It’s a curious thing that most of us prioritise an international bucket list ahead of seeing our own backyard in all its diverse glory.
There’s no doubt the Grey Nomad movement is a booming and growing one, but caravanning or buying/hiring a motorhome and heading off on a long trip is not practical nor even possible for many people. And the vast distances we have to cover in Australia – often spending hours and hours passing through swathes of open country – can make it a challenging and costly exercise to boot.
The vast rail network throughout New South Wales in particular makes train travel the ideal option for a number of short breaks to experience our great land without having to plan a three-month epic journey for example and setting off on the road.
We thought we’d put together a list of why we think it makes sense to see NSW by train and why it should occupy a spot on your bucket list alongside all your other must-do travel experiences.
1. It’s easy
By definition, most train stations are close to the centre of town, it’s easy to book, there’s loads of choice, there are generally no queues to board, no hire cars required when you arrive at your destination, but instead, connections to local transport options and so it goes … it’s just easy.
Compared to other forms of transport, rail is already very reasonable. And with the many entitlements and concessions on offer – check our complete guide here – it becomes unbeatable in many instances ie; even free if you qualify. There’s no additional costs like fuel or parking fees for example if you’re driving, or taxes and luggage- fee hikes if you’re flying. In fact, NSW TrainLink allows 2 x 20kg bags to be checked-in plus carry-on at no extra cost.
Travel first class or take a sleeper for longer overnight journeys, save money in economy, break your journey with overnight stays, add coach services to reach off-rail destinations … there’s plenty of options.
The NSW TrainLink network is so vast, you can get to places no one else can take you. You probably have a train station near where you live and there’s likely a stop at the destination you want to go to … if not, NSW TrainLink probably has a connecting coach that does! The complete location map is below.
Click the map to enlarge, click again to return.
As busy lives get busier these days – even in retirement – it’s a treat to be able to just stop and take a breath.
We all love to travel but sometimes even that can be a labour as you negotiate taxis to airports, wrestle luggage in long check-in queues, line-up for baggage screening, deal with the flight itself and then reverse it all at the other end as you wend your way to a hotel.
And why would you want the stress and cost of driving?
All of that makes reclining in a train seat watching the countryside drift by very appealing.
There is arguably no better way to travel in a group than by train if you wish to socialise along the way. Grab your friends and reserve as many seats as you wish. NSW TrainLink offers discounts for groups of 10 or more. Find out more here http://www.nswtrainlink.info/book/groups
It really is a civilised way to travel and in this fast-paced world, even nostalgic. Even the ‘sound’ of rail travel conjures up the glory days of travel when rail was the only way to cover long distances. And the onboard experience itself is a comfortable one on NSW regional trains with a cafe serving seasonal fare, toilets in each carriage and wheelchair and accessible seating options also available.
Train services often traverse the most scenic routes … places highways don’t go through and flights won’t take you. Whether its winding through the rainforests of the North Coast, the vast plains of the Outback or the rolling green countryside, you are bound to discover new and beautiful places.
9. It’s ethical travel
Did you know that a train filled with passengers is one of the most energy efficient modes of transport? It causes far less air pollution, accidents, infrastructure deterioration and congestion than if those passengers used their private vehicles.
10. Family-time travel
There is no better way to travel to see your family. Load up all those presents for the grandchildren (with all of that extra luggage allowance) and take the worry out of travelling by road. Or take the little ones with you. It’s a perfect way to enable them to spend time with you during the holidays … and give their parents a well-deserved break at the same time!
If you have any questions regarding travel throughout the regional network in NSW, call NSW TrainLink on 13 22 32 or visit nswtrainlink.info