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The Best Ways to Travel Around Australia

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Ferry in Sydney Harbor, Australia

Ferry in Sydney Harbor, Australia

Trying to navigate a new country is daunting, but Australia has many great transportation options for making travel around less complicated, whether by train, plane, bicycle, or car. 

To customize your dream trip Down Under, the following guide will help you learn more about the different ways you can travel and explore Australia. As you explore the many ways to tailor your trip to your preferences, learn more about what is most practical, and the most enjoyable.

Best for Long Distances: Trains & Flights

The Indian Pacific, connecting Sydney to Perth.  Photo courtesy Great Southern Rail

The Indian Pacific, connecting Sydney to Perth. Photo courtesy Great Southern Rail

Trains:

Trains are a unique way to travel long distances in Australia.  Across the country, the train network offers excellent connections between major cities. With over 21,000 miles of tracks, train travel is convenient but does take longer than flying. Australia has six popular rail lines that offer good service and beautiful scenery to travel in all different directions. The most popular train journeys include the Tilt, the Indian Pacific, the NSW TrainLink, The Ghan, and the Spirit of the Outback.

Flights:

Australia has 613 domestic and international airports and offers easy access to the country's remote corners. The number of airports across Australia makes it much easier and faster to travel the long distances between popular cities, main highlights, and unique destinations you may want to reach. While trains offer relaxed scenic routes, flying is generally your best option when traveling during your trip whether from Sydney to Uluru, Melbourne to Cairns, or Perth to Darwin.

Best for Short Travel: Private Chauffeur, Cars, and Buses

Driving the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia

Driving the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia

Private Chauffeur:

Australia has a fascinating urban culture with dramatic scenery easily accessed by a private driver. A private driver often doubles as a tour guide when traveling around a city or on a day trip and offers a faster and more efficient experience. Whether you are interested in a wine tour of the Barossa Valley or visiting the Blue Mountains for the day, wish to reach a specific beach or have an early flight, a private driver gives you personal service, a safe environment, and an easy sense of luxury.

Car Rental:

Traveling Australia by car can be challenging, especially if you have a schedule to keep. Australia is enormous, and there is considerable distance between the most popular destinations, such as Sydney to Melbourne or Alice Springs to Uluru. The expansive Outback requires precautions like a satellite phone, extra gasoline, and extra water in case of any car issues while more common roads in the countryside can become congested with wildlife after sundown. Driving in Australia can become an epic road trip, but only with expert guidance and research.

Buses:

Travel by bus can be an alternative to travel by train, providing access to rural areas. Buses are more economical than the train system, but are far slower, making it difficult if you have a limited number of days to travel through Australia. The seats onboard are comfortable and offer entertainment, charger points, and wifi for an updated travel experience on easily navigable highways and roads. When not traveling to more remote corners of Australia, it is much easier and faster to fly.

Best for Urban Travel: Taxis, Buses, and Ridesharing Apps

Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, Australia

Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, Australia

Taxis:

Taxis are an efficient way to travel around Australian cities. Cabs are usually painted yellow, silver, or white and display their meters in a visible position. Taxis are a great alternative to walking or taking public transportation in cities like Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth, but each territory also has its own public transportation system with great connectivity and schedules. The metro systems are reliable and easy to manage across the country but do not give you the same freedom as a taxi to travel on your own schedule.

Ridesharing Apps:

Ridesharing apps are legal in Australia and are very popular in cities like Melbourne and Sydney. The diversity of ridesharing apps in the larger cities can give you plenty of choices, whether with a private car or standard taxi. Several ridesharing apps offer different service options such as luxury vehicles, child seats, or licenses for transporting passengers in wheelchairs. Ridesharing apps are not always cheaper than traditional taxis in Australia as prices can change depending on the city or the time of day.

Best Alternative Travel: Boats

Sailing in the Whitsundays, Australia

Sailing in the Whitsundays, Australia

Travel by Boat:

The majority of Australia’s population lives within nearly 30 miles of the water, making travel by boat a fun and unique way to explore the shoreline. However, Australia is a vast country, and traveling by boat between cities would take a tremendous amount of time. Instead, traveling by boat is excellent for smaller excursions such as on cruises around Sydney Harbour, sailing along the Great Barrier Reef, or boating around the Whitsunday Islands.

More Travel Information & Tips

The Ghan crossing the Elizabeth River in the Northern Territory of Australia.  Photo courtesy Great Southern Rail

The Ghan crossing the Elizabeth River in the Northern Territory of Australia. Photo courtesy Great Southern Rail

Australia has great transportation options depending on your travel schedule and budget. With so many amazing sites, you can easily enjoy the best times to visit Cable Beach in the Kimberley or Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island. Our Australia Travel Guide can give you more hints on how to discover the Land Down Under. If you want to plan a trip, you can speak to an Australia travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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