Getting In & Out of Australia
Its proximity from just about anywhere, renders Australia a time consuming and expensive destination. Recently, the number of airlines offering "cheaper" airfares in and out of Australia has increased. It is always worth considering when you intend to travel in relation to Australian Public & School Holidays, as travel during these times will mean airfares are more costly and air tickets more in demand.
The busiest international gateways are Melbourne & Sydney closely followed by Brisbane, Cairns, Perth, Adelaide and Darwin. Recently, you can conveniently fly to nearby destinations such as New Zealand and Fiji from Gold Coast International Airport. From the north-west there are international flights to Bali from Port Hedland. And, from Tasmania's capital Hobart, in the south, there are flights available to New Zealand.
Getting Around Australia
Domestic airlines in Australia have had a bumpy ride over the past decade; with the demise of the long term Aussie icon Ansett, and several smaller airlines such as Compass & Impulse airlines failing shortly after getting off the ground.
Virgin Blue (an off-shoot of Richard Branson's Virgin Airlines) bursting onto the scene in the late 90s, saw the birth of Jetstar Airlines, Qantas Airline's challenge to cheap flights and no-frills.
Regional Express, or REX as it is commonly know, offers flights to more remote regional destinations.
When the first Australian railway infrastructure was built, so far flung was the notion that trains would ever cross this great continent nation that the railway gauge in WA is different to that on the East coast.
Things have changed since then and trans-continental trains are now a reality, though few people use them as their transportation of choice - Australia is so big, that most people would prefer to fly across it, even if it means missing out on the magical scenery.
The links below provide information of rail networks and services within Australia, including timetables, prices and on-board information.
* Cityrail - Sydney - The rail network servicing Sydney and outer areas.
* Countrylink - Serving NSW and interstate to Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne.
* TransInfo - Queensland journey planner.
* TransPerth Journey Planner - Train Journey Plan for your Perth experience.
* TransAdelaide - The Adelaide rail network.
* Great South Pacific Express - Elegant travel from Sydney to Cairns in far north Qld.
* Kuranda Scenic Railway - From Cairns to Kuranda through rainforests and gorges.
* Puffing Billy - Australia's century-old steam train in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne.
Bus & Coach Transport
Fixed-cost and flexible, a firm favourite with many travellers, coach travel allows you to kick-back and take in the ever-changing scenery. A network of coach services covers Australia, Greyhound being one of the main operators.
Australia wide coach tours can be taken with Road Runner Coach Tours, while for journeys within your state you may wish to try a smaller bus company, providing bus travel to a wide range of areas, within Tasmania with, or within Queensland with Queensland Bus Links, or try the TransInfo Queensland journey planner. For reliable travel between Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, why not travel with Firefly Express, the second largest Express Coach Operator in Australia.
For local and more specific transport, there are companies such as Cowra Bus Servicesand Mudgee Transit Corporation, servicing these outer areas.
There are many coach and bus services offering travel around the continent of Australia, but also companies providing public transport services around major cities. Click on these links to discover the bus system provided in your city.
* Sydney Transit
* Brisbane TransInfo Bus Timetables
* Darwin Bus
* Adelaide Metro
If you are travelling in a group you may find that it is more cost-effective to hire a vehicle than to all buy coach, train or plane tickets. You will enjoy the freedom to go exactly where you want and when you want.
Hire cars are generally reasonably priced - check our Totaltravel.com recommended hire car agents and get a PREFERRED RATE as a totaltravel.com user! And of course you have peace of mind with new vehicles and breakdown cover.
To hire a car in Australia you need to be at least 21 years old and hold a full driver's license from your country of origin, or better still an international driving license. Overseas drivers are only eligible to drive with their country of origin license for the first three months of their stay in Australia and then are required to get a license for the state they are in and that usually involves sitting a driving test.
Hiring a campervan is another option and can be cost-effective, as it saves on accommodation. Aussie Campervan's rates start at $64 per day and they offer a wide range of vehicles and locations. There are plenty of campervan hire operators in Australia, including Jucy Campervan Hire.