Getting Around Australia

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    Drive Safely in Australia

    by wise23girl Updated Jan 13, 2013

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    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:
    Outback Travel
    Driver Reviver
    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)
    Clem7 Tunnel(Brisbane)

    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

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    Train Travel

    by wise23girl Updated Feb 3, 2013

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    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

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    Brisbane International Airport

    by hopang Updated Mar 20, 2010

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    Brisbane International Airport is located at The Circuit just outside the city limit. It is the third busiest airport in Australia after Sydney and Melbourne international airports. It has two passenger terminals, i.e. international terminal and domestic terminal. It handles approximately 15 millions passengers annually. You may e-mail to the following address for further information regarding the departure and arrival schedules;- info@bne.com.au

    Brisbane International Airport
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    Brisbane River Cruise

    by hopang Updated Apr 9, 2010

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    Kookaburra River Queens are popular sight-seeing tour paddle wheelers anchored at Eagle Street Pier along Brisbane River in the heart of the city of Brisbane. They offer among others buffet lunch and dinner cruises with entertainment to private persons, local and foreign tourists. The paddle wheelers were made entirely of Australian timbers between 1986 and 1988. Each of the two paddle wheelers is approximately 30 meter long and can each accommodate between 300 and 400 visitors.

    Kookaburra River Queen has been named after a popular Australian bird. The buffet lunch cruise is highly popular with local and foreign tourists. Lunch cruise costs approximately A$40.00 with spectacular view of the city skyline. It is available between 12.30 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. Evening dinner cruise is more romantic as the city along the river bank is beautifully illuminated at night.

    Kookaburra River Queens also cater for private functions including wedding receptions, parties, special functions, corporate meetings and conferences. You may e-mail to the following address for booking or more information regarding its cruises:- booking@kookaburrariverqueens.com

    Kookaburra River Queens Eagle Street Pier
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    Hop-on hop-off bus, Sydney

    by hopang Updated Mar 15, 2010

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    An excellent way to explore the city of Sydney and the famous Bondi Beach is by boarding the open top hop-on hop-off double decker bus. The bus departs approximately every twenty minutes. There are approximately 30 stops from downtown Sydney to Bondi Beach. A round trip takes approximately one and half hours. The main stops include such popular tourist attractions as Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay, The Rocks, Town Hall, Botanical Gardens, Darling Harbour, Star City Casino, Parliament House, Aquarium, IMAX and the Central Station. Commentaries are conducted in several languages and you may board the hop-on hop-off bus as many times as you like. Tickets are valid for either 24 hours or 48 hours.

    Hop-on hop-off double decker bus View from the top View from the top View from the bus
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    Swan River Cruise, Western Australia

    by hopang Updated Feb 8, 2009

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    Take a leisurely cruise between Perth and Freemantle along the Swan River which is the largest river in Perth, Western Australia. This is a popular activity for local and foreign tourists arriving in Perth.

    Most Swan River cruise depart from Barrack Street Jetty in Perth and Port Freemantle in Freemantle. A roundtrip lasts approximately three hours and costs approximately US$30.00 per adult without meals. One of the popular cruise operators is Captain Cook Cruises. You may purchase cruise packages which include lunch or dinner.

    The boat will cruise along Millionaire's Row where you will be able to witness large mansions, villas and bungalows along the banks of Swan River. The boat will cruise through other areas such as the Lucky Bay, the Freshwater Bay and numerous inlets. Swan River flows directly through the City of Perth.

    Captain Cook Cruises Beautiful villas along Swan River Swan River Perth City seen from the river Perth jetty
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    Airlines

    by tiabunna Updated Oct 30, 2007

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    Australia’s main airlines are Qantas and its discount subsidiary Jetstar, and Virgin Blue.

    Qantas is mainly a “full fare” airline, but does provide some discount seats. Jetstar was created primarily to match the arrival of Virgin Blue and operates to all major cities except Canberra, plus quite a few holiday destinations: it is very much a ‘budget/minimum service’ airline and operates, at some destinations, from secondary airports. Virgin Blue began as a discount airline and still provides some good discount seats for early bookings, but has moved toward the mainstream airline category: they are noted for their friendly (often humourous) cabin staff. The main regional airline is Regional Express, usually just known as "Rex".

    A new discount airline, Tiger Airways is commencing operations within Australia in late November 2007 - it is owned by Singapore Airlines, Ryanair and others, and promises to make a substantial difference to the Australian airline scene. It is based in Melbourne, will connect with discount international Tiger flights, and already is scheduling flights to Canberra, Newcastle, Hobart, and a host of tourist destinations. I expect the State capital cities will be added later.

    Unlike many other countries, Australia requires airlines to quote fares within Australia inclusive of all taxes and charges – so the fare you see is essentially what you will be expected to pay (apart from minor “add-ons” such as seat booking fees). In all cases, the best discounts will be obtained by booking on the internet, usually well in advance (NB though, that many discount tickets carry restrictions, such as not allowing changes of bookings).

    Here are the links to the airline websites:
    Qantas
    Jetstar
    Virgin Blue
    Tiger Airways
    Regional Express

    VirginBlue flight at Canberra airport
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    • Budget Travel

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    Sydney International Airport

    by hopang Updated Mar 20, 2010

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    Sydney International Airport is located at Mascot approximately 10 kilometres from downtown Sydney. It is also known as Kingsford Smith Airport. It is the busiest airport in Australia handling approximately 30 millions passengers per year. It is one of the oldest airports in the world. The Sydney International airport has three passenger terminals, i.e. T1 (international terminal), T2 (domestic terminal) and T3 (Qantas terminal). It has three runways.

    Sydney International Airport
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  • tiabunna's Profile Photo

    Planes, trains and automobiles

    by tiabunna Updated Feb 25, 2007

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    You won’t see a great deal from 10,000 metres, but flying is the most efficient way between Australian cities. I know I keep beating the drum about distances, but consider this. From Melbourne to Sydney is about 900 km by road following the most direct route (allow two days without time for any sightseeing): then it is another 1000 km from Sydney to Brisbane. But Brisbane is only at about the midpoint of the eastern coastline, so you would still be facing another 1700km drive to Cairns!

    Maybe you have plenty of time and would like to experience the drive and see the country? That’s a reasonable thing too, just be sure to allow plenty of time for sightseeing and relaxing – too many visitors from overseas are caught unaware by the demands of long drives.

    On the other hand, driving from Melbourne to Cairns will take a week, preferably longer. If you add up the accommodation, fuel and hire car costs for that trip, it soon becomes apparent that a discount airfare is very cost competitive and that flying is far more realistic if you have limited time. It’s even further going west to Perth from the eastern States! I’m sorry to say it, but long distance trains in Australia are not really competitive on cost, frequency or travel times.

    Just remember, it's bigger than it looks!
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Road Trip

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    CAMPERVAN/MOTORHOME RENTAL

    by balhannah Updated Oct 14, 2014

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    To travel around Australia and to see the sights that are "Off the beaten track" then it is best to hire a Campervan or Motorhomes

    There are many companies that hire these out, and they range from cheap to expensive, and come in all different sizes.

    The cheapest and the roughest is "WICKED CAMPERS," the one Backpackers mostly like.
    Website http://www.wickedcampers.com.au/

    Others companies are to name a few, there probably are a lot more.................

    http://www.britz.com.au/
    http://www.maui.com.au/
    http://www.jucy.com.au/
    http://www.hippiecamper.com/
    http://www.spaceshipsrentals.com.au/
    http://www.travellers-autobarn.com.au/
    http://www.autorentals.com.au/
    http://www.discovery-campervans.com.au/suppliers.php
    http://www.apollocamper.com.au

    Check the websites as they usually show the layout which helps a lot, especially with the number of beds and where they are located. Are they set up all the time, or are they a table during the day and a bed at night. Do you think you would be comfortable sleeping in the double bed area above the cabin - I know we weren't.

    In Australia, you are allowed to free camp in quite a few places. Check the signs in case its says no, and sometimes it will limit the time to 24 or 48 hours a stay.
    Often camping near a city has limits, as the Caravan parks are saying they are losing business through the people that are free camping.

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    car is good

    by nipper1 Written Dec 23, 2005

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    make sure you're prepared, good tyres, radiator not leaking, sparetyres of course if you planning going off the beaten path.4X4 THE choice of transport.
    if you do that, make sure enough water, food, and tell someone what your up too..then you'll be fine

    Cathedral Termite Mound Stuart Highway near Darwin
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    The Queenslander

    by Joenes Updated Jan 3, 2005

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    The Queenslander is a perfect way to discover the east coast of Queensland.
    It travels from Townsville to Brisbane through (I think) the most beautiful part of Australia.
    For instance The Great Barier Reef!
    Passes are not very expensive and the trains are very comfortable.

    The Queenslander
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    • Trains
    • Beaches

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  • tiabunna's Profile Photo

    Getting around cities and surrounding areas

    by tiabunna Written Feb 25, 2007

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    Although you will find public transport adequate around inner areas of the major cities, beyond those inner zones you will not find anything like the frequency of public transport services that you would find in (say) Europe. There just isn’t the population to support them. On the other hand, inner city parking can be problematical or expensive in city areas, so I’d suggest using public transport to get around major cities: make life easier for yourself by finding accommodation within the city and near transport. If all else fails, you can always take a taxi!

    Having your own transport comes into its own in the regions around cities. Although you will find good public transport between cities, if you wish to visit (eg) the Blue Mountains behind Sydney, the Border Ranges near Brisbane, any of the winery districts, or the sights of Tasmania, you will need to have the use of a vehicle. The only alternative would be to take an organised bus trip – with all the limitations on destinations, times and options that usually imposes.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park

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    Outback Australia: On Ya bike!

    by Intrepidduck Updated Apr 7, 2006

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    I chose a mid range "Norco - Big Foot" aluminium framed MB with shocker forks on my 5000Km trek across Australia's Outback. I used only one set of dual tred Vredestein Spider tyres for on and off sealed road travel. Moderfications were made with a Cliffhanger Velocity 32 hole heavy duty rear wheel rim to handle the rough roads encountered, aswell for coping with a moderately heavy load.

    If you can afford the extra expense go for a Tubas rear rack to carry your pannier bags and extras, such as tent, water etc. I used an inferior rack which didn't last the journey, next big trek I'll not hesitate to spend big. Lucky I carried plenty of zip ties and evetually broke it altogeather on the Stuart Highway! However for the front rack I used a Blackburn, where I had four custom made aluminium brackets tooled to fit the existing shocker forks. This proved to be excellant and importantly allowed the often loaded front panniers to ride low, also a must for the rear bags. The pannier bag of choise is undoutably Ortlieb for their water and dust proof, very rubust quality. I used an Ortlieb handle bar bag, modified with foam padding, where I was able to store safely two 35mm cameras, some film and note book. The bags expense is a true investment.

    Most importantly I carried water in a 2litre MSR bladder and two 750ml bike bottles as well as one emergency 600ml store purchased spring water. Puncture repair kit, two spare tubes and the Alien multi-tool, useful for regular maintenance and repairs, plus it comes with a very useful beer bottle openner.

    A bike odometer is a good accessary to measure your daily distances etc. More tools and spare parts are recommended for long treks. Weight and space become crucial when on long haul bicycle tours, so test rides are recommended before the big trek!

    The Intrepid Duck and Giant Termite Mound. NT.
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    • Cycling
    • Road Trip

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    RAIL PASSES AUSTRALIA

    by balhannah Written Sep 30, 2010

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    Australia has quite a few different rail passes to choose from.

    One thing to remember, is the distance and times between the major cities.
    Train is good, because you can sit back and relax and enjoy the passing scenery. You can walk around, enjoy a meal or sleep on an overnighter.

    EG......the AUSRAIL PASS

    1ST of all, only the person named on the ticket can use it on the specified rail and coach services operated by the following Railway Systems – Great Southern Rail (Red Service seats), Traveltrain (economy seats) and Countrylink (economy seats).
    It is not valid on any Metropolitan services or North Queensland Tourist Train services.

    After buying the pass, it must be validated within six months of the date of purchase, and travel must be completed within six months of the date of validation.
    For an additional cost, you may upgrade to sleepers.

    The pass is only available for purchase by bona fide overseas visitors to Australia, and you must present your passport when purchasing. A reservation for each individual sector of travel is necessary to obtain a valid travel ticket.
    The pass is only available for full adult fares, no further concessions apply.

    Train journeys covered by this pass are the......
    The Ghan, Gulflander, Indian Pacific, The Inlander, Kuranda Scenic Railway, Overlander,
    Spirit of the Outback, The Sunlander, Tilt Train, The Westlander, Xplorer, and XPT

    Cost in 2010 to March 2011 is...............
    6 month pass (off shore purchase) $890.00
    6 month pass (on shore purchase) $990.00

    Other available passes are....Backtracker Pass .....
    East Coast Discovery Pass ........
    Rail Explorer Pass ...........
    Queensland Explorer Pass

    Check out the website for all the details on...........
    some of the Great Train Journey's of Australia.

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