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Old 09-29-2007, 05:13 PM   #1
 
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Default Train in Australia

Has anybody taken the Australian train to Melbourne or Darwin or any where and was it a good experience or better then taking the bus
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Old 09-29-2007, 05:21 PM   #2
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the train to melbourne (From sydney, you didn't say where you want to catch the train from) uses the CountryLink service, which is pretty good but expensive. It would be cheaper to go by bus but I think the train would probably be more enjoyable.
I'm not sure where you want to go to Darwin from but there is a famous train called The Ghan which goes from Darwin to Alice Springs to Adelaide (and back). My mum did it a few years ago, its a good trip but bear in mind that due to it being pretty damn expensive, my mum was just about the youngest person on the train - it's very popular with the old ladies.
Another good train trip is the Indian Pacific from Sydney to Perth. It's about three days and a good way to see the outback without having to spend lots of time there.
If you are really into trains in a big way then I would definitely check out these trips, but if you just want a way to get from A to B then you should just fly. Buses are the cheapest but australian cities are generally really far apart so I would only use them for shorter trips.
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Old 09-29-2007, 05:26 PM   #3
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Hey i live in Australia, on the goldy. But i have never actually tried the train from melbourne - darwin. Train services are good and safe but probably not as great as you are imagining. the majority of inland australia looks identicle, its all just dirt and bush ahahah the coastal regions are the ones that look different from eachother.......im not sure if flying is something you would want to do but there is a plane company in australia called JETSTAR and it offers the cheapest airfares around. i went on jetstar from brisbane to melbourne and it took 45mins and was actually a great airline, it is a sister company to quantas, so its pretty good. so maybe think about flying it will be so much quicker. and if the weather is anything like it usually is in australia you will be able to see the ground from the sky for your entire flight, so really its like you see it all anyway, just alot of flat farm country ahaha. Well anyways check out the jetstar web site if it helps... www.jetstar.com.au you can get a ticket anywhere from 90 - 140 aussie dollars. and ofcourse there are always specials.
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:04 PM   #4
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A lot of people don't grasp the shear scale of Australia. It's as big as the US with a whole lot of not much between the big cities.

Flying is your best bet by a mile, discount airlines are getting pretty competitive. Jetstar has been mentioned but there is also Virgin Blue and Tiger Airlines which is new. Compare prices at www.webjet.com.au
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:26 PM   #5
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Quantas offers a pretty good airpass for foreigners...the cost varies from $1099-$1499 from LA and includes 3 flights within australia to the most common cities. If you get farther afield its a bit more.
http://www.qantas.com.au/regions/dyn...ls/webDeals217

Its not exactly cheap but its worth consideration depending on your schedule since the bus rides are realllly long.

I never used the train when I was there so I can't help with that, sorry.
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Old 09-30-2007, 08:48 AM   #6
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i live in adelaide and have been to melbourne numerous times using plane/train/bus.

flying is obviously the best option.
but if you're choosing between bus and train i would choose the train. the seats are bigger and you can get up and walk around the train, go into the cafe car and sit in there if you get bored of sitting in your seat.

the bus is cheaper but you are stuck in your seat and cant really go anywhere except for the toilet. but the bus does stop at some towns along the way where you can get out and stretch your legs, buy food etc.
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Old 10-01-2007, 02:41 AM   #7
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I've taken the train from Perth to Adelaide. It was a loooooooooooooong journey. It was three days two nights. I did it for the experience. I'm glad I did it. But flying was only $10 cheaper! Spending two nights trying to sleep in an upright chair is not that glamourous. However of course the countryside is beautiful.
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Old 10-01-2007, 03:00 AM   #8
 
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thanks everybody for your reply, i understand it is a large country and the train is expensive but i saw a train pass for 599 for unlimited trips in 6 months on the gahn and the 2 other trains for foreigners. Also as I will be in Australia for a year i will have a heavy pack and the cheap airlines normally don't have a big luggage limit
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Old 10-01-2007, 03:15 AM   #9
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hey if you've got the time and can find a good deal, i would absolutely recommend the bigger train trips. It's a great way to see the country and much more relaxing than the bus. What are you doing here for a year, just travelling?
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Old 10-01-2007, 02:52 PM   #10
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We did the bus from Sydney to Wagga Wagga which was ok. Although, the company was run by 80 year olds with socks pulled up to their knees :D but was fine.

We then got the train from Wagga Wagga to Melbourne. Out of the two I would definitely recommend the train as you do get to see a lot more of the countryside, wildlife etc. Wasn't overly expensive either and as suggested you can stretch your legs, get something to eat and drink etc.

Wagga Wagga was quality to chill in for a few days as well. Big trailer by the river, baking sunshine, couple of cases of Carlton Cold. Ahh bliss
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Old 10-01-2007, 06:30 PM   #11
 
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I'll be doing a working holiday so I will be working for about 3 months out of the year.
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Old 10-31-2007, 01:41 AM   #12
 
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Trains in the summer SUCKS.
The rails heat up too much which means the trains need to slow down otherwise the rails will warp or something.

Our 10 hour train trip ended up taking 13 hours... (syd to melb)

Buses are sucky too but definitely cheaper.

Virginblue.com.au is def better than Jetstar. More reliable when it comes to ontime performance. Cheaper. The airport isnt in woop woop when it comes to Melbourne... (whereas Jetstar is...)

Otherwise, hire a car and do it that way! See Australia for what it is! It's amazing!
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