Canberra Light Rail
A century after they were first envisaged, Canberra finally got its tram service in 2019. Running north-south between Civic and Gungahlin, the optimistically numbered route R1 runs along the median of Northbourne Avenue that had been provided 100 years beforehand for precisely this purpose. Running between 4 and 10 times every hour, the modern light rail vehicles take 24 minutes to complete their end to end journey.
Canberra BusesCanberra is served by an extensive network of local bus routes operated by Transport Canberra. Our map shows the network of 'Rapid' routes (R2 to R10), but there are numerous local routes as well.
Canberra's bus network has given the city one of its icons - the distinctive 'bunker' bus shelter. They're not particularly attractive, but they are iconic and unique to Canberra.
Our map here shows only the 'Rapid' bus routes, but there are numerous other routes serving all suburbs. Simply buy a 'MyWay' stored value card from any of 30 agents across Canberra then tap on and tap off every time you board and leave a bus or tram. MyWay cards are available on all Transport Canberra and Canberra Metro buses and trams, but they are not available on QCity buses to and from Queanbeyan nor on Transborder buses to and from Yass.
A MyWay tap on entitles you to 90 minutes of travel, so you can change busesand trams without having to pay extra. Simply tap off then tap on again.
At the time of writing (2019), an Adult MyWay trip costs $3.22 in peak hours and $2.55 off peak. There are daily caps, so that you can travel as much as you like on weekdays for no more than $9.60, and on weekends for $5.87. Concession MyWay cards for children, students and seniors offer half-price travel in peak hours and on weekends, and free travel in weekday offpeak hours.
Cross-border commuter buses to and from Canberra are run from Queanbeyan by QCity coaches, and from Yass by Transborder coaches. Note that whilst you can catch these buses simply by boarding at any scheduled stop along their routes, you cannot use your MyWay card. Just buy tickets from the driver.
Regional TrainsCanberra is connected to Sydney by NSW Trainlink trains. Three XPlorer railcar trains travel each way each day between Canberra (Kingston) railway station and Sydney Central station. Check Canberra to Sydney train timetables here.
Although you can't travel directly between Canberra and Melbourne by train, you can do it with co-ordinated train/bus connections. The best option is on the NSW Trainlink bus that runs from Queanbeyan Railway station, via Canberra Railway station and Civic Interchange to Yass Junction railway station where it connects with the daytime NSW Trainlink XPT train that runs between Sydney and Melbourne. The bus continues on to Cootamundra (and also connects with the very same train there), but to minimise time on the bus the best option is to transfer to and from the train at Yass Junction. The same bus returns every afternoon and connects at both Cootamundra and Yass Junction with the morning XPT train from Melbourne to Sydney.
Here is the Canberra to Melbourne via Yass Junction timetable.
And here is a link to online booking.
VLine, (Victoria's train and bus network) also run buses into Canberra connecting in Victoria with their trains to and from Melbourne. The first option is their daily 'Canberra Link' Canberra (Civic) to Wodonga bus that connects in Albury and Wodonga with a VLine train to and from Melbourne.
Here is VLine's Canberra Link timetable to Melbourne via Wodonga.
And here is a link to the VLine online ticket booking website.
VLine also run another bus connection, called the 'Capital Link', that heads south from Civis, via Canberra Railway station down through Cooma to Bairnsdale where it connects with VLine trains from Bairnsdale to Melbourne. This is a slightly longer bus trip and it runs only two or three days per week, but it is a scenic alternative if you have the time. It's also better for those travelling to or from Melbourne's south-eastern suburbs or Gippsland.
Here is VLine's Capital Link timetable to Melbourne via Bairnsdale.