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Using trains to travel around Australia, Rail Pass?

Minnesota
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Using trains to travel around Australia, Rail Pass?

My Uncle is planning a trip to Australia. He wants to use the train as much as possible. He plans to fly into Cairns. Do some day trips from there, then travel down to Sydney, over to Adelaide and then up to Darwin. He will have stop overs along the way and side trips. His questions is, Does he have to purchase a "rail pass" or just buy a ticket on each train? What does the "rail pass" do for him? Thanks a lot , I really appreciate your help with this.

New South Wales...
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1. Re: Using trains to travel around Australia, Rail Pass?

Hi carolcarib - as the trains are run by the individual States in Australia, there is no "rail pass" as such. Rail is not a very common method of travel and it is generally cheaper to fly between many destinations. Have a look at this traveller article on Railway Journeys in Australia: tripadvisor.com.au/Travel-g255055-c57608/Aus…

If he wants to book his entire holiday including rail journeys, accommodation and even day trips in each destination, The Australian Holiday Centre: www.australianholidayspecialists.com.au/ specialises in this type of trip. My parents did an amazing trip organised by them last year.

Melbourne
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2. Re: Using trains to travel around Australia, Rail Pass?

There is indeed a rail pass! In fact, several! All details can be found here: http://passes.railaustralia.com.au/ A rail pass usually means you have unlimited travel in a certain area. This won't include sleeping accommodation on-board a train though, that you'd have to book and pay for separately.

New South Wales...
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3. Re: Using trains to travel around Australia, Rail Pass?

That's great BrawBlether - we'll have to include that link on the Australian Railway Journeys article.

Surfers Paradise...
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4. Re: Using trains to travel around Australia, Rail Pass?

unless yiour uncle really loves trains, i would advise against travelling via train. because australia is basically as big as usa but there are a lot fewer cities for stopovers. i say fly and do side trips from there

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Using trains to travel around Australia, Rail Pass?

There are no high-speed trains in Australia, and the distances are great.

For example, the only daylight train between Sydney and Melbourne departs Sydney Central at 07.42 and arrives at Melbourne Southern Cross at 18.55. So a train takes over 11 hours for a journey that can be done by plane in 1h35.

Minnesota
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6. Re: Using trains to travel around Australia, Rail Pass?

Thanks for the information. He is kind of stuck on traveling by train, but I will give him this info, maybe talk him into a Planes, Trains, and Bus trip!!

Minnesota
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7. Re: Using trains to travel around Australia, Rail Pass?

So, tell me if I am right please. If you plan to travel by train and get on/off a lot the rail pass is what to get because it is economy price and seating is as you find it...correct? If he wants to stay on the train from, for example Sydney to Adelaide, he would get a reserved seating and sleeping accommodations on the train...correct? In this second scenario he would not need a rail pass just the reserved seating...correct? thanks.

Sydney Australia
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8. Re: Using trains to travel around Australia, Rail Pass?

Hi Carolcarib,

Sorry I can't help you with your last enquiry, but I thought you might find the railmaps website useful.

http://www.railmaps.com.au/

Melbourne
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9. Re: Using trains to travel around Australia, Rail Pass?

I suggest for that kind of enquiry carol that you contact Australia rail directly so that you get the correct information. Forums are only ever unofficial advice and shared experiences. The contact page on the Rail Passes website gives the broken down rail owners, I'd go with Great Southern Rail who provide an international number and will be helpful regardles of where your enquiry is for (even if it's to give you the telephone number of who you are best speaking to).

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Using trains to travel around Australia, Rail Pass?

No Carol

.

All longer distance long distance trains are reserved seat only. (distances longer than 150 miles). Shorter distance trains are not reserved and usually one class only.

Reservations will need to be obtained from the train operator. Sleeping berths may not always be available at holiday times. Longer distance trains do not run DAILY but often only several times a week. An enjoyable holiday can be worked out but you will need to spend time consulting the timetables in conjunction with a diary/calendar.

From Cairns your Uncle will need to take the Sunlander. See http://www.queenslandrail.com.au Other Queensland trains will be on this site.

You then need to look at http://www.countrylink.info for trains into New South Wales and Victoria.

For transcontinental services go to http://www.gsr.com.au for Indian Pacific and Ghan service.

In Victoria go to http://www.vline.com.au

The operators usually will not guarantee connections. Countrylink generally will not guarantee connections on its own services.

As you can see we have no equivalent of Amtrak. This is both a blessing and a curse.