Melbourne and Sydney are two of the largest cities in Australia, so it stands to reason you’d want to travel between them from time to time. Your main options for traveling between them are driving, flying, taking the bus, or riding a train. If you’re looking for a quick option, flying is your best bet. Otherwise, most travel options will take you between 10 and 15 hours.
Method 1 Method 1 of 3:Driving between Melbourne and Sydney
Choose the inland route for a faster drive. The quickest way to Sydney is by the inland route, along Hume Highway. You’ll hit some small towns along the way, but this route isn’t exactly scenic.
- This route averages 9 to 11 hours.
Pick the coastal route for more scenery. The coastal route, which is about 130 kilometres (130,000 m) longer than the inland route, is much more scenic than the inland route. It takes you along the coast of Australia through several small coastal towns. It follows the A1 Princes Highway.
- The coastal route is much slower, not just longer, as it’s a winding road at lower speeds. This route averages about 13 hours.
Rent a car if you don’t have one. If you’re just visiting Australia, you can rent a car to get from Melbourne to Sydney. If you head over to Franklin Street in Melbourne, you’ll find a number of car rental places where you can check prices and book a car for the journey.
Look for a car transfer. Instead of renting, you can opt for a car transfer. A car transfer is moving a rental car back to another city for the rental company. Sometimes, more cars have gone from Sydney to Melbourne. If that’s the case, they may offer car transfers for much less than a car rental. Check the website of local rental companies to find postings about transfers. However, you’ll need to act quickly, as they’re usually snatched up.
Find a ride share. With this option, you’ll need to be a little more flexible and willing to take what comes. However, you can get there more cheaply than if you took a car on your own. Try a community board like Gumtree.com.au or a ride sharing website like Ridesharing.com.
Method 2 Method 2 of 3:Booking a Flight
Fly for a quick and relatively cheap option. Flying between Melbourne and Sydney takes about 1.5 hours, making it the fastest option even with airport lines. Plus, if you snag a deal, it can be as cheap or cheaper than traveling by train.
Choose an airline based on your preferences. If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest fare, Tigerair is probably the best bet. Jetstar also has good prices, but is slightly more expensive. Jetstar do however, often have more flights available. Virgin Airlines and Qantas can be reasonable if booked early, and usually offer a few more extras than the other airlines.
- Try comparison websites like WebJet or Travelocity to look at differences between fares.
Be flexible to get better fares. Like any flight, if you are flexible with your schedule, you’re likely to get a better deal. Usually, the best time to fly is daytime during the week, as fewer people are traveling then.
Look for specials. Because Melbourne to Sydney is a frequent route for many travelers, you’re likely to see specials from time to time, as there is competition from multiple airlines. For instance, Pacific Blue sometimes offers “Happy Hour” deals if you visit their site between 12 pm and 1 pm on Fridays.
Method 3 Method 3 of 3:Taking a Bus or Train
Choose the bus for a cheap option. The bus tends to be cheaper than other options, though not always. Your main options are Greyhound and Firefly. Both have a day option and a night option. Typically, the bus takes 12 to 14 hours to get from Melbourne to Sydney.
- You can buy tickets online or in person. The night fares are sometimes slightly cheaper.
- Take the bus if you want to stop to see the Big Merino. The Big Merino is a giant sheep statue between Melbourne and Sydney. Often, buses will make a very short stop here so you can at least snap a picture.
Pick the overnight bus option for a shorter trip. While sleeping sitting up on the bus generally isn’t fun, you can shorten your trip if you choose this option. The bus makes fewer stops at night, so it will get you there faster.
Take the Sydney to Melbourne XPT train for a scenic option. This train runs from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station to Sydney’s Central Station. Along the way, it stops at Broadmeadows, Seymour, Benalla, and Wangaratta.
- The train typically takes 11 to 11.5 hours.