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Public transport to W.A. sights doable, for solo backpacking ex Perth?

Public transport to W.A. sights doable, for solo backpacking ex Perth?

Apr 15th, 2019, 12:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 181
Public transport to W.A. sights doable, for solo backpacking ex Perth?

Hi there!
Iím planning a 2-week trip to Western Australia, next spring-summer, backpacking hopefully, and I was wondering if it is practical and cost effective to get around, some part of the area, by public transport - bus, trainÖ A first search is very dissapointing, cost-wise. Transport is so sparse and expensive, compared to south-east Australia (Iíve been there a few years back, and loved it).
I Ďm interested in a variety of sights, cityscape, nature, indigenous culture, hiking Ö
Though, I should mention, not really my thing about drinking, night life, surfing...
I read that having your own car is the best way to visit all kinds of sights, but I wonít haveÖ
Tours would be too expensive on the other hand...
I am flexible about what itinerary to build, as long as I can stick to easy and low cost transport, and still see good things, so it could make for a worthwhile trip, to this beautiful area. It would be a pity to come all this way, and miss all the good stuff because of transport difficulties or cost...
Perth and surroundings close by, like Freemantle, are an obvious choice at first, since my intl flight will land there, so perhaps a few hundred miles away from them, would make a good radius to cover in 2 weeks time. Pinnacles seem definately very interesting. Maybe places like Kalgourlie, Esperance, Bunbury could make for a good trip? - And if there is an easy way to get there and around?
Any ideas on how to do it, if doable at all, suggestions about which nice places do have good access for the independent low budget traveler, would be invaluable !
I have a guidebook already which I read, it would be a great help if you could just point me to the right direction, so I focus my search to specific places and how to combine them in a loop around Perth.
Many thanks!

nikosk is offline  
Apr 15th, 2019, 01:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,072
Hi Nikolas -

That's a tough one - getting around WA without a car has its challenges.

Train and bus transport within the CBD and suburbs is easy, but getting further afield, not-so-much. As you've found, transport is sparse and expensive...mainly because WA is HUGE and sparsely populated outside of the city centers.

For Perth and vicinity -


For TransRegional towns - https://www.pta.wa.gov.au/our-services/transregional

Albany, Broome, Bunbury, Busselton/Dunsborough, Carnarvon, Collie, Esperance, Geraldton, Kalbarri, Kalgoorlie, Kalgoorlie to Laverton, Karratha/Roebourne, Kununurra, Manjimup, Monkey Mia, Narrogin, Pilbara, Perth to Broome, Perth to Port Hedland, and Port Hedland.

For the southern half of WA -


Perth to Bunbury -


Kalgoorlie, Esperance and Bunbury are walkable - it's the getting there that's difficult.

These sites might help as well:





Good luck! I hope this helps.
Melnq8 is online now  
Apr 15th, 2019, 03:25 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,259
Mel's given you a lot of information about transport options. I spent 4 nights in downtown Perth back in November, and used mostly public transportation to get around, so I will try to add.

Within the city center, I found it easy to get around by bus, but I mostly walked from place to place, and it is a nice way to explore the city. King's Park is very much worth a visit, and it is easy to do by bus or on foot.

Similarly, I found Fremantle easy to walk around. You could get from Perth to Fremantle and back by train or by ferry; the train is faster and runs more frequently. In Fremantle, if you don't walk to walk everywhere, there are free buses that take you around most of the sights.

I also visited Cottesloe Beach by train - very easy to do.

Rottnest Island is reachable by ferry, and once on the island, there is a bus system to take you around; I didn't find Rotto worth the time and expense though.

There are other places you could visit by train but I ran out of time.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2019, 05:52 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 181
many many thanks guysl!!! Great info!
Though, things still seem tricky to me
Even if I find a good and low budget way to get to a city , I still need to find asolution to move around that city further away, which can be more difficult...
It seems I should rely more to near-Perth areas, with daytrips , as tripplanner001 did, if I got it right, thanks for feedback on your experience!
Melnq8 thanks for the cities suggested, and the many very interesting weblinks, I see there are a lot of details there, I'll check to see how I could connect some rides into a kind of loop way, and return to Perth after a few days.
I' ll try to organize only a couple of bases for staying outside Perth, see the cities there and do some bush walking around, where / if such areas are reachable on foot out of the city, or with local transport...
Probably the south has more options than the north, maybe I should focus there for a start and see how it could work
Thanks again for the very insight info, happy travels to all!!
nikosk is offline  
Apr 17th, 2019, 10:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,072
Keep in mind that Perth is jam packed with regional parks, many of which are reachable by public transport. I so miss the parks of WA!
Melnq8 is online now  
Apr 19th, 2019, 11:23 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 181
thanks Mel, that's a good plan!
It makes perfect sense I should base myself for a big part of the trip at Perth, and except the city itself, to enjoy as many as possible reachable nice areas around it, since the transport system is better, cheaper, and distances are shorter!
thanks again for your tips!!!
nikosk is offline  
Apr 30th, 2019, 09:00 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,856
WA is a pretty big place, Nikosk. Just 2.6m people in this area https://www.australias.guide/wa/maps/

So, outside of the capital & larger regional areas, public transport isnít too plentiful.

Is there any chance you could rent a car?
Bokhara2 is offline  
May 3rd, 2019, 04:30 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 181
you are absolutely right Bokhara2, though I am not very optimistic about driving, or anyway using, a car but I'll keep that possibility in mind, some opportunity might come up, even on the spot, and make things work nicer! Let's see...
Thanks, all the best!!
nikosk is offline  
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