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Getting around

You may have heard Australia is a big country, but did you know, despite its size, it's easy to get around?


Getting around by plane

Flying is the best way to cover Australia’s large distances in a short time. Australia’s domestic airlines – including Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, Tiger Airways and Rex – serve all state capital cities and many regional cities making it an easy way to travel between Australia's iconic destinations. Competition between domestic airlines means that some great value fares are available, especially if you book in advance.

Getting around by bus

Coach and bus travel in Australia is comfortable, efficient and reasonably priced. Long-distance coaches generally have air conditioning, reading lights, adjustable seats and free wifi. Australia’s national coach operator, Greyhound, offers hop on hop off passes for popular routes, short trip passes and flexible passes based on the amount of kilometres you wish to travel.

Getting around by car

Australia has a vast network of well-maintained roads and some of the most beautiful road trips in the world. Follow Victoria’s Great Ocean Road as it hugs our spectacular southeast coastline or experience Australia’s Red Centre in an epic drive across the desert. You’ll find car rental companies at major airports and central city locations; so hire a car, 4WD, caravan or motorbike and hit the highway.

Getting around by train

Train travel is a convenient, affordable and scenic way to explore Australia. TrainLink runs services between Sydney and the regional centres of New South Wales, and along Australia’s east coast to MelbourneBrisbane and Canberra. V-Line trains connect Melbourne with regional hubs in Victoria, Queensland Rail covers Queensland and TransWA crisscrosses through Western Australia

There are also spectacular rail journeys such as The Ghan and Indian Pacific, which sweep across the continent, offering comfort and a sense of nostalgic romance. The Indian Pacific travels between Sydney and Perth, stopping at Broken Hill, Adelaide and Kalgoorlie; the legendary Ghan travels between Adelaide and Darwin, taking in Australia’s Red Centre and the tropical Top End.

Journey times from Sydney
Route Road Distance
Km/miles
Air Coach Rail
Sydney - Adelaide 1412/877 1.83 22 25.3
Sydney - Canberra 286/177 0.5 4.3 4
Sydney - Melbourne (inland) 872/542 1.1 14.3 10.25
Sydney - Melbourne (coastal) 1040/645 1.41    
Sydney - Perth 4054/2513 4.17 63.3* 66.5
Sydney - Darwin 4210/2610 4.25 69 2
Sydney - Hobart 1589/985 1.75    
* via Melbourne & Adelaide
Journey times from Canberra
Route Road Distance
Km/miles
Air Coach Rail
Canberra - Melbourne 648/402 1.08 9.3 8.3
Journey times from Melbourne
Route Road Distance
Km/miles
Air Coach Rail
Melbourne - Adelaide 731/454 1.05 10 12
Melbourne - Hobart 610/378 1.3    
Melbourne - Devonport 307/190 1.16 10.5*  
* by ferry
Journey times from Adelaide
Route Road Distance
Km/miles
Air Coach Rail
Adelaide - Alice Springs 1533/952 2.19 19 20
Adelaide - Perth 2706/1680 3.1 34 38
Adelaide - Darwin 3021/1873 3.58 41 46.45
Adelaide - Brisbane 2045/1270 2.3 33 40
Journey times from Perth
Route Road Distance
Km/miles
Air Coach Rail
Perth - Broome 2225/1378 2.5 34  
Journey times from Darwin
Route Road Distance
Km/miles
Air Coach Rail
Darwin - Alice Springs 1489/924 2 19 24.2
Darwin - Kakadu 200/124   3.3  
Journey times from Alice Springs
Route Road Distance
Km/miles
Air Coach Rail
Alice Springs - Uluru 443/275 0.5 6  
Journey times from Cairns
Route Road Distance
Km/miles
Air Coach Rail
Cairns - Sydney 2695/1671 2.5 48 44.3*
Cairns - Darwin 2857/1771 2.5 40  
Cairns - Brisbane 1716/1065 2.05 28 30
* changing trains in Brisbane
Journey times from Brisbane
Route Road Distance
Km/miles
Air Coach Rail
Brisbane - Sydney (coastal) 965/600 1.5 15 14.3
Brisbane - Sydney (inland) 990/614 1.5 17  
Brisbane - Melbourne (via Sydney) 1674/1039 2.5 25 25*
* overnight in Sydney

Getting around by ferry

The Spirit of Tasmania operates a nightly passenger and vehicle ferry service between Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, and Devonport in Tasmania with extra services during peak periods. SeaLink ferries connect Cape Jervis in South Australia (approximately 108km/67 miles south of Adelaide) and Kangaroo Island several times a day. There are also ferry services in our capital cities, connecting suburbs around Sydney Harbour, on the Swan River in Perth and on the Brisbane River.

Finding your way on foot

In Australia you can tackle some of the longest tracks and trails in the world – impressive journeys of a thousand kilometres or more that can take several weeks to complete. From the Overland Track through Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed wilderness to the Larapinta Trail across the West MacDonnell Ranges in the Northern Territory, these hikes let you discover spectacular landscapes while stretching your legs.

Travelling with a disability

In Australia, airlines, trains, buses and ferries are accessible to people using a wheelchair or mobility device. Australia’s airports provide services for people with disabilities and are able to assist with baggage, getting around the airport and getting on and off the plane. For more information visit the Australia For AllCan Go Everywhere and Nican websites.

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