Affordable travel across Australia

Travelling across Australia can take just three hours by plane, three days by train or three weeks (with some sightseeing) by car. Find out how to travel from coast-to-coast for less.

Crossing Australia by car is a big endeavour, however, it can be one of the most rewarding ways to make the trip. It is important to ensure your car is in good condition, that you have emergency food, water and shelter with you and that you have thoroughly researched your trip before you leave. The Expedition Australia website has some great hints for travellers wishing to drive anywhere in Australia. It has information on trip preparation, a gear guide and how-to videos for basic skills such as changing a flat tyre. 

For sightseeing information the NullaborNet website offers up-to-date information on the sites and accommodation between South Australia and the coast of Western Australia, many of which are low-cost or even free. 

The Indian Pacific travels between the Indian and Pacific oceans (or Perth to Sydney) and back again. It crosses 4352 kilometres in three days. Great Southern Rail, which runs the Indian Pacific, offers discounts when you book in advance. You can often find sales during off-peak travel times. To find out more visit the Great Southern Rail website

Many of those flying in and out of Western Australia are fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) workers for mining companies. On the days when mining companies fly their employees in or out the prices skyrocket, so when flying across Australia it is worth comparing all the flight prices for the week or month in which you are hoping to travel. The Skyscanner website allows you to look at prices spread across a whole month. Simply put your departure and arrival cities into the search bar and select ‘whole month’ instead of picking a particular date when you search. 

Although it may take longer than train or plane, crossing Australia by bus is affordable and can give you the opportunity to visit places you may not otherwise have had the chance. Greyhound Australia often offers two for one deals or half price fares so it’s worth being flexible with your travel plans if you can.

Fun fact: The flight time from Perth to Sydney (or Melbourne, or Brisbane) is often an hour less when travelling west-to-east. This is because of the jet stream which often gives aeroplanes a strong tailwind.