Transportation in Australia
Australia offers a number of travel options to suit all budgets.
Airports are located in Australia’s capital cities and key regional centers. Australia’s national airline, Qantas, services all airports. However, you may save money by flying with budget airlines Jetstar and Virgin Blue. These services do not provide complimentary food or entertainment, but you won’t miss them on short flights. If you’re looking to save cash, it’s also worth flying early in the morning or late at night.
If you have the time, a train journey is a great way to appreciate Australia’s vast landscape. Australia’s most famous trains are The Indian Pacific and The Ghan, luxury locomotives which will ensure your journey is as much fun as the destination. The Indian Pacific links Sydney, Adelaide and Perth, while The Ghan travels from Adelaide to Darwin via Alice Springs. CountryLink, Queensland Railways, V-Line and Transwa will help travelers looking to embark on shorter, and less indulgent, train journeys. All these trains must be booked in advance, either in person at the train station, or via telephone or the internet.
Getting about Australia’s major cities and regional centers couldn’t be easier, with a range of public transport on offer. Buses and trains are popular choices everywhere, as they offer an economical and reliable way to get around. Single, return or weekly train passes can be purchased at train stations, while bus fares are available upon boarding. Ferries are another transport alternative in coastal cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. If you’re visiting Melbourne, be sure to take a ride on a tram. The Victorian capital is renown for being the only Australian city to use electric tramways.
If you prefer private transport, rental cars are readily available in Australia. However, remember that Australians drive on the left side of the road. If you are used to driving on the right, take your time and limit city driving. Major Australian rental car companies include Avis, Budget, Thrifty and Hertz. You must hold a current driver’s license to rent a car in Australia. If the driver’s license is in English, no additional license is required. However, if the driver’s license is not in English, you must also present an international driving permit. Most Australian rental companies require drivers to be at least 25 year of age, although some companies allow permit younger drivers to hire their vehicles.