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How to go to Melbourne from Adelaide?

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    The drive from Adelaide to Melbourne is one of the most beautiful road trips you can take anywhere in the world. For just over 1000 kilometres, you’ll be passing along the stunning coastline of South Australia and into Victoria as you travel between two of the country’s most vibrant cities.

    You’ll find secluded beaches, windswept clifftops, wild national parks, and charming seaside communities on the drive from Adelaide to Melbourne.

    The trip’s final leg will take you along one of the most iconic stretches of tarmac in Australia as you drive along the Great Ocean Road and past dramatic rocky scenery like the Twelve Apostles as you make your way into Melbourne.

    Best Time to Road Trip From Adelaide to Melbourne

    The southern coast of Australia between Adelaide and Melbourne has some of the best weather in the country, with a wonderfully temperate climate that produces hot summers and mild winters.

    There’s little humidity and no cyclones, unlike in the tropical north, meaning that you can safely and comfortably drive between the two cities throughout the year.

    If you are looking to make the most of the hot weather and sunshine, head here between November and March. Be warned, though, in December, temperatures can skyrocket well into the forties. Make sure you’re prepared with plenty of sunscreen and water to cope.

    A more comfortable time to visit is at the start or end of summer, while spring and autumn can be quieter in terms of tourists, yet with great weather still.

    After summer, you can expect rainy days, while the winters are much milder and, at times, stormy. You’ll want to pack a raincoat for this and be prepared with a few jumpers for the evenings, particularly if you are camping.

    Things to Know About Driving from Adelaide to Melbourne

    Compared to some of the longer Australian road trips you can undertake, such as driving from Melbourne to Darwin or along the Nullarbor Plain, the road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne is relatively short.

    That’s great if you are looking to spend less time driving and more time actually enjoying the locations you visit. Distances on each stage of the route are not too far, which means you won’t be stuck behind the wheel for too long on any single day.

    That being said, the overall distance between Melbourne and Adelaide is still rather large, mainly if you aren’t used to the vastness of Australia, which even here in a built-up region of the country can be overwhelming.

    Always take frequent breaks when driving, and while there are plenty of service stops and towns along the way, it’s worth packing an extra can of fuel in your car and plenty of water, just to be safe.

    Driving at night outside of cities and towns is best avoided anywhere in Australia due to the large quantity of wildlife along the roads. Collisions with animals – particularly kangaroos – can be hazardous and potentially fatal for both parties.

    Make sure you have insurance and roadside assistance before you begin your Adelaide to Melbourne road trip. If you are renting a car, check beforehand that it is included, and if it’s not, it’s certainly worth paying extra for.

    Flights From Melbourne To Adelaide

    A number of airlines fly from Melbourne to Adelaide, including Virgin Australia, Qantas, Jetstar, and Tigerair Australia. A flight from Melbourne to Adelaide will cost you at least $60. The price can go as high as $250. Like most domestic flights, it is necessary to check in at least 45 minutes before your flight.

    It’s advisable, however, to be at the airport one hour before departure, if not even more. There are more than 20 flights every day leaving Melbourne for Adelaide. The earliest flight departs at 06:10 hours. The last flight of the day departs at 21:20 hours. A flight from Melbourne to Adelaide takes an averagely, one hour and twenty minutes.

    Qantas is the most popular airline on this route. It has an average of five flights per day spread at intervals of about two to three hours. There is a flight available in the morning, mid-morning, noon, afternoon and in the evening. This makes it such a flexible and convenient airline to travel with. 

    The Qantas airline has also been praised for its top-notch hospitality as it provides free snacks and drinks for its passengers even for the one and a half hour flight which is not as long. However, as you may expect, a Qantas ticket for a flight from Melbourne to Adelaide is way more expensive than the rest of the airlines.

    From Melbourne To Adelaide By Train

    Rail is also an option to consider if you would like to travel from Melbourne to Adelaide, or the opposite way. The train runs twice every week. If your departure point is Adelaide, you can catch the train every Monday and Friday at 07:45 am. It leaves Melbourne for Adelaide every Tuesday and Saturday at 08:05 am.

    The train journey takes about 10 hours, including the check-in time and factoring in any delays that may come up. As you have obviously realised, a train journey won’t be the best choice if you are travelling for an urgent business matter.

    You definitely have to book your tickets earlier and check in at least half an hour before the scheduled departure time. It should cost you somewhere between $63 and $189 depending on the ticket you are purchasing. 

    A red Seat ticket cost $71 for a child and $139 for an adult. The fancied red premium seat would force you to dig deeper into your pockets. You will have to part with $189 for an adult and $121 for a child.

    Buses From Melbourne To Adelaide

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    Firefly Express owns most buses that operate on this route. There are two buses each day. The first departs at 07:30 in the morning. The second bus departs at 20:15. If you are travelling from Adelaide to Melbourne, you can catch the first bus at 06:50 in the morning or the evening bus at 20:15.

    A one-way bus ticket will cost you between $60 and $75 if you are travelling with Firefly Express. It is pretty cheap as compared to other means of transport. 

    The journey from Melbourne to Adelaide takes a bit more than ten hours during the day. If you are travelling overnight, you may have to withstand an extra hour (buses drive a bit slower at night due to the possible encounter of wildlife on the road).

    Essential Things to Pack for Australia

    Good Camera 

    Chances are you will be snapping pictures pretty much non-stop in Australia, so you really need a good camera to do its beauty justice. We highly recommend the Sony RX100 III. It’s super lightweight, compact, and the image quality is fantastic.

    Good Walking Shoes

    There will be many walking around in Australia, so a good pair of shoes is really essential. Our go-to shoes are Nike Free 5.0. They are comfortable, lightweight and sturdy. We pretty much wear them all the time. We even hiked up multiple mountains/volcanoes with them.

    Good Guidebook

    Lonely Planet guidebooks are still our favourites, and their Australia edition is very thorough and a must for anybody travelling around Australia.

    Good Water Bottle

    The sun can be brutal in Australia, so make sure to always carry a refillable water bottle with you. After all, tap water is drinkable in Australia, plus it’s free. Our favourite is the Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Water Bottle.

    Good Reef-Safe Sunscreen

    Conventional sunscreen damages the reefs, so please make sure to get an excellent reef-safe sunscreen instead. The Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen works just as well as a regular sunscreen but without all the harmful chemicals.

    If you were to make the drive from Melbourne to Adelaide or vice versa in one straight shot, then the quickest inland route along the highway would take at least 8 hours, as you cover a distance from Adelaide to Melbourne of just under 800 kilometres.

    That’s no way to experience these two southern states, though, as most of the best sights are found along the coastal roads. Taking the coastal route adds on an extra 200 kilometres, and we’d recommend breaking the journey up into several stages to appreciate the scenery truly.

    While you could tackle the distance in 4 to 5 days with plenty of stops on the way, if you can spare a week for the road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne, then you can take things slower and will even have the time to detour inland along the way to see the magnificent and mountainous Grampians National Park.

    The Ultimate Adelaide to Melbourne Road Trip Itinerary

    If you were to make the drive from Melbourne to Adelaide or vice versa in one straight shot, then the quickest inland route along the highway would take at least 8 hours, as you cover a distance from Adelaide to Melbourne of just under 800 kilometres.

    That’s no way to experience these two southern states, though, as most of the best sights are found along the coastal roads. Taking the coastal route adds on an extra 200 kilometres, and we’d recommend breaking the journey up into several stages to appreciate the scenery truly.

    While you could tackle the distance in 4 to 5 days with plenty of stops on the way, if you can spare a week for the road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne, then you can take things slower and will even have the time to detour inland along the way to see the magnificent and mountainous Grampians National Park.

    Robe

    The first part of your journey from Adelaide to Melbourne will take you along the stunning Princes Highway towards the small holiday town of Robe. It’s around 4 hours driving in total, but of course, you aren’t heading straight there, as there’s plenty to see along the way.

    The main highlight is the Fleurieu Peninsula, just south of Adelaide, which is packed full of things to do. You can call in at the McLaren Wine Valley to taste some local wines and produce, stop off at the beaches, and then overnight in Robe. It’s a long first day of driving but action-packed, to say the least.

    Mount Gambier

    From Robe, continue along the coast to Beachport, which is home to one of Australia’s longest jetties and home to several salt lakes. From Beachport, it’s a short drive inland to Mount Gambier, the second-largest city in South Australia – but don’t worry about the crowds because it’s still home to less than 30,000 people.

    Mount Gambier is a great base to explore this inland region, and you can visit the Umpherston Sinkhole, a deep, natural sinkhole that has been filled with a curated, landscaped garden.

    Check out the vibrantly blue and appropriately named Blue Lake, and spend the night in Mount Gambier before the next leg of the road trip to Melbourne as you drive into Victoria.

    Grampians National Park

    The Grampians National Park is one of the best spots in Victoria, but it’s a good two and a half hours detour further inland. If you have time, add this leg to your itinerary, if not, just continue along the coast to Warrnambool.

    The Grampians are a rugged mountain range with steep valleys, dramatic viewing points, and some excellent hiking, and it’s certainly worth the detour from the coast to experience a different side of southern Australia.

    Warrnambool

    From the Grampians, or if you’re short on days, the next stop is Warrnambool from Mount Gambier. Now you are officially on the Great Ocean Road – this is the western start/endpoint – and things are only going to get even more spectacular from here.

    A great coastline surrounds Warrnambool, but the most famous attractions here are the large number of whales that are frequently spotted off the shore. You can join a whale watching trip or simply drive out to the lookout points to gaze out over the water.

    Twelve Apostles

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    The Twelve Apostles are one of Australia’s most photographed natural features, and they are an unmissable stop along the Great Ocean Road. The Twelve Apostles are a ragged collection of limestone stacks that are found off the coast. Thought, due to the fierce ocean waves, only seven are still standing, the other five having collapsed.

    This stretch of coastline is a dramatic sight and is part of the equally dramatic Port Cambell National Park, which follows the road for many kilometres, and will have you continually pulling off to the side of the highway to take photographs.

    Cape Otway

    From the Twelve Apostles, it’s a one hour drive along the Great Ocean Road to Cape Otway, where you can find the stunning Great Otway National Park. The cape is where two oceans collide, and the rugged coastline is just about as climactic as it gets in Victoria.

    Explore the national park, and make sure to drive to the southernmost point of the cape, where you can find the Cape Otway Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in the state, which dates back to 1848.

    Torquay

    The Great Ocean Road officially starts and ends in the seaside town of Torquay, just outside of Melbourne. You can enjoy some long, sandy beaches at Torquay, great seafood, and coastal walks. The city is a big name amongst surfers, as it’s the home of big brands such as Quicksilver. If you’re into surfing, there are great spots to catch the waves here, and you might find yourself hanging out longer than intended in Torquay.

    Melbourne

    Your road trip ends in Melbourne, and after covering over 1000 kilometres from Adelaide, you can relax in the Victorian capital and experience one of the most livable and pleasant cities in the world.

    If you’re not too exhausted from the driving, you can take a trip out to Phillip Island to see the local penguin colonies or even to Wilsons Promontory for a hiking trip.

    What is the best way to travel from Melbourne to Adelaide?

    Each means has its own pros and cons. Air transport is relatively affordable when flying economy class. But it limits you from enjoying the beautiful scenery. If you are after a green way of transportation, of course, flights are not the best choice. This is, however, the quickest way from Melbourne to Adelaide.

    The train seems to be more expensive than a flight in some cases. It does offer you the opportunity to enjoy the scenery. It is exceptionally eco-friendly as well as it cuts down emissions that would otherwise be emitted by planes.

    The solution in the middle is the bus. A bus ticket costs less than a train ticket. A bus is also faster than the train, but not as fast as the flight (also remember to factor in the transportation to the airport and the check-in time). And you still get to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Ultimately, if you travel from Melbourne to Adelaide for leisure, a drive is the best choice.

    With a daylight service between the two great cities, enjoy a relaxing and unique journey, while savouring the creature comforts and romance of rail. There is nothing quite like travelling by rail, and The Overland operates a day-long service running between Melbourne and Adelaide in both directions.

    That's correct - there is no longer an overnight train from Adelaide to Melbourne.
     

    Yes, there is a direct train departing from Central Station station and arriving at Adelaide Parklands. Services depart once a week, and operate Wednesday. The journey takes approximately 26h 20m.

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