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How to Travel Around Australia as a University Student
11 March 2024
Written by Y Suites

As a university student exploring Australia, you’re in for an exciting adventure! But figuring out how to get around this vast land is crucial.

Thankfully, Australia offers various transportation options—from trains and buses to domestic airlines—that allow you to explore its diverse landscapes and cultures.

In this guide, we’ll delve into these transportation modes, providing insights and tips to help you travel around Australia efficiently and affordably.


By Bus

One of the most affordable and budget-friendly ways to travel in Australia is by public or backpacker bus.

Australia’s major cities, such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide, boast extensive bus networks that cover key landmarks, suburbs, and neighbourhoods.

Many cities also offer integrated ticketing systems so you can seamlessly transfer between buses, trains, trams, and ferries using a single fare card or mobile app.

Want to explore beyond city limits? Regional bus services provide connectivity to rural areas, coastal towns, and tourist destinations across Australia.


Tips for Budget-Friendly BusTravel:


  • Use bus travel apps like Moovit, TripView, and Transport for NSW (New South Wales) for real-time schedules, route maps, and journey planning.
  • Visit the official websites of major bus operators such as Greyhound Australia, Murrays Coaches, and Premier Motor Service for route options, fare comparisons, and online ticket booking.
  • Consider Greyhound Australia for flexible ticket options like hop-on-hop-off passes, backpacker deals, and student discounts to make the most of your budget while travelling by bus.


By Trains

Between commuter trains and long-distance and transcontinental trains, Australia’s extensive rail network gives you the best sceneries across the continent.

On the East Coast, commuter trains and intercity services like New South Wales (NSW) TrainLink in Sydney and Victoria’s V/Line in Melbourne are the mainstay of rail travel.

For those craving epic journeys across the continent, the iconic transcontinental trains, Indian Pacific and the Ghan, traverse vast distances from Sydney to Perth and Adelaide to Darwin, respectively.

Traveling to regional cities? Queensland Rail connects Brisbane with destinations such as Cairns, Townsville, and Rockhampton.

In South Australia, Great Southern Rail operates regional services like the Overland, linking Adelaide with Melbourne, and the Ghan Expedition, spanning from Darwin through Australia’s Red Centre.

Train travel offers a chance to explore cultural attractions with comfort and convenience. However, keep in mind that train fares are significantly higher than bus passes, even with student discounts.


Tips for Budget-Friendly Train Travel:


  • Plan your travel during off-peak times if possible to take advantage of lower fares.
  • Consider purchasing multi-trip or season tickets if you’re a frequent rail traveller, as they may offer cost savings over single tickets.


By Trams & Ferries

Another way to explore the cities and coastal areas of Australia affordably is through the iconic tram network in Melbourne and the ferry services in Sydney.

In Melbourne, the extensive tram network serves as a crucial part of the city’s transport system, providing convenient access to universities, popular neighborhoods, shopping districts, and entertainment areas. Some tram services, such as the City Circle Tram, are even free for passengers.

Meanwhile, in Sydney, the Sydney Ferries network is a key provider of ferry services, connecting Circular Quay with destinations like Manly, Watsons Bay, Taronga Zoo, and Darling Harbour. These ferry services offer students a scenic and practical way to navigate Sydney Harbour and the coastal areas.


Tips for Budget-Friendly Tram or Ferry Travel:


  • Take advantage of free tram services like the City Circle Tram in Melbourne to explore popular areas without spending on transportation.
  • Plan your trips strategically to maximise the use of tram or ferry services, avoiding unnecessary expenses on other modes of transportation.


By Air

Flying is one of the most efficient ways to cover Australia’s large distances, particularly for students looking to cover ground quickly.

With numerous domestic flights servicing cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide, students can enjoy swift and direct connections between major urban hubs, making itinerary planning more flexible.

Additionally, airlines like Rex (Regional Express) and QantasLink extend their services to regional centres and remote communities across the country, enhancing accessibility.

Travelling by air is undeniably the costliest mode of transportation. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can do to make your air travel more budget-friendly.


Tips for Budget-Friendly Air Travel:


Explore Budget Airlines

Consider flying with budget domestic airlines like Jetstar, Rex Airlines, and Alliance Airlines for more affordable intercity travel options.

Check for Discounts

Look out for student discounts, promotional fares, special offers, discount codes, and student travel programs offered by airlines to save on airfare costs.

Book in Advance

Secure lower fares by booking your flight tickets well in advance, especially during off-peak travel seasons.

Consider Off-Peak Times

Opt for flying during off-peak hours or mid-week travel to access more budget-friendly fares.

Utilise Online Platforms

Use online platforms such as Skyscanner, Google Flights, and Expedia to compare fares from multiple airlines and find the best deals on domestic flights. Set price alerts and track fare fluctuations for added savings.


By Driving (own vehicle/rental)

Whether you’re taking the Sydney Route Road or Melbourne Route Road, a road trip with friends not only offers cost savings but also creates unforgettable memories.

Let’s cover everything you need to consider before hitting the road, along with tips to manage the cost of driving!


Here’s what you need to know:


Driver’s License

Ensure you or your friends possess a valid driving license. International students can typically use their home country’s license for up to three months in Australia.

Converting to an Australian license may be possible in some states but requires meeting specific criteria and passing tests.

Road Rules

Familiarise yourself with Australian road rules, including speed limits, road signs, and right-of-way regulations. Remember, drivers sit on the right-hand side of the vehicle in Australia.

Iconic Routes

Australia boasts diverse landscapes along iconic road routes such as the Great Ocean Road (Victoria), Pacific Coast Highway, Red Centre Way (Northern Territory), and Nullarbor Plain (South Australia and Western Australia).


Tips for Budget-Friendly Driving:


Fuel Costs

Compare fuel prices at different stations and utilise loyalty programs or discounts. Fuel price comparison apps can help find the cheapest prices along your route.

Toll Roads

Plan your route to minimise toll road usage or seek alternative routes to avoid tolls. Look for free or discounted parking options like street parking, park-and-ride facilities, or student parking permits.


Share expenses with friends to reduce individual costs and make road trips more affordable for everyone.


Start Creating The Uni Life You Dreamt Of @ Y Suites


Struggling to find the perfect student apartment to stay in your academic venture in Australia? Want an easy commute between your place to the university and other interesting parts of the city centre?

We hear you! Y Suites’ off-campus student accommodations are perfectly positioned near Australia’s top universities while having easy access to essential local amenities so you can say goodbye to complicated commutes and the hidden costs that come with them!

The best part? Our all-inclusive rent covers:

✅Premium, fully furnished student rooms and shared apartments, inclusive of Wi-Fi and utilities

✅Full access to various common areas for socialising, studying, exercising, playing, and resting

✅The opportunity to connect with other like-minded students from different prestigious universities through our community events

✅Excellent security measures that ensure your personal safety

✅ Hassle-free customer service managed by our attentive and well-trained staff

So what are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to experience how student life should be!



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