Getting There in Canberra

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By Road

Canberra is located several hundred kilometers inland, on a line roughly between Sydney and Melbourne. Thus it is easily reached by the main highway between Australia' two largest cities, the Hume Highway. The trip takes about 3 hrs from Sydney (take the left exit onto the Federal Highway after Goulburn) or about 6 1/2 from Melbourne (take the right exit onto the Barton Highway after Yass). If you don't have your own car you can buy a ticket on one of the main coach companies, either Greyhound or Murrays (who have tickets as low as $15 one way). I STRONGLY ADVISE AGAINST HITCHING. Yes, many people do it, but even in friendly Australia there are bad people and plenty of lonely roads. Those considering hitching should read about the case of Ivan Milat and the infamous backpacker murders (he picked up his victims on the Hume Highway, including several couples, before driving to a nearby state forest to murder them).

By Air

Canberra International Airport is International in name but not in nature (the designation is mainly used to allow foreign dignitaries to fly to Canberra direct if necessary). However, the flights between Canberra to/from Sydney and Melbourne are frequent and relatively cheap. A ticket on the "Airport Shuttle" between Sydney and Canberra is $A 100, and it departs on the hour.

By Rail

Canberra is accessible by train from Sydney and Melbourne, as well as a range of regional towns. The journey is slower than the bus, but a little cheaper and a lot more comfortable. As a final note, the Airport, train station and coach depot are all in different suburbs of Canberra, which can be rather annoying. The Airport is about 10 minutes drive east of the city center (Civic). The coach depot, called the Jolimont Centre, is in the city itself, while the train station is south-east of Parliament House, across the lake from the centre of the city. If you intend to stay in South Canberra, the train station will generally be closer. If you are staying in Northern Canberra (at the YHA for instance) the Coach depot is closer. From the airport it makes little difference. At any rate, none of these places is more than 15 minutes away by taxi.

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