Here are five ways of travelling overland by public transport between Sydney and Adelaide. I’ve started with the most expensive – The Indian Pacific – which kicks off with a one-way fare of $639. The most economical is FireFly Express which does the Sydney – Melbourne – Adelaide run for a moderate sum of $70.00.
1. The Indian Pacific
This is the most expensive way to get there. But of course, it’s also the most luxurious. The trip takes two days and one night aboard this luxury train. The fares start from around $639 one way, with 3 meals included. The Indian Pacific leaves Sydney every Wednesday. If you’ve never been on a trip on a luxury train before, here’s your chance.
For further information https://journeybeyondrail.com.au/journeys/indian-pacific/sydney-to-adelaide/
2. NSWTrainLink to Broken Hill then a coach to Adelaide
There is a NSW TrainLink train that starts from Sydney (Central) Mondays only at 06:18 and arrives in Broken Hill at 19:40 (EST). This service does not connect with the Broken Hill to Adelaide coach. At the time of writing, I couldn’t find any published timetable for this Broken Hill to Adelaide coach service. The only information I could obtain was found on the Trip Planner page for a service that departs Broken Hill on Mondays and Fridays. The last service I could find departs Broken Hill for Adelaide on Monday 20th June 2022. After that there were no further services listed. The best suggestion would be to call NSW TrainLink on 13 22 32.
There’s also a train service that departs Sydney (Central) daily at 07:19 to Dubbo. This daily train service connects with the daily NSWTrainlink coach service through to Broken Hill arriving at 23:15 (EST).
Here’s the timetable https://transportnsw.info/regional-western-line
You can make bookings online at https://transportnsw.info/regional-bookings/ or call 13 22 32.
Note: When searching the NSWTrainLink bookings site, be aware that the coach for Adelaide leaves the Broken Hill Town Coach Stop (not Broken Hill railway station) and arrives at Adelaide Central Bus Station.
Last time I checked, the adult fare was listed as $63.91. The Pensioner/Senior Concession Card fare came up as $44.39.
3. NSW TrainLink train from Sydney to Melbourne then the Overland train from Melbourne to Adelaide
The Overland train departs Melbourne for Adelaide at 08:05 and arrives in Adelaide at 18:00 twice a week. If you’re travelling from Sydney, you’d need to book your seat on the Overland first then decide when to leave Sydney for Melbourne on the twice-daily XPT train service. You’ll probably need to overnight in Melbourne. If you were to catch the evening XPT from Sydney to Melbourne, it arrives in Melbourne at 07:30. The Overland leaves for Adelaide at 08:05. That leaves you only 35 minutes to change trains!
An economy full adult fare, called the Red Standard, on the Overlander from Melbourne to Adelaide started at $114/pp.
An economy full adult fare aboard the XPT train from Sydney to Melbourne started at $117.23/pp.
The Sydney to Melbourne timetable is at https://transportnsw.info/regional-southern-line
Make a booking for the Sydney to Melbourne XPT train at https://transportnsw.info/regional-bookings/ or call 13 22 32
For more info on the Overlander and bookings at https://journeybeyondrail.com.au/journeys/overland/ or call 1800 703 357.
If you’re a Qantas Frequent Flyer member you can earn points when booking or pay for your booking with points at Journey Beyond Rail
4. NSWTrainLink Sydney to Albury then VLink coach from Albury to Adelaide.
This trip is a good option. The trip involves catching the evening train, the Sydney – Melbourne XPT, as far as Albury where you’ll change for a coach to Adelaide. The train leaves Sydney at 20:42 M-F, and arrives in Albury at 04:08. The Adelaide bound coach leaves Albury M-F at 04:25 and arrives in Adelaide at 17:55. That’s a long trip! A total of around 20 hours of travel time.
Unfortunately, you can’t book from Sydney to Adelaide in a single booking using the NSWTrainLink bookings page (at the time of writing this article). The only way is to book with NSWTrainLink from Sydney to Albury, then direct with VLine for the Albury to Adelaide section of the trip.
Here’s the NSWTrainLink Sydney to Albury timetable.
Here’s the NSWTrainLink bookings page.
https://transportnsw.info/regional-bookings/ or call on 13 22 32.
Here’s the timetable from Albury to Adelaide.
Here’s the link to the VLine bookings page.
https://www.vline.com.au/Plan-trip-buy-tickets or call 1800 800 007.
The fares from Sydney to Albury at the time of writing were full fare $73.87 and $51.13 concession.
The fares from Albury to Adelaide at the time of writing were full fare $68.40 and $34.20 concession.
This brings the total cost from Sydney to Adelaide via Albury to $142.27 full fare and $85.33 concession.
5. Sydney to Adelaide by coach using Firefly Express
Firefly Express run coaches between Sydney and Melbourne and also between Melbourne and Adelaide. They are, as I write this article, offering the best price for a budget traveller of $35.00 for Sydney to Melbourne and $35.00 for Melbourne to Adelaide. And yes, you can also travel from Sydney to Melbourne overnight and meet another coach in Melbourne headed for Adelaide.
For full details, go to:
Please be aware that fares and departure times mentioned in this article are liable to change.