There are a number train services that operate in Australia, you have the trains/trams that travel in and around the cities/suburbs, those which traverse the coasts which are a collection of joining services and the interstate trains that travel vast distances from coast to coast through the centre of the country.
Backpacking around Australia is so much fun! Australia is a huge country and when you visit with the aim to explore, the way you get around becomes a part of the experience. The way you travel will depend on the usual factors like time, cost, availability, etc... but theres more to getting around then just travelling from A to B. Read our handy guides to getting around Australia.
Bus services in Australia include public transport buses, shuttle buses, backpacker buses, long distance Greyhound coaches and plenty of other private tours and day trips.
The cost depends on the service but is usually competitive with other modes of transport, some of them even being free like the Central Area Transit (C.A.T) in Perth.
Above all methods of transport, driving in Australia will easily provide you with the most freedom. Having your own vehicle you can go anywhere, at any time without the hassle of public transport or having to compromise on any of your arrangements. Learn everything you need to know to start driving in Australia.
The best place to book a flight to Australia is online. You will get the most competitive rates online, but you can go directly into a travel agents and compare prices that way.
Unless you have booked your flights months in advance, the dates you choose will make all the difference to the price! If you can afford to be flexible, make sure you check the prices a few days either side of your original date to have a chance of getting a better deal.
When making your bookings, try to coincide it with the availability of transport to get you to the airport on time (i.e, when you know buses will be active, or trains are running).
Your arrival time is equally important, you need to guarantee availability of transport to the hostel and that the reception will still be open when you arrive (see section Hostels in Australia - Hostel Life of the Backpacker). When you're booking your flights to Australia, it's always best to arrive in the daytime.
Shuttle bus services can almost always be arranged to take you to and from the airport for a lot less than the price of a taxi (see section Bus Services in Australia - Backpackers Guide).
If you're leaving the hostel (i.e, going somewhere new), make sure your flight departure time is after the hostel reception has been opened. This way you can return your key and get any deposits back before you leave. In some cases (on weekends) hostel staff aren't available until after 11AM!
When you fly to Australia, there are weight restrictions that apply to your luggage. Find out what your allocated quota is (usually 20kg) before you set off so that you don't incur any excess charges. Your weight allowance should be provided for you when you book your flight.
If you have new bags or suitcases and you want to keep them clean, speak to the terminal operator about having them sealed and they will put them into clear plastic bags for you.
If (when you have booked your flight) you receive a flight reference number instead of a physical ticket, you will get your ticket when you check-in your luggage at the airport terminal.
Alternatively, sometimes you can type your reference number into a computerized terminal at the airport and print out your ticket there. Make sure you write your reference down in your Personal Organiser ready for the day you travel.
Internal flights can be a fast, cost effective way of spanning long distances across Australia. If you're on a tight schedule for example and you need to get from Brisbane to Perth, this six hour flight is going to be the best bet
Regarding bookings, generally in Australia the weekends (i.e. Friday through to Sunday night and public holidays) are more expensive periods to fly internally and availability becomes more limited. So if you're not in a hurry, book for mid week instead. Flights will be a bit cheaper and the airport less busy.
It's always a good idea to know as many ways of contacting people as possible when you're on your travels. Learn the best ways of keeping in contact while backpacking around Australia.
There are lots of ferries dotted around Australia. There are river boats/ferries and CityCats. Some take vehicles across small river crossing points and others which cross from Melbourne to Tasmania.
There are lots of train services in Australia. You have the trains/trams that go through the cities/suburbs, those which traverse the coasts and the interstate trains that travel vast distances across the country.
Your passport and visa are the most important documents you have when it comes to travelling. Learn how to keep them safe and how to get replacements if you ever need them.
There are a number of really good visas available to people from other countries around the world who wish to spend time in Australia. Each visa has a set of criteria for you to meet before a visa is granted.
There are some jobs in Australia which require you to attend a basic introductory course. These courses are usually quite short and are meant to give you the necessary certificates needed to start work.