In June 2009 Elizabeth Holbrook was the lucky winner of the Hostelworld.com’s Connects’ video competition for her guide of her beloved San Francisco. After living in Jeju in South Korea for almost 18 months, Elizabeth is back on the road again. Having traveled in Australia, check out five of her tips for travelling from Melbourne to Sydney.
Trying to figure out the best way to get from Melbourne to Sydney can be a bit daunting at first. Road, rail, air; the are plenty of options. But finding the best transport to coincide with your time, budget and comfort preferences can be a little tricky. Here are some basic options to get you headed in the right direction.
Taking the bus is often the first choice that comes to mind. Greyhound runs the route with a travel time of about 12 hours. For a little more money, but a more exciting journey and a scenic route, Country Rail has trains running between the two cities. Travel time for the train is about an hour less than the bus.
For those with time constraints, catching a flight is a good alternative. Thanks to budget airlines like Jet Star, Qantas and Virgin Blue, the trip between the two cities can be made in about an hour without breaking your wallet. Depending on the day of the week and time of year, flying can sometimes be cheaper than taking the bus or train. Certain airlines also often hold specials on domestic flights, like Pacific Blue’s Happy Hour deals on Fridays between the hours of 12 noon and 1pm.
Renting A Car
Franklin Street, located close to Melbourne’s city center and a short walk from the hip, trendy area of Fitzroy, holds a multitude of rental car companies all in the same vicinity. Here you can compare the costs of the different companies, while many are open to striking up a deal if you quote a competitor’s prices. Without making too many stops, the drive from Melbourne to Sydney is about 10 hours.
A cheaper alternative to renting a car is transferring a vehicle. Many car and camper van rental companies desperate to get their vehicles back to Sydney will offer them out for free or at an extremely low cost. Sometimes they’ll even throw in extras like a free tank of petrol or insurance. Postings are updated frequently, but make sure to send in your request as soon as finding one that fits your travel date, as the cars are snatched up quite quickly.
If time isn’t of the essence, and flexibility is your middle name, then ride shares can be a fun way to get from Melbourne to Sydney. Being packed in a car with random fellow travelers, exchanging stories, laughing and sharing music can make the long drive a memorable experience. Just give yourself plenty of time for plans to be worked out and be prepared for last minute changes (i.e being bailed on by station wagon Doug only to find a new ride with a cool Melbourne PHD student). One of the best links to find ride shares is Melbourne’s community board on Gumtree.com.au. Postings of travelers going from Melbourne to Sydney are listed daily.