Traveling around Australia will be one of the greatest experiences of your life. You will visit a diverse range of amazing places, try new and exciting activities, and you’ll meet incredible people. Spending time in Australia will give you unforgettable memories and deeply enrich your life. There are so many great things to see and do, it’s definitely worth checking out some of the best Australia tours to get a better idea of what might interest you the most.
There are two major challenges when traveling to Australia that you will have to learn to balance to get the most out of your trip: time and money.
Australia is a massive country, this means getting from one place to another can eat into your time there and the quickest ways to travel are usually the most expensive. To help you out, here are the five best ways to travel around Australia.
#1 Fly within Australia
If you will only be in Australia for a short amount of time, then flying is by far your best option. A flight from Sydney to Melbourne takes a little over an hour and a half. Getting around using planes allows you to see the most in the shortest amount of time. Many travelers just visit the East Coast, but if you want to see more of Australia, taking at least some flights is a necessity.
The problem with flying is that it’s considerably more expensive than most other forms of transport. TigerAir offers cheaper flights than the two major airlines, Virgin and Qantas while booking as far in advance as possible can score you cheaper flights, as can flying midweek rather than at the weekend.
#2 Take the train to travel in Australia
The train system in Australia is not extensive, and neither is it cheap, but there are discounts available if you are a member of the YHA. Trains can be a good way to see more of the country if you choose a scenic route, but these trips book up well in advance. One advantage of using the trains is taking the sleeper, this way the cost of the train is offset by not having to pay for accommodation that night and it means that you don’t waste time as you would be asleep, anyway.
#3 Coach travel around Australia
Buses, or coaches if you’re traveling long-distance, can be a great way to travel. They are relatively cheap on the East Coast but more expensive on the West Coast. The two main companies are Greyhound and Firefly, their coaches are comfortable, offering reclining seats, onboard toilets, film showings, and some even have Wi-Fi. Both companies also offer ‘Hop on Hop off’ tickets along certain routes. The downside is that they are slow; for example, Sydney to Melbourne takes 12 hours.
#4 Car Sharing around Australia
Car sharing is a popular way to travel in Australia and it’s easy to find people to share with. Nearly every hostel will have a bulletin board listing people offering and looking for companions. You can also find people to car share with on various Facebook groups like Australian Backpacker Hub. Car sharing gives you a lot more freedom for random exploration and making spontaneous stops when you pass interesting looking places. The main benefit of car sharing is that it is by far the cheapest way to travel. Gas prices are cheaper than in Europe plus you get to split the cost.
The downsides are that driving from place to place can be time-consuming and limit how much you get to see. Also, it means that you have to take into account what other people want to do and not just rush along to your favored destination. Check out the Secret Traveller blog to see what makes a bad travel partner, so you can avoid becoming one.
#5 Travel around Australia by campervan
A campervan is another great option for getting around, though certainly not the quickest mode of transport. Much like with car sharing, you can take other people along with you to share the costs, but you also save on accommodation, making your trip considerably cheaper.
Renting a campervan can be an expensive upfront cost and you will need to shop around to get the best deals. If you book in advance for a decent length of time, you can get some fantastic offers. If staying for longer than 5 months it might be cheaper to buy, but then you will have to deal with all the associated paperwork.