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Adventures close to Canberra by bus and train

Adventure awaits! Check out these five adventures by train and bus with easy access from Canberra.

Don’t have a car? No problem. Canberra boasts an ideal location, sitting right in the middle of some of the most exciting and picturesque parts of Australia.

South Coast Beaches

Travel there by: Bus (2.5 hours)

Stretching from Wollongong (just south of Sydney) all the way down to Eden near the Victorian border, the beautiful New South Wales coastline is dotted with charming towns which all make a great seaside getaway. There are plenty of places to relax on white sandy beaches, swim in the ocean or even learn to surf.

Depending on the time of year, you might spot whales, dolphins, or seals from the beach, or consider joining a whale watching tour to get up close. You can also enjoy the local produce, in particular, the seafood—it’s an area famous for its oysters. Daily connections via bus are available between Canberra and Narooma, with stops at popular beach destinations including Batemans Bay, Broulee, Tomakin and more.

South coast beach
The South Coast beaches are easy to access from Canberra and have some of the most beautiful coastline in Australia.

Jindabyne and the Snowy Mountains

Travel there by: Bus (2.5 hours)

Keen for a trip to the snow? Throughout winter, daily bus services will take you from Canberra straight to the Snowy Mountains, where you’ll find some of the biggest and best slopes in the country. You can take your own ski gear or hire it when you get there.

It’s also a beautiful region to explore in summer. Catch the bus to Jindabyne or Thredbo for hiking, mountain biking, fishing, water skiing on Lake Jindabyne, or just relax and enjoy the fresh mountain air.

Skier at Perisher Resort
One of many locations to explore in the Snowy Mountains is Perisher Resort – the largest ski resort in the southern hemisphere with 47 lifts, 7 terrain parks and over 100 trails.


Travel there by: Bus (3.5 hours), train (4.5 hours), or plane (55 minutes)

Arguably Australia’s best-known city, Sydney is close enough to visit for a weekend getaway. While you’re there, meet native wildlife at Taronga Zoo, climb the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge or learn to surf at Bondi Beach – and after the big city sugar hit that is Sydney, you’ll appreciate Canberra’s pace even more on your return.

Buses travel between Sydney Canberra many times a day, or if you’ve got a little more time, take the picturesque train journey, which will deliver you right to Central Station in Sydney. Keen to get there quickly? There are plenty of daily flights from Canberra Airport.

I have gone to Sydney on a bus. The bus is comfortable, and I like watching the rural areas outside. The view of windmills on Lake George is amazing.

“However, I enjoyed the trip to Melbourne the most and I travelled there on a train. I like the fact that trains travel past the vast grasslands and fields on either side. To explore a new place, I want to interact with the people and eat their food. So, compared to other forms of travel, I think train travel gives an opportunity to interact with people and know about people’s cultures and stories.

“The train station itself was so adorable and the staff there were so cooperative and gave me some suggestions on travelling as I reached Melbourne. I recommend people to travel on a train in Australia to see a different side of the country that they might not have seen.

Sushant Rijal, postgraduate student from Nepal

Southern Highlands

Travel there by: Train (2.5 hours)

Nestled in between Canberra and Sydney is the serene Southern Highlands, a collection of small quaint towns where you can grab breakfast at Bowral’s picturesque The Press Shop, shop for antiques next door at Dirty Janes (which also has a sister shop in Canberra!) or grab milkshakes, burgers and fries at retro Bernies Diner in Moss Vale.

From Canberra, the train will take you to four different towns in the beautiful region: Bundanoon, Moss Vale, Bowral and Mittagong.


Travel there by: Bus (1 hour 10 mins) or train (1.5 hours).

Only have enough time for a day trip? Sitting not far out of Canberra is the historical town of Goulburn. There, you can take a self-guided heritage tour to learn more about the region’s past, explore beautiful homesteads, enjoy the picturesque outdoors, and pay a visit to The Big Merino. Also, make sure you leave room for delicious baked goods at Trapper’s Bakery.

Sydney is three hours away so nearby towns such as Goulburn are better options for a day trip. Goulburn is such a beautiful town. I enjoyed following their self-guided walking tour and just taking in how beautiful each individual historic building is. It felt like travelling back in time.

“One of the highlights of my trip is eating at Paragon Cafe. The cafe’s interiors make you feel like you are in a hotel restaurant back in the early 20th century, and the food – equally amazing!

“I encourage initiating a friendly chat with the locals. You can easily get information about the destination online before heading there, but there’s nothing like getting real-time recommendations on where to eat and what places to actually visit. If you feel comfortable and your gut feel tells you to do it, take the road less travelled!

Nicole Frances Cadores, postgraduate student from the Philippines.

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Interested in studying in Canberra?

Contact the Study Canberra team for information and advice