Don’t wander willy-nilly around the countryside. If you’ve got a trip coming up, there’s no better way to prepare than by asking the experts Just ask AT

Don’t wander willy-nilly around the countryside. If you’ve got a trip coming up, there’s no better way to prepare than by asking the experts .

My husband and I are finally doing a Fraser Island trip but are still sorting out the details. We need to fly from Sydney to Hervey Bay. How long will it take it fly there and what would the approximate costs be? From Hervey Bay the plan is to spend a couple of days on Airlie Beach. What are the methods of transport, duration and costs? How would we get from Airlie Beach to Sydney? Do you have any advice on airport transfers and costs? – Victoria Carter, via email

After the October school holiday rush, prices for travelling north plummet. Budget carriers like Jetstar and Virgin Blue fly direct from Sydney to the Fraser Coast in two hours for as little as $99 per person. You’ll find even cheaper flights into Brisbane and from there it’s a three-hour drive north along the Bruce Highway. Hop on a Greyhound Australia coach in Brisbane for around $65 each and be there in five hours (and with their current “Mates Rates” offer, the second ticket will be half price.)

The train from Brisbane stops in nearby Maryborough West, where Trainlink buses run through to Hervey Bay.

Airlie Beach is one of many gems studding the QLD coast, and a great place to wind down. The problem is there’s a lot of that coast. Hervey Bay is almost 900km south of Airlie Beach, a gruelling 11hr bus trip away. Twice a week the Tilt Train travels from Cairns to Brisbane, stopping in at Proserpine, 20km from Airlie Beach. For $200, you can spend the nine hours in comfort, with access to personal entertainment screens and dining cars. Your best option might be travel back to Brisbane and fly direct from there. Cheap fares are available from Brisbane to Proserpine for as little as $80 per person with airtime around 1.5hrs.

Getting back to Sydney will take you on the same route through Brisbane, with roughly the same costs. Allow half a day of travel time and room for connection delays. Luckily, flights between Brisbane and Sydney operate regularly. The Qld coast is the perfect destination for a short break. A spot of beach hopping may sound like a great idea but can get complicated. Be careful not to spend more time travelling than soaking up the sun.

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