We’ve put together a guide to public transport in Australia because each state and territory has its own public transport system, which means that services, fares and student concessions differ considerably across the country.
Public transport in the Australian Capital Territory
The MyWay ticketing system is used for travel on Canberra’s bus network. International students can apply for a tertiary student MyWay smartcard, which entitles them to a discounted rate per trip. Visit the Transport for Canberra website for more information.
Public transport in New South Wales
In New South Wales, an electronic Opal card can be used on ferry, train, light rail and bus services in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Illawarra and Southern Highlands. International students in New South Wales are not generally entitled to travel concessions but may be able to receive a discount on yearly and quarterly passes. Visit the Transport for NSW website for more information.
Public transport in the Northern Territory
The Northern Territory offers discounted bus travel to all students. Tertiary students pay AUD $1.00 for a trip (up to three hours of travel), $2.00 for a daily ticket or $7.00 for a weekly ticket, while secondary school students are able to travel for free. Visit the Northern Territory Department of Transport website for more information.
Public transport in Queensland
Full-time international students studying in Queensland can apply for a Tertiary Transport Concession Card, which entitles them to a 50 per cent discount on public transport fares. Students can travel using paper tickets or a rechargeable electronic go card on bus, train, tram and ferry services. Fares are calculated based on which zones you travel in, and whether you are travelling in a peak or off-peak period. Visit the TransLink website for more information.
Public transport in South Australia
International students studying full time in South Australia are entitled to a concession fare for travel on tram, train and bus services. Single and daily tickets are available, as well as the rechargeable electronic Metrocard. Visit the Adelaide Metro website for more information.
Public transport in Tasmania
Hobart, Launceston and Burnie have local bus services that use the electronic Greencard system, as well as single and daily tickets. Students aged 18 years or younger may be entitled to free travel to and from their place of study during the Free Travel period (7 am to 7 pm on weekdays). Full-time students over the age of 18 are entitled to a concession fare. Visit the Metro Tasmania website for more information.
Public transport in Victoria
Victoria is connected by tram, train and bus networks, and customers travel using an electronic ‘myki’ smartcard. Currently, international students are not eligible for concession fares in Victoria but may be entitled to a 50 per cent discount on an annual pass. To be eligible, students must be enrolled at a participating institution and be studying a full-time undergraduate course or higher-level VET course. Tram travel within the Melbourne CBD is free. Visit the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) website for more information.
The PTV website also features university travel guides that show the best way to travel to each university campus in Victoria.
Public transport in Western Australia
Perth and Fremantle are serviced by trains, buses and ferries. International students studying full time in Western Australia are eligible for a Tertiary SmartRider card, which entitles them to a concession fare. Buses that operate within central Perth, Fremantle and Joondalup (CAT buses) are free. There are also a number of free travel zones for bus and train travel in Perth. Visit the Transperth website for more information.
You can get more information about transport options by speaking to student advisers at your institution, as well as attendants and staff at public transport stations. Note that all information above is correct at the date of publication (May 2015).