You made it to Australia! You set yourself a goal and now you’re here. How exciting for you! Perhaps you’ve already planned your itinerary and have everything mapped out. Some people prefer to arrive and find their feet first, then decide what to do, where to go and how to get there. Travelling around Australia via four different modes of transportation is an amazing opportunity to experience new and fascinating sights. Remember, it’s a HUGE country so get ready to see just a tiny fraction of what’s here.
When you’re on a temporary visa, you want to make the most of the time you have, so efficient planning is the key. One of the best ways to learn how to get around is to visit your nearest capital city, because there will always be a visitor information centre, open seven days a week. You’ll learn how to get around the city using public transport and also find brochures for countless tourism destinations that radiate from the city. Have a talk to the staff at the centre, as they are usually employed for their extensive knowledge and experience of travelling around Australia for their own enjoyment.
You’ll also find visitor information centres in popular tourist destinations and once there, you’ll be able to find out about all the points of interest in the locality. Discover how to get to beaches, mountains, ski resorts, theme parks, restaurants, hotels, places of worship, public gardens, panoramic lookouts, animal sanctuaries, four-wheel drive operators and so much more.
It can actually be cheaper and simpler to book your flights when you arrive in Australia, using one of our local airlines’ websites or a comparison website that shows you all available flights and which offers search parameters to refine by cost, date or other criteria.
Some say it’s best to search on these sites but then book your flights through the actual airline’s website, to save on commission fees. It’s also easier for a non-local to use the flight comparison website, because they may not know which airlines fly to which Australian destinations.
If you’re a fan of rail travel, then you will be delighted with the journeys on offer in Australia. Choose from budget rail transportation between two destinations or make a complete experience of it with luxury overnight sleeping accommodation, five-star dining and impeccable service. Read more about Australian train journeys or discover an all-inclusive luxury rail holiday.
Imagine experiencing the Queensland coastline between Brisbane and tropical Cairns, from the comfort of your air conditioned train with RailBed seats that convert to lie-flat beds overnight. You can discover the Great Barrier Reef, take an eco-adventure tour through Barron Gorge National Park and swim in glorious Lake Placid. Go snorkelling, see the reef from a glass-bottom boat or an air conditioned semi-submersible watercraft. There are loads more rail journeys that offer completely different destinations and tourist opportunities.
Would you prefer to drive yourself or be driven in a comfortable tourism coach? You could even hire a campervan and enjoy the best of both worlds. Travelling around Australia by road is easy as, the highways are exceptionally well maintained and the road networks are quite easy to navigate. If you hire a car, be sure to familiarise yourself with Australian road rules and practice driving around local streets. Especially if you are from a country where you drive on the opposite side of the road.
A campervan allows you to stop wherever you like and take a nap or sleep overnight (as long as camping is permitted in that area). There is an abundance of caravan parks where you can pay a small sum and you’ll be able to connect your campervan to electricity and water supplies. Cook your own meals, enjoy privacy and comfort and drive whenever you want to.
Australian road trips are some of the best in the world because of the spectacular scenery. One of the most popular ones is the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, a 243km stretch of road along the south-eastern coast, from Torquay to Allansford. Known as the world’s largest war memorial, it was constructed by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932 and dedicated to fallen World War I soldiers. Visit the incredible Twelve Apostles limestone rock formations, stop for a swim and enjoy small cafes and tourist boutiques along the way.
If the idea of driving around Australia yourself is a bit daunting, then a bus tour could be just the solution. Let the driver do all the hard work and you can sit back, relax and revel in the scenery. The bus will stop at plenty of interesting destinations so you can stretch your legs, buy souvenirs, explore convict settlements, look at Aboriginal paintings and feed tame animals. It all depends on the bus tour itinerary you choose, and there are so many options that you’ll find it difficult to decide.
Picture yourself boarding the Spirit of Tasmania in Melbourne and taking a wonderful overnight cruise across Bass Strait to the island state. Select from a range of accommodation and dining styles and visit the on-board bars, cinema and children’s activities. Or, if a wilderness cruise is more to your liking, you can spend an entire week aboard an exclusive yacht, exploring the pristine coastline of the Kimberley region in Western Australia.
You might also be interested in an inland cruise, spending four nights journeying along the glorious Murray River, which stretches across three states – Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Spot Australian wildlife and birdlife, taste wines at a cellar door, drop by a woolshed and wildlife shelter and pay a visit to an Aboriginal archaeological site.
Or, book yourself on a cruise that visits only Australian ports such as the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney, local islands, Fremantle in Western Australia or other outstanding locations. Several cruise line operators offer Australia-only cruises from as short as overnight to longer journeys of up to twelve nights. Travelling around Australia by water is a relaxing way to see the country and its surrounding ocean.
This country is enormous and offers limitless opportunities for fun, adventure and memory-making. Because of its geography, it’s exciting to think of all the different modes of transportation you can use when travelling around Australia. Each offers its own charms and highlights. Do plenty of research before you go and don’t forget to take a fresh SD card for your camera or phone. You are going to take LOTS of photos!!