Getting Around Australia
Australia is a huge country with beaches, desert and tropical rainforest on offer… making this truly a backpackers paradise. It is fortunate for travellers that Australia has loads of great ways of getting to these places with many transport options available with the most popular being:
Public transport is the most popular way for backpackers to travel and is considered to be the alternative to organised tours. Public transport is often good value for money but the routes taken are often not the quickest way of getting from A to B. Also, the routes won’t go to specific places of interest to travellers.
Greyhound buses are a great way to get around Australia and the company offers two types of passes to travellers, the Oz-Flexi Travel pass which allows you to create your own unique itinerary and the Oz-Choice Travel which takes travellers on popular pre-set routes.
Rail travel is another popular way of getting around Australia. The Indian Pacific train journey from Sydney to Perth and the Ghan route from Melbourne to Alice Springs are both world famous train journeys, taking in amazing scenery. With comfortable trains and affordable pricing available, train travel across Australia is becoming increasingly popular.
Recent developments in the internal flights market in Australia means that prices are very reasonable. However, it may save you money, time and effort when there to book any internal flights you want to take in advance.
Many backpackers and independent travellers choose to use the excellent backpacker bus networks that cross the country. These networks offer “hop on, hop off” flexibility, and more unusual destinations. The tours will also have a driver and a guide who will help you on your travels. They are designed especially for independent travellers, and the one thing they all have in common is that you will be travelling with lots of other like-minded people. Some tours are for the more committed off-the-beaten-track traveller, while others have a reputation for a wild party atmosphere.
To drive in Australia you will need a full driving licence. You will need to carry your licence with you at all times as there is an on the spot fine for not doing so. Australians drive on the left hand side of the road, and the speed limits are 35mph/60kmph in built up areas and 60mph/100kmph on country roads and highways.
Many hire firms operate a one-way hire service, so you can hire from Cairns and drop off in Sydney, for example. The minimum rental age is 21. One or two companies also offer a Buyback Guarantee on cars for sale, which means you are guaranteed a fixed amount when you sell your car back at the end of your trip.
Driving also gives you flexibility and if a group of 2 or 3 or more band together and share costs then it is actually the cheapest form of travel possible. It also means…
- You can snog in the back of the car
- You can pull over and camp for free in many places
- You don’t have to pay extra for side trips, you can simply drive yourself
- You can play your own tunes
- You can stop if you see something interesting
Choose from a wide variety of self-drive options in Australia.