If you find yourself going to Canberra from the US, you’ll probably be flying in to Sydney or elsewhere, then connecting to Canberra. I decided to do something a little different. Instead of booking a flight, I decided to go back and forth by train. Mostly because I had some spare time and figured it would be a fun way to see more of Australia since I needed to be in multiple cities for this trip.
As it turns out, it was. It’s about a 4.5 hour trip between Sydney and Canberra. The scenery is pretty nice, lots of sheep and even a few kangaroos could be spotted as we made our way across the countryside.
If it interests you, I do have a couple of tips.
- Book ahead! The trains only run a couple of times esch day, and on my trips they were completely sold out. Every seat was filled going both ways. If you show up at the station, there may not be room for you.
- Upon arrival in Sydney, take the airport train to Central Station. It’s super easy, and it is where the Canberra service starts out. Central is also an easy place to get wherever you need in Sydney when you arrive back, whether you are headed back to the airport, or spending some time in Sydney.
- The station in Canberra is a bit out of the way. Be prepared to grab a taxi, or an Uber. My hotel and where I was working were also a bit out of the way, Uber helped a lot!
- If you have luggage, you can check it up to 30 minutes ahead of departure. There is some self-storage space at the front of each car, but it’s fairly limited. I checked my bag, and kept my laptop backpack with me, which fit nicely in the overhead. (Minus points btw, for the lack of power and wifi on board, but that does sort of force you to look outside!)
- If you’re in Canberra and want some good Indian food, I highly recommend the Copper Chimney. Group of folks I was working with took me there one night and it was awesome. Save room for the Gulab Jamun with ice cream too!
Canberra isn’t nearly as large as Sydney, but it is the capitol city, and the home of Parliament, so if you work with the government at all, it’s likely you may find yourself there. If you’ve got time, the train can be a nice change, and get you out of the airports!