Queensland and NSW and the different gauges in Queensland and NSW, and of course Victoria.
SPECIAL TOURIST AND MUSEUM INFO
RAIL SERVE gives a comprehensive view of Tourist Rail and Museums
My plan here is to gather links from all my reviews related to driving in one place so you can find them more easily.
But please remember we drive on the LEFT side of the road and our cars have right hand drive.
Also there are some differences in State laws so if you hire a car do check . We have driven in most states at one time or other without difficulty but just be aware....
Now here are the reviews related to driving:
Driving in the Top End (Northern Territoy)
Mind The Level Crossings
Radar Speed Cameras and Road Rage
Just Mind the Round-a-bouts
Know Your Traffic Lights
Gateway Toll Bridge (Queensland)
Know Your Exit Number (Queensland examples)
And please do go to our group The_Downunder_Mob page and find more information on DRIVING and especially Driving in the Outback - Comprehensive Advice by VT member 1+1.....and with so much more other info about Australia
And the Queensland Traffic Guide
If I can suggest 1 thing, do NOT use Greyhound (bus company) for your travel - I used them because I was in a remote part of Australia, and when I asked the driver about my connection, he told me to get off at the wrong city and left me there... So I had to spend the night there and wait for the next bus the day after, and the company doesn't even want to refund my ticket or the price I had to pay for the room ($50)...
Since flights are quite cheap, I would definitely go by air, especially if you don't have too much luggage to carry - try Jetstar, Virgin Air, Quantas. They always have "last minute sales" and you can usually get around for less than $100 per flight :) If you do have to use a bus company, use Murray's coaches. You can also hire a van (wickedvans.com.au) or a car, but petrol costs quite a lot.
Melbourne is a great city with lots of personality, and the Great Ocean Road is very scenic, if you do come down south in Victoria.
Have an awesome trip!
When travelling around Australia, you'll see a lot of Wicked Camper vans. Although based all over the world now, they were founded in Brisbane. They're very popular for backpackers who want to see the country by car. They're an affordable company to rent from, and wacky in the use of their language and rental policies.
For example, at the time I was renting you received a 10% discount on your rental if you were gay/lesbian or bi (don't ask me how you have to prove.) You also get a disount if you're a pot smoker. The discounts seem to change from season to season, for other things like being Sexy, being a former catholic school girl or a hippy, etc. Wicked has been critisized by the Queensland government for use of offensive language/slogans painted on the outside of their vehicles. Some animal rights activitst organizations have condemned them for placing stickers inside their vans with the text "Kangaroos - run the ***ers down." Wicked claim they were trying to prevent vehicle rollovers.
All that aside, they're a decent rental company - their vans normally come with utensils, a kitchenette, mattress (although no pillows or blankets) and plenty of storage. A few things that we were disappointed by was that our radio was broken, they have a policy that you pick up your ar empty and drop it off empty - doesnt make much sence to me, and they took forever giving my friend back his $2,000 deposit.
But would we recommend it? Yes. We had no problems with our car and it was a comfy place to sleep in for a week. I'm pretty sure we paid a little over $600 for a 6 day rental for 2 people. They can be fairly strict on how far you're allowed to drive for the length of time you're renting, so make sure you check in advance.
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
Whatever state that you are visiting in Australia and what capital city that you will be in all capital cities have good local bus transport systems. I have been to and stayed in all Australian capitals and really can't fault the bus systems..most capitals have a free CBD (Commercial Buisiness District) bus system.
I always find that when I am travelling local transport plays a big part in my visit wherever I may be..usually it is also a very cheap way to get around.
Queensland : Recently I was in the city of Brisbane and Cairns in Queensland and found the busses that I used to be excellent., The busses were in new condition, clean and frequent. These busses cover a really large area of the city. Both in Brisbane and Cairns..
Darwin: Northern Territory:when there this year I used the busses a lot and found that there was a bus destination for everywhere that i wanted to go from the city centre.
Adelaide: South Australia. On my train journey across the country on the Indian Pacific I stopped in Adelaide on two occassions and found the local busses and trams to be just what I wanted. There is a free bus that runs in the CBD centre of the city and all the stops are marked" Free Bus"Then local suburban busses for all the places that I wanted to go even way out of town.
Perth Western Australia: Perth has a fantastic local bus system. The FREE "CAT" busses have different routes around the city . the different coloured CAT busses , red, yellow, blue are free in the Perth CBD.All local suburban areas are serviced by regular bus services..This is such a great service and really gets you anywhere close by the city that you want to go.
Sydney :New South Wales: Has a vast and reliable bus network..with two hundred NEW red busses being added this and last year. Sydney busses are natural gas driven keeping pollution to a small footprint.. I use the busses and all transport in Sydney to the "max." The busses are frequent ,safe, clean, and in new condition.
The "FREE" CBD bus in Sydney city is very noticeable by its livery of green/white colours... You don't need a car in Sydney if you live within forty kilometers of the city, In Sydney all Harbour Ferries are met at their destinations by a bus to take the traveller to their local suburbs.
So when visiting Australia..your transport needs are there to use.Always check with local transport about their pre paid ticketing systems for , Daily, weekly. tickets.These are the best as most bus sytems use pre paid ticketing.
Of course there are many tourists busses that ply the tourists sites but they are privately owned..I will write also on the train systems here as well as the cities with trams.. MORE PHOTOS TO COME...
Seeing that this is such a large tip to write I will try and keep it as brief but informative as possible.I have caught trains allover Australia and I must say after going around the world by train and using so many and varied train networks the trains here in Australia are in some ways lacking speed but certainly not lacking comfort,service and ammenities.!! Though,..compared to European and a lot of Asia train systems Australia is dragging its feet!!.There is always a cry for a fast train system like ones that are now right throughout Europe ..but due to the vast distances that must be covered and the "who's going to pay"!!The costs to build a fast train network would be formidable. Also the small population of the country is always in question of such an investment.
Having said that.!!.
Interstate trains run the length of the East and south Coast of Australia from Cairns in far northern Queensland to Brisbane to Sydney to Melboure and then to Adelaide and here connecting for Perth in Western Australia.
The "Indian Pacific train runs from Sydney on the east coast to Perth Western Australia on the west coast. Travelling through western New South Wales to Adelaide City in South Australia. Travellers then wanting to go north or to the "red centre" can connect here with the train known as the "Ghan" that travels from the south in Adelaide to Darwin in the very north of the Northern Territory..This is a great train journey..
Most Australian cities have a rail / light rail or Metro system in place. ( I will write a seperate tip on suburban metros)
The major Australian Interstate train journeys are as follows.
The Indian Pacific train travels across the continent to/from Sydney to Adelaide to Perth a distance of 4,355 kilometers a journey of three days and one of the greatest train journeys in the world. The Indian Pacific as the name implies travels from ocean to ocean. You can take your car with you on this train. info at: gsr.com
THE GHAN This train travels the Australian continent to/from the South in Adelaide City to Alice Springs to Darwin right through the "red centre" a distance of nearly 3000 kilometers. The train journey is another of the worlds greats. You can also take your car with you on this train. info at: gsr.com
THE OVERLANDER This train travels from the City of Melbourne in Victoria to the City of Adelaide in South Australia. a distance of 828 kilometers. This is a scenic journey. info at: gsr.com
XPT Express trains run from /to Sydney to Melbourne Victoria nearly 1000 kilometers and also Sydney to Brisbane in Queensland over 800 kilometers the XPT trains also do country New South Wales journeys as well. Sydney to Canberra ,
info available at:www.countrylink.info
THE TILT TRAIN does the journey from Brisbane City to Cairns in far north Queensland. This is a journey of 1680 kilometers.A journeythrough wonderful scenic countryside.along the east coast servicing all coastal cities. info at:www.traveltrain.com.au
THE SPIRIT OF THE OUTBACK This train covers the journey from Brisbane City to Longreach in far western Queensland.This is a journey of 1,325 kilometers
information available at:www.traveltrain.com.au
A lot more train contact information can be found on all these train journeys in my train travelogues on my homepage.
THE SOUTHERN SPIRIT This is the newest train service that has recently be put in place to be able to get around this great country.The journey takes you through four Easter States and travels from Adelaide to Melbourne through inland New South Wales to Brisbane city. stopping in many inland towns with the journey taking six days information available at : www.gsr.com
Qantas is Australia's priciest airline, but you get what you pay for. I've flown happy and comfortably every time I've taken a Qantas flight. Food, beverages and luggage are usually extra.
Jetstar (Jet*) is another Australian airline owned by Quantas, so although its cheaper you get roughly the same quality service and comfort level.
During my search of the local flights, the following Airlines commonly serve domestic flights:
1) Tiger Airlines
www.tigerairways.com/au/en/index.php (cheapest, but less reliable as often flights delay)
3) Virgin Australia (more expensive, but more reliable)
I bought an return air ticket from Kuala Lumpur (transit Singapore) to Sydney for A$615.50 (RM 2000) with Singapore Airlines.
A380 flight is very comfortable, and the services are super nice.
You have to check Singapore Airlines website regularly to get this kind of deal. I booked this ticket 2 months in advance.
22 Central Avenue, Manly, 2095, Australia
Good for: Couples
A luxurious setting, conveniently close to the city centre without the hubbub. You can have it both,...more
Panoramic city views are breathtaking from this ideal location on the famous South bank Promenade....more
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