Touring Australia

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by Stonesourscotty, 17 Oct 2013.

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  1. Stonesourscotty

    Stonesourscotty Member

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    Planning on going Australia in Dec-Mar can anyone advise if theres any decent train tickets likes rovers or rangers for covering large distances in the country? heard greyhound buses are ok to?
     
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  3. 185

    185 Established Member

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    For the East Coast, the Backtracker Rail Pass was good value. Covers all of NSW and the twice daily Brisbane and Melbourne XPT services.
    http://www.nswtrainlink.info/deals/travel_passes/backtracker#price
    Includes 1 return Sydney to Bondi and 1 return to Katoomba-Blue Mountains on CityRail

    Around Sydney, the MyMulti day ticket was also good value. £10
    http://www.sydneytrains.info/tickets/which/mymulti_day
    Covers Bus, Train, Tram and Ferries, including the Blue Mountains (80 miles).

    I've travelled Melbourne-Adelaide a few times on the Overland day-train service (10 hours)

    Fare was £34 Second or £70 First. Worth doing first for value / comfort.
    http://www.greatsouthernrail.com.au/site/the_overland.jsp
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b1/Red_Premium_Seating_The_Overland.jpg courtesy - wiki
     
  4. DownSouth

    DownSouth Established Member

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    There are four different Rail Australia passes (each with three and six month versions) available at http://www.acprail.com/rail-passes/australia plus the Ausrail pass only available through travel agents. There are a few different resellers of the Rail Australia passes, that ACP link is the cheapest place to get those other than Ausrail.

    None of the passes include travel on V/Line intrastate trains in Victoria, but those fares are relatively low.

    Great Southern Rail trains (The Overland from my home of Adelaide to Melbourne, The Ghan from Adelaide-Darwin and the Indian-Pacific from Perth-Adelaide-Sydney) have a fuel surcharge added for each booking you have with them. Trips must be booked for the GSR trains including the specific stops (at intermediate stops they go straight through nobody is booked) and as freight is king (and provides the haulage) there is a ±60 minutes margin on any times shown.

    The GSR schedules for The Ghan and the Indian-Pacific are seasonal, during summer The Ghan goes once a week each way and the IP twice while it's the other way around during winter. Check on the GSR website at www.greatsouthernrail.com.au to see the schedules.


    Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Perth each have smartcard ticket systems for their integrated bus-train-tram metropolitan networks. MetroCard in Adelaide works on a pure timed travel system, you validate each time you board (you don't "touch out" as such except at Adelaide Railway Station) and get unlimited free transfers for the next two hours. I haven't used any of the other systems but if you're coming to Adelaide I can answer absolutely anything about the MetroCard system as I was in the pool of users beta-testing the system before the release to the general public.

    If you come to Adelaide, the National Rail Museum is well worth a visit to see such oddities as triple-gauge points, and the 78km SteamRanger preserved line is also worth a trip for a spectacular run alongside the beach including the corridor used by the first railway in Australia.



    If you're coming in December-March you'll need to be aware it's the peak tourism and event season in the southern half of the country. As well as the regular events which increase accommodation prices such as the Australian Open tennis (Melbourne, mid-late January), the WorldTour Down Under cycling (Adelaide region, mid-late January) and Australian F1 Grand Prix (Melbourne, March) this season a bunch of South Africans (and a few Englishmen as well) will be touring Australia to get their miserable butts kicked as we regain The Ashes which will send accommodation prices through the roof when the cricket teams are in in town. If you like that kind of stuff, the cycling is free to enjoy (and each day is within MetroCard distance of the city) and the cricket is relatively cheap compared to England home games, while all the good sessions at the tennis are probably sold out already.
     
  5. Sidious

    Sidious Member

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    Not unless they have been busy digging it doesn't. The Line to Bondi was never built. The Eastern Suburbs line terminates at the inappropriately named Bondi Junction (which isn't a junction at all, and nor is it at Bondi).
     
  6. 185

    185 Established Member

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    Bondi Jn is under 15 mins walk from the beach.

    About the same distance as Brighton Station, UK to Brighton beach.
     
  7. Addington

    Addington Member

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    One trip to consider doing on is the loco hauled Sunlander that runs between Brisbane and Cairns three days per week. This train is scheduled to be replaced by a diesel tilt train some time next year, this will see the end of sleeper car services on this route. The Inlander to Mt Isa and the Westlander to Charleville are also well worth the trip.

    One train to avoid is the XPT service between Sydney and Brisbane. From tomorrow (October 20) this service has been rescheduled. During the period you will be here, it will leave Sydney at 1441, arriving into Brisbane at 0353. The southbound departure as just as bad as the arrival, it departs Brisbane at 0455.

    Passes are virtually non existent for Aussies, aside from the East Coast Discovery Pass, so enjoy the luxury of travel that we no longer have :)
     
  8. LesS

    LesS Member

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    The Sydney-Brisbane service is no longer passenger friendly because of the new times in Brisbane.

    The travel passes are for sitting car accommodation only in standard class. First class, sleeping compartments and meals are extra.

    Bondi Junction is appropriately named. It is the location of the old tramway junction for routes from the city to Bondi Beach and Bronte Beach.
     
  9. Matt Taylor

    Matt Taylor Established Member

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    There's a bus station at Bondi Junction, getting to Bondi really isn't a problem.
     
  10. dutchflyer

    dutchflyer Member

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    On my last visit down yundah, I saw there were several special fares/passes for Backpackers-proof was a YHA-card (or similar). Though these were mainly aimed at the working holiday-visa crowds, I as a bit older was also accepted (also stayed at several AYH-good value). F.e. there were 1/2-weekly passes on V-rail, Victoria state, and various quite cheap advance book coaches (long-dist. bus), there are many more as just greyhound. But that was some time ago, and I have no idea if these are still available. Maybe check sites that specifically cater to such groups-and if you can adapt to it.
    In MELbourne the daypasses are for all-train, bus.tram, and go by zones. On SUNdays there was then a very cheap all-zones version.
    Around BRIsbane the weekly tickets also by zones were very good value for longer stays, also include all transport.
     
  11. Addington

    Addington Member

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    Melbourne now has the "Myki" electronic ticketing system. The initial outlay is $6 for the card. The Myki Money card allows you to top it up and use as required, as opposed to Myki Pass is set for a particular number of days. Travel on Saturdays and Sundays is $3.50.

    The Ghan is reduced to once per fortnight in each direction during December and January, but I'm not sure of the days. Something to bear in mind is that Darwin, Perth and Adelaide terminal stations aren't close to city centres. Perth is three stops out beside East Perth suburban station, Adelaide Parklands Terminal is a short walk from the Anzac Highway bus services (and Wayville station whenever is opens) and Darwin is out of town, located at Berrimah.
     
  12. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    I am unsure why anyone would want to go there though - its a bit of a dump.

    going into the blue mountains is beautiful though.


    Also if you are up by Brisbane, get the train out to Gympie if you have the time for a go on the heritage railway there http://www.thevalleyrattler.com/ its great
     
    Last edited: 21 Oct 2013
  13. Goatboy

    Goatboy Established Member

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    Very difficult to travel properly by train IMHO - we tried a few years ago to get a train from Rockhampton up to Mackay - Mackay is simply the next large city up the coast.

    There was one train a day and it left at midnight.

    We hired a car.
     
  14. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    We made our way from Melbourne to Brisbane via Canberra, Sydney, Byron Bay and the Gold Coast using a Greyhound pass which was very reasonably priced, cheaper than the train at the time and took no longer. (Would have preferred the train but had a really strict budget). As someone already said the train out from Sydney to the blue mountains is a nice trip and ou can get a ticket which includes the tourist bus from Katoomba. From the Gold Coast we also took a day trip out to the railway museum in Ipswich which is worth a visit.

    Oh, and as someone else said Bondi is a bit of a dump. However the walk around the coast from there to Coogee is quite nice. When is Sydney get the ferry out to Manly.
     
    Last edited: 18 Nov 2013
  15. duncanp

    duncanp Member

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  16. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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