This trip offers the best value I can find in Seniors travel hacks. The distance to Broken Hill from Sydney is approximately 1150 kilometres. Now where can you find a deal like that for $5?
There are cons involved, firstly, this trip mostly by train can only be made on a Monday. Yes, there is another way of doing it but that is mostly by bus and can be done Monday to Sunday. I’ll get to that in another article. The other con is that the departure time from Central station is 04:22 on a Monday morning.
The trip is in three sections – train, bus, train. You’ll depart Central Station at 04:22 and arrive in Broken Hill at 19:10.
Since you’ll be departing on a Monday, call NSWTrainLink on the Friday before and make a booking on the Bathurst to Broken Hill service, leaving Bathurst at 09:47. The fare will be $2.50 with your Seniors card I.D. number. You’ll also need to call Lithgow Buslines on (02) 6352 3888 and advise them that you be arriving from Sydney on the train that arrives at Lithgow at 07:10 and wish to catch the Bathurst bus leaving Lithgow at 07.12 to Bathurst. This is so they can inform the driver that you’re coming and he’ll wait for you if you’re slow getting up the station stairs. The bus mainly caters for school kids. Don’t worry, they’re kind country folk at Lithgow Buslines and will be at your beck and call to help when you call them. Here’s the timetable https://www.buslinesgroup.com.au/images/pdf/lithgow/timetables/636_Lithgow_web_tt.pdf
Sydney to Lithgow
As mentioned above you’ll depart Central station on the 04.22 Opal card service to Lithgow . You’ll arrive at Lithgow 07.10, alight the train and walk up the stairs and tap out with your Opal card. Turn to your left and head out to the bus stop opposite the Post Office on Main street. Here’s the Central to Lithgow Opal Service timetable
Lithgow to Bathurst
At the bus stop, board the Lithgow to Bathurst coach, route #636, run by Lithgow Buslines.
Don’t forget to tell the coach driver that you’re going to the Bathurst Railway Station as the bus only stops by the station on request.
Just in case you miss the Lithgow Buslines bus, there’s a NSW Trainlink coach that leaves on the north side of Lithgow station at 07:25 for Bathurst. Here’s the timetable.
Bathurst to Broken Hill
You’ll arrive at Bathurst station at approximately 08:40. Since the train departs to Broken Hill at 09:47, you have a little over an hour to enjoy a nice breakfast. If you check out the map of the area around Bathurst Railway Station you’ll see a cafe called The Hub just a few minutes’ walk towards town. You’ll have enough time for breakfast and be back for the 09:47 departure to Broken Hill.
Here’s the full Bathurst to Broken Hill timetable.
Once aboard the train you’ll have access to the buffet where you can buy the usual Aussie fare, including beer and wine. A hot lunch is also available. But the coffee isn’t as good as at The Hub as they don’t have an espresso coffee machine on the train. 🙁
To come back to Sydney, the train leaves Broken Hill the next day (Tuesday). May I suggest you spend a few days in this beautiful and historic town and come back on the bus/train/bus/train service from “the Hill” to Sydney. The service runs to Sydney via Wilcannia, Nyngan, Dubbo and Bathurst.
Total time for the trip Central to Broken Hill is 14 hrs. and 47 mins.