This handy guide will help you save when travelling around Australia.
Transport concessions are invaluable when getting around your hometown or visiting from interstate. Unfortunately, these concessions can vary from state to state, and finding out what’s available can be confusing. This handy guide will outline which concessions you’re entitled to and where.
The most valuable concessions are available to holders of Seniors Cards issued by the state government.
Seniors Card holders do not pay for their myki cards and will receive:
- 50 per cent off full fares
- free travel on Saturdays and Sundays within zones 1 and 2
- two or four annual Victorian off-peak travel vouchers (two for Melbourne residents, four for regional residents)
- concessions on V/Line trains and coaches
- concessions on regional buses.
As a Victorian Seniors Card holder, you can also purchase a Day Pass. If you’re planning on travelling extensively within zones 1 and 2 in a 24-hour period, you may find this cheaper than using your myki.
Interstate Seniors Card holders can buy:
- concession myki
- concession V/Line tickets
- concession tickets on regional bus services.
Pension Concession Card (PCC) holders are eligible for a 50 per cent discount on public transport fares, but you must ensure your myki is a concession version. Victorian residents who hold a PCC are also eligible for one free annual travel voucher.
Find out more at ptv.vic.gov.au
New South Wales
To access concessions on the majority of public transport services in NSW, you will have to apply for a Gold Opal Card. This card is issued free of charge. To be eligible for a Gold Opal Card, you will need to be a concession cardholder, such as a NSW or ACT Seniors Card or a Pension Concession Card. Interstate travellers will also need to apply for a Gold Opal Card to access concessions and this can be done two weeks in advance of travel – cards issued under these circumstances are only valid for 60 days.
Holders of Gold Opal Cards can take advantage of travel concessions across Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra and Southern Highlands, with a daily cap of $2.50*. The following services can be accessed on:
- all Sydney Trains
- all NSW TrainLink Intercity services
- all buses in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter and Illawarra
- all Sydney Ferries and the Stockton Ferry in Newcastle
- light rail.
Seniors cardholders (from all states and territory) can also access concessions on NSW TrainLink services, which are:
- $2.50 Country Pensioner Excursion tickets
- 50 per cent off adult peak economy and first class fares.
Holders of Pensioner Concession Cards who reside in NSW or ACT are entitled to:
- four one-way Pensioner Travel Vouchers annually (vouchers fully cover cost of economy ticket, for first class travel you pay 15 per cent of full fare, subject to a $10 minimum)
- 50 per cent off ordinary adult peak economy and first class tickets
- $2.50 Country Pensioner Excursion tickets.
Public transport in Tasmania is provided via a bus network, operated by either Metro Tasmania or Merseylink.
Concessions on both networks are available to those aged 70 or over or who hold a:
- DHS or DVA Pensioner Concession Card
- DHS Health Care Card
- Seniors Card – all states and territories
- ImmiCard or Tasmanian Government Concession Card
- Tasmanian Companion Card
Holders of a Metro Greencard can receive further concessions.
Holders of Seniors Cards and Pension Concession Card from any state or territory are entitled to a 50 per cent concession on fares on TransLink, qconnect and regional ferry services.
Seniors Card +go, senior go card or green pensioner concession go cardholders can save even more. Not only will you pay 50 per cent of the go fare, which is cheaper than buying a paper ticket, a cap is applied to fares charged. When you use your go card for two paid journeys on one day, you travel free for the rest of the day.
Queensland residents who hold a Pension Concession Card are entitled to four rail travel vouchers on Queensland Rail travel services. Holders of Pension Concession Cards who do not reside in Queensland are entitled to 25 per cent off fares on Queensland Rail travel services, and holders of Seniors Cards from anywhere in Australia will receive a 50 per cent discount. You can check out your travel entitlements at queenslandrailtravel.com.au
Western Australian Seniors Cards have a double purpose, with one side being the Seniors Card and the other a Seniors SmartRider travel card. With a Seniors SmartRider travel card, WA travellers can take advantage of free travel on Transperth services:
- from the first service until 6am
- from 9am until 3.30pm
- all day Saturday and Sunday.
Concession fares are available at all other times.
Holders of Seniors Cards and Pension Concession Cards from any Australian state or territory can receive concession fares discounted up to 60 per cent on Transperth-operated public transport services.
You can find out more at transperth.wa.gov.au
Concessions of up to 50 per cent are available on Transwa fares for Seniors Card and Pension Concession Card holders, but these must be booked in advance. Visit transwa.wa.gov.au for more information.
Resident WA Pension Concession Card holders will also be issued with free travel vouchers every two years. The first two vouchers must be used in the first year for two single journeys or one return trip; and the second two must be used in second year, for either two single journeys or a return trip.
Concession fares are available in the Northern Territory to holders of Seniors Cards, Pensioner and Carers Cards, and Health Care Cards.
The concession will reduce a single fare from $3 to $1 and gives unlimited bus travel for up to three hours from purchase. A daily travel pass is reduced from $7 to $2.
Find out more at nt.gov.au
South Australian Seniors Cards can also be used at a Seniors Metrocard, which entitles the holder to concessions on public transport, and free travel on Adelaide Metro services:
- midnight to 7am, Monday to Friday
- 9.01am to 3pm, Monday to Friday
- 7.01pm to midnight, Monday to Friday
- all day Saturday, Sundays and public holidays.
Concessions are available at all other times.
Interstate Seniors Card holders are also entitled to the same free travel and concessions. You will need to be issued with a temporary Metroticket, which you can receive by visiting, Adelaide Airport’s Information Booth, WHSmith Express at the ground floor arrivals area of the Adelaide Airport, the Visitor Information Centre at shop 9 James Place, Adelaide (just off Rundle Mall) or an Adelaide Metro InfoCentre.
Holders of Pensioner Concession Cards are also entitled to concessions on public transport. Find out more by visiting sa.gov.au
Pension Concession Card holders also receive two single economy travel vouchers, which can be used for travel on the lines between Broken Hill, Port Augusta and Wolseley.
Australian Capital Territory
Concession fares are available to holders of Seniors Cards and Pension Concession Cards. While cash fares are available for interstate visitors who hold such cards, the best savings can be made by ACT resident seniors when you hold a Concession MyWay Card.
You can purchase your Concession MyWay card at a MyWay Recharge Agent or Access Canberra Service Centre, and you will be required to update your Concession MyWay each time you receive a new concession card.
Free travel is available to those over 70.
From 14 January 2017, a 12-month trial of free MyWay fares for Seniors Card and Concession Card Holders commenced. Holders of Concession MyWay Cards can travel free:
- between 9am and 4.30pm
- after 6pm weekdays
- all day Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.
You can find out more at transport.act.gov.au
ACT residents who hold the relevant concession cards are also entitled to many travel concessions in New South Wales – see New South Wales section above for details.