Jindabyne Question?

Jul 13th, 2008, 09:14 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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Jindabyne Question?

Jindabyne Question?
We will be arriving around 8am in SYD. Spend the rest of the day regouping. Next day we need to head for Jindabyne to attend horse show. Would it be better to: A: take train to Camberra and rent a car there and drive the few hours to Jindabyne or B: rent the car in SYD and drive all the way to Jindabyne, How long would this take? We will be new to left hand driving.
Thanks in advance.
JoanneH is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 03:29 PM
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From a driving perspective it would certainly be less of a hassle to rent a car in Canberra. On the other hand the rail service to Canberra is slow (almost 4.5 hours) and there are only two departures a day.

On balance I'd lean towards driving all the way, ensuring that you have clear directions for getting onto the M5 motorway, which passes under downtown Sydney.

Once you're on the M5, all you have to do is follow your nose for almost 200 km, then, just after you pass Goulburn, take a clearly-marked left onto the Federal Highway to Canberra, another 90 km. Just before you reach Canberra there'll be another left turn directing you to Fyshwick and Cooma, just past a service station and right on the New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory border -just follow the signs to Cooma, about 120 km, and from there to Jindabyne. Sydney to Canberra is about 3 hours, Canberra to Jindabyne another 2 hrs, say.

Leave early so you're not under any time pressure and don't have to worry about driving in the dark.

Of course driving on the "wrong side" is somewhat disconcerting at first, but I think a positive attitude has a lot to do with it. I just comforted myself with the thought that thousands of other people around the world are going through the same experience every day.

But I have to agree that starting off in the centre of Sydney isn't the ideal way to learn. If you'd prefer to play it safe, the train is a viable if slower option. You'd have to get up very early, as the only practical departure appears to be 6:58 am from Sydney Central, arriving Canberra 11:21 am. If the rental car company will meet you at the (small) station you'll be well placed to make your exit from Canberra - just take a left on the main road that passes the station (Wentworth Avenue) and go through the roundabout (traffic circle) a few hundred metres along, following the signs to Cooma. NB: stay left when entering a roundabout in a LHD country.

(Rail schedules are at http://tinyurl.com/64vljy. The home page is www.countrylink.info/)

There are also bus services to Canberra, which depart from Eddy Avenue, outside Sydney Central station, and set you down in Northbourne Avenue the middle of Canberra city. You'd save an hour on the train trip. Check www.murrays.com.au for schedules and bookings.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 04:58 PM
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Neil, my husband always did the driving between Sydney and Canberra, but don't I recall that the M5 goes right by the Sydney Airport? Although it would be a bit of a schlep, perhaps Joanne could pick up the rental car at the airport to avoid having to drive through Sydney to get to the M5. I think that would be the part of the drive that would be most stressful for someone who is not used to driving on the left. We always found the drive between Sydney and Canberra to be pretty easy--boring perhaps, but not a lot of traffic to contend with.
Joanne, I do agree with Neil that you should either drive the whole way or take the bus to Canberra. We did the train trip a few times when we lived in Canberra and I don't think we made one trip that wasn't delayed in arriving.
longhorn55 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 08:04 PM
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longhorn, they're planning to stay in Sydney the first night and I assumed that they'd be in the city. You're right, though, the M5 passes the airport (in fact it runs underneath the main N-S runway). I guess they could return to the airport next day to pick up the car.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 03:26 AM
Join Date: May 2003
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Hi JoanneH
Two suggestions:

Take a train to one of the outer south west suburbs of Sydney and pick up a car from there - sorry I can't supply any greater detail, but perhaps someone can stand on my shoulders for that bit.

Make sure you have a GPS as well as detailed maps - it makes travel in unknown areas so much less stressful, specially if you are trying to stay on the correct side of the road as well as follow last minute directions from your navigator.

Happy travels, Di
di2315 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 07:10 AM
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thanks for the advice did not know there was a bus will have to check into that. Thanks to all for the great advice.
JoanneH is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 03:21 PM
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JoanneH, just in case you want to take up di2315's suggestion, Campbelltown would be the most convenient outer suburb. Google "car rental campbelltown" and you'll find several choices, plus a Google map. The shopping centre is very close to the M5 (which turns into the Hume Highway, Hwy 31, at Campbelltown).
Neil_Oz is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 03:36 PM
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Just chiming in to agree with NeilOz's initial post.

Collecting the car from the airport in Sydney makes sense as:
(1) The route to the M5 is easy to negotiate from there
(2) The drive to Canberra is a good one to ease in to driving on the left ... it's a good road, not much traffic, well signposted and has long stretches of dual carriage ways (road divided by fencing/ vegetation) so you are automatically on the correct side of the road. You do need to keep your wits about you when these first merge back into the 2 way carriage lanes, though.
3. The trains schedules are a bit limited.

Alternatively, you could always fly into Canberra and pick up a car from the airport there. Then you've only about 2 1/2 hours drive into Jindabyne.

Virgin Blue has 11 flights daily

Qantas flies about every 30 mins.

All things considered though, I'd probably still take the car from Sydney. By the time you mess about getting to the airport, booking in etc., you'll be half-way to Canberra.

Bokhara2 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 06:37 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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If you don't actually need a car in Jindabyne, you can get the Greyhound bus all the way from Sydney to Jindabyne.
ozgal is offline  

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